Best RC Gliders & Top RC Sailplanes [2017 Edition]
If you were looking to learn everything you need to know about rc gliders then you've come to the right place. Were going to take a look at what you need to know about them in order to find the best rc glider for the money.
What Is an RC Glider?
Radio-control (RC) glider planes are primarily heavier-than-air aircraft that usually does not possess any form of thrust and propulsion. Technically, glider planes do not have a motor because they are not dependent on the engine; they are capable of a balanced and stable flight without a motor.
The flight period may be over a short distance, depending on the capability and size of the plane. If you look at history, then you will understand that gliders are not something particularly unique or new. The early attempts of flying by man were, in reality, performed on simple gliders. The successful efforts used to be over no longer than a few hundred feet because gliders were and still are designed for flying over a short distance.
Today, these radio control planes are designed in such a way that they not only offer some great racing opportunities and excellent aerobatics to the experienced aircraft pilot but also give novices a very basic and gentle introduction so that they can gradually develop their RC flying hobby. The RC gliders are available in various exteriors such as plastic, wood, and different polymer foams. Moreover, they significantly vary in length, size, and weight; you can easily find a tiny hand-sized plane or a large one that is about 5 or more feet long.
How They Work?
RC gliders are controlled remotely with a transmitter from the ground by an individual who is piloting the unit. During the flight, these aircraft are supported by the air's dynamic reaction to the plane's lifting surfaces. They undergo continuous flight by exploiting the lift generated by thermals and slopes. Gliders are all about the breeze, slopes, and thermals; once you understood the functioning of these things, learning to fly will be a piece of cake.
These gliders possess long, slender wings that give them a high aspect ratio so that they can have significantly less induced drag, making the RC glider fly without falling. Usually, gliders work with natural elements only. Users will have to understand the wind's pressure and speed before responding with the steering controls.
Difference Between an RC Glider and an RC Sailplane
If you compare an RC glider with an RC sailplane, then you will see almost no difference because in the world of radio-controlled devices, gliders and sailplanes are considered interchangeable terms. However, you can differentiate gliders and sailplanes in the following manner.
Gliders are motorless airplanes that are capable of performing stable unpowered flights, whereas sailplanes are motorless planes that are engineered for delivering sustained unpowered performance by using thermals (columns of warm air) to keep the aircraft aloft. A glider mainly descends while flying. This function is also performed by a sailplane, but it can do more than that as it also possesses the capability to ascend.
Top Four RC Glider Reviews
E-flite U2980 UMX Radian BNF Airplane
The E-flite U2980 is an excellent glider that supports 3-channel control, which allows users to fly it without any complications. This unit is compact and can be easily stored as it possesses a contoured spinner along with a folding propeller. Due to its molded foam construction, the E-Flite U2980 is an incredibly lightweight airplane that offers exceptional durability and longevity.
Features and Performance
The E-flite U2980 UMX Radian BNF Aircraft is an excellent unit that is portable and weighs almost nothing. Being lightweight is mostly considered a drawback as it indicates that a product is less durable and might break easily, but this is not the case for the U2980 as it holds up extremely well.
The E-flite U2980 possesses an AS3X stabilizer that makes sure your plane does not get damaged or tossed around by severely heavy winds.
Its performance in the air is so remarkably impressive that you will be amazed by how smoothly it glides during a flight. Moreover, this unit comes with highly responsive controls that let users fly this airplane in almost any wind conditions. However, if you want a better performance during heavier winds, then you better swap your 25C stock batteries with the 30C ones.
- Molded-foam construction.
- Contoured spinner with folding propeller.
- 3-channel control.
- DSMX-compatible transmitter.
- 1S Li-Po battery and USB Li-Po charger.
- One-piece detachable wing with carbon fiber support.
- Long-lasting and can withstand strong winds.
- Small and lightweight.
- Compact and easily storable.
- Offers up to 8 minutes of flight, even if the user is constantly on the throttle.
- Incredibly durable, but the tail section is a bit feeble.
The E-flite U2980 is a user-friendly airplane that possesses the ability to fly extremely well. Its relatively small size makes this unit easy to carry and highly portable. It maintains excellent stability due to the built-in AS3X system that permits it to fly easily during heavy winds.
If you want to fly it a bit longer than the given time, we suggest you buy a few extra batteries. Keep them with you whenever you plan to fly your aircraft and enjoy controlling your plane for a long time.
Dromida Twin Explorer Review
The Twin Explorer comes with a variety of excellent features that will help you take your flying skills to the next level. It is an electric-powered unit and is recommended for new pilots.
