E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic – Beginner RC Plane in Review

Take to the heavens with confidence as we delve into the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic – your ticket to mastering the skies. Whether you’re just starting out or already a seasoned flyer, this comprehensive review will reveal why this RC aircraft is the co-pilot you didn’t know you needed. Get ready to discover the unparalleled blend of simplicity, technology, and performance that makes the E-flite Apprentice the ultimate choice for anyone serious about RC flying. Join us on a flight where we uncover all the secrets that help this model soar above the rest!

HobbyZone Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic
HobbyZone Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic
Best RC Planes

Welcome to the exhilarating world of radio-controlled flight – an arena where the sky is literally the limit. If you’re embarking on this adventure for the first time or are a seasoned pilot seeking to expand your squadron, you’re in the right place. And for those beginning their journey, rest assured, you’re not alone. Navigating through the best RC planes for beginners can be as thrilling as a maiden flight. The E-flite brand stands out in this crowded airspace with its commitment to quality and innovation, especially with models like the E-flite Apprentice S 15e, which has set a precedent in the trainer category.

Today, we’re focusing on a model that not only promises but delivers a seamless and enjoyable entry into RC flying – the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic. This aircraft has been engineered to offer an optimal balance of simplicity and sophistication, making it a prime choice for beginners yet still enticing for the veterans. It’s a plane that resonates with the excitement of novices and the knowing nods of experienced pilots.

As we take off into this review, fasten your seatbelts for an in-depth look at an aircraft that’s making waves in the RC community. We’re going to examine every nook and cranny, from the nose cone to the tail rudder, and provide you with the insights you need. Whether you’re looking to capture the joy of your first takeoff or the thrill of a smooth landing, the E-flite Apprentice is waiting to be your trusted co-pilot.

With an understanding of what makes a great trainer and the excitement of discovery in our hearts, let’s glide into an overview of what the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic brings to the runway.


In the world of Radio Controlled (RC) aviation, there’s a particular joy in guiding a plane through the open sky — it’s a blend of freedom, control, and the thrill of flight. For many, the gateway to this experience is the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic, a plane that has become a synonym for reliability and enjoyment in the RC community. This model is designed with the beginner in mind but doesn’t shy away from features that appeal to seasoned pilots.

The Apprentice STS 1.5m is an Ready-To-Fly (RTF) aircraft, which means it comes out of the box with nearly everything you need to get airborne. It’s equipped with the innovative SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology, which is engineered to provide maximum stability and minimal stress for pilots at any skill level. The RTF package includes the plane itself, a Spektrum DXS transmitter, a Spektrum 3200mAh 3S 11.1V Smart LiPo battery, and a Spektrum S120 Smart Charger, making the initial setup as seamless as possible.

The aircraft boasts a wingspan of 1.5 meters, allowing for stable flight, even in windy conditions, and its durable design incorporates a high-wing structure for better visibility and performance. The Apprentice’s electric motor is quiet yet powerful, providing enough thrust for exciting maneuvers without the complexity of fuel-based engines. For those worried about the inevitable bumps and bruises of learning, the plane’s robust construction can handle more than its fair share of rough landings.

Moreover, this model isn’t just a learning tool; it’s a platform that grows with you. Its design allows for easy upgrades and modifications, which means it can evolve as your skills sharpen. The Apprentice makes use of a tricycle landing gear system that provides stability on the ground and assists with smooth takeoffs and landings.

In summary, the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic stands out as a well-rounded aircraft. It’s forgiving for beginners, yet robust enough for experts to enjoy. Whether you’re taking to the skies for the first time or adding another bird to your fleet, the Apprentice promises a flying experience that’s as rewarding as it is exhilarating.

Best RC Planes for Beginners

As we delve deeper into what sets this aircraft apart, you’ll find that there’s a lot to love about the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m. From its intelligent design to the care put into its engineering, each aspect has been crafted to enhance your time in the air. Let’s soar into the reasons why you’ll simply love it.

