Micro RC Planes: All You Need to Know as a Beginner


Micro RC planes

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Micro RC planes are small remote control airplanes that are perfect for beginners, kids, and adults alike. More experienced flyers can be tested by ultra-micro RC airplanes, some of which can sit in the palm of your hand.

Micro RC planes are generally smaller and more affordable than other types of RC aircraft, making them perfect for beginners. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are powered by propellers or even jet motors. Whether you’re looking for a simple trainer or an advanced aerobatic plane, micro RC planes have something to offer everyone.

As they’re light and at the mercy of extreme weather conditions, micro RC planes are tricky to fly without stabilization technology when it’s windy. They are perfect, however, for indoor flights if you want to fly in off-season.

Read on to learn all you need to know about these RC wonders, and whether they might be for you.

What is a Micro RC Plane?

Whilst there is no official definition, a micro RC plane is generally considered a small radio-controlled airplane that has a 24-inch (600 mm) wingspan or below. They can be powered by a range of engines, including jets. They can be flown in limited spaces, such as yards, and are especially suited to flying indoors.

We’ve included below some of the more popular micro RC planes on sale today. Some of these we’ve flown, but we’ve only included those that are highly rated by their pilots, and tried to give a wide range of types so that you can choose the best for your skill level and interest.

E-flite RC Airplane UMX Night Vapor RTF

E-flite RC Airplane UMX Night Vapor RTF

  • Durable Construction
  • Easy to fly – AS3x and SAFE included
  • Fly indoors or outside
  • Fly day or night – LED’s fitted
  • Over 250 gms – Check if registration required
Check details on AmazonCheck details on Ebay
HobbyZone Sport Cub S RC Airplane

HobbyZone Sport Cub S RC Airplane

  • Small enough to fly indoors
  • Highly rated by users
  • All the beginner flying aids
  • Over 250 gms, so check if registration required
  • Everything you need to get into the air
Check details on AmazonCheck details on Ebay
Top Race Remote Control Airplane

Top Race Remote Control Airplane

  • Good starter plane
  • Highly rated by buyers
  • 3 Channel
  • Beginner, Intermediate & Expert settings
  • Everything included
  • Over 250 gms, so check if registration required
Check details on AmazonCheck details on Ebay
Hawk's Work 2 Channel RC Plane

Hawk’s Work 2 Channel RC Plane

  • Very affordable entry into RC flying!
  • Very highly rated by users
  • Simple, 2-channel control
  • Everything you need to start flying
  • Over 250 gms, so check if registration required
Check details on AmazonCheck details on Ebay
Top Race RC Plane 4 Channel Remote Control Airplane

Top Race RC Plane 4 Channel Remote Control Airplane

  • More flying control
  • Choice of easy, medium and hard flying
  • One button aerobatics
  • One button return to base
  • Over 250 gms, so check if registration required
Check details on AmazonCheck details on Ebay


  • Glider design for longer flights
  • All beginner stabilization aids
  • Well rated by users
  • One key return to base
  • Everything you need out of the box
  • Over 250 gms, so check if registration is required
Check details on AmazonCheck details on Hobbyshop 247
VOLANTEXRC RC Plane 4-CH P51 Mustang

VOLANTEXRC RC Plane 4-CH P51 Mustang

  • Most users love this rc plane
  • Realistic design
  • Stabilization and one key aerobatics
  • Beginner friendly
  • Over 250 gms, so check if registration is required
Check details on AmazonCheck details on Hobbyshop 247

The Development of Micro RC Airplanes

These mini RC airplanes have become very popular over recent years with the development of foam construction, smaller and more efficient components, and stabilization technology that modifies flight characteristics and makes them easier to fly. 

Also the falling cost of the hobby – and the increasing supply from big-name brands – has made them more accessible to many more RC pilots.

Even the fact that they are sold in manageable boxes makes them a much more attractive option for the beginner or intermediate pilot than a larger RC plane. The boxes make good, and safe carriers, and the planes are often RTF (ready to fly) so all you have to do is charge the battery with the supplied lipo charger and you’re ready to go.

The huge rise in models coming to the market now includes those for more experienced pilots who already have their own transmitter. These are the BNF or “bind and fly” models, which usually are sold minus transmitter, lipo batteries. and battery chargers.

Micro RC Plane Brands

You’ll see a wide range of manufacturers producing micro RC airplanes as a result of their increasing popularity. Most of the popular brands are manufactured in China, and there are many look-a-likes sold under different branding. Perhaps the most common are those brands related to Horizon Hobby, which include E-Flite, RealFlight, Hobbyzone, Parkzone, and Arrma.

Another major producer of micro RC planes is VolantexRC which supplies a wide variety of scale, and non-scale design aircraft types.

Horizon Hobby

Most of the Horizon Hobby RC planes have their own version of stabilization technology, called AS3X, and as a beginner, you should look for this in any new plane you buy.

One Hobbyzone AS3X-equipped micro RC plane readily available is the HobbyZone Sport Cub S RTF which is a perfect beginner RC plane in the micro class with a real fun factor, shown below.

Another micro RC plane but jet powered is the E-flite RC Airplane UMX A-10 Thunderbolt II, shown below. It sports 2, 30mm EDF (Electric Ducted Fan) motors, and with its carbon fiber reinforced fuselage and nose, and SAFE and AS3X stabilization technology, it’s perfect for a novice flyer’s introduction to jets.


