Best Remote Control Airplanes for Kids 2020

Best Remote Control Airplanes for Kids 2020

What kid doesn’t dream of being able to fly? Few things capture a youngun’s imagination more than soaring through the sky like a bird and pulling off radical stunts. Barrel rolls, loop-the-loops, and other death-defying maneuvers aside, the feeling of freedom while airborne is second to none. And your little one can experience the magic first hand through their very own remote control airplane.

These days, flying toys for kids have plummeted in price, meaning they’re no longer the exclusive domain of the economic elite. Affordable RC planes and choppers in 2020 start at just $20—but, of course, remember you get what you pay for. Convinced your kid needs a remote control plane, but unsure which one is best for you? We’re going to provide some useful background info on the toys then cover the top 20 models on the market.

What to Consider when Shopping for a Remote Control Airplane

It’s essential to think hard before taking the plunge and investing in a remote control airplane; otherwise, you could end up buying something utterly inappropriate for your child. Remote control airplanes come in a variety of types, sizes, and brands, while the price tag and the specs can vary considerably. We’ve thrown together a nifty little guide to help you wrap your head around all the different factors to consider.

Type

Remote control airplanes come in two different types: model airplanes and ready to fly airplanes. Ready to fly planes, as the name implies, are good to go straight out of the box—charge up the batteries and get ready for takeoff. These turnkey toys are great for younger kids who just want to muck around with something that flies.

Older children, especially those with an interest in engineering, might prefer a model airplane kit. These kits must be put together from tiny pieces and may require help from the parent. The assembly process takes several hours, but consider it an opportunity to enjoy quality time with your child. If your child loves building LEGO—especially the more advanced Technics range—then chances are they’ll adore assembling a model airplane too.

Brand

Several toymakers compete for the lucrative RC plane market, and some are better than others. Established brands tend to offer better quality and more durable toys, albeit at a higher premium. A few of our favorites include FUNTECH, E-flite, Top Race, and Guillow.

Age

You wouldn’t want to give your three-year-old a state-of-the-art fighter jet as they’d smash it on the first go. Likewise, try giving your 12-year-old an uber-basic, DUPLO-style glider, and they’ll constantly complain that it’s lame. Picking a remote control plane that’s appropriate for your child’s age is crucial, so we’ve included the recommended age range on each product for your buying pleasure.

Style

From gliders to warplanes, helicopters (we know, they’re not really planes), and jumbo jets, RC airplanes come in a wide range of different aesthetic styles. So which one should you choose? Work out what your kid thinks is cool and shop accordingly.

Durability

Remote control planes crash and break all the time, especially at the hands of hyperactive youngsters who don’t appreciate their delicate nature. If you don’t trust your child to look after a delicate $100+ RC plane, then grab something cheap and smash-proof instead.

Price

Remote control airplanes cost as little as $20 or as much as $120, and the appropriate amount to spend depends on your household budget. Had a good month at work? Maybe you can justify splashing out on a more expensive brand. High-end RC planes tend to be faster, easier to control, more durable, and have better tech.

Top 20 Best Remote Control Airplanes for Kids 2020

1. Best Overall Remote Control Plane: Top Race Rc Plane TR-C285G

Top Race Rc Plane TR-C285G

Why we like it: This nimble ready-to-fly unit is great for beginners because it glides through the sky with ease.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Ready to Fly
  • Style: Aerobatic
  • Age range: 8 years and up
  • RC range: up to 320 feet
  • Battery life: 12 minutes
  • Number of channels: 3 (throttle, elevation, rudder)
  • Propulsion/battery system: Rechargeable lithium battery and electric motor

Top Race delivers the goods with this nifty little number, an affordable mid-ranged RC plane that’s perfect for beginners. The ready-to-fly plane is a hit for its user-friendly interface that even complete novices manage to master on the first go.

Rookie pilots can set the system to beginner mode, which automatically enables the self-stabilization system on the gyro and makes the aircraft remarkably easy to control. Once your kid has got the hang of it, they can turn up the difficulty level and start attempting hectic stunts.

The airplane comes with three channels of control: throttle, elevation, and rudder. These three controls make the perfect introduction to the remote control flying world—they’re easy to use and won’t overwhelm the first-timer.