Why You’ll Simply Love It

Imagine the first time you take the controls of the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic. You’re not just flying an RC plane; you’re piloting a seamless fusion of advanced technology and user-friendly operation that will enthrall both novices and veterans. The SAFE technology acts as your aerial safety net, offering stability and confidence with features like panic recovery at the push of a button. The 1.5m wingspan strikes a perfect balance—substantial enough for easy visibility and superior wind handling, yet not cumbersome.

What’s more, this isn’t just an aircraft; it’s your entry ticket into a community of avid RC enthusiasts. It’s a world where each flight builds your story, where seasoned flyers share wisdom freely, creating an invaluable network of support and camaraderie.

As you grow from beginner to skilled aviator, the Apprentice STS grows with you. Its design encourages exploration and skill advancement without sacrificing the thrill of mastery. It’s not merely a machine; it’s a companion for your aviation journey, respecting your pace and aspiration.

Indeed, the E-flite Apprentice STS is much more than a joy to fly; it’s a symbol of aviation ingenuity. Ready to discover more? Let’s transition to the intricate design and features that make this model an exceptional choice in the RC aviation market​

Key Features

The E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is an aircraft that embodies the zenith of user-friendly design, tailored specifically for those embarking on the journey of RC flight, as well as those seasoned pilots looking for a reliable training aircraft. Let’s embark on an exploratory flight through its key features, which set it apart as a distinguished model in the realm of RC aviation.

Starting with its heritage, the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m is the next step in the evolution of the highly acclaimed E-flite Apprentice S 15e. It maintains the tried-and-true form factor, with a large wingspan enhancing visibility and stability, particularly in breezy conditions. The integration of SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology is a pivotal feature that underpins the aircraft’s stability, making it exceptionally forgiving for beginners during the learning curve of flight​​.

This model comes replete with Smart technology components, including an advanced ESC (Electric Speed Controller), which provides a seamless, responsive flight experience. Optional enhancements such as SAFE Plus GPS-enabled technology and the Landing Assist Sensor (LAS) are available, which further ease the learning process and can be crucial for novice pilots​1​.

The included Spektrum DXS 2.4GHz transmitter sets a high standard for remote controls, offering unrivaled reliability and interference-free control, courtesy of the industry-leading DSMX technology. It’s worth noting that this transmitter is just the beginning; it allows for a smooth transition to more advanced Spektrum transmitters as the pilot’s skills progress.

Durability is not an afterthought with the E-flite Apprentice STS. Constructed from durable EPO foam, this aircraft can withstand the inevitable bumps and scrapes of training flights. Its lightweight construction doesn’t compromise on resilience, and in the event of mishaps, repairs are straightforward, keeping maintenance uncomplicated.

Pilots can navigate through three distinct flight modes – Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced – each calibrated to match the pilot’s comfort and skill level, affecting control authority over the plane’s pitch, roll, and yaw. The Beginner mode is particularly innovative, limiting extreme maneuvers to prevent disorientation and potential crashes. As pilots gain confidence, they can transition to Intermediate and eventually Advanced mode, unlocking the plane’s full potential for aerobatics and more dynamic flight characteristics.

Seamlessly transitioning into the “Technical Specifications,” we’ll delve deeper into the architecture of this aircraft, examining its dimensions, weight, and the intrinsic design choices that contribute to its remarkable flight performance. Stay aloft, as we chart the course from features to the fine engineering beneath the fuselage of the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic.

Technical Specifications

When selecting an RC plane, the devil is in the details. The E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is not just any trainer aircraft; it’s a symphony of precision engineering and innovative design that beckons both the rookie pilot and the seasoned flyer. Let’s delve into the nuts and bolts of this marvel.

