7 Best VTOL RC Planes

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VTOL is an acronym for vertical takeoff and landing. So, a VTOL RC plane is a model aircraft that can take off from a standing position. It’s how all multirotor craft launch and land. But there’s something special when it happens with fixed-wing planes. The British have their Harrier Jump Jet named after the hawk bird. It’s a real-world military fighter with VTOL capabilities that can also hover mid-air.

Well, now we have RC planes that exploit VTOL too. My guide reviews 7 of the current favorites in this category. I’ve included beginner planes and those more suited for advanced RC pilots.

Budget
best-budget-vtol-rc-plane
XK X420 VTOL
4.7/5.0
Wingspan: 16.5” (420mm)
Version: Ready-to-Fly
Easy to transport, beginner’s mode, 3-point landing gear.
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Best Value
best-value-vtol-rc-plane
E-flite X-VERT VTOL
4.5/5.0
Wingspan: 9.85” (504mm)
Version: Bind-N-Fly
Easy to fly at entry-level, durable build, FPV ready, 3 flight modes, agile flier.
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Top Pick
top-value-vtol-rc-plane
E-flite Mini Convergence VTOL
4.6/5.0
Wingspan: 16.3” (410mm)
Version: Bind-N-Fly
Brushless motor, easy to fly, agile, aerobatic capable, simple to set up, FPV ready.
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RC VTOL Plane Considerations

There are a few things to consider before buying a VTOL model RC airplane. It needs to be stable yet agile when moving between multirotor and regular flying. The transition should be smooth and always predictable. Consistent behavior lets you fly in more places and much smaller spaces with confidence. You want a power-lift VTOL plane, not a rotorcraft, which are the helis, drones, and gyrocopters.

The 10 other considerations are the same as any RC aircraft and include:

  1. Price (set your budget from the outset)
  2. Wingspan
  3. Material preference, if any
  4. Indoor/outdoor capable
  5. Flight time on a single charge
  6. Battery charging time
  7. Cost of extra batteries
  8. Flight range
  9. Flight modes including acrobatic capabilities
  10. Anything else you can think of

VTOL RC model planes come in 3 packages, i.e., RTF, BNF, and PNP

RTF, BNF, and PNP Explained

The VTOL airplanes in this guide are RTR, BNF, and PNP. The table below explains all.

RTF (Ready-To-Fly):Model includes everything needed to fly in the box
BNF (Bind-N-Fly):Model doesn’t include a transmitter (Tx)
PNP (Plug-N-Play):Model doesn’t include a transmitter, receiver, battery, and charger

Many RC fans own several BNF models. That means they get to choose their favorite transmitter and use it with all the aircraft. The controller will have multiple model memory to make switching between planes seamless. The BNF approach saves space and money in the longer term.

There are benefits to PNP planes too. PNP models are ideal for users who already own a compatible transmitter, receiver, battery, and charger. Lots of serious hobbyists do. The absent parts help to keep costs down. Most newbies, though, want an RTF plane, especially first-time pilots.

About My ‘VTOL RC Plane’ Guide

VTOL is a niche hobby, but it’s growing in popularity as models and technology improves. There aren’t as many choices as with conventional RC aircraft, though. Limited options make it less overwhelming for the shopper, but not all models are equal. My research helped me find the current favorite VTOL planes for this guide. I also took user feedback and the opinions of industry experts into consideration.

The table below shows the VTOL model airplanes as they appear on the page. The three at the top are Editor’s choice for Best Budget, Best Value, and the Top Pick.

VTOL RC Planes Comparison Table

1. XK X420 VTOL RC Aerobatic FPV Plane | Best Budget

XK X420 VTOL RC Aerobatic FPV PlaneView on Banggood

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The affordable XK X420, multiple flight mode plane makes our Best Budget choice. It’s a vertical take-off & landing (VTOL) aircraft with a 420mm (16.5”) wingspan.

  • Best feature 1: Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL)
  • Best feature 2: Multiple flight modes
  • Plus points: Easy to transport, beginner’s mode, prop guards, 3-point landing gear
  • Minus points: Short flight time, brushed motor

XK X420 VTOL RC Plane Highlights

The XK X420 is a cheaper version of the X520, but does it live up to expectations? Well, it does everything the costlier X520 does but for around half the price. It’s also easier to carry around. The plane is made from lightweight, durable EPP material. It also boats a bunch of impressive flight features for a model in its price category. Best of all is that it takes off and lands vertically.