Another great feature of the Top Race RC Plane is its durability: the thing can take a bit of a battering. Its superior sturdiness is mostly thanks to the in-built propeller saver system, which protects the airplane’s most delicate parts to prevent it from breaking in a crash. The powerful propeller saver system also allows the plane to better navigate through windy conditions, thus avoiding an accident in the first place.

The powerful 3.7 V 180 mah LiPo battery allows the unit to fly for 15 continuous minutes on a single 90-minute charge-up, which is pretty impressive for the price range. It’s a wee bit on the upper end of the mid-range, but worth the extra expense for first-time flyers. Experts and serious enthusiasts, however, might prefer something a little more refined.

Pros

  • Easy to fly for rookie pilots
  • More durable than other models
  • Flies for 15 minutes on one charge
  • Comes with multiple difficulty modes
  • Three channels of control

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • Not powerful enough for advanced users

2. Best Budget Remote Control Plane for Kids: Tenergy Syma

Tenergy Syma

Why we like it: This sweet little chopper runs rings around the living room and comes in at an incredibly low price.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Ready-to-fly
  • Style: Helicopter
  • Age range: 14 + (manufacturers recommendation; younger kids could enjoy this)
  • RC range: 30 ft
  • Battery life: 8-12 minutes
  • Control channels: 3 (up/down, left/right, forward/back)
  • Frequencies: 2
  • Propulsion/battery system: 3.7V-180MAH LI-POLY

Coming in at a little over 20 bucks, this beautiful RC helicopter from Tenergy Syma is a hoot to muck around with and certainly won’t break the bank. The thing is only about 7.5 inches long and comes with three user-friendly control panels, which makes it easy to navigate around the confines of your home.

Don’t bother trying to take her outside, however, as the infrared controller doesn’t bode well in bright sunlight and the aircraft’s lightweight design gets knocked around by the wind. Nonetheless, for a cost-effective indoor flying toy for kids, the Tenergy Syma is hard to beat.

On average, you’ll get 10 minutes flying time out of its battery, which is about all you need for some quick indoor giggles. And its limited range of 30 ft hardly affects performance—this is an indoor chopper, after all.

Although the manufacturer suggests the toy is suitable for kids over 14, we can’t quite figure out why they’ve set the number so high. The thing is super easy to control and doesn’t tend to break easily, which makes it ideal for younger kids. And the fact it’s ready to fly straight out of the box also appeals to the little ones.

There may well be better RC choppers and planes on the market, but the price tag makes the Tenergy Syma one of our top picks. Best of all, it’s cheap enough to purchase a couple so your kids can race them around the house.

Pros

  • Low price point
  • Durable design that won’t break easily
  • Easy to control
  • Can use two units at once

Cons

  • Doesn’t work outdoors
  • Limited range and battery

3. Best Paper Airplane-Style RC Plane: POWERUP 3.0 Paper Airplane

POWERUP 3.0 Paper Airplane

Why we like it: This super cool RC plane looks and flies just like a paper airplane, and the ability to control it with your smartphone adds oodles of fun.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Conversion kit
  • Style: Paper Airplane
  • Age range: 4-14
  • RC range: 180 feet range
  • Battery life:  10 minutes
  • Control Channels: 3

An RC plane like no other, the POWERUP 3.0 gets top marks for innovation. The unique concept sees the user attach the motor and a control tip onto a ready-made paper plane and fly the thing around with glee—every kid’s high-tech fantasy come true. And despite the fact the product has a few notable kinks that need ironing out, it’s just so unique and fun we had to put it towards the top of our list.

One of the coolest things about this product is the control mechanism: BYO mobile phone. A free iPhone or Android app sees you soaring the plane around via a user-friendly Bluetooth connection, making it stacks of fun for the whole family to enjoy. And rather than pressing buttons on the screen, you can use your phone’s tilt function to control the plane, which is remarkably effective and intuitive.

The battery and range are respectable as well, meaning you can have fun in the sun with this product too (beware of strong gusty winds, though). And you won’t have to worry too much about breaking it, as the moving parts are quite robust (they give you backups anyway) and the plane comes with a 12-month warranty.

The major downside here—and it’s a biggy—is the plane just doesn’t work quite as well as we’d hoped. The Bluetooth connection is somewhat sporadic, and it’s tricky to construct an appropriate paper plane. Unless you’re a certified origami master, you’ll struggle to whip together the perfect chassis. And given these glaring issues, it’s quite expensive for what you get.