  • Wingspan: The Apprentice boasts a generous 1.5-meter wingspan. This size strikes a perfect balance, offering enough surface area for stable flight without becoming cumbersome.
  • Overall Length: At 42.5 inches (1080mm), this plane has a presence in the sky, providing an optimal length-to-wingspan ratio for handling and aerodynamics.
  • Wing Area: With 515 square inches of wing area, lift is ample, facilitating ease of takeoff and stable cruising altitudes.
  • Flying Weight: At approximately 49 oz (1390 g), the Apprentice has a weight that ensures stability in various wind conditions while maintaining agility.
  • Motor Size: The plane is powered by a robust 840Kv brushless outrunner motor, offering a sweet spot of power and efficiency.
  • Radio: Included is a DXe transmitter with a 2.4GHz DSMX technology, providing a secure and interference-free control link between you and your Apprentice.
  • Servos: It comes equipped with four lightweight, high-precision servos that control the ailerons, rudder, and elevator with finesse.
  • Battery: The Apprentice is powered by a 3S 3200mAh LiPo battery, which provides ample flight time while keeping the weight distribution ideal for optimal flight characteristics.
  • Charger: An S120 USB-C Smart charger is included, which ensures that your battery is charged safely and efficiently, ready for your next adventure in the sky.
  • Approximate Assembly Time: Ready-to-fly straight out of the box, assembly is virtually nil, ensuring you spend your time in the air, not on the ground.
  • Skill Level: Perfect for beginners but equally capable of advanced maneuvers for more experienced pilots with a flip of a switch to turn off the SAFE technology.
  • Technology: SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology is the cornerstone of the Apprentice, offering panic recovery mode, beginner, intermediate, and advanced modes, which help in mastering the art of flight progressively.

In the skies, these specifications translate to a seamless, responsive flight experience. Yet, understanding what keeps the Apprentice aloft is only half the story. As we transition from the raw numbers that define its flight capabilities, let’s explore the craftsmanship behind this flying prodigy. The build quality and durability are where the E-flite Apprentice STS truly shines, reflecting a harmony of form meeting function.

Build Quality and Durability

In the realm of RC aviation, the resilience and robustness of an aircraft can be just as crucial as its performance in the air. The E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic stands as a testament to this principle, boasting a build quality that marries durability with a touch of elegance.

Crafted from high-density EPO foam, this model is not only lightweight but also notably sturdy, a combination that forgives the inevitable bumps and scrapes that come with learning to fly. The foam’s resilience ensures that minor accidents don’t turn into major repairs, which is reassuring for any pilot, especially the newcomers to the hobby.

The Apprentice’s wings and fuselage exhibit a thoughtful design that goes beyond mere aesthetics. The wings attach securely with bolts, minimizing the risk of in-flight disconnections and allowing for easy transport and storage. Similarly, the robust tricycle landing gear is designed to absorb the jolts and jounces of less-than-perfect landings, a common occurrence as pilots develop their skills.

Attention to detail is evident in the ergonomic placement of components, providing ease of access for maintenance while preserving the sleek lines of the aircraft. The result is an RC plane that not only looks professional but also holds up admirably under the rigors of regular use.

Moreover, the design of the E-flite Apprentice takes into account not just crash resistance but also the ease of making repairs. Modular parts are readily available, ensuring that should the need arise, you can replace components without a complete overhaul of your beloved plane. It’s this level of practicality and foresight that underscores the brand’s commitment to longevity and customer satisfaction.

Transitioning smoothly from the tangible aspects of the Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic’s build, we venture into the realm of its power source – the battery. Much like the high-grade materials used in its construction, the battery and its management system are pivotal in defining the flight experience. Join me as we delve into the specifics of the battery life and flight time, where the intricate balance between power and endurance comes to light, ensuring your time in the skies is both exhilarating and ample.

Battery and Flight Time

The essence of a great flying experience with any RC plane lies significantly in its battery life and flight time. The E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is equipped with a Spektrum 3200mAh 3S 11.1V Smart LiPo battery, which is the heart of its endurance, delivering long flight times that stand out in its class​1​. But what exactly does “long flight times” translate to for an avid flyer or a curious beginner?

Well, with proper power management, which involves efficient throttle use and judicious maneuvering, the E-flite Apprentice STS can stay aloft for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. This flight duration is a testament to the battery’s performance, which has been optimized to provide a slightly longer airtime than other batteries in the market. While this might not seem like a marathon for the uninitiated, it is a respectable duration in the realm of RC aviation, especially considering the plane’s size and capabilities.

