E-flite RC Model Vehicles and Kits
Flying radio-controlled planes, also known as RC planes, and other RC aircraft can be a fun hobby. These controlled vehicles require skill and practice to achieve mastery in the air. E-flite is an RC airplane and helicopter hobby brand that offers an array of options suitable for beginner and expert fliers alike.What do RTF, BNF, PNF, and ARF mean?
RC airplanes and other radio-controlled vehicles have evolved a vocabulary of acronyms that describe the vehicles and their purposes or limitations:
- RTF: This refers to RC airplanes and stands for Ready to Fly. When a plane, helicopter, or drone is labeled RTF, it means everything you need to fly the aircraft is included. The related acronym RTR, for Ready to Run, applies to cars or boats.
- BNF: This refers to the transmitter of the airplane and stands for Bind-N-Fly. A BNF airplane does not include a transmitter but does include a receiver. You will need to purchase a transmitter and bind it to the receiver included with the airplane before you can fly it.
- PNF: This stands for Plug-N-Fly, and is interchangeable with PNP, which stands for Plug-N-Play. These products do not come with a transmitter, receiver battery, or charger.
- ARF: This stands for Almost Ready to Fly. These are airplanes or models that come with the most basic level of items needed; additional items such as motors, batteries, electronics, and servos may need to be purchased and added to the model to make it flight-worthy.
Many RC airplane users with E-flite RC planes use gasoline-powered airplanes. These engines work much like any gas-powered engine, and thus require fuel, maintenance, and often membership in a flying club with its own land for operating airplanes.
Lightweight and rechargeable battery-powered engines are also available. Additional battery packs and a charger are essential accessories to increase flight time.How do you select beginner E-flite planes?
If you are new to flying an RC airplane and searching for your first model airplane kit, there are several factors to consider before purchasing, including:
- Design: Look for an airplane or helicopter with a high wing and stable design as you begin learning how to control an RC plane.
- Power: Internal combustion or electrically powered are your two choices when it comes to selecting a hobby airplane. Electrically powered planes generally require fewer accessories.
- RTF or kit: If you are interested in flying your RC airplane, not building it, an E-flite Ready-to-Fly plane is a good choice. Kits will require construction of the model plane.
- Channels: Look for a three-channel plane: one channel to control the motor, one to control the rudder, and one to control the elevator.
- Parts: As a new RC plane flier, you can expect some plane crashes. Consider E-flite planes with replacement parts, such as an additional blade or wing, that are easy to locate when you need them.