6 Best RC Plane Kits for Model Enthusiasts

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Building remote-controlled aircraft from electric RC plane kits used to be a popular niche hobby. It was notably all the rage among dads and sons who’d spend quality time working on projects together. RC planes are more popular today than they’ve ever been, but not in kit form. That’s due mainly to more variety in ready to fly (RTF) RC models, lower RTF costs, and better technology.

Now anyone can open a box and take to the sky with a spanking brand new glider, warbird, jet plane or whatever else. What’s lacking, though, is the sense of fun and achievement of flying a model built—or partly built—by the pilot. Today’s RC planes are so advanced that they pretty much fly themselves. That gets boring after a while and the reason we’re seeing a resurgence of the RC plane kits.

Budget
best-budget-rc-plane-kit-for-model-enthusiasts
ZOHD Dart Sweepforward FPV
4.6/5.0
Main Materials: Lightweight EPP
Wingspan: 24 inches
Quick assembly, lightweight & durable, detachable, space for FPV.
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Best Value
best-value-rc-plane-kit-for-model-enthusiasts
Sonicmodell AR FPV
4.7/5.0
Main Materials: Lightweight EPP
Wingspan: 35.4 inches
Easy hand launch, FPV camera mount, roomy bay, movable battery slot.
Check Banggood
Top Pick
top-value-rc-plane-kit-for-model-enthusiasts
ZETA FX-79 Buffalo FPV
4.8/5.0
Main Materials: Tough EPO
Wingspan: 78.7 inches
Plugin wings, stable flight performance, sturdy EPO, outer fuselage pockets.
Check Banggood

Welcome back Radio Control Plane Kits

My guide reviews 6 RC planes in various levels of kit form for all budgets. This introduction doesn’t give instructions on how to build individual models, though. There are many types to choose from and ways to construct them. This primer helps newbies to make better sense of the mini-reviews.

The various types of RC do-it-yourself (DIY) airplane kits include:

  • Kits for all age groups and skill levels
  • Kits you design from scratch
  • Predesigned kits you build by following instructions
  • Partly-assembled plane kits
  • Foam, balsa wood, or plastic plane kits
  • Electric motors and gas engines

Preparation Matters

To build an RC plane from kit form requires a few accessories and tools. Having the right tools makes the job so much easier. Most kits don’t include tools and accessories. Balsa wood models need the most prep of all. Proper preparation and a suitable workspace make a world of difference.

Here’s the basic 3-point checklist for building an RC plane from a kit:

  1. Get all the necessary tools and accessories in advance
  2. Choose a dedicated work area to build your plane
  3. Organize all the pieces before you start work

There’s nothing more frustrating than hunting for a lost part that you may or may not find later. A cluttered and unorganized workspace is a recipe for failure. Try to have a dedicated workspace if possible. That means one where you can leave stuff out until the end of the project.

Reading Plane Kit Sales Pages

Many RC aircraft kits don’t include the motors or electronics. Others may have the motor only. Every sales page clearly states what the plane kit includes in the box and what it doesn’t. Makers often give suggestions for the things not included, but you’re free to choose in most cases. Each of my reviews lists the necessary parts needed to complete the model.

I present the ‘needed to complete’ items in a simple list format like this:

Not included (required parts) for #model:

  • Motor type + suggestion
  • ESC type + suggestion
  • Propeller type + suggestion
  • Covering film + suggestion
  • Battery type + suggestion
  • Receiver type + suggestion
  • Transmitter type + suggestion

About My ‘RC Plane Kits’ Guide

These reviews are short yet cover all the basics of what each plane kit offers. I took the opinions of industry experts and user reviews into consideration as part of the selection process. The first three reviews are Best Budget, Best Value, and the Top Pick. Each piece also includes a few of the model’s tech specs along with any pro and cons the kit may have.

This table shows the RC aircraft kits as they appear on the page.

