The new FunJet package from FMA Direct combines a complete Ready-To-Fly (RTF) aircraft with FMA's new Co-Pilot II patented infrared flight stabilization system. The Co-Pilot II uses onboard infrared sensors capable of measuring the difference in temperature between the earth and sky. If the model is in any orientation other than level, all the pilot has to do is return the right control stick to neutral on the transmitter and the aircraft will go to level flight in less than one second!

For my full review on the FMA FunJet RTF, go here.


The Multiplex Mentor is a replacement for the Magister and is a robust trainer and tug (tow plane) made of ELAPOR (pronounced el-a-pore) foam. Medium CA glue used with an activator (or kicker) as the only method of gluing recommended by the manufacturer. This radio controlled model is electric powered and Almost-Ready-to-Fly (ARF). It is meant for beginners to intermediate fliers.

For my full review of the Multiplex Mentor on RC Universe, go here.


Looking to learn to fly?

With the assistance of a club instructor, the E-flite® Apprentice 15e RTF is the perfect trainer for learning the basics and beyond. The Apprentice is a 15-size high-wing trainer that comes with everything you need to go from buy to fly. This one-box purchase includes the full range DX5e Spektrum radio with the 2.4GHz interference-free technology, AR500 receiver, and a 3S 3200mAh 15C Li-Po battery and charger. There is no building required, just charge and install the included battery, mount the wing and tail, and fly.

For my full review of the E-flite® Apprentice 15e RTF on RC Universe, go here.


Performance meets convenience when a traditional .40-sized trainer is redesigned to use today's advanced electric flight technology. The all-new Hobbico ElectriStar Select uses clean and quiet electric power, making it economical to operate and ready to fly in under an hour! Unlike other smaller or underpowered electric trainers, the ElectriStar Select flies just like a .40-sized glow-powered trainer! The ElectriStar Select was engineered from the ground up as an electric-powered plane, so unneeded weight could be removed from the airframe without compromising structural integrity. The factory-installed, high-performance ElectriStar C-42 brushless out-runner motor provides the performance you would expect from a conventional .40-size glow engine. The ElectriStar is stable, strong, and with a wingspan of more than five feet, it's easy to see in the air!

For my full review of the Hobbico ElectriStar on RC Universe, go here.


The Black Horse Model Electric Trainer ARF is a quick build design for beginners that can be powered by a direct drive brushless motor like an AXI 2808/24 or the lower cost Brushless Power System 150 from FMA Direct. The easy flying aileron trainer uses three mini servos and a small 3-cell Lithium pack.

For my full review, go here.


My review of the Hobbico Superstar EP ARF will focus mainly on the newest RTF version but will also cover the differences between the three available versions; original rudder-only ARF, Superstar EP ARF w/ailerons, and the Superstar EP Select RTF w/ailerons. Additionally, I will be test flying the model in stock form first and then suggesting several simple hop-up modifications to get optimum performance out of this most "modeler-friendly" trainer in the industry. The Superstar EP has the same reliability of the larger glow-powered SuperStar 40s but with quiet and clean electric power.

For my full review on RC Universe, go here.


Multiplex has recently introduced a revolutionary new R/C trainer molded from durable ELAPOR foam called the Magister. The Magister is an RTF (Ready to Fly) electric powered package with everything a beginner pilot needs to learn how fly. The airplane's electric engine can later be removed and a gas engine can be installed easily (assuming you become disgusted with your first electric flight experience). This makes the Magister one of the most advanced trainers available today.

The Magister is big, simple to fly, and, great for beginner or intermediate pilots. The plane is stable and solid in the air and slows down to a crawl for nice controlled landings. The Magister can handle moderate winds because of its size and weight.

Trainers have been around since the beginning of model flying. The so-called .40-sized trainer (with a 6.5cc glow motor) is offered in a multitude of variants all over the world. The beginner is expected to cope from the outset with an easily damaged all-wood model and a motor which is not properly set up and not even run-in. It’s no surprise that this type of “first model” is often the modeler's last. At Multiplex they have adopted a different philosophy: a “ready-made model” molded in robust, high-strength particle foam, fitted with a geared electric power system. The model is quickly made ready for flying, the motor starts when you just throw a switch, and the aircraft’s flying characteristics are simply outstanding. Success is all but guaranteed!

For my full review on RC Universe, go here.


The Hobby Lobby Outrunner/Lithium Hop-up for the Multiplex Magister really makes this plane come alive! By replacing the old technology stock power system with a new AXI 2820/12 brushless direct drive outrunner and a 3-cell Lithium pack, the magister will shed almost a pound of weight and increase both power and flight duration.

With the Hobby Lobby power system hop-up, this plane makes a great aileron trainer with solid flight performance, capable of aerobatics. It has plenty of power for short takeoffs on grass and strong climbs, and can easily aerotow sailplanes like the Multiplex Easyglider (MPX4205).

For a complete write-up on this AXI hop-up to the Magister, go here.


Multiplex Easystar

Perhaps the perfect trainer! This easy flying foam ARF has a simple low-cost Speed 400 power system with a 5x4 Zagi "spoon" prop in a protective pusher configuration. The Elapor foam glues together using regular CA and kicker for super fast assembly and repair! This plane flies easily in wind and can land on grass, dirt, or pavement.