But despite these significant flaws, the POWERUP 3.0 is still undeniably innovative and exciting—expect hours of wholesome family-friendly fun!

Pros

  • Unique product
  • Good battery and range
  • Fun to fly and build
  • Highly durable (few moving parts)

Cons

  • Bluetooth connection tends to drop out
  • Building the perfect paper airplane is challenging
  • Quite expensive for what you get

4. Top Race Rc Plane (TR-C385)

Top Race Rc Plane (TR-C385)

Why we like it: This nimble stunt plane can pull off a wide array of acrobatic feats.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Ready-to-fly
  • Style: Stunt plane
  • Age range: 14 years and up
  • Control Channels: throttle, rudder, elevator/aileron, steerable tail
  • Propulsion/battery system: : 3.7v 360mAh with 10mm cordless motor

Top Race makes our favorite RC plane overall, and this highly maneuverable, top-of-the-line stunt plane is even nicer, albeit with a higher price tag. The TR-C385 (we do think they could have come up with a catchier name) is the premium addition to the Top Race product range, and the extra money is well spent if you’re into death-defying stunts.

The TR-C385 is superior to the TR-C285G for its ability to cut crazy maneuvers through the sky. Even a novice RC pilot will learn to crank out hectic stunts with ease—simply crank up the throttle and hit the one-key acrobatics button. And despite it being almost too easy to pull off those sleek high altitude moves, every loop-the-loop and barrel roll brings a strong sense of satisfaction to the pilot.

The only hard part about controlling this model is accidentally letting it fly too far away, at which stage you loose RC connectivity, and the plane soars off into the sunset. Considering it comes in at well over a hundred bucks a pop, that’s quite a lot of money to be losing for a simple mistake. And for that reason alone, this model is only really suitable for responsible pilots at least 14 years of age.

If your child treats the plane well, however, there’s no reason it shouldn’t last for years to come. The coveted propeller saver technology prevents the motor from getting wrecked with each prang, and you’ll receive a handful of spare props to replace broken or missing parts. The durable EPP material provides ample protection to the shell, and a handy one-touch return button helps you glide her home safely in a pinch.

Pros

  • Can pull off amazing stunts
  • One-touch return button
  • Propeller falls off on impact to prevent damaging motor

Cons

  • Easy to lose RC connection if you fly too far
  • Expensive

5. Best RC Drone for Kids: Holy Stone Kid Toys Mini RC Drone

Holy Stone Kid Toys Mini RC Drone

Why we like it: This teeny weeny kid’s drone is super cheap and flies like a dream.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Ready-to-fly
  • Style: Drone
  • Age range: 14+ (okay for younger kids under supervision)
  • RC range: 164 ft
  • Battery life: 3 x 7-minute batteries

Drones are no longer the exclusive plaything of well-to-do hobbyists and glitzy Instagram influencers. Advances in technology in recent years have seen the cost of your average drone plummet, and basic kid-friendly versions are now available at rock bottom rates. The best of these low-cost machines is this charming little palm-sized unit from Holy Stone, which zips around the house at breakneck speed and is surprisingly simple to control.

Although it’s recommended for ages 14 and up, younger kids adore flying the drone through the Xbox-style controller. The process is remarkably smooth, too, so it’s unlikely younger kids will crash the thing if they’re not playing rough. Even if there’s a little accident, the robust drone is built tough to withstand a battering. Plus, it’s also got a protection guard over the blades to stop toddlers jamming their fingers in there.

Another cool feature we love about this model is its auto-hover mode. When you set the drone up where you want it to gravitate and hit the ‘altitude hold’ button, it continues to hover until it runs out of batteries or you command it to do something else. You also get to play with a groovy 3D flip feature that rotates the drone over its head, and there’s a ‘go home’ button for when you can’t be bothered to land the thing yourself—not bad for a cheap, low-end product. Then, should you want to hit the skies again straight away, you can just replace the rechargeable battery for another seven-minute session (up to a total of 21 minutes over three batteries).

