Easy Built Models website Mass Launch 2014 Nationals photo by Vic Nippert

What‘s a Good Kit for a Beginner?

Click on a plane for pictures and kit details.

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 -

  1. High wing planes fly better (they are more stable) than low wing planes.
  2. Endurance models are easier to build and fly than scale models.

I. The easiest, most basic kits are

  • LC83 Indoor/Outdoor Imp (LASER CUT)
  • FF84 Indoor/Outdoor L'Enfant
  • The links to these first two kits will not only take you to the full kit descriptions, but you will also be able to watch the step-by-step builds of these planes. Check them out!

  • LC85 Little Richard (LASER CUT)
  • LC86 Freshman Embryo (LASER CUT)
  • It takes very little time to build these 4 models and they are very easy to fly. I highly recommend these kits for the first time builder/flyer. When my sons were 9 and 11 each built an Imp in about 45 minutes and flew them at our local indoor contest. My son, Christopher, 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!

    Note: If the plane says 'laser cut' we have cut the parts out for you. If not, you must use a hobby knife to cut out each part which we printed on sheet balsa using our 1903 printing press.

    II. For beginners wanting a model with a built-up wing and fuselage, I recommend these kits.

  • EB11 Dart Free flight
  • LC05 Junior Commercial (LASER CUT)
  • LC30 Baby Commercial (LASER CUT)
  • LC31 Baby Hornet (LASER CUT)
  • These are all endurance type models with great flying characteristics. They were designed for both fun flying and competition.

    III. For scale model kits that are still fairly easy to build and have good flight characteristics, I suggest -

  • LC15 Taylor Cub (LASER CUT)
  • FF16 Stinson 105
  • LC48 Taylorcraft (LASER CUT)
  • FF22 Piper Cub
  • LC103 Piper Super Cruiser (LASER CUT)
  • LC104 Aeronca Champion (LASER CUT)
  • 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 stage.

    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.

    Keep on having fun,

    Must read for EVERYONE WHO FLIES!

    Rubber Powered Models: Adjustment of rubber powered models
    This article is from the 1952 Air Trails magazine. We suggest you print yourself a hard copy of this outstanding article and illustrations so you can refer to it whenever you are trimming out your plane.

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    08/11/20 12:19 AM (EDT)