The Hong Kong Radio Control Soaring Society

Beginners' corner

Welcome to the beginner's corner. Here you can find the information of how to get into this wonderful world of R/C soaring.

Radio controlled (R/C) models used to be some high-tech and expensive hobby that only very few can enjoy. It is not any more in the recent years. Advance in technologies, materials and manufacturing process significantly reduced the production cost. Also more and more manufacturers entered the market further lower the price. R/C models are no longer far from reach now. However, unlike R/C cars and boats, the popularity of model aircrafts is still low. While the lack of flying site is sure a problem in Hong Kong, the other reason is the steep learning curve of R/C flying. Any beginner can successfully build and run a model car without big difficulties, but for model aircrafts, a small off center of gravity or a few degrees of misalignment could mean a totally unflyable aircraft. Furthermore, flying an aircraft requires good coordination of several control inputs which takes times to learn and practice. If you mess up when running your first R/C car, you can simply stop and pick it up and start over. For an R/C aircraft, however, it will crash before you can figure out what to do next. All these are quite a frustration to the beginners.

R/C glider is a very good choice for the introduction to model flying. "Gliders" mean powerless airplanes. They stay in the sky by the updrift of the air. Without the engine, they are relatively simple in construction and easier to the structure and material requirenment. For example, they allow the use of foam for the main material which is cheap, easy to use and very safe. It usually takes only a few evenings to build a foam glider, and on the next day it is ready to fly. Foam gliders are also very durable. Certain types of foam such as EPP are virtually indestructable. So beginners can concentrate on learning how to fly, not how to repair!

EPP gliders is a good choice for learning R/C soaring

With all that said, just don't take R/C gliders as a child's toy. Model aircrafts are not toys. Like any other R/C models, R/C gliders can be dangerous if it is not operated properly. An out-of-control model aircraft can cause serious injury. It is the responsibility of an R/C pilot to fly safely. We urge all the newcomers do not learn to fly without the help of experienced pilots. Learn the good practice of model flying and disciplines as well as the technique to fly.

Joining HKRCSS's training scheme is a very good way to start R/C soaring. This is a free of charge flying experience provided by our pilots. Try it yourself and see if you really like it, and get advise and suggestions from experienced pilots before you buy your first glider. This will save you time and money, and the most important, you will learn in safe and effective manner.

Here is a short video which would answer many of your questions about R/C soaring:

Here we collected some materials for the beginners about R/C soaring in Hong Kong.

HKRCSS Training Day
You can learn to fly R/C gliders with the pilots and instructors of HKRCSS.

Safety Rules
Safety is the number one priority! Be a responsible R/C pilot, please read and follow the safety rules.

Flying Sites
Here is a list of some popular R/C glider flying sites in Hong Kong.

Design and the making of a simple hand launch glider (.ppt / Chinese)
This Power Point presentation was prepared by our senior R/C pilot Mr. Y. C. Lui for the tutorial for a Green Council event. It is a very detailed document about the flying principle of a glider and includes instructions of designing and building a small hand launch glider.

Principle of RC Slope Soaring by Stanley Chan (
A comprehensive document about R/C soaring written by Stanley Chan. A must read for any beginners!

Making of the 26" Beetle by Stanley Chan (
Ever thinking of making an R/C glider from scratch? Let's see Stanley Chan's creation - the 26" Beetle that everyone can build! It is made of corrugated plastic sheets that you can buy in any stationery stores. With some simple tools and a few evenings of building you can make your own R/C glider!

A Beetle!

RC soaring forums

Starting from 2019, HKRCSS conducted a series of forums covering different topics of RC soaring. These forums are open to the public and are usually held on the training day (first Sunday of every month), led by experienced RC pilots or the committee members of the club. They will prepare material and lead the discussion. Participants are free to join and ask. The material will then be summarized and put here for reference. Through the discussions, we hope to increase and broaden the knowledge of RC soaring.


  1. How to approach for landing.
  2. How to find thermal.
  3. How to repair and sterngthen the airframes.
  4. RC soaring on different types of slope.
  5. How to find the Center of Gravity (CG) of a glider and diving test. (by Eric Chan - February 3, 2019)
  6. Battery pack DIY.
  7. Fly faster, stay longer.
  8. Safety flying and recovering of model gliders on the slope. (by Wong Wai Hung, River - March 3, 2019. Download the Summary)
  9. How to fully utilize the functions of a modern transmitter.
  10. Aerodynamic of model aircrafts.
  11. Motor setup of a power glider. (by Ken Ma - January 6, 2019. Download the Summary)
  12. CG of different types of aircraft.
  13. Introduction to F3F setup.
  14. Light up your aircraft - Aircraft lighting DIY.
  15. How to choose the correct motor and propeller.
  16. Special attention to your vehicle for travelling to the flying sites.