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • 21 minute fly time over three batteries
  • Easy to use and child-friendly
  • Can auto-hover and do 3D flips
  • Built to last

Cons

  • Rather small
  • Low range
  • Not suitable for outdoor use

6. Best Midrange RC Helicopter For Kids: Syma S107H

Syma S107H

Why we like it: This durable and ultrasafe RC chopper is a child’s dream come true.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Ready-to-fly
  • Style: Helicopter
  • Age range: 8 years and up
  • RC range: 65-foot flight range
  • Battery life: 5 minutes off a one-hour charge
  • Channels: 3
  • Propulsion/battery system: 3.7V battery

If you want to get your child an RC helicopter they’ll love but you’re strapped for cash, then check out our top budget RC chopper . But if you’ve got a wee bit of extra cash to splash and you’re looking to spoil your little guy or gal rotten, then this superb chopper from Syma is your go-to choice.

Syma has got the RC helicopter game down and offers a whole host of sweet extra features on this upgraded model. Auto-hover lets you set your cruising altitude with ease, and it’s got a whopping 65-foot range for stress-free flying anywhere in the house. The mini RC chopper is pretty petite—slightly larger than your hand—but that just makes it easier to navigate around the home. A one-key lift-off/landing button makes it easy to pick up or put down.

The learning curve is a tiny bit steep, but almost all younger kids can master the controls with patience and by sticking to the low speeds. Don’t bother taking it outside, though, as even a gentle gust will cause the contraption to crash. Luckily it’s quite sturdy, so it’ll likely survive a few accidents at the very least.

So what’s the catch? Well, it’s battery life isn’t great, with a mere five minutes of fly time—guess the kids will just have to learn to savor the moment.

Pros

  • Large range
  • Auto-hover
  • Small and maneuverable
  • One-key lift-off/landing

Cons

  • Cannot withstand wind
  • Poor battery life

7. Best Premium Remote Control Plane: HobbyZone AeroScout S

HobbyZone AeroScout S

Why we like it: Although expensive, the AeroScout S is one of the best performing RC planes on the market.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Ready-to-fly (only minor assembly required)
  • Style: Stunt plane
  • Age range: 15 – 99 years
  • RC range: 3 football fields
  • Channels: 4
  • Propulsion/battery system: 2200mAh Smart LiPo battery

We already presented a brilliant premium option with the Top Race RC Plane. But if you don’t mind spending a bit of extra moolah, then the HobbyZone AeroScout S is about as good as RC planes get. And with a hefty price tag hovering around the $200 mark, you’ll be happy to know the quality matches the cost.

So what makes the AeroScout S worth the expense? Well, it’s mostly how wonderfully smooth this elegant aviator can soar. An ultra-long flying range, superior stability control, excellent battery life, and a smorgasbord of stomach-churning stunts make the unit a joy to pilot for both novices and pros alike.

Beginners will be especially enamored with the SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) mode, which makes controlling the aircraft a cinch. Experts, however, can simply crank up the difficulty setting and start pulling off barrel rolls and inverted tricks.

Although the performance is outstanding, be aware that it takes several hours to charge. And given the high price point, you certainly don’t want to let your child bury it at the bottom of a lake.

Pros

  • Excellent handling and speed
  • Good for beginners and experts
  • Long-range and battery life
  • SAFE mode is perfect for first-timers

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Takes a long time to charge

8. Best Outdoor Glider: Cobra Remote Control E-Glider A420

Cobra Remote Control E-Glider A420

Why we like it: Your kids will love gliding their way around the neighborhood in this little gem.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Ready-to-fly
  • Style: Glider
  • Age range: 10 years and up
  • RC range: 100m / 325ft
  • Channels:
  • Propulsion/battery system: Electric with rechargeable lithium battery

Your child will have a blast when it’s time to glide through the sky with this fantastic product from Cobra. Unlike many of the performance planes on the market, the outdoor-only A420 E-Glider is all about circling peacefully through the air to conserve energy and enjoy an optimal amount of flight time. In fact, pro pilots can circle this thing seemingly forever before having to bring her down to land.

A huge bonus here is the immense toughness of the design. Because the Cobra uses a simple dual prop set-up to power the aircraft, there are few moving parts to contend with, thus fewer pieces to break off. Couple that with a super absorbent foam body, and you’ve got a nearly indestructible flying toy. And that’s one massive plus for parents who’ve already gone through an RC plane or two.

