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How long does a plane last you?

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  • How long does a plane last you?

    I have been really interested in the world of RC aviation for the past few months, and have seen the most beautiful models. My question is, how long do people usually fly their planes before they retire them. I know crashing is a part of the hobby, but is it possible to get a few years out of a plane before destroying it?

    My question refers to both balsa and foamies.


  • #2
    If you are asking about a plane's natural longevity, then you have to eliminate "crashing" as this injects a parameter that can't be always controlled. If you include crashing, then I've seen guys (myself included) whose planes last 10 seconds - straight from the start of the take off roll and right into the garbage bin - OK, a few minutes then. Sometimes it take a while to gather all the pieces up.
    If you eliminate crashing, then you need to define at what point does a person get tired of a plane and at what point a plane wears itself out. The first point depends on the person and the plane. Of the 50 or so planes I current still fly, several of them go back 7 or 8 years and still fly well. Then there are planes that have components that are DOA, while others may take a couple of seasons before something on it dies and needs to be replaced. I have yet to see a plane naturally wear itself out. Your question doesn't have a simple answer for most.

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    • #3
      Every plane has an expiration date.

      I have foamies and balsa planes that are many many years old that I still fly. Some have a lot of hanger rash, some have less.

      Protecting the plane with things like wing bags or careful storage can keep a model airworthy as long as you can still power it

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      • #4
        I still have a park zone p51 that flys as great as the day I bought it

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        • #5
          I have an FMS F6F 1400mm Hellcat I still fly that was built about 10 years ago made of EPO foam, but I also have a F22 made from EPP foam that I built 3 years ago that the foam is getting a bit dry but still flies well. A good quality plane can last a long time if cared for ie storing it in a garage here in the South Texas heat will have an effect on it. I have a dedicated spare bedroom for plane storage, Balsa and monokote may need a bit more care as the monokote can deteriorate if exposed to heat or sunlight for long periods.

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          • #6
            all of mine have lasted a year, aside from the ones i've crashed and replaced - but then again, i only started flying a year ago...🤣🤣🤣

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