If you’re just starting out, VolantexRC does a wonderful range of micro RTF RC planes at very affordable prices. Their warbird collection is very impressive for the level of detail and scale realism, but they also have a range of trainers, glider planes, and even jets for all levels of skill.

They have their own patented Volantexrc RC plane stabilzation system, Xpilot, which makes learning and flying skill development a breeze.

The Volantex RC Sport Cub 500 Parkflyer for example, can be had for less than $130 (£110) at the time of writing, with everything needed to get into the air. This 4-channel (controls throttle, ailerons, rudder, and elevators) foam model comes with stabilization technology and with a wingspan of only 500 mm (20 inches) can be flown almost anywhere. It is a popular choice for its adult and younger users. See more details below.

If you’re attracted to flying a scale-like warbird, VolantexRC does an RC aircraft range that would satisfy most pilots. An example of a classic is the VOLANTEXRC 4CH RC Airplane F4U Corsair, again with Xpilot stabilization technology, and well thought of by its pilots. See below for more details. Their micro fleet includes a P 51 Mustang, a Spitfire, and a Messerschmitt Bf109.

Other Brands

There are a host of other brands, mainly Chinese manufactured, such as Top Race, Rage and Leambe. These produce generic scale micro models that are widely available in the US, the UK, and Canada.

Micro RC Airplane Kits

As a beginner, you’ll probably want to go for a simple RTF model that flies straight out of the box. However, as you become more experienced, building a kit may well add an extra dimension of fun to the hobby.

A great range of historic scale model micro RC plane kits are made by Microaces, such as the Albatros D.V/D.Va – Iron Eagle, shown below:

Advantages of Micro RC Planes

There are several advantages to using a micro radio control plane, including the following:

  1. They are small and lightweight, which makes them easy to transport and store.
  2. They are typically easy to fly, making them a good choice for beginners who are just learning how to fly model airplanes But see the disadvantages, below).
  3. They are often made of durable materials such as foam and carbon fiber reinforcement, which makes them resistant to damage and capable of withstanding crashes.
  4. They are usually less expensive than larger model airplanes, making them an affordable option for hobbyists.
  5. They are versatile and can be flown in a variety of settings, including indoors and outdoors. This makes them a fun and convenient hobby for people of all ages.
  6. Micro RC planes are produced by a range of manufacturers, providing a good choice for consumers.

Disadvantages of Micro RC Planes

There are also a few disadvantages to using a micro radio control plane, including the following:

  1. Because of their small size, micro radio control planes may be more difficult to see in the air, which can make them harder to control and more likely to crash.
  2. They typically have a shorter flight range and battery life, as well as a lower maximum speed than larger model airplanes, because they have smaller batteries.
  3. They may not be as well-suited for flying in windy conditions or in other challenging environments, although flight stabilization technology makes them suitable for beginners.
  4. Some micro RC aircraft may have limited capabilities and may not be able to perform as many advanced maneuvers as larger model airplanes.

Micro RC Airplane Technology

Apart from the stabilization tech mentioned above, the biggest development in micro RC planes is the reduction in the size of the onboard electronics. Micro RC airplane technology has come on in leaps and bounds, enabling tiny RC planes and drones. Many of these can be justly called ultra-micro.

To illustrate just how small this RC aircraft equipment can be, take a look at the photos below, which come from the website microflierradio.com:

What’s the Smallest RC Airplane?

The smallest RC airplane is probably the Fokker triplane built by Joe Malinchak, weighing in at just 1 gram, and with a wingspan of 1.5 in. It is a 2 channel remote control plane, controlling the throttle and rudder.

Do I Need a License to Fly Micro RC Planes?

No, you don’t need a license to fly a micro RC plane in the USA, UK, and Canada currently. However, you may need to get a registration number from the Federal Aviation Administration, Civil Aviation Authority or Transport Canada if the model is over 0.55 pounds (250 grams). In addition, there are lots of rules to follow whatever the size of your model. More about this in our article, here.

Many of the Horizon Hobby E-flite® UMX™ micro aircraft are among those that are exempt from registration due to their low weight.

Is the Micro RC Plane Suitable For Beginners?

Yes, it is. It is usually easy to set up ready for flying and often comes with stabilization technology making it easy to fly. There is a great choice of accurate scale, ready-to-fly micro RC airplanes at a reasonable cost. Made of foam, the typical RC micro model is robust and can take a lot of punishment from accidents, which inevitably happen, even to the more experienced pilots.

Last Thoughts

Micro RC planes are a great choice for hobbyists of all ages and skill levels. They are typically easy to fly, durable, and affordable. They also come with a range of features such as flight stabilization technology, making them suitable for beginners. However, they may have limited capabilities and shorter flight ranges than larger model airplanes. With the right knowledge and equipment, micro RC planes can be an enjoyable and rewarding hobby.

About the author

It all started with a line controlled spitfire 50 years ago….

That turned into a life long interest in models, in particular radio controlled models, but I’ve only got back into it since I’ve been retired. As a result a lot has changed, and I’ve been happily starting afresh, researching into the hobby and finding answers to the questions all beginners have when starting out.

I hope you find some answers to the queries you have, and go on to enjoy all aspects of this fascinating hobby.

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