The Flying Lawnmower and Other Fun Flying RC Things


The Flying Lawnmower and Other Fun Flying RC Things


Airshows and Air Meets around the world love to feature RC planes as part of the entertainment. But when the airshow is an event exclusively for RC airplanes, you have to take the entertainment up a notch. One of the best ways to wow a crowd is with the best RC planes that don’t look like planes at all. Participants at RC airshows have reported everything from remote control lawnmowers to sightings of 1:1 scale flying people. Some of these fantastic RC imaginings are available as kits, while others are purely homemade. The only thing stopping your dreams from taking flight is a few servos and maybe some aerodynamics. Let’s look at some of the best flying RC creations so far.

Flying Lawnmower

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s… a Flying WHAT?

The RC Flying Doghouse

Any discussion about funny flying RC experiments must start with Snoopy®. Initially published in 1969, Al Signorino’s RC Snoopy’s Flying Doghouse design was one of the earliest custom non-aircraft kits. In the next few years, RC enthusiasts made improvements to the design, and it was re-published by Model Airplane News in 1971 with plans for how to make one yourself. The result was RC pilots and RC flying clubs everywhere could bring this creation to life, and some exist to this day, still running on their gas engines!

Snoopy’s RC Flying Doghouse has become so iconic that others have improved on the design, giving Snoopy a 3D overhaul (even allowing him to turn his head) and making it bigger. But if you like the original design, the Special Edition plans were re-released to celebrate the 50th Anniversary and published in Model Airplane News. Enthusiasts can purchase the plans from the Air Age Store.

The Flying RC Lawn Mower

At the Joe Nall Memorial Fly-In 2023, we saw another classic RC flying kit in action – a remote control lawn mower! The Flying Lawnmower, known as The Sky Cutter, was seen online as early as 2002.

This kit was available from FlyingThingZ, and the flight footage of this novelty RC airplane became a meme sensation.

Weighing in at about 10 pounds, this RC lawnmower kit doesn’t come with an engine, so modelers will need a least a .90 engine, if not larger, to get the kit off the ground. A transmitter, fuel tank, wheels, and prop are not included with the kit, but an experienced hobbyist can follow the provided instructions to complete this fun RC build.

The kit came with foam and laser-cut balsa wood to build the shape consistently in an aerodynamic(-ish) way.

The original Sky Cutter Flying Lawnmower kit may be hard to come by these days, but plans for a similar model, The Cloud Clipper, can be found online if you’re willing to build all of the parts you need yourself. Some RC forum users still have their original plans for this RC lawnmower from the kit, but again, you must recreate all the pieces yourself. Still, it’s a fun flying RC model worth the time, and audiences love it.

RC Witches and Flying Carpets

With a bit of balsa wood and your imagination, other things can come to life, too. The RC Flying Witch is another classic frequently seen in airshows, especially in October. The RC Flying Carpet is another fun RC airplane that will surely put a smile on everyone who sees it.

RC Dragons

Rick Hamel created an RC flying dragon complete with fire-breathing capabilities and over 600 airbrushed scales. He calls it his Mythical Beast, and the attention to detail on it is beyond impressive.

In a forum, Rick Hamel shared his desire to enter it into a scale RC competition. Still, as others in the forum commented, it’s hard to judge the scale of a prototypical dragon (if you can find one that will hold still long enough to measure it!). Below is a video of an interview with Rick and a look at the technology inside this Mythical Beast.

RC Birds

Flying RC birds are a common toy for children, but two companies have taken the engineering of RC birds to a whole other level. The first offers an opportunity for a career as an RC pilot: the RoBird®. Designed to mimic a real bird of prey in as many aspects as possible, the RoBird aimed to deter other birds in specific areas. Another goal was changing the flight path of migratory birds sending them in a safer direction and making it a humane choice for many industries.

The Nano Hummingbird by AeroVironment is the second bird-like contender in the world of fun flying RC things. The team tested more than 300 wing prototypes to make this tiny bird fly by remote control and installed a camera for an exciting FPV experience. There are pictures of this Nano Air Vehicle (NAV) launching off of the palms of celebrities circulating in the media. Although this RC bird is not for sale to the public, it inspires the imaginations of others who wish to take flight.

Unmanned Flying Men?

The RC-flying people rely more on drone components than RC airplane models.

However, the RC flight experiences they provide are unmatched. Ralph Kayser has developed a 1:1 scale RC flying man (nicknamed Manni Quinn) that brings to life our aspirations for jet-pack-powered flight. This RC model uses a Duocopter, seen in some drones and RC helicopters.

Other flying people seen at airshows and a handful of promotional events are the RC superheroes developed by Otto Dieffenbach. Otto develops RC airplanes to look like popular cultural icons (he has even re-created Snoopy flying on his doghouse in the hunt for the Red Baron).

The superhero lineup includes RC Superman, RC Ironman, and RC Ms. Emerson. You can also find RC Harry Potter (from the iconic RC Flying Witch, which he has, too), an RC Flying TARDIS, an RC Flying Santa in his sleigh, an RC Flying R2-D2, and more. Here’s a video of his greatest hits from 2011 through 2014.

Fun Flying Things in RC Simulators

In case you didn’t know, an airboat with an alligator as the pilot, known as Slater the Gator, is available in RealFlight® 8. You can learn more about Slater and his 3D flight moves in the RealFlight Forum. Be sure to watch for other RC airplane variants from the RealFlight team. The newest version of RealFlight (RealFlight Evolution) has expansion packs available quarterly.

Get Creative with Fun Flying RC Things

These are just a few unique ideas and creations for fun RC planes, helicopters, and drones that have been converted into fun flying RC things. If you want to get started, look into 3D printing files available to convert an RC airplane into something fun, or see what you can come up with from the spare parts you have of past RC airplanes and projects. Be sure your RC transmitter has enough channels for the action, too. The sky’s the limit (literally!).

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