Flying the XK X420 VTOL

This plane has 2 modes, beginners and aerobatic. Protective prop guards are a welcome touch as not all VTOL aircraft have them. The Indoor Vertical Fixed-Height Flight mode lets you fly the craft like a quadcopter. An Outdoor 6G Leveling Mode gives vertical takeoff with 1-key conversion to seamless horizontal flying. And the Outdoor Stunt Mode affords pilots full control to perform aerobatics.

Sometimes you may not want VTOL, and that’s okay too. The model comes with front 3-point landing gear for use with regular taxiing, take-off, and landings

The Not So Good

The flight time is disappointing at only 8–10 minutes on a single charge. It takes roughly 1 hour to charge the battery, but a couple of spares are still must-have extras. The XK X420 VTOL uses a brushed motor that does its job well. A brushless one would have even been better as they’re quieter and longer-lasting. Still, this is a budget-priced VTOL plane that already offers excellent value.

View on Banggood

Tech Specs
Brand Name: XK
Model type: VTOL Jet plane
Wingspan: 16.5” (420mm)
Material: Lightweight EPP
Flight Options: Horizontal/vertical
Flying Area: Indoor/outdoor
Dimensions: 13.38 x 5.31”
Flying Weight: 5.4 oz.
Max Range: 656ft (200 meters)
Battery: 7.4V 500mAh 2S 20C LiPo
Flying time: 8-10 minutes
Charging time: 60 minutes
The Pros
Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL)
Multiple flight modes
Easy to carry
Beginner’s mode
Prop guards
3-point landing gear
Durable material
The Cons
Short flight time
Brushed motor

2. E-flite X-VERT VTOL Plane BNF Basic | Best Value

E-flite X-VERT VTOL Plane BNF BasicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The X-VERT® VTOL by E-flite gets the Best Value slot. It’s a fun and highly-versatile plane. The transition between multirotor and regular flight is smooth with the simple flip of a switch.

  • Best feature 1: Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL)
  • Best feature 2: Smooth transition between multirotor and plane flight
  • Plus points: Easy to fly at entry-level, durable build, FPV ready, 3 flight modes, agile flier
  • Minus points: Not wind-resistant

X-VERT VTOL Plane Highlights

This plane sports a sleek design with aerodynamic simplicity. It has an uncomplicated tail-sitter design and stabilization technology. The bird switches easily between its multirotor and normal flight modes. Its uncomplicated setup helps to protect the lightweight EPO airframe. The X-VERT VTOL is also First Person View (FPV) ready. FPV lets pilots see what the plane’s camera sees in real time.

Flying the E-flite X-VERT VTOL

This puppy is easy to pilot even at the entry-level, especially when it’s in airplane mode. The craft’s response is smooth and predictable at fast and slower speeds. The 3 flight modes are:

  1. Multirotor Stability Mode
  2. Airplane Stability Mode
  3. Airplane Acro Mode with AS3X® Technology

Multirotor Stability Mode is for vertical takeoff and landing. It’s also the mode to use for flying the plane indoors. The tail always points downwards with this method. Airplane Stability Mode is for regular RC flying. SAFE technology prevents novice users from accidentally losing control of the model. And Airplane Acro Mode gives pilots the freedom to exploit the X-VERT’s full aerobatic capability.

It’s a Bind-N-Fly (BNF) plane that needs the following items to complete:

  • Transmitter: Full-range, 6CH+ DSMX® / DSM2®
  • Flight battery: 450–800mAh 2S LiPo
  • Charger: 2S compatible LiPo

The Not So Good

The E-flite X-VERT VTOL is not stable in the wind, so that restricts outdoor flying to calm days. That’s about the only downside to this otherwise flawless VTOL model. Don’t skimp on the battery if you buy it otherwise the flight time will be in single digits.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand Name: E-flite
Model type: VTOL Jet
Wingspan: 19.85” (504mm)
Material: Foam
Flight Mode: Horizontal/vertical
Flying Area: Indoor/outdoor
Dimensions: 23.2 x 12.6 x 4.7”
Flying Weight: 19.04 oz.
Battery: 450–800mAh 2S LiPo flight Battery (not included)
Flying time: Depends on the battery
Charging time: Depends on the battery
The Pros
Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL)
Smooth multirotor/plane transition
Easy to fly at the entry-level
Durable build
FPV ready
3 flight modes
Agile, acrobatic flier
The Cons
Not wind-resistant

3. E-flite Mini Convergence VTOL BNF Basic | Top Pick

E-flite Mini Convergence VTOL BNF BasicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Top Pick is the capable VTOL BNF basic from E-flite. This model is the Mini Convergence that uses a powerful brushless motor. It’s a small-scale plane that you can take off and land in tight spaces.

