Flying RC planes is a great way to get outside and enjoy yourself with the kids, but knowing which plane to choose is difficult.
Luckily for you, we have spent many hours in cold fields flying our own RC planes and spent hours reading reviews from other flyers. We have used that experience to choose the seven best RC planes for kids of all ages and skill levels.
- Easy set up
- Safe flying technology
- Panic recovery for beginners
- Oversize flaps for shorter landings & take-offs
- Capable of aerobatics
- Factory-installed led lights
- Compact, easy to store
- Ready to fly out of the box
- Has three-part propeller
- Safe technology
- Spare parts are readily available
- Float set available for purchase
- No additional tools needed for setup
- One key plane return system
- Can be driven on the ground to taxi spot
- Super easy to fly with few controls
- Durable construction
- Extra batteries & spare in the box
- Exceptionally cool styling
- Faster than your average RC plane
- Optional SAFE technology
The Best RC Planes of 2022
We combined our own experience, the purchasing criteria above, and information from other reviewers and chose these as the best seven RC planes for kids.
1. HobbyZone: AeroScout S 2 1.1m RC Airplane
Most Durable RC Plane
The AeroScout from HobbyZone is often slated as the best hobby-grade RC plane for beginners, and we have to agree.
There is some basic assembly required but you do not need any tools, glue, or technical knowledge to put the AeroScout together. We found the instructions clear and easy to follow, putting the plane together in just a couple of minutes.
SAFE technology prevents enthusiastic new pilots from over-banking and accidentally sending their new plane into a disastrous spin to the ground. There is also a panic recovery facility that will reset the plane to a level flight, without having to figure out how to do it yourself.
However, it also allows you to gradually move from beginner to intermediate to advanced flyer as your skills improve.
The SMART battery charger determines how much to charge and at what rate, and it comes with a USB-C cable for convenience.
- Easy set up, everything you need is in the box.
- SAFE flying technology minimizes the chance of losing the plane.
- Panic recovery for beginners.
- Still requires basic assembly.
|Size||39.1 x 11 inches|
|Power||2200mAh 3S 11.1V Smart LiPo rechargeable battery|
2. E-flite: UMX Turbo Timber BNF
Best RC Plane for Teens
The E-flite comes fully assembled. Therefore if you have a transmitter and fully charged battery ready, you can fly this RC airplane straight out of the box.
What makes this an especially good choice for teens is that it has an optional SAFE system. This allows teens new to the hobby to turn the system on and work up through the beginner, intermediate, and advanced modes.
Then, if your teen becomes a confident flyer, the SAFE system can be turned off and the pilot can perform exciting acrobatics. In addition, the E-flite Turbo Timber has recently been updated with a more powerful motor allowing you to climb out vertically and hover.
The landing gear is already in place and designed for multiple take-offs and landings. In addition, the STOL, Short Take-Off, and Landing system means you can fly with minimum runway space.
For maximum realism, the E-flite comes with LED navigation, landing, and simulated strobe lights which are powered from the flight battery.
- Oversize flaps for shorter landings and take-offs.
- Capable of aerobatics.
- Factory-installed LED lights.
- The recommended transmitter is more than the cost of the plane.
|Size||26 x 26 inches|
|Channels||Up to 6|
|Power||7.4V 200–280mAh LiPo rechargeable battery.|
3. Top Race: 3 Channel RC Trainer Plane
Best 3 Channel RC Plane
For younger budding pilots, the Top Race Trainer provides three channels of control. The three channels control the propeller, rudder, and elevator. Plus, there is a 6 axis gyro system that keeps the airplane stable, making it exceptionally easy to fly for young beginners.
Also important for graduated learning are the three speed control settings. These prevent those who are new to flying a RC plane from going too fast, losing control, and crashing. Not only can a crash be dispiriting, it can also cause expensive damage to your airplane.
But fear not. If you or your child do crash, Top Race has an extensive line of spare parts for repairs or upgrades. The spares are affordable and readily available, so you don’t have to worry about trying to track down a rare, expensive item.
Because the Trainer is relatively compact, and lightweight, it takes up minimal room at home and is easy to transport to your flying location.
- Compact, easy to store.
- Ready to fly out of the box — no assembly needed.
- The three-part propeller comes apart to minimize damage in a crash.
- Top Race’s customer service is not great.
- Some owners report controller problems.
|Size||14 x 14 inches|
4. HobbyZone: Sport Cub S-2 RC Airplane
Best RC Plane for Beginners
The Sports Cub from Hobby Zone has beginner, intermediate, and experienced modes. This allows complete beginners to learn the ropes without becoming too overwhelmed by multiple controls.
The beginner mode on the HobbyZone limits the plane’s pitch and bank capabilities, minimizing the possibility of losing control. In addition, simply letting go of the control sticks will allow the airplane to return to level flight. This prevents discouraging crashes for newbies.
Panic recovery mode allows you to press a single button and have the plane return to level flying at a preprogrammed altitude. This gives new flyers some breathing room if they go a little beyond their capabilities.
You can launch this model by throwing it like a paper airplane, which is convenient if you do not have a suitable runway area for take-off.
The downside to this RC plane is that you have to buy the transmitter and battery separately, although that isn’t a budget breaker. Purchasing each item separately costs no more than buying them all in one—it’s just a few more steps you have to take.