Moreover, the included Spektrum S120 Smart charger caters to convenience, working seamlessly with various USB power sources. This means you can charge your plane with the same ease as charging your smartphone, ensuring that your plane is ready to take to the skies with minimal downtime.

Now, for those who are looking to maximize their time in the air, it’s all about how you manage the flight. Conserving power during less demanding maneuvers and knowing when to give it full throttle are skills that come with experience. And with experience comes the understanding that the longevity of your flight sessions hinges not just on battery capacity but also on how you pilot your craft.

Transitioning from the tranquility of a steady glide to the exhilaration of a high-speed pass, the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is not just about the time spent airborne; it’s about the quality of performance during those precious minutes. Let’s pivot to how this RC plane translates battery life into reliability and handling in the “Performance and Reliability” section.

Performance and Reliability

When the propeller bites into the crisp air and the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic gracefully lifts off the runway, you know you’re in for an exceptional flying experience. This RC plane doesn’t just fly; it performs with a confidence that’s reassuring to both beginners and seasoned pilots alike. Equipped with SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology, the Apprentice makes handling feel smooth and steady. The innovative design allows for panic recovery with the mere flick of a switch, ensuring that control can be quickly regained if the aircraft gets into an unexpected attitude.

The reliability of the Apprentice STS is one of its shining traits. Built to withstand the rigors of learning, the plane’s durable construction means it can take a few knocks and still be ready for the next flight. The brushless electric motor provides consistent power, offering a blend of efficiency and performance that keeps the Apprentice STS soaring high with minimal fuss.

In various conditions, from calm mornings to breezy afternoons, the Apprentice STS shows remarkable adaptability. Its performance remains stable, with SAFE technology adjusting to keep the flight smooth and enjoyable. This level of reliability gives new pilots the peace of mind to focus on learning and enjoying the flight, while experienced enthusiasts can appreciate the predictable performance that allows for more daring maneuvers.

The Apprentice STS also shines in its ease of use. The RTF (Ready-To-Fly) model means that setup is minimal, allowing you to get into the air quickly, without the need for extensive assembly or adjustments. And when it comes to handling, the plane responds with agility and precision, a testament to its well-engineered design and the high-quality servos that govern its controls.

Now, while the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic makes flying accessible and enjoyable, it is not without its limitations. Transitioning smoothly, let’s explore the full spectrum of what this aircraft has to offer, warts and all, as we delve into the Pros & Cons to provide you with an unvarnished look at both its shining moments and areas where it may fall short.

Pros & Cons

When contemplating the acquisition of an RC plane like the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic, weighing its strengths and limitations is paramount. Here are the essential pros and cons to consider:


  • Innovative SAFE Technology: The E-flite Apprentice comes equipped with Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope (SAFE) technology. This system is a godsend for beginners, providing multiple modes that progressively give more control as piloting skills improve. It’s a feature that not only makes initial flights less daunting but also grows with the user.
  • Ready-To-Fly Convenience: Right out of the box, this model is ready to soar. It saves precious time and the hassle of assembly, a boon for those eager to take to the skies without the delay of intricate setup processes.
  • Durability: Constructed with durable EPO foam, this aircraft can withstand the occasional rough landing, a common occurrence for those new to the hobby. This resilience means more flying and less repairing.
  • Powerful Brushless Motor: The plane’s brushless motor is notable for its efficiency and longevity. It provides ample power for a variety of maneuvers, satisfying the need for speed and agility for more experienced pilots.
  • Impressive Flight Time: With a capable battery, pilots can enjoy extended periods of flight, which is often a key consideration for hobbyists who wish to maximize their time in the air.


  • Price Point: The E-flite Apprentice sits at a higher price bracket compared to some entry-level models. For the budget-conscious, this may necessitate a second thought.
  • Size Considerations: Its 1.5m wingspan requires ample space for storage and transport. Those with limited room may find it cumbersome.
  • Learning Curve: Despite the SAFE technology, there’s still a learning curve. Absolute beginners may need a few trials to get comfortable, which is standard for the course in RC aviation but worth noting.