To better facilitate the longer flights, I mounted my ESC so that the top surface obtained direct air cooling. The BalancePro pack never gets warm due to the low 8amp maximum current draw and the motor cooling is already built into the Easystar fuselage. This system provides 10-15 minute flights while keeping all the components cool to increase longevity.

The Multiplex Easystar from Hobby Lobby was easily upgraded to double the flight time by replacing the stock 7-cell, 1100mAh NiMH pack with a BalancePro 2-cell, 2AH Lithium pack. The BalancePro provided slightly greater power than the stock pack and fit perfectly into the Easystar nose. The LiPo pack was held in place with a foam wedge.


The Firebird Scout is HobbyZone's lowest priced Smart-Trak equipped airplane. It's ready to fly in minutes and comes with everything you need, including batteries and an instructional video CD. For a low street price of $55, this trainer package is a great value for entry-level R/Cers!

For my full review on RC Universe, go here.

Cessna 180 RTF Trainer

The WattAge Cessna 180 puts it all together for you in one Ready-To-Fly (RTF) package! A great flying and looking trainer plane that is quiet and can be flown just about anywhere. The direct drive power system uses NiMH battery technology for lightweight and good flight times. It comes with a true digital proportional 4-channel 27MHz FM Cirrus transmitter complete with servo reversing and two-axis gimbals. Inside the plane you'll find a true micro 4-channel FM receiver, two micro 9 gram (0.3oz) servos, and a 7-amp Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) for the motor. Controls on the Cessna 180 are for elevator, rudder, and throttle This is an excellent starter system that you'll be able to fly many other electric park flyers with like the Mini Maxx and Tubby Cubby after developing your flying skills with the Cessna 180.

For my full review on RC Universe, go here.


Kyosho Ferias (aka Spree)

My "Fun" Ferias uses a Graupner 1700 Series 6v 1.85:1 gearbox, 7-cell 600AE pack, Graupner SLIM 8x4 prop, RTF at 21.8oz. My "Power" Ferias uses a 450 Turbo motor, 8-cell 800AR pack, Aeronaut 6.5x4 prop, RTF at 27.9oz.

My first trainer was the Kyosho Ferias. Yeah, I have 2 of them but neither has a stock configuration anymore. I hated fixing that cheap gearbox!

Originally, I used both for redundancy when first learning to fly. It helped to keep me in the air instead of on the repair bench.

My "Fun" Ferias on the left uses a Graupner 1700 Series gearbox.

My "Power" Ferias on the right uses a 450 Turbo motor and is 6 oz heavier but with that much power in a Ferias, it fly's like a completely different ship! I found out the hard way that the wing needed some strapping tape underneath.

Kyosho "Fun" Ferias Specifications:

bulletWingspan = 40"
bulletWing Area = 295 sq. in.
bulletLength = 30"
bulletWeight 21.5oz
bulletGraupner 6v Speed 400 motor with 1700 Series 2.33:1 gearbox
bulletGraupner SLIM 9x5 prop
bullet7 cells of 600AE
bulletGWS R4P "Pico" receiver (0.3 oz.)

Kyosho "Power" Ferias Specifications:

bulletWingspan = 40"
bulletWing Area = 295 sq. in.
bulletWing Loading = 10.5oz/sq. ft.
bulletLength = 30"
bulletWeight 28oz
bulletDirect drive Permax 450 turbo
bulletAeroNaut 6.5x4 prop
bullet8 cells of 800AR


Hacker Helio Courier:

courier75thumb.jpg (2042 bytes) This ARF is almost finished. It is a very light balsa and spruce constructed Speed 600 trainer. The Oracover covering and craftsmanship are unbelievable! I'm using this model to train with landing gear for my 57" Super-aerobatic pattern ship, the Hacker Arrow 3D. I managed to just fit my Velkom 24/10 motor with the Speed 600 firewall mount into the nose of the Helio Courier.

The long rudder that extended below the elevator made it an easy modification for a steerable tailwheel. I replaced the stock tailwheel with a quality DuBro version that tied to the rudder. Very nice control on the ground!

I'll use plain old 7-cell 1500-1800mAh car packs for power. This will allow me to run an 8x4 prop direct drive for plenty of power and speed!

bulletHacker Helio Courier
bulletWingspan = 50.4"
bulletWing Area = 335 sq. in.
bulletLength = 33.5"
bulletWeight 40 oz. RTF
bulletDirect drive Velkom 24/10 Speed 600+ motor
bulletAPC 8x4 prop
bullet7 cells of 1500RC NiCd


Graupner Monsun Trainer:

Monsun_Finished2_thumb.JPG (3213 bytes) The Monsun Trainer is designed as a .25-size glow engine Almost-Ready-to-Fly (ARF) plane. For a low price at Hobby Lobby, I considered this a great find for a finished ARF. To keep the cost low, I decided to convert it to electric power using a $20 Kyosho Endoplasma motor and $15 Great Planes GD-600 gearbox. The result was simply fantastic!

bulletGraupner Monsun Trainer
bulletWingspan = 49.6" (1260mm)
bulletWing Area = 450 sq. in. (29 dm2)
bulletLength = 42.9" (1090mm)
bulletWeight 96oz.(6lbs) RTF
bulletKyosho Endoplasma motor
bulletGreat Planes GD-600 gearbox with 12T pinion (3.8:1)
bulletAPC 11x7 e-prop
bullet10 cells of CP2400SCR NiCd
bullet35amps at 8100 RPMs

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