In order to get started in RC, you’ll need:
  • Transmitter
  • Plane or Helicopter
  • Battery 
  • Charger


For your first time, I would purchase a RTF (ready-to-fly) aircraft. It will come with everything you need to fly and then you can decide if you want to pursue the hobby or not. You’ll want to make that decision early in this hobby; otherwise it could cost you a pretty penny. This hobby can become expensive very quickly, all it takes is one crash to cost you up to a couple hundred or even thousand dollars depending on how bad the crash and expensive the aircraft was.

It’s very important that you choose your first aircraft carefully. If you buy an intermediate plane that you can’t control, you’ll crash it over and over again and you might just throw in the towel. It’s critical that you take the right steps to enjoy the hobby. Spend time flying your first aircraft until you’re comfortable flying. Once you get the hang of it, then you can start looking for an upgrade. Learning RC can take time, but it is rewarding.
Eventually, you’ll want to invest in a good transmitter that you can use for multiple aircraft. This is handy because it allows you to purchase the BNF (bind-and-fly) or PNP (Plug-and-play) models which are cheaper. These types of models usually come with just the aircraft, so you provide your own transmitter, battery, and sometimes a receiver as well. There are different brands of transmitters. You want to make sure the transmitter and the receiver are compatible with each other so you can connect and control the aircraft. Spectrum is Horizon Hobby’s brand for TX’s and RX’s and is a reliable brand.
Also, when you’re purchasing a new plane or helicopter, keep an eye out for the types of batteries they require. If you get the right aircraft and batteries, you can use the same battery for multiple aircraft. Anyway to save money and space is great.
Just remember, at first all of this is going to sound confusing and frustrating. But, as you progress in the hobby, your level of understanding increases quickly and it all begins to make sense. But, it takes time depending on how much you put into it.


Here are some more pages under “Learn RC” to help you get started:

  1. Choosing Your RC
  2. Types of RC Airplanes
  3. Batteries/Chargers
  4. FPV – First Person View
  5. FAA sUAS Registration