Pros

  • Strong and sturdy
  • Glides for an extended period
  • Few moving parts to break

Cons

  • Can’t do stunts
  • Outdoor use only

9. FUNTECH 611 RC Airplane

FUNTECH 611 RC Airplane

Why we like it: A 6 axis gyro and a super soft foam shell make this a perfect option for beginners.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Ready-to-Fly
  • Style: Stunt Plane
  • Age range: 14+
  • RC range: 300 ft
  • Battery life: 15-25 minutes on a 20-minute full charge
  • Control Channel: 3
  • Propulsion/battery system: Electric motor with 3.7V 180mah LiPo Battery

The fun never stops with FUNTECH, at least not when you’re wielding the joystick of the sought-after 611. Although this model is classified as a hobby plane and not intended for children under 14, it’s also famed for being incredibly user-friendly and easy to learn. Thus, there’s no reason you can’t give younger kids a shot under adequate supervision.

The ready-to-fly plane is well-priced and boasts an impressive 300-foot range. It also lets you race up to three friends simultaneously—the ideal afternoon activity among siblings.  A full assist, partial assist, and total control setting provide ample optimization, and the expanded polypropylene shell can withstand a few whacks. Should something go amiss, FUNTECH pride themselves on superior customer support and promise to rectify the situation in a jiffy.

Pros

  • Easy to learn and handle
  • Good value for money
  • Long range

Cons

  • Not suitable for younger kids without supervision
  • Performance and stunt mode not as effective as other models

10. Best Premium Glider: E-flite UMX Radian BNF

E-flite UMX Radian BNF

Why we like it: Outstanding maneuverability and an extended flight time make the UMX Radian worth the splurge.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Ready-to-fly
  • Style: Glider
  • Age range: 14 years and up
  • RC range: 100 yards +
  • Battery life: 10-20 minutes
  • Control Channels: 3
  • Propulsion/battery system: 8.5mm coreless brushed motor powered by a single-cell Li-Po battery

It may set you back a little more than other gliders on the market, but the UMX Radian delivers the goods. A refined AS3X Stabilization System keeps the body sailing smoothly through the air even during turbulence, while its simple-to-use three-channel control system is basic enough for a kid to use (we recommend close supervision, though).

Don’t be deceived by the photos, because this model is incredibly small and lightweight (31 x 10 x 4.3 inches and 1.52 ounces). Of course, this featherlight stature is a boon once airborne, because the UMX Radian can soar further than ever before. Officially, its airtime is a modest 8 minutes, but a skilled pilot could run rings for as many as 20—just don’t expect to pull off any gnarly stunts. The unique bent wing design looks pretty nifty too, which adds an extra element of realism to the whole gliding experience.

Pros

  • Glides for a long time on one charge
  • Stable even in moderate winds
  • Can be used by children with supervision

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • Not suitable for stunts

11. Best Balsa Plane Kit: Guillow’s Piper Super Cub

Guillow’s Piper Super Cub

Why we like it: It’s fun to assemble as a family and flies pretty well for a model airplane.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Kit
  • Style: Biplane
  • Age range: 6 – 15 years
  • RC range: 50 to 100 feet.
  • Propulsion/battery system: rubber band motor

Building your very own Guillow is like a blast from the past, as these charming 1940s-era model biplanes haven’t changed much since the great war. Don’t expect an easy or straightforward assembly, however, as some of the instructions are less than clear cut. Nonetheless, the 12-hour process is a fun time for kids aged six and up, and the end result is rewarding for parents and their children to achieve together. And at this meager price point, the product represents superb value for money.

Model kits don’t dominate the air in the same way that ready-to-fly RC planes do, so it’s crucial to get your expectations in check. The wind-up rubber motor on the Piper Super Cub is better than most, however, and you can expect it to soar 100 feet or more in perfect conditions. Just remember that the lightweight balsa gets knocked about by the wind.