RC Plane Kits Comparison Table

Make and ModelMain MaterialsWingspanPrice
ZOHD Dart Sweepforward FPV Racing Wing KitLightweight EPP24 inchesCheck Price
Sonicmodell AR EPP FPV Flywing RC Plane KitLightweight EPP35.4 inchesCheck Price
ZETA FX-79 Buffalo FPV Flying Wing Plane KitTough EPO78.7 inchesCheck Price
Mini Camel Fighter Balsa Wood RC Airplane KitBalsa Wood14.9 inchesCheck Price
My Twin Dream MTD FPV EPO RC Airplane KitTough EPO70.9 inchesCheck Price
Believer EPO Portable Aerial Survey RC Plane KitEPO, EVA77.1 inchesCheck Price

1. ZOHD Dart Sweepforward FPV Race Kit | Best Budget

ZOHD Dart Sweepforward FPV Race KitView on Banggood

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

Our Best Budget pick goes to the ZOHD Dart Sweepforward Wing. It’s a beautiful bird aimed at advanced beginners and above. The plane is easy to assemble but harder to fly.

  • Best feature 1: Innovative Sweepforward wing
  • Best feature 2: “S” high-efficiency airfoil
  • Plus points: Quick assembly, lightweight & durable, detachable, space for FPV
  • Minus points: Basic kit, not ideal for beginners, pre-assembled cables

ZOHD Dart Sweepforward Kit Highlights

This is a simple RC plane kit with much potential. Its main structure takes only minutes to assemble right out of the box. The detachable main and tail wing don’t require any glue or tools. You can disassemble the model in moments. That makes it easy to transport and convenient to store when not in use. And a spacious equipment bay has plenty of room for First Person View (FPV) gear.

Its twin tail wing helps to prevent stalling mid-flight. The model’s “S” high-efficiency airfoil provides the aircraft with incredible elevating force. The ZOHD Dart Sweepforward is well-protected too. It uses lightweight, durable EPP material and has built-in carbon fiber spars to protect against flexing. There’s even a plastic cover to shield the bottom of the fuselage from scratches.

Note: This RC plane kit doesn’t include any electronics or FPV camera.

Recommended parts to complete (not included):

The Not So Good

ZOHD Dart’s Sweepforward FPV Race Kit is simple enough for the hobbyist to put together. The speed and acrobatic potential of this RC aircraft are harder to handle. You want to be at least at the advanced beginner level to fly this beast. A small gripe is the pre-installed cables. That means you must use the company’s servos or change all the leads. Most RC Plane kit enthusiasts like the freedom to choose.

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Tech Specs
Kit Name: Dart Sweepforward Wing
Flying Weight: 12.5 oz.
Plane Length: 16”
Wingspan: 24”
Flying speeds: 9–50 mph
Material: lightweight EPP
Motor: 2006-2400kv (not included)
ESC: 30A w/ BEC 1A (not included)
Battery: 1300–1800mAh (not included)
The Pros
Innovative sweep-forward wing
“S” high-efficiency airfoil
Quick assembly
Lightweight & durable
Fast detachable wings
Easy to transport/store
Spacious equipment bay for FPV
The Cons
Basic kit
Not ideal for raw beginners
Pre-assembled cables

2. Sonicmodell AR FPV Flywing Plane Kit | Best Value

Sonicmodell AR FPV Flywing Plane KitView on Banggood

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The Best Value RC plane kit goes to the AR Wing by Sonicmodell. It’s a fantastic looking kit and quick to assemble at the basic level. Beginner pilots will also find it easy to fly.

  • Best feature 1: Lightweight and flexible
  • Best feature 2: Detachable wing and wingtip
  • Plus points: Easy hand launch, FPV camera mount, roomy bay, movable battery slot
  • Minus points: Less durable than some

Sonicmodell AR Flywing Kit Highlights

The detachable wing and wingtip make it easy to transport and store when you’re not flying. The AR Wing uses EPP material for its fuselage and molded wing. It also has built-in carbon fiber spars for extra durability. Hand launching this puppy is about as easy as it gets.

There’s a multiple FPV camera mount that accommodates most popular FPV HD cameras. That includes models like GoPro H3/H4/Session, Foxeer HS1177, Runcam2/3 HD, and others. The spacious equipment bay comfortably holds all the FPV gear needed for a model in its category. And the movable battery slot is invaluable if you need to adjust the COG (Center of Gravity).