  • Best feature 1: Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL)
  • Best feature 2: Auto-transition between multi-rotor and regular flight
  • Plus points: Brushless motor, easy to fly, agile, aerobatic capable, simple to set up, FPV ready
  • Minus points: Short flight time, BNF (also a pro)

Mini Convergence VTOL Plane Highlights

The Mini Convergence is a plane with quadcopter flight capability. It has a smooth auto transition between multirotor and regular flight. It’s incredibly easy to fly even for novice pilots. There are 2 modes, i.e., Stability and Acro. Skilled pilots get to bypass self-leveling and angle limit restrictions in Acro mode. That gives them the freedom to perform impressive aerobatic maneuvers.

Bind-N-Fly (BNF)

E-flite’s Mini Convergence VTOL is a bind-n-fly (BNF) plane. Users must have a compatible transmitter, and then bind it to the receiver. It’s simple to set up with no difficult programming required. Finally, this VTOL plane is first person view (FPV) ready. The recommended FPV camera is a Spektrum™ FPV. You’ll also need a Spektrum video transmitter (150mW), and compatible headset/goggles.

The Not So Good

The plane is a BNF version, so it requires a full-range, 6CH+ DSMX transmitter. You also need a LiPo flight battery, 800mAh 3S, and a compatible charger. BNF is a pro for those with a few BNF models in the hanger, but a con for newbies who want to fly right out of the box. The flight time is also a disappointment with an average of only 5 minutes on a single charge.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand Name: E-flight
Model type: VTOL Jet
Wingspan: 16.3” (410mm)
Material: Lightweight EPO
Flight Mode: Horizontal/vertical
Flying Area: Indoor/outdoor
Dimensions: 19 x 18.5 x 6”
Product Weight: 27.68 oz.
Battery: 800mAh 3S LiPo (not included)
Flying time: 5 minutes
Charging time: Depends on the charger
The Pros
Sleek, simple design
Easy to fly for beginners
Vertical takeoff & landing (VTOL)
Auto flight transition
Powerful brushless motor
Agile flier
2 flight modes
Aerobatic capability
Simple to set up (bind)
First person view (FPV) ready
The Cons
Short flight time
BNF (also a pro)

4. Rage RC RTF 4120 Hoverjet VTOL Plane

Rage RC RTF 4120 Hoverjet VTOL PlaneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5

The Rage RC VTOL plane is a fun and affordable aircraft that arrives ready to fly (RTF). It has one-touch takeoff and landing, which makes it a suitable model for entry-level pilots.

  • Best feature 1: Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL)
  • Best feature 2: Ready to Fly (RTF)
  • Plus points: 1-touch takeoff/landing, unique camouflage trim, LEDs, durable build, 360° flips
  • Minus points: Short flight time

Rage RC Hoverjet VTOL Plane Highlights

This VTOL model is a good-looking bird that sports a sleek design and a camouflage trim. The fighter jet style looks majestic as it flies through the sky at high speed. The model also has a couple of intense LED lights to help with orientation and improve visibility. It’s a durable plane made from lightweight EPP foam covered in a molded plastic outer shell.

It’s an easy-to-fly plane even for first-timers. It has the appearance of a jet and can fly like a drone. The 3 preprogrammed flight rates let you adjust control sensitivity to match your skills. It’s also an agile model. Experienced users can perform 360° flips in all directions and other advanced stunts.

