The Best Beginner RC Glider – What To Look For

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Are you looking for a hobby that will help you relax and enjoy yourself while also helping you learn how to fly?

If you answered yes to this question, then you should check out RC gliding. It’s fun, relaxing, and helps you develop skills as well as build confidence. Also, there’s little that can be better than watching a graceful shape soaring over your head, kept aloft only by the wind and clever aerodynamics.

However, if you’re new to the world of gliders, you may find yourself wondering, what is the best beginner RC glider?

The best beginner glider is one that is ready to fly, made of foam, and is easy to fly, such as the GoolRC WLtoys F959S RC Airplane.

To discover what makes the GoolRC WLtoys F959S RC Airplane the best beginner RC glider and an excellent choice, we will look into what makes a good beginner glider, the difference between powered and non-powered gliders, and the benefits of an RC glider with a camera attached.

First, to whet your appetite, here’s a video about the GoolRC glider:

What Makes a Good Beginner RC Glider?

There’s a wide choice for beginners, but a good beginner RC glider should be easy to fly, stable, and durable. It should also be able to take off easily without much practice.

The best beginner RC gliders are made of lightweight materials like foam, plastic, or wood.

They should be inexpensive, easy to assemble, and require little maintenance.

Some models may include a motor and propeller, but all have receivers and servos to operate the control surfaces.

Some beginner RC gliders are designed to be flown indoors, although most are outdoor models.

It’s a good idea to know what factors make a good beginner RC glider. In summary, they should be: 

  1. Ready to Fly
  2. Made of Foam
  3. Easy to Fly

Let’s take a closer look at why these three attributes make an RC glider perfect for beginner pilots.

Ready to Fly

Some advanced pilots prefer to build their own gliders. However, if you’re new to RC planes, the idea of assembling one on your own might be too challenging.

Therefore, the best gliders for beginners come with little to no assembly required, ready to fly (RTF). For example, the GoolRC WLToys F959S RC Airplane has only four parts when you remove it from the box: the radio transmitter, the airplane itself, the battery, and the USB cable necessary to connect them.

There’s no need to worry about fitting on wings or fins or connecting the radio signal. The plane is flight-ready as soon as it comes out of the box; all you need to do is charge it and you’re ready to have some fun!

We’ve written more about RTF RC planes. here.

Made of Foam

Some RC planes are made of wood, and some are made of carbon fiber. However, for beginner RC planes, foam is the best material a plane can be made out of. This is because beginners have a higher likelihood of crashing their RC Planes.

Foam gliders do not break as easily as wood gliders or plastic gliders. The GoolRC WLToys F959S Airplane is made of foam that can bend back into shape after being damaged in a crash.

You can read more on what RC planes are made of, here.

Easy to Fly

The easiness of flying an RC plane is perhaps the most important thing to consider when you’re just starting out. If your first experience is difficult or frustrating, you may be tempted to give up unnecessarily.

A novice pilot is likely to have a few thrills and spills as they learn how to launch their glider properly or get used to the controls. Crashing may not always break an RC Glider, but if the plane is too difficult to maneuver, a new pilot may find their first experience frustrating.

What a beginner is looking for is a plane that can not only withstand a couple of hard knocks but responds quickly to controls that are easy to understand.

The GoolRC WLToys F959S Airplane, for example, comes with only three remote channels to learn.

In addition, the glider is made to handle harsh gusts of wind and the controls on the operating remote are easy to use.

Powered and Non-Powered Gliders

A glider is defined by NASA as a unique aircraft without an engine. This can include anything from paper airplanes to styrofoam toys. 

However, there is a wide variety of RC glider types, including those with a small electric motor and propeller to assist on take-off and where atmospheric conditions limit the range of a glider.

An unpowered glider stays aloft as a result of lift created by the difference in air pressure above and below a glider’s wing. The bigger the airplane’s wing, the more lift it has.

Even better conditions for non-powered gliders include thermal lift, which is when warm air rises from the ground and carries the glider up with it. When an RC pilot is launching their glider into the wind, a thermal lift is an ideal condition for flight.

RC Glider With Camera

An RC Glider with a camera is a radio control model that actually carries a video camera on its nose. This transmits a real-time representation of flying the plane to the pilot so they not only have better control but also enjoy the thrill of a birds-eye view.

They are often called First Person View(FPV) RC planes. 

Usually, RC gliders that have cameras come with a set of VR-type goggles. Using these, the operator of the RC plane can view what their plane’s camera shows them. 

A common reason for having an FPV camera on a glider is that they tend to fly further – often out of sight – than normal powered RC aircraft. It is then possible for the pilot to keep control of the RC airplane via the camera.

Advanced RC Gliders with cameras will also allow the operator to actually turn the camera’s angles so they can look around in-flight. However, adjusting a camera and keeping an RC Plane in the air is a level of multitasking that is not recommended for beginners!

We’ve written more about FPV RC planes. here.

Summary

The best RC Gliders for beginners are defined by having a foam construction so that they can endure the crashes that come with the natural learning process.

Beginner RC Gliders should also have little to no assembly required, ready to charge up and fly as soon as they’re out of the box. 

Finally, a beginner RC Glider should be easy to fly without too many additional bells and whistles to consider when it is time to launch. Based on these qualifications, the best beginner RC Glider is the GoolRC WLToys F959S Airplane!

Featured image credit: David Salahi Flickr