Pros

  • Fun though challenging 12-hour assembly process
  • The assembly is excellent parent/child time
  • Flies quite well for a kit
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Airborne performance can’t compete with ready-to-fly RC planes
  • Some parts of the assembly are frustrating

12. HobbyZone Champ RTF, HBZ4900

HobbyZone Champ RTF, HBZ4900

Why we like it: This easy-to-use pre-built glider from HobbyZone is great for beginners.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Brand: HobbyZone
  • Type: Ready-to-fly
  • Style: Glider
  • Age range: 10 years and up
  • Channels: 3 with throttle, rudder, and elevator
  • Propulsion/battery system: Electric motor with 150mAh Li-Po battery

Never flown an RC plane before? Then get ready to rock the skies like a champ with this fantastic product from HobbyZone. The gentle learning curve in this beast makes it one of the best options for first-timers on the market; it’s the perfect gift for quality father-son time. The plane is lightweight by design, so aim for calm weather if possible (ideally in the early morning or evening) to make the most of your inaugural flight. You can even take the glider for a spin in an ample indoor space like a gymnasium—just be careful not to bump into the walls.

Although the design is quite durable, it’s crucial to note this isn’t a toy and that children should operate it under supervision. The Champ can take a bit of a beating, but no RC plane is immune to misuse. Pro tip: practice landing on a grassy field before trying to touch down on the asphalt. It’s not the cheapest RC plane on the market, so the last thing you want is to smash it on your first go.

Pros

  • Easy to control for beginners
  • Flies beautifully in calm weather
  • Suitable for indoor use in a large area

Cons

  • Doesn’t perform in strong wind
  • Rather expensive

13. Best RC Warplane: E-flite RC Airplane P-51D Mustang

E-flite RC Airplane P-51D Mustang

Why we like it: This life-like Mustang is hyper-realistic and huge.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Kit (takes minutes to assemble)
  • Style: Warplane
  • Age range: 14 years and up
  • Propulsion/battery system: electric motor with a 3S LiPo battery

If you’ve fallen in love with the RC world and have the cash to splurge on something special, the P-51D Mustang from E-flite should be it. Warplane aficionados adore the realistic design of this wonderful war machine, not to mention how beautifully it cuts through the air.

A word of warning, though: big birds such as these aren’t meant for beginners, so put your credit card away right now if you’re new to the scene. Having said that, the Mustang is easy enough for an intermediate RC pilot to master quite quickly, especially upon activating the SAFE select flight envelope for enhanced stabilization.

The unit isn’t ready-to-fly, although assembly is rather straightforward and shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes or so. Bear in mind you’ll need to supply your own transmitter—this is a hobbyist’s plane, after all. And although the kids are going to fall head over heels in love with this thing, its delicate nature and high pricepoint mean you’ll have to keep a close eye on proceedings.

Pros

  • Life-like design
  • Flies beautifully
  • Looks fantastic

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Requires some technical expertise
  • Requires a moderate assembly process

14. Best Jumbo Jet RC Plane: Advanced Level RTF RC Jumbo Plane

Advanced Level RTF RC Jumbo Plane

Why we like it: This big beast looks and feels like a real-life jumbo jet.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Ready-to-fly
  • Style: Jumbo Boeing 747
  • Age range: 14 and up
  • RC range: 500 feet
  • Battery life: 7-8min on a 45-minute charge
  • Control Channels: 2, small rudder and big rudder
  • Propulsion/battery system: electric motor with 3.7v 300mAh Li-po

Some kids love warplanes, while others are more into helicopters and drones. And then there are those that adore oversized jumbo jets, and that’s where this beautiful Boeing 747 shines. It may not be as sleek or sophisticated as some of the stunt-orientated RC planes on our list, but this big beast feels like you’re flying the real thing—and it doesn’t get much cooler than that.

Of course, an authentic jumbo jet is rather cumbersome, so don’t expect to pull off any crazy tricks. You’ll need quite a lot of space for taking off and landing too, just like the real thing.  On the plus side, the jumbo jet can run rings up to 500 feet from the controller, a far superior range to many of its competitors.

Pros

  • Cool jumbo design
  • Large 500-foot range
  • Fun to fly

Cons

  • Not great at stunts
  • Challenging to take off and land

15. Guillow’s Edge 540 Model Kit

Guillow’s Edge 540 Model Kit

Why we like it: A no-fuss DIY kit you can trick out with an electric or gas motor

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Kit
  • Style: Warplane
  • Age range: 10 years and up

Although we rate the look of the Guillow’s Piper Super Cub 95 a little higher, the Edge 540 is the option of choice should you want an easy, beginner-friendly kit. The attractive balsa wood kit is suitable for kids as young as ten, or perhaps even a smidgen bit younger with daddy’s supervision. The gorgeous and faithful 20-inch replica is lightweight, highly detailed, and easy to assemble—a perfect combination for when you want something simple that works.