The Not So Good

The flight time—though typical for a model in its class—is terrible at only 5 minutes. The charging time is fast at around 45 minutes. An extra battery will shorten the gap between charging and flying.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand Name: Rage RC
Model type: VTOL Strike Jet
Wingspan: 7” (178mm)
Material: EPP foam w/ plastic outer
Flight Mode: Horizontal/vertical
Flying Area: Indoor/outdoor
Dimensions: 7.8 x 11.2 x 3.1”
Product Weight: 2 oz.
Battery: 3.7V 530mAh 1S Lipo
Flying time: 5 minutes
Charging time: 45 minutes
The Pros
Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL)
Ready to Fly (RTR) strike jet
6-axis gyro control
1-touch takeoff/landing
3 preprogrammed flight rates
Unique camouflage trim
Bright LEDs
Durable build
360° flips and advanced stunts
Fast charging time
The Cons
Short flight time

5. XK X520 FPV VTOL 3D EPP RC Aircraft

XK X520 FPV VTOL 3D EPP RC AircraftView on Banggood

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The XK X520 is a lightweight, durable WiFi FPV Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL) 3D RC airplane. It comes ready to fly (RTF), so the fun can start soon after you unbox it.

  • Best feature 1: Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL)
  • Best feature 2: Powerful brushless motors
  • Plus points: 6-axis gyro, multiple flight modes, novice-friendly, stunts, FPV capable
  • Minus points: Can’t handle the wind, average flight time

XK X520 VTOL RC Plane Highlights

This aircraft has different flight modes for indoor and outdoor flying. Inside it can fly like a drone or helicopter. Maneuvers include VTOL, forward/backward/ fly left/right, and spins. Outdoor modes also take off vertically up to 3–5 meters before auto changing into horizontal flight. It’s the 6G self-stabilization that lets you fly it like a regular RC plane.

The stunt mode is also for outdoor flights and includes somersaults, death spirals, rolls, and more. This plane is equipped with 3-points landing equipment if you want it. It’s both a novice-friendly aircraft and one that pleases experienced pilots. Spares for the XK X520 VTOL are readily available here.

First Person View (FPV) Capable

This version of XK X520 VTOL comes with an X8 transmitter. For FPV camera you can choose the small WIFI 720P HD, 2.4G or the 5.8G VTX. The camera has an adjustable 30° angle which is handy.

The Not So Good

XK’s X520 VTOL RC plane flies like a bird, but only on calm days. It’s not stable in anything stronger than a light breeze, especially in vertical mode. The flight time is double that of the previous two picks, but even 10 minutes isn’t much. Charging time is quite fast at around 50 minutes. New 7.4v 900mAH LiPos costs around $15. Most new owners will factor at least one extra battery into the cost.

View on Banggood

Tech Specs
Brand Name: XK
Model type: Aerobatic VTOL plane
Wingspan: 20.47” (520mm)
Material: Lightweight EPP foam
Flight Mode: Horizontal/vertical
Flying Area: Indoor/outdoor
Dimensions: 4.92 x 16.53”
Product Weight: 6.52 oz.
Max Range: 50 minutes
Battery: 7.4v 900mAh Lipo
Flying time: 10+ minutes
Charging time: 50+ minutes
The Pros
Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL)
Dual brushless motors
6-axis gyro stabilization
Multiple flight modes
Aerobatic stunt capable
Novice-friendly
Crash-resistant
FPV capable
Adjustable camera angle
The Cons
Can’t handle the wind
Average flight time

6. Mirarobot M600 VTOL PNP FPV Racer RC Plane

Mirarobot M600 VTOL PNP FPV Racer RC PlaneView on Banggood

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The Mirarobot M600 is a lightweight yet durable RC VTOL racer. Pilots can switch freely between horizontal and vertical flight modes at any altitude. It’s also FPV camera-ready.

  • Best feature 1: Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL)
  • Best feature 2: Independent speed governor
  • Plus points: Easy to fly, altitude hold, long flight time, long range, stunts, FPV-ready
  • Minus points: PNP version, no extras included

Mirarobot M600 VTOL RC Plane Highlights

You can choose this model in two styles, i.e., cool black or simple black. It looks fantastic, and it flies like a bird of prey on a mission. The Mirarobot M600 VTOL is safe to use indoors as well as outside. Its altitude hold function in multirotor mode makes it a cinch to control. And the independent speed governor prevents overheating, and that’s reassuring.

