This article is to help readers and potential customers of radio controlled airplanes decide which RC Planes are best suited for flying in windy conditions. To make that decision, one would first need to understand the requirements from a plane that help deal with windy conditions and then a list of those planes, available on the market.
Like with any RC airplane, a lot depends on the experience of the pilot, the type of plane he wants to fly (i.e. do you want to fly fast? Or is more relaxed flying your thing?). In a generic sense, a pilot can fly any plane from a glider to a jet in windy conditions; however, a lot depends on the preference of the pilot, the strength of the winds, the weight of the plane, power and technology on the plane for smooth flying.
That being said, in this article, we have compiled a list of airplanes that are known for their aerodynamic design in the market. Depending upon your requirements you can choose the one that suits you from the list.
Let’s get going!
RC Airplanes For Windy Conditions: Features
With gliders, the advantage is that the design of the airplane is made to take advantage of the wind so that the plane uses it to remain in flight. Usually, RC Gliders are those without motors or engines in which the pilot uses his transmitter to control the surfaces on the glider and thereby manipulate the plane while in the air!
Depending on the number of channels, the pilot may be able to control the rudder, elevator, aileron, flaps, spoilers, air brakes, etc. However, do note there are gliders installed with motors and additional weights to make them better suited for windy conditions.
Expert gliders made from expensive materials such as fiberglass or carbon fiber and made heavier by adding weights to the fuselage or wings can be capable of extremely high speeds and flying in windy conditions as well.
The idea with regards to flying RC Airplanes in windy conditions is that the aircraft has a low enough profile to ignore side winds and big enough wingspan.
In addition, if the plane has a motor, then it is necessary to generate enough power to keep the speed higher than that of the wind, so as to be able to control the aircraft in those conditions.
It is widely accepted that the heavier and sleeker planes with powerful motors and technologies such as SAFE (used by manufacturers E-flite) or the addition of Gyros (such as AS3X for example) help stabilize and control the aircraft in windy conditions.
Top RC Airplanes for windy conditions
Nimbus 4000mm Electric Glider RC Fiberglass Airplane
This is an RC Glider by manufacturer Nimbus and has a very large wingspan of about 157.48 inches. Although quite expensive, the features of this glider allow it to handle windy conditions quite well.
This model has a 1200 KV brushless motor to provide it power, 60A speed controller with a folding propeller and requires a 3200mAH LiPo battery which is not included with the purchase bundle.
Considering the cost and sophistication, this glider would be best suited for more experienced pilots.
E-Flite Variant 1.3m BNF Basic with AS3X and SAFE Select
This RC Airplane from manufacturer E-Flite is a 1.3m park flyer which gives the pilot the inherent stability of a classic high-wing model along with a sporty response.
There are also functional flaps and the option to add floats, thereby landing in water.
It comes with a gyro (AS3X) and technology called SAFE, which when coupled with its high-output brushless electric motor, makes for a very good flying experience in windy conditions!
The AS3X (Artificial stabilization – 3 axes) receiver works to smooth out the effects of wind and turbulence.
E-Flite Maule M-7 1.5m BNF Basic with AS3X and SAFE Select
Another model that does well in the wind, thanks to similar features such as the AS3X for flight stability and the SAFE Select.
In addition, the detailing, paintwork and LED lights add to the fun of flying this plane.
The factory-installed 3S and 4S brushless electric motors delivers plenty of power for pilots to confidently power through the air, even with windy conditions.
E-Flite Carbon-Z Cub SS 2.1m BNF Basic with AS3X and SAFE Select
The Carbon-Z model from E-Flite is quite large!
The curved wingtips give pilots better control thanks to increased wing and aileron area and therefore also better stability in windy conditions. Further, this increased area also ensures improved slow-speed performance. The modified flap design (from previous models) allows them to travel both ways for full-span aileron and other mixing options.
This RC Airplane with its giant wingspan while maintaining a low profile helps ignore side winds and currents. It weighs about 8 pounds which, when combined with its powerful motor and AS3X allows the pilot to easily maneuver the plane even during windy conditions.
As it is a bit pricey and quite a large plane, this model might be best suited for pilots with some experience in flying RC Airplanes.
E-Flite Night Radian FT 2.0m BNF Basic with AS3X and SAFE Select
The E-flite Night Radian FT is an updated version of the incredibly popular 2-meter motor glider.
It also features a versatile LED light system for night flying. The availability of the AS3X and SAFE Select technologies ensure that this glider can be flown during the day as well as night.
The large wingspan, use of carbon fiber and powerful motor allows pilots to handle even windy and high lift conditions.
This model has the 30A ESC plus a high power brushless motor with folding prop along with other features translates to this glider being a lot of fun for sport flying and night flying!
FMS F7F Tiger Cat 1700mm RC Airplane
This model has a powerful twin KV440 motor with twin Predator 60A ESC, making this a very powerful scaled version of a warplane used during World War II.
It is quite a heavy plane, which when coupled with its powerful motors allows it to handle windy conditions very easily.
Considering the price, technology and detailing, this would not be recommended for beginners but rather for more experienced pilots or collectors.
The Aileron, Elevator, Rudder, and flaps can be controlled by pilots to maximize fun and flight control.
It does, however, require some level of assembling by the pilot although that can be considered part of the entertainment. The 66.9-inch wingspan also helps with maneuvering in windy conditions!
E-flite Opterra 2m Wing BNF Basic with AS3X
This model is known in the RC world for its advanced aerodynamics and lightweight construction.
The E-Flite Opterra was designed by the collaboration between George Hicks and Mike McConville – two of the model aviation’s premier aircraft designers. These designers are known around the globe for designing some of the great RC planes in the world.
An interesting point to be noted about this model is that by using a Hero GoPro 3, you can virtually put yourself in the pilot’s seat and enjoy the FPV.
An airframe made out of Carbon fiber, efficient winglets & fins on the fuselage enables this model to easily maneuver in even harsh weathers. The 2m wingspan of the glider also helps with maneuvering in windy conditions.
Conclusion: 7 Best RC Planes for Windy Days
If you are planning to buy an RC plane, the first thing you need to keep in mind is your expertise.
As mentioned in the earlier section a pilot can fly any plane from a glider to a jet in windy conditions and it all depends on the expertise of the pilot. You should also be clear about how much time are you going to invest in flying your RC plane and whether you plan on using it for anything other than recreational purposes.
Flying a plane in a windy condition can be quiet daunting. We would suggest you get some good experience in flying before you try flying your RC plane in windy conditions. And if you still want to buy a plane which you can fly in windy conditions, you can choose one from the list.