Protective Characteristics

There are extra plywood wingtips for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). You also get a plastic cover to protect the fuselage from scratches and scuffs. Sonicmodell has enhanced the main wings as well with screws and plywood. And the fiberglass handgrips help to prevent breakage in a crash.

Note: This RC plane kit doesn’t include any electronics or FPV camera.

Recommended parts to complete (not included):

The Not So Good

The Sonicmodell AR uses EPP which is typical for kit planes. There’s nothing wrong with it per se; it’s just that the EPP density is not as good as some rivals like the S800. On the plus side, it keeps the plane lighter albeit a little less durable. It’s not a serious gripe but still worth mention.

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Tech Specs
Kit Name: Sonicmodell AR Wing
Plane Weight (without FPV): 15.16 oz.
Plane Length: 18.97”
Materials: Lightweight EPP
Wingspan: 35.43”
Motor: 2204 2200kv (not included)
ESC: 20A 2-3s (not included)
Battery: 11.1V 2200mAh Lipo (not included)
Control System: 2.4G 6C (not included)
The Pros
Lightweight and flexible
Easy to fly at beginner level
Detachable wing and wingtip
Easy hand launch
FPV multiple camera mount
Spacious FPV bay
Movable battery slot
The Cons
Less durable EPP than rivals

3. ZETA FX-79 Buffalo Flying Wing Kit | Top Pick

ZETA FX-79 Buffalo Flying Wing KitView on Banggood

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The FX-79 Buffalo is a First Person View (FPV) model airplane kit. It flies beautifully, and users find its handling smooth and predictable. That’s especially good news for novice pilots.

  • Best feature 1: Easy assembly (Plug & Fly)
  • Best feature 2: FPV platform
  • Plus points: Plugin wings, stable flight performance, sturdy EPO, outer fuselage pockets
  • Minus points: Large size (also a pro), poor quality labels

ZETA FX-79 Buffalo Flying Wing Kit Highlights

This FPV bird is the larger version of the much-loved FX-61 Phantom. It has an exciting look and feel and doesn’t take long to assemble being a plug-and-fly model. All you need is a flight battery and some electronics, and you’re off. A 2000mm wingspan helps the plane fly efficiently with a FPV system in place. The FX-79 breaks down into three pieces that make it easy to transport despite its size.

The space under the sturdy EPO canopy has stacks of room for FPV gear of your choosing. Pilots also appreciate the two molded forward-facing camera bays. One bay is under the nose and the other on top of the canopy. The extra side pockets are also handy. They let you place the FPV antennas well away from the RC antennas. That’s useful as it reduces the risk of any system interference.

Note: This RC plane kit doesn’t include any electronics or FPV camera.

Recommended parts to complete (not included):

The Not So Good

Hand launching this plane is effortless if you’re above a certain size. It’s a big bird, though, and that makes it awkward for some younger pilots. The other con is a cosmetic one that relates to the labels. The quality is not the best, and there are some complaints of ugly bubbles.

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Tech Specs
Kit Name: FX-79 Buffalo
Plane Weight: 42.32 oz.
Plane Length: 33.93”
Materials: Ultra tough EPO
Wingspan: 78.7”
Motor: 3548 900KV Outrunner (not included)
ESC: 50amp brushless (not included)
Battery: 3S 11.1V 4500mAh-5200mAh LiPoly (not included)
Control System: 4 Channel Radio w/ delta mixing (not included)
The Pros
Easy assembly (Plug & Fly)
FPV platform
Plugin wings
Easy hand launch
Stable low/fast flight performance
Sturdy EPO construction
Outer fuselage pockets
3K wrapped carbon tube spars
The Cons
Too big for smaller pilots
Poor quality labels

4. Mini Camel Fighter Balsa Wood RC Airplane Kit

Mini Camel Fighter Balsa Wood RC Airplane KitView on Banggood

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Mini Camel Fighter is a balsa wood airplane kit with a 15” (380mm) wingspan. The seller packs the laser cut precision parts with great care to protect the contents in transit.