Many good-quality RC companies sell their models, batteries, and radio units separately, so experienced flyers can buy the precise setup they want.
- SAFE technology.
- Spare parts are readily available and affordable.
- Float set, purchased separately to take off and land on water.
- The transmitter must be purchased separately.
- No battery or charger included.
|Size||16.3 x 24.3 inches|
|Power||3.7V 150–200mAh LiPo rechargeable battery|
5. Top Race: 4 Channel TR-C385 Airplane
Best 4 Channel RC Plane
Inside the box of the Top Race TR-C385 you’ll find everything you need to begin flying straight away. Although you will, of course, need to charge the battery up first. The battery takes roughly two hours to fully charge.
You can set the plane to Beginner, Intermediate or Expert mode. Then the six-axis gyroscope will kick in — or not — to keep the plane level and stable in flight.
The four channels control the propeller, rudder, elevator, and aileron and you can control the plane on the ground as well as you can in the sky. This enables you to drive this RC plane to your taking position, giving it an additional layer of realism.
There is also a stunt button that causes the airplane to perform aerial stunts. This gives new flyers the thrill of stunt flying sooner than if they were learning to fly stunts themselves.
- No additional tools needed for setup.
- One key plane return system.
- Can be driven on the ground to taxi spot.
- Foam gives the impression of a flimsy build.
- Some planes have been lost due to controller failures.
|Size||21 x 16 x 5 inches|
|Power||3.7v 360mAh rechargeable battery|
6. Hawk’s Work 2 Channel RC Starter Airplane
Best Budget RC Plane
For the youngest would-be flyers, the Hawks Work 2 channel airplane is an affordable, simple option. Two sticks on the remote allow you to control left and right and up and down but there are no other functions to master.
The simplicity of the plane makes it an excellent choice for younger children who are excited by RC planes but haven’t yet developed the dexterity and coordination required for a more complicated model.
It’s also great if your little one is the kind of kid who is deeply passionate and focused about something one minute, only to lose interest 20 seconds after they try it. For those kids this is just expensive and solid enough to work, but not so costly you waste a lot of money if it’s not a hobby that sticks.
The landing gear is rated as a single use part, but we found it was solid and in workable condition after 12 take offs and landings.
- Super easy to fly, with few controls.
- Durable, for more than the designated single use.
- Extra batteries and spare in the box.
- Doesn’t allow for learning to fly more complex models.
- No SAFE technology.
|Size||12 x 14 inches|
|Power||300 mAh Li-Po rechargeable batteries|
7. E-flite: E-flite T-28 Trojan 1.1m BNF Basic Jet RC Airplane
Fastest RC Plane for Kids
We, and our RC friends have always found E-flite to be a solid company for hobby grade RC airplanes. So we were a little disappointed in their T-28 model. Not because it isn’t great but because it didn’t provide a fun experience for new flyers.
To be fair, this model is not aimed at first-time or even newer pilots, but that information isn’t immediately obvious. So even though it has SAFE technology with beginners, intermediate, and advanced settings, you’ll want to give this a miss for younger first timers.
However, if you have a teen who is patient or has some previous RC plane experience, this model is extremely fun to fly and reaches incredible speeds.
Because the T-28 Trojan can achieve faster speeds, it is relatively easy for a newbie to feel like they are losing control of the plane. This can cause a lot of frustration and put your budding flyer off of their new hobby.
- Exceptionally cool styling.
- Faster than your average RC plane.
- Optional SAFE technology.
- Battery and charger not included.
- Too fast for the inexperienced.
|Size||50 x 17.1 x 8.4 inches|
|Power||300mAh 7.4V 30C Li-Po rechargeable battery|
|HobbyZone: AeroScout S 2 1.1m RC Airplane||Most Durable RC Plane||14 years+||39.1 x 11″||6||2200mAh 3S 11.1V Smart LiPo battery|
|E-flite: UMX Turbo Timber BNF||Best RC Plane for Teens||14 years+||26 x 26″||6||7.4V 200–280mAh LiPo battery|
|Top Race: 3 Channel RC Trainer Plane||Best 3 Channel RC Plane||8 years+||14 x 14″||3||3.7v 180mAh|
|HobbyZone: Sport Cub S-2 RC Airplane||Best for Beginners||12 years+||16.3 x 24.3″||4||3.7V 150–200mAh LiPo battery|
|Top Race TR-C385||Best 4 Channel RC Plane||14 years+||21 x 16 x 5″||4||3.7v 360mAh battery|
|Hawk’s Work 2 CHannel RC Starter Airplane||Best Budget RC Plane||6 years+||12 x 14″||2||300 mAh Li-Po batteries|
|E-flite: T-28 Trojan BasicJet RC Airplane||Fastest RC Plane||14 years+||50 x 17.1 x 8.4″||6||300mAh 7.4V 30C Li-Po battery|
How to Choose the Best RC Plane
When we look at RC planes, these are the things we consider:
Come Fly With Us
Flying RC model planes is a fun hobby that gets you outside and can be enjoyed either on your own or with other flying enthusiasts. This makes RC planes a good option for the introverted or those who have difficulty making friends.
The best RC planes for beginners will only require a certain amount of control from you, leaving you free to concentrate, build skills, and carry on enjoying your plane as you become experienced.