And as a result, the model is popular with both school and home projects. Then once it’s complete, keen aviators can attach an electric motor (in place of the included rubber motor) to beef up its flying power.

Pros

  • Easy to build
  • Can attach an electric motor
  • Fun and faithful design
  • High-quality balsa with immaculate attention to detail

Cons

  • Included rubber motor has limited power
  • Less aesthetically pleasing than the Piper Super Cub 95

16. LBKR Tech RC Plane

LBKR Tech RC Plane

Why we like it: It’s a solid mid-range option that takes a simplistic approach to appeal to younger pilots.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Ready-to-fly
  • Style: Cessna Glider
  • Age range: 14 years and up
  • RC range: 300 ft.
  • Battery life: 15-20 minutes on a 30-minute charge
  • Control Channels: 2
  • Propulsion/battery system: Coreless motor powered by a 3.7V Lipo Rechargeable

The manufacturer might say this piece is suitable for ages 14 and up, but the reality is younger kids can get a kick out of this toy-like remote control plane. The reason we reckon it’s child-friendly is there isn’t a whole lot to the unit—it’s easy to fly, and its moderate price point won’t make you cry if it breaks.

The LBKR Tech RC Plane only has two control channels (up/down and left/right), which makes it  simple to master, even for the absolute novice. The model also boasts a 6-axis gyro for extra stabilization, as well as a durable EPP foam body to prevent it from cracking during a crash. And the 300 foot RC range is impressive for a mid-range model, even better than some of the upmarket options on our list.

Another top advantage for the little ones is the uber-basic joystick-style controller, which looks and feels just like a PlayStation controller—something almost every kid is already familiar with.

Pros

  • Easy to fly
  • Great for kids and beginners
  • Built from durable EPP foam
  • High 300-foot range

Cons

  • Not that thrilling for experienced pilots
  • Can’t do many cool tricks

17. Best Large RC Airplane for Kids: E-flite RC Airplane Turbo Timber

E-flite RC Airplane Turbo Timber

Why we like it: This big beautiful Cessna flies smoothly through the clouds.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Ready-to-fly (simple assemblage required)
  • Style: Turboprop seaplane
  • Age range: 15 years and up
  • Propulsion/battery system: BYO battery, transmitter, and charger

E-flite makes a whole host of high-end RC planes, and this behemoth of a Cessna lives up to their high standards. The first thing you need to know about the Timber is it’s big—tremendously big. In fact, with a whopping 5-foot wingspan, this is the largest RC plane on our list.

Yet despite its cumbersome frame, the Timber glides through the sky with ease and feels terrific to control, probably due to the SAFE envelope protection system that enhances airborne stabilization. Furthermore, it doesn’t need much room to take off and land, which is a surprise for a plane of this size and largely thanks to its shock-absorbing tundra-style wheels.

A downside to its immense stature, of course, is its portability. Truth be told, the Timber is a little tiresome to lug around. At least you can easily disassemble it when you’re struggling to fit her into your car.

The model does require some assembly, and you’ll need to add your own transmitter, battery, and receiver, none of which is a deal-breaker for the avid enthusiast. Indeed, the only reason we’ve ranked this so low on the list is it isn’t particularly kid-friendly. If you do let your little one take the reins of this pricey piece of kit, then we recommend you do so under stringent supervision.

Pros

  • Massive plane that feels wonderful to fly
  • Excellent mid-air stabilization
  • Doesn’t require much room to take off and land

Cons

  • Not suitable for young children
  • Expensive

18. Guillow’s Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Model Kit

Guillow’s Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Model Kit

Why we like it: This epic Flying Fortress model will capture the imagination of any little boy.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Kit
  • Style: Flying Fortress
  • Age range: 6 – 15 years
  • Propulsion/battery system: rubber motor

Ask any aviation-loving kid which WWII-era airplane they like most, and chances are they’ll tell you the Flying Fortress. And why wouldn’t a young mind become immediately enthralled by this behemoth Boeing aircraft?

