Are a great way to experience rc flight at modest cost. Most rc model airplane gliders fall into one of two major groups: powered and unpowered.
Powered gliders typically have a geared electric motor and a folding propellor. Guided by the same type of radio as other rc airplanes, they use the motor power to climb to altitude, then turn off the motor allowing the propellor blades to fold back against the fuselage for reduced drag. With a broad wings and aerodynamically clean lines, flights can literally last for hours! However if you lose altitude, then simply power back up and continue to fly – or as glider pilots term it – to soar! When time comes to land, the power is always available to give an extra boost back to your field, if needed.
Unpowered glides have no motors, but can be thrown into the air, or off a steep hill. There is even a discus-style of launching! Other methods of launching include stretched latex cords for “bungee” launching, or pulls from a winch or even from friends willing to run with a tow line while you pilot in an upwards fashion. Particularly popular in the western US and in Europe is “slope soaring” in which a launch from a hill or cliff allows the rc model airplane gliders to soar in the upslope wind currents. As always you can simply cruise around, or join in competitions or combat between the gliders.
A powered glider is a great addition to your car for spur of the moment forays across a grassy hillside or above a school soccer field – rc model airplane gliders are quiet, inexpensive and a lot of fun!