The flight time for the M600 is 30 minutes on a single charge. That’s a huge advantage over some VTOL models that can’t get out of single digits. The long 1640ft (500m) control range is another exciting highlight. Aerobatic lovers are sure to appreciate the plane’s 360° stunt capability. And fans of first person view (FPV) have the adjustable FPV camera-ready feature.

The Not So Good

This plane is the PNP version, which is an advantage for some. It’s not so good for those who want a ready to fly (RTF) model. Not understanding PNP, RTF, BNF, and ARTF is a common newbie buying blunder. The extras needed include a 2S 7.4V 800mAh 30C flight battery, balance charger, and a 2.4G 6CH radio system. There’s also the FPV camera to buy if you want first person view functionality.

The other con is that there aren’t any extras included in the box. It’s an excellent value VTOL model, but there should at least be a spare set of props with a price tag of almost 100 dollars.

View on Banggood

Tech Specs
Brand Name: Mirarobot
Model type: VTOL FPV Racer
Wingspan: 23.6” (600mm)
Material: EPO foam
Flight Mode: Horizontal/vertical
Flying Area: Indoor/outdoor
Package Dimensions: 34.6 x 4.7 x 13.9”
Takeoff Weight: 6.12 oz.
Max Range: 1640ft (500 meters)
Battery: 7.4V 800mAh 2S (not included)
Flying time: 30 minutes
Charging time: 60+ minutes
The Pros
Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL)
Independent speed governor
Lightweight, durable material
Quick horizontal/vertical switch
Easy to fly at entry-level
Altitude hold function
Long flight time
Long flight range
360° stunts
First person view (FPV) ready
Adjustable camera angle
The Cons
PNP version (a pro for some)
No extras included

7. E-flite Convergence VTOL Airplane BNF Basic

E-flite Convergence VTOL Airplane BNF BasicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Last of the reviews is the brushless E-flite Convergence VTOL BNF Basic. It’s the larger version of the Mini Convergence (see top pick). It’s a similar model but a larger scale.

  • Best feature 1: Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL)
  • Best feature 2: Powerful brushless motors
  • Plus points: Easy to fly, simple transmitter setup, sleek design, 2 flight modes, FPV ready
  • Minus points: Not wind-resistant, short flight time, BNF

Convergence VTOL Plane Highlights

The E-flite Convergence VTOL can fly like a drone or a sporty acrobatic plane. It’s super easy to control at the entry-level due to its Stability Mode in multirotor flight. There’s also an Acro Mode for pilots with more experience. The latter removes angle and self-leveling limitations used for stability flying. It’s in airplane (not multirotor) flight where Acro mode unleashes the model’s full aerobatic potential.

This is a bind-n-fly VTOL aircraft. That means new users must bind the transmitter to the Spektrum serial receiver. It sounds tricky, but it’s a breeze thanks to the user-friendly transmitter setup. FPV fans should note that this puppy is camera-ready with a bay right under the plane’s nose. The E-flite Convergence can house many of the favorite FPV camera systems.

Items to complete include:

  • Transmitter: Full-range, 6CH+ DSMX® / DSM2®
  • Fight battery: 2200–3000mAh 3S LiPo
  • Charger: 3S compatible LiPo

The Not So Good

The Convergence 650mm VTOL is not very wind-resistant despite its larger size. Anyone who lives in breezy regions should consider that. The flight time for this model is only 7 minutes so be sure to factor extra batteries into the cost. Finally, this is a Bind-N-Fly (BNF) version, not ready to fly (RTF). Novice pilots should be aware of the extras needed to complete the model (see above).

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand Name: E-flite
Model type: VTOL FPV Sport Plane
Wingspan: 25.59” (650mm)
Material: Z-foam™
Flight Mode: Horizontal/vertical
Flying Area: Outdoor
Dimensions: 28.6 x 28.2 x 6.7”
Takeoff Weight: 1.7 lbs.
Max Range: 1640ft (500 meters)
Battery: 2200–3000mAh 3S LiPo
Flying time: 7 minutes
Charging time: Depends on the charger
The Pros
Vertical takeoff & landing (VTOL)
Powerful brushless motors
Durable, lightweight foam
Easy to fly at beginner level
Simple transmitter setup
Sleek, aerodynamic design
Stability and Acro flight modes
FPV-ready
The Cons
Not wind-resistant
Short flight time
BNF (also a pro)
5/51 rating