  • Best feature 1: 2 kit versions available
  • Best feature 2: Lots of extras in the box
  • Plus points: well packaged, excellent user manual, great value
  • Minus points: Not for the novice builder, can’t fly in winds

Mini Camel Fighter Plane Kit Highlights

The original Sopwith Camel was a single-seat biplane fighter. The British first flew it in 1917 on the Western Front. The aircraft was a reassuring sight in the skies during the First World War (WW1). Well, small scale balsa wood RC planes don’t get much better than the Mini RC Camel Fighter. It’s a superb replica. The kit includes a plethora of extras like decals, wheels, tires, wing plans, and more.

Created by an Enthusiast for Enthusiasts

You can get this model in two kit versions. One includes an 8520-coreless motor plus a 4530 propeller. The basic version doesn’t contain any electronic devices. Either version is exceptional value for any fan of electric RC micro balsa wood planes. The user manual is an excellent guide and has a personal feel to it. Each stage is given a number with written instructions and close-up, uncluttered photos.

The seller is a college student (at the time of writing) passionate about his hobby. He encourages customers to contact him via email if there are any issues or to offer suggestions.

Note: The basic RC plane kit doesn’t include any electronics.

Recommended parts to complete (not included):

The Not So Good

This fantastic little plane is not suitable for novice kit fans. The instructions are brilliant, but it’s going to be too fiddly as a first-time project. Have a go if you feel you’re up to it. My advice, though, is to learn with a larger, easier-to-build model first. The only other con is that it’s ultra-lightweight. That means you can’t fly this micro model outdoors on windy days.

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Tech Specs
Kit Name: Mini Camel Fighter
Product Weight: 1.58 oz.
Plane Length: 9.8”
Materials: Balsa wood
Wingspan: 14.9”
Motor: 8520 coreless motor (not included with basic version)
Battery: 1S 3.7V 300mAh (not included)
Radio System: Micro DSM2 Receiver RX, DSM2 Transmitter TX (not included)
The Pros
2 kit versions available
Lots of extras
Well packaged
Excellent user manual
Personal project (not factory)
Great value kit plane
The Cons
Not for the novice builder

5. My Twin Dream MTD FPV EPO RC Airplane Kit

My Twin Dream MTD FPV EPO RC Airplane KitView on Banggood

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

This model is the EPO My Twin Dream MTD RC aircraft kit. It’s quite a big bird but don’t let that put you off. It handles incredibly well and is as stable in the air as any plane in its class.

  • Best feature 1: First Person View (FPV) ready
  • Best feature 2: Huge fuselage interior
  • Plus points: Quick to disassemble, carbon fiber spars, mapping potential, flat nose
  • Minus points: Not suitable for beginners, poor packaging

My Twin Dream MTD FPV Kit Highlights

All you do to assemble the EPO parts of this big bird is snap them into place. You can disassemble it just as easily. That’s useful with larger models for both storage and transportation. The carbon fiber spars provide the plane with added stability and strength. And the wings of the My Twin Dream come in 4 sections (2 each). They’re joined in the center by interlocking plastic parts and 3 screws.

Camera-Carrying Potential

This bird has tons of fuselage space for electronics and battery, etc. Those who want to use the plane for aerial mapping have that option too. A simple cut out of the bottom section is all it takes to accommodate a down-facing camera. There’s also a larger flat section on the nose where you can mount various camera systems. The First Person View (FPV) potential of this craft is phenomenal.

Note: This RC plane kit doesn’t include any electronics or FPV camera.

Recommended parts to complete (not included):

The Not So Good

Advanced beginners shouldn’t have any trouble assembling or flying this plane. New kit builders may want to start with something a little less daunting, though.

Most owners of a My Twin Dream EPO MTD FPV plane agree that it offers excellent value. Unfortunately—and probably to keep costs down—the packaging is poor. I’ve come across a few complaints of scuffs caused in transit, but no actual broken parts. I’m sure that most buyers would prefer to pay a little extra for more protective packaging.

