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4 Channel Radio Gives More Control (in Multiple Modes)
4 Channel Transmitter

Controls On A 4 Channel RC Airplane Transmitter

© J. James
Hobby-grade RC airplanes often have at least 4 channel controllers. 5 channel, 6 channel and more add additional buttons, switches, or knobs, or sliders to control even more functions. However, the basic 4 channels needed are controlled by two sticks that move up/down and left/right.

There are 4 modes of operation for RC airplane controllers. Mode 1 and Mode 2 are the most widely used.

Mode 1 is favored in the UK. Mode 2 is favored in the US. However that is not a hard and fast rule. Some pilots prefer one over the other depending on how they were originally trained. Some RC controllers can be set for either mode.

  • Mode 1: One of the reasons some pilots might prefer Mode 1 is that it puts the elevator and aileron controls on opposite sticks. Some feel that this is good, especially for beginner pilots, because you won't accidently change one while adjusting the other.

  • Mode 2: With both the elevator and aileron control on the same stick it acts more like the controls of a real airplane and provides more true-to-life flight control.

Mode 3 is the opposite of Mode 2. Mode 4 is the opposite of Mode 1. These might be used to get the same effect as either Mode 1 or 2 but reversed for left-handed pilots (or anyone who prefers it).

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