Thursday, February 1, 2018

RC Airplanes: Trainers, Styles, and More

Remote control airplanes account for a large portion of the RC vehicle market and they come in a large variety of styles with their own distinct characteristics and abilities. Each style is built and designed for a specific purpose such as speed, maneuverability, or show. The primary styles of RC airplanes are: trainers, park flyers, racing airplanes, and acrobatic airplanes.

Trainers are designed for beginners and novices and fly at a slower rate of speed which gives the controller more time to react to changes in the wind. A good trainer style airplane will have these basic characteristics: a tricycle landing gear, low center of gravity, and wings that are angled and flat bottomed. Atricycle landing gear means that the RC airplane has 3 fixed wheels which allows for more directional control when taking off and landing then those with the tail dragger style landing gear.A low center of gravity means that the wings are located above the fuselage which helps to keep the plane flying some smoothly. When the wings are located below the fuselage then the center of gravity is high on the airplane and gravity is always trying to make the plane fly upside down. The wings of the RC airplane make up a large portion of its body and should have a dihedral angle which forces the airplane to self-correct into a straight and level flight path if the controls are released during flight. The wings should also be flat bottom which causes the air traveling over the wing to go at a slower pace than the air flowing below the wing allowing the airplane to sustain flight at a slower speed.

Park Flyers are designed to be simple, quick to fly RC airplanes that are operated by only 2 or 3 channels. They are powered by an electric engine and are typically made of Styrofoam or have a straight stick fuselage. These planes are quiet and slowing flying which makes them perfect to be flown in any open space such as a backyard, parking lot, or local park.

Racing RC airplanes come in a wide variety of forms because they are generally custom built by the controller. When starting to build an airplane for the specific purpose of racing hobbyist usually take their daily flyer plane and upgrade the engine. There are several basic characteristics that a good racing style RC airplane will have including: very light weight body, a very high powered (oversized) engine and a mall control surface that reduces drag and friction.

All RC airplanes have some form of acrobatic ability, but true acrobatic style airplanes will have: an engine powerful enough for vertical flight, large control surfaces for quick and tight maneuvers, symmetrical wings for inverted flight, and a light weight fuselage.

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