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Tech Specs
Kit Plane Name: My Twin Dream (MTD)
Empty Weight: 33.8 oz.
Plane Length: 48.42”
Materials: EPO Foam
Wingspan: 70.86”
Motor: 2 x 2814 800kv (not included)
ESC: 30A–60A (not included)
Battery: 4S 5000mAH–20,000mAH LiPo (not included)
The Pros
Easy kit for advanced beginners
First Person View (FPV) ready
Huge fuselage interior
Quick disassembly makes it easy to store and transport
Carbon fiber spars
Mapping potential
Long-range potential
Flat nose section for cameras
The Cons
Not suitable for raw beginners
Poor packaging complaints

6. Believer EPO Portable Aerial Survey RC Plane Kit

Believer EPO Portable Aerial Survey RC Plane KitView on Banggood

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

Last up on our shortlist of RC plane kits is the 1960mm Wingspan RC Believer. This is a large yet portable EPO aerial survey aircraft kit. It’s also much easier to fly than it looks.

  • Best feature 1: Industry class aerial survey RC plane
  • Best feature 2: Pilot-friendly flight features
  • Plus points: Excellent mapping potential, durable build, modular design, roomy interior
  • Minus points: FPV needs a little creative thinking, user guide not in English

Name Kit Hobby Highlights

The Believer EPO model is a joy to fly and easy to control. It’s sold as an RC aerial survey aircraft, but it’s also a versatile multi-purpose First Person View (FPV) camera plane. Reliable, stable flights and image capture are due to its system setups. They are power, control, telemetry, and image systems. Pilots favor the craft for terrain mapping, agriculture, animal husbandry protection, and forestry, etc.

Superior Parts and Build Quality

This model is well-built and uses EPO, EVA, carbon fiber, and engineering plastic in its construction. There are two carbon spars through each wing for added strength. The modular design makes the plane easier to store and transport between locations. It takes no time at all to attach and detach the wings with the sturdy locking mechanisms. All the parts are high-quality and fit to perfection.

The internal space of this RC plane contributes toward its FPV and mapping capacity. With more stuff on the inside, there’s less on the outside. The result of that is less drag and longer flight potential. The camera cabin can house a 4200W pixel camera. And there’s space in the flight battery cabin for a 6S 22000mah LiPo. All these things combined add to the power and potential of the RC Believer.

Note: This RC plane kit doesn’t include any electronics or FPV camera.

Recommended parts to complete (not included):

  • 2 x Sunnysky 2814 KV900 or 2814 KV510 motors
  • 2 x Hobbywing X-Rotor 40A ESC (electronic speed controller)
  • 4 x Emax ES3154 servos
  • APC 1145 propeller
  • 4S 20000mAh or 6S 16000mAh flight battery
  • Balance battery charger
  • 2.4G 7CH radio system
  • Pixhawk Flight controller
  • Sony A7R camera
  • Camera housing (Shockproof)
  • Transmitter (TX) & receiver (RX)

The Not So Good

It’s unbelievable that the Believer falls short on the First Person View FPV front. It’s quite possible to add all kinds of cameras to this model with its ample interior. The problem is that you must be creative and make cuts and DIY tweaks. Some models are much better with their pre-designed camera spaces.

Another annoying thing about this plane is that there’s no English translated user guide. That’s not going to bother experienced builders too much. But an all Chinese guide is a letdown for those who need a little written guidance. YouTube should have a few video tutorials from helpful owners.

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Tech Specs
Kit Plane Name: Believer
Product Weight: 9.2 lbs.
Product Length: 42.1”
Materials: EPO, EVA, carbon fiber
Wingspan: 77.1”
Motors: Sunnysky 2814 KV900 or 2814 KV510 (not included)
ESC: Hobbywing X-Rotor 40A (not included)
Battery: 4S 20000mAh or 6S 16000mAh (not included)
Control System: 2.4G 7 channel (CH)
The Pros
Industry class aerial survey plane
Pilot-friendly flight features
Excellent mapping potential
Long flight potential
Durable build; quality materials
Modular design
Hatch cabin inching design
ESC hatch cover
Huge fuselage capacity
Bottom buffer layer design
The Cons
FPV needs some creative DIY
0/50 ratings