From the sliding canopies to the retractable landing gear and the droppable bombs, the model is about as life-like as they come and feels fully equipped to blow enemies out of the sky. The plane is larger than most Guillow kits (with a 24” wingspan), which is appropriate considering the type of aircraft. As an interesting aside, Guillow has been making model warplanes since 1926, well before the Boeing B-17G was a thing.

The downside to this model is it’s more challenging to assemble than most, so give it a wide berth if you’re not experienced at kit planes (pro tip: try using an x-acto knife and modeler’s glue). You’ll need to provide plenty of guidance to your child along the way as the instructions can get a bit befuddling at times. Nonetheless, the challenge just makes the final result all the sweeter.

Serious flyers can bolt on their own custom RC electric or gas engine, although it doesn’t fly that well, so most folks are just happy to leave it as a display model.

Pros

  • Extra-large model plane
  • Cool Flying Fortress design
  • Realistic features

Cons

  • Difficult to assemble
  • Doesn’t fly very well

19. PLRB Predator Drone

PLRB Predator Drone

Why we like it: The thing flies reasonably well, and there’s no denying predator drones are cool.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Kit (requires only minor assembly)
  • Style: Predator drone
  • Age range: 14 years and up
  • RC range: 240-360 feet
  • Battery life: 20 minutes on an 80-minute charge
  • Channels:  2
  • Propulsion/battery system: Coreless motor powered by a 1S Lipo rechargeable battery

It’s a little on the basic side, but the Predator Drone from PLRB is easy to fly thanks to its two-channel control system and three-axis gyroscope—the ideal option for novice pilots looking for their first taste of RC life. And should the craft go down deep within enemy territory, its durable EPP foam frame safeguards from breakage so your child can pick it up and have another crack. Landing, however, can be a little tricky as the front wheel has a nasty habit of falling off.

Although it’s classified as a kit plane, the drone only requires a small amount of assembly, which is fun to do together with your child.

Before taking off, be aware that the plane’s ultra-light nature means it can’t handle even a gentle breeze, and it’s easy to outrun the RC range due to its high top speed.

Pros

  • Incredibly fun to control
  • Easy to fly
  • Goes fast and handles well

Cons

  • Landing wheels are a bit flimsy
  • Doesn’t perform well in the wind
  • Easy to fly past the RC range

20. Guillow’s Cessna 170

Guillow’s Cessna 170

Why we like it: Parents can enjoy quality craft time with their little ones thanks to this ultra-accessible and easy-to-construct Cessna kit.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Kit
  • Style: Cessna
  • Age range: 6 – 15 years
  • Propulsion/battery system: Rubber motor or BYO electric/gas

We’ve included several Guillow products on our list because the company does a stand-up job at creating high-quality laser-cut balsa kits that parents and children can assemble together. And if you’re little one is new to the hobby, then the Cessna is the top option for you.

Unlike the Guillow’s Piper Super Cub 95, this stylish little Cessna is simple enough for a first-timer to assemble. Its straightforward instructions are even notably easier to figure out than the  Edge 540 Model Kit, making it the most user-friendly option on the entire Guillow product range. But that’s not to say the classic WWI seaplane isn’t enjoyable—this 24” model offers up to 12 hours of construction fun.

The secret to Guillow’s success is that instead of using cheaper die-cut pieces, the company insists on high-quality laser-cut balsa. This high-end material allows the parts to pop right out of the sheet and affords a quality feel and finish, which is reflected in the completed model. We also love the fact that Guillow gear is made right here in the USA.

The plane flies reasonably well for a kit model, but don’t expect it to compete with our recommended ready-to-fly machines.

Pros

  • Easy to build
  • Made from high-quality laser-cut balsa
  • Made in the USA
  • Classic Cessna design

Cons

  • Doesn’t fly as well as ready-to-fly planes
  • Not challenging enough for expert kit builders

Wrapping Up

smiling child holding remote control airplane

Now that we’ve covered the top 20 RC planes for kids on the market, all that’s left to do is pick the product most suitable for you and your kid. Take into account your household budget and your child’s personal taste then whittle down this list until you pinpoint the ideal choice.

And remember, flying an RC plane together with your little one is an awesome way for everyone to enjoy some much-needed child-parent bonding time.

Happy flying, folks.