First-time users have difficulty getting their plane airborne, but this unit provides a simple hand launch for the ease of users. Apart from that, the unit includes dual batteries that provide it with excellent power. The product comes assembled; just recharge the batteries by using a USB cable and get ready to launch it.
Features and Performance
This unit comes with incredible features, providing users with a good value for money. This unit is very durable and hard-wearing; it will not get damaged easily and there will be no decline in performance even after several crashes. It possesses a wide flying range, so it is always better to fly your aircraft in a vast open field that contains no hurdles and obstacles whatsoever if you want to have an unparalleled performance.
You can make your Dromida Twin Explorer accelerate, climb, dive, glide, and turn without putting much effort. If you want the maximum flying performance, then remember to cut its throttle to about half when your aircraft reaches a reasonable flying height.
- Removable 1S Lithium Polymer battery.
- Dual motors for a better and excellent performance.
- Quality radio system and includes a USB charging port.
- 11.1V 1300mAh 15C Li-Po battery.
- Ample flight time – a maximum of thirty minutes.
- Very reasonable price.
- User-friendly, even for beginners.
- Dual-motors make the unit easily maneuverable.
- Robust construction; it will not get destroyed even if the crash was pretty rough.
- Propeller might fall off sometimes, but it is not necessary.
The Dormida Twin Explorer is a decent option if you are a beginner and looking for affordable options. It is easy to use and sturdy and provides a lot of flight time on one charge, making it an excellent choice for every type of user.
Flyzone Calypso Brushless Glider Review
This incredible aircraft is a good-looking model that comes in a kit that contains the glider, 18A ESC, 4-channel radio, brushless motor, four micro servos, propeller, AA transmitter batteries, and Li-Po battery. The Flyzone Calypso Brushless Glider is a great option for novices as well as expert pilots.
Features and Performance
The Flyzone Calypso Glider is fundamentally a 2-meter sailplane. This unit possesses the capability to fly straight up in the sky whenever the throttle is full. It offers users a well-balanced, long, and stable glide. This unit does not come assembled like most gliders, but it will take only about 10 minutes to put together this aircraft.
You will just need a screwdriver; there is no requirement of glue to stick together some parts or other complicated tools. This glider is a decent option if you are a beginner and flying an RC airplane for the first time. Moreover, it is lightweight but can be easily maneuvered in strong winds.
However, if you are new to this hobby, only fly it in light winds unless you have a better understanding of its mechanics.
- 2830 1300kV brushless outrunner motor.
- Two-piece detachable wings for easy transportation.
- 2.4Hz SLT 4-channel radio with digital trims, wireless trainer, and servo reversing.
- Independent aileron servos.
- 11.1V 1300mAh 15C Li-Po battery.
- Incredibly durable.
- Sturdy build.
- Excellent aerodynamics and visual.
- Extremely well gliding.
- Highly expensive as compared to other RC planes on this list.
The Flyzone Calypso brushless glider provides a pleasant way to learn to fly an RC airplane. Nevertheless, it possesses great features that make it equally likable for experienced pilots too.
It can tackle strong winds better without being tossed in the wind. The kit comes with almost everything you require to start flying your aircraft.
WLtoys F959 SKY-King RC Airplane Review
The F959 is one of the finest RC airplanes manufactured by WLtoys. It possesses great features such as 3-channel backward pusher glider, easy controls, folding propeller, and a variety of movements, making it an excellent choice for novices as well as intermediate users.
Features and Performance
The F959 is a lightweight RC airplane just like every other unit we have listed in our review. The light weight makes this glider highly portable, and you can carry it easily anywhere. Also, if you are a left-handed person and have issues with flying various units due to the right-hand throttle, then you should get this airplane because it offers left-hand throttle.
Moreover, you can check data containing information regarding the plane through an LCD transmitter. It supports a smooth operation, and you can fly it both indoors and outdoors. It possesses a powerful magnetic motor N60 that offers exceptional flying and gliding performance. You can make this unit go up, down, forward, left, right, and 360°.
- 3CH backward pusher glider
- EPO Construction
- High discharge rate battery and adapter
- Decent Design
- Polished apperance and reasonable aerodynamic configurations
- Easy to control, so perfect for beginners.
- High discharge rate means ample playtime.
- Compatible with the camera of WLtoys’ V959/V912 RC Quadcopter.
- EPO construction gives it a lot of impact resistance.
- Variety of maneuvering, including 360-degree turns.
- A bit light on the nose and you may need to add something such as a washer for proper balance.
This unit is a flawless model that offers excellent maneuvering, high performance, and exceptional durability. Moreover, it is affordable too. What makes this device distinctive is that you can fit a camera on its body pretty easily. Overall, it is easy to use and fly and is highly recommended for beginners.
See this awesome video on flying an rc glider