/ Model Tips / What's
a good kit for a beginner?
What’s a good kit for a beginner?
The Wright Flyer may have been the first successful powered aircraft
but it was not the easiest to build or fly. I use two rules of thumb
when picking good flying models -
- High wing planes fly better (they are more stable) than low
- Endurance models are easier to build and fly than scale models.
The easiest, most basic kits are
FF85LC Little Richard
FF86LC Freshman Embryo
FF84 Indoor/Outdoor L’Enfant
FF83LC Indoor/Outdoor Imp
It takes very little time to build these models and they are very easy to fly.
I highly recommend these kits for the first time builder/flyer. When my sons were
young teens each built an Imp in about 45 minutes and flew them at our
local indoor contest. My son, Chris, won with a 2 minute flight!
A really fun airplane, the kids learn very quickly how to tweak
it for the best flights. When you order these kits to build with your kids
be sure to ask for our "seconds" free TissueCal markings. Kids love
to decorate their planes!
For beginners wanting a model with a built-up wing and fuselage,
I recommend these kits.
EB11 Dart Free flight
FF05 Junior Commercial
FF14 Baby Flea
FF30LC Baby Commercial
FF31 Baby Hornet
These are all endurance type models with great flying characteristics.
They were designed for both fun flying and competition.
For scale model kits that are still fairly easy to build and have
good flight characteristics, I suggest -
FF15LC Taylor Cub
FF16 Stinson 105
EB07 Piper Cub
LC03 Piper Super Cruiser
LC04 Aeronca Champion
In order to guide you in choosing kits, we’ve indicated the difficulty
level in the following way - type of kit/building difficulty/flying
difficulty. The type of kit is either a scale model, a sport model
(designed for competition or fun flying), or a display model (not
designed to fly but it can be if modified). Building difficulty
is either easy or experienced. Stick with easy kits until you are
comfortable building from the plan. Experienced kits are for those
with several successful models completed or with plenty of help
nearby. Experienced builders usually make small adjustments as they
build and don’t follow the plan exactly. Flying difficulty is also
either easy or experienced. Easy to fly airplanes require little
tweaking to fly - they want to fly. Those recommended for experienced
fliers will need encouragement to fly right. You’ll have to play
with finding the center of gravity, getting it balanced, adjusting
the wing warp, etc. A soft landing area is very important for this
So, if you are just starting out, or if you’re looking for a great
Christmas gift, and especially if you do not know anyone with model
building experience to assist you, I strongly encourage you to add a
copy of Don Ross’ books Rubber Powered Model Airplanes
and Flying Models to your bookshelf.
These comprehensive books are packed full of useful information and enjoyable reading too.