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The 10 Best Remote Control Planes and Helicopters For Kids and Adults

Put yourself in the cockpit with one of these top picks.

remote control planes
Staff, Courtesy of Syma

Having a remote control plane or helicopter literally puts the thrill of flight in your hands. And if you've never flown a drone or played with a remote control car, you won't have a hard time getting up to speed for your first foray in the RC world. These days, many remote control planes and helicopters are equipped with technology to help you learn and prevent crashes that'll damage your new favorite toy. Read on for our top recommendations, plus advice on important things to consider before you shop.

What to Consider

There are models on the market for every skill level, and plenty with features for beginner, intermediate, and advanced pilots alike. If you're a newbie, basics to look for include one-key takeoff and landing, auto hover (also called attitude mode, where altitude is maintained even if you take your hands off the controller), and safety features, like emergency stop. More sophisticated (and often pricier) RC planes and copters have brushless motors and are capable of performing 3D maneuvers.

Another consideration is battery life and flight time. Most models come with two rechargeable batteries, and each will give you roughly 10 minutes of airtime or less—even those on the high end. The remote control's range is also important, and transmission distance is typically 300 feet or more. Some planes have a built-in camera to capture footage in real time, or space in the fuselage to install your own. Extras like working LED lights and add-ons such as floats for water landings make the flying experience more realistic.

How We Chose

Every remote control plane and helicopters we cover has an average customer rating of 4 stars or more. We made our final selection based on quality of materials and overall durability, ease of use for beginners and features to challenge more advanced pilots, battery life, and models that span multiple price points.

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Best Cheap RC Plane
Remote Control Plane

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 15.7 x 11 x 5.5 inches 
  • Flight Time: ~10 mins. 
  • Battery: (2) 3.7V 400mAh LiPo batteries

This affordable remote control plane is a great choice for beginners. There are two launch modes—an easy throw toss or takeoff from the ground using the controller. It's also made of a durable plastic to withstand crashes and has a 400mm wingspan, which is a good size for newbies to handle. 

The plane comes with two rechargeable batteries, each giving roughly 10 minutes of flight time, plus an extra set of propellers. 

Best Cheap RC Helicopter
Remote Control Helicopter

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 10.6 x 4.7 x 1.8 inches
  • Flight Time: ~5-6 mins.  
  • Battery: (3) 7V 350mah LiPo batteries

If you're looking for an inexpensive remote control helicopter that checks boxes for all the must-have basics, plus a few nice extras, this is the one to buy. It's made of metal with flexible propellers and features two speed modes, so beginners can level-up to more advanced flying, one-key takeoff and landing, and auto hover for flight without holding the controller. 

There are also built-in LED lights to fly the helicopter in the dark and a spare parts set that includes a tail blade and connect buckle. 

Best Value RC Plane
Remote Control Plane

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 15.7 x 12.8 inches
  • Flight Time: ~12 mins
  • Battery: (3) 3.7V 360mAh batteries

Here's a remote control plane with three-level flight control, perfect for beginner, intermediate, and advanced pilots. It's designed to look like World War II's badass P-51D Mustang aircraft, and you can expect roughly 12 minutes of airtime per battery. It also has an impressive control distance of 300, plus it's super steady in flight thanks to a six-axis gyroscope. 

Best Value RC Helicopter
Remote Control Helicopter

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 8.8 x 4 x 1.6 inches 
  • Flight Time: ~5-6 mins.
  • Battery: (3) 7V 150 mAh batteries

This value-pack remote control helicopter is made for indoor use only, but it still gives pilots plenty of action. Your can fly the metal alloy bird from a distance of up to 65 feet away, with up to six minutes of flight time per rechargeable battery. 

Features include one-key takeoff and landing, auto hover, emergency stop, and a flashing LED light. Plus, if you have a buddy with the same copter, you can fly two at once, with two frequencies to choose from. 

Best Mid-Priced RC Plane
Remote Control Plane

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 27.6 inches
  • Flight Time: ~6 mins.
  • Battery: 2S 280mAh LiPo batteries

The details on this small but powerful prop plane are what make it a standout worth its price tag. For starters, it offers short takeoffs and landings, with functional oversized flaps, plus a 3,400Kv brushless motor for next-level maneuvers and updated landing gear, which includes LED navigation and strobe lights. 

It's ultra-stable and super smooth in flight, suitable for pilots of all levels. Those who or more advanced may wish to purchase floats for water takeoffs and landings, which are sold separately. 

Best Mid-Priced RC Helicopter
Remote Control Helicopter

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 12.4 x 5.2 x 2.6 inches
  • Flight Time: ~4 mins.
  • Battery: 2S 280mAh LiPo Flight Battery

Here's another powerful machine built to impress in flight. This helicopter features a 6,700Kv brushless main motor plus a 7,700Kv brushless tail motor for fast and nimble flying. There are also multiple flight modes, from self-leveling to full 3D for pilots of all levels. It has a snazzy design and it's extremely durable, because crashes happen no matter how much experience you have under your belt.

Best High-End RC Plane
Remote Control Smart Jet

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 45 x 41 inches
  • Flight Time: ~3-6 mins.
  • Battery: 3S 4000mAh Smart Li-Po

This sleek jet has a lightweight but durable airframe designed for lower speeds so novice pilots can handle navigation. It features a brushless power system and a 10-blade fan that gives it serious thrust. The landing gear is another highlight, with a wide-stance, and three wheels with oversized tires, to touch down on everything from grass to pavement. 

Best HIgh-End Helicopter
Remote Control Helicopter

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 11.4 x 6.5 x 11.4 inches
  • Flight Time: ~9 min.; ~4 min. for 3D maneuvers 
  • Battery: 2S 350mAh 50C

If you have the dough to splurge on a RC helicopter, this is an excellent choice. It features auto-hover and high-performing 3D modes and you can easily switch between them, plus adjustable flight control parameters, such as gyro sensitivity, rates, and gain, to customize different flying styles. 

It also has quality all-metal gear and an approximate flight time of 9 minutes, though less is you're doing extreme 3D maneuvers.

Best RC Helicopter With Camera
Remote Control Helicopter with Camera

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 8.9 x 4.9 x 5.3 inches
  • Flight Time: ~12 mins. 
  • Battery: (3) 7V/500mAh batteries

This smart-looking helicopter has a fantastic price point--less than $100 at the time of this writing—considering it features a built-in 1080P HD camera with 90-degree adjustable angle and real-time transmission to your smartphone using the app. 

You can also design your own flight routes using the app. The helicopter can perform 360-degree flips and rolls, with an approximate 12-minute flight time and one-key landing and takeoff. 

Best RC Glider
Remote Control Airplane Glider

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 63 x 45 inches 
  • Flight Time: Not listed
  • Battery: 7.4V 1500mAh LiPo battery (not included)

With a wingspan of more than 5 feet, this glider soars through the air, plus its plastic fuselage has space for a camera so you can capture it all. It can perform 360-degree rotation and it's easy to assemble, with plastic latches for securing the wings. 

The remote control airplane features a 1,400Kv brushless motor and servo, plus comes with decals, but the radio transmitter, receiver, and charger are sold separately. 

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