The E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic, with its SAFE technology and robust build, undoubtedly sets a high standard in the realm of RC aviation. For the aspiring pilot, it promises a flying experience that’s as enriching as it is exhilarating. Yet, the practicalities of cost and space may necessitate consideration. Understanding these facets is critical as they lead us to contemplate the plane’s value proposition. How does the E-flite Apprentice fare when it comes to getting your money’s worth? Let’s delve into the “Pricing and Value for Money” to discern the aircraft’s true standing in terms of investment and long-term enjoyment.

Pricing and Value for Money

In the world of radio-controlled aviation, striking the right balance between cost and quality is paramount. The E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is priced at $329.99, a figure that may initially raise eyebrows for the budget-conscious flyer. However, delving deeper into what this package entails is key to understanding the value proposition it offers.

The E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic isn’t just another model airplane; it’s a comprehensive training system. With SAFE technology included, this plane is designed to provide a stable and reassuring flying experience for newcomers while offering the flexibility for experienced pilots to perform advanced maneuvers​1​. This combination of beginner-friendly functionality with the capacity for more complex operations ensures that the Apprentice STS is not just an initial investment but a long-term companion in your RC flight journey.

Moreover, the value of this model is further accentuated by the fact that it comes with a range of essential components, such as a transmitter, receiver, and flight controller, making it ready to fly straight out of the box. The Bind-N-Fly (BNF) version, which requires a transmitter but often appeals to those who already have their gear, is slightly less expensive at $299.99​ at the time of writing.

When considering the value for money, it’s also worth noting the added conveniences, like the free shipping offers from major retailers like Amazon, which can sometimes inflate the upfront cost but actually save you money in the long run.

So, while the initial investment may seem steep for some, the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic stands as a testament to the adage “you get what you pay for” – a robust, reliable, and versatile aircraft that can grow with your skills. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pilot looking for a trustworthy trainer, this model offers a solid return on investment.

As we pivot from the cost consideration to who stands to gain the most from this investment, the next section, “Who Should Buy It,” will delve into the profiles of enthusiasts and pilots for whom the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is not just a purchase but a pivotal addition to their RC aviation repertoire.

Who Should Buy It

The E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is a model that garners universal appeal, yet it shines particularly bright for certain segments of the RC aircraft community. First-time flyers will find a steadfast ally in this aircraft. Its beginner-friendly features, such as the SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology, help novices maintain straight and level flight, making those initial take-offs and landings markedly less daunting. Parents looking to introduce their children to the joys of RC flight will appreciate the Apprentice’s forgiving flight characteristics, which provide a cushion against the inevitable rough handling by younger pilots.

For the experienced hobbyist who desires a hassle-free flying experience, the Apprentice STS delivers in spades. Its RTF (Ready-To-Fly) nature means seasoned enthusiasts can be airborne shortly after purchase, without the tedium of building and tuning. This plane also serves as a reliable secondary aircraft for skilled flyers, perfect for leisurely days at the park when the primary, more complex models remain at home.

Educators and instructors in the world of aviation will find the E-flite Apprentice to be a valuable teaching aid. The plane’s stable flight dynamics and multiple flight modes allow for progressive learning, ensuring a structured flight education path from simple maneuvers to more complex techniques.

Photography and videography aficionados with a penchant for aerial shots may also benefit from the Apprentice’s steady flight, as it can serve as a platform for lightweight cameras, although this is not its primary design purpose.

Lastly, those who cherish the peace of mind that comes with durability should gravitate towards this model. It’s designed to withstand the bumps and scrapes of learning, meaning more time flying and less time fixing.

As you consider joining the ranks of the E-flite Apprentice aficionados, it’s prudent to arm yourself with knowledge. In the following section, we’ll illuminate the “Important Things to Know Before Buying the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic” – because a well-informed purchase is the precursor to countless hours of aerial delight.

Important Things to Know Before Buying the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic

When considering the leap into the exhilarating world of RC aviation with the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic, there are pivotal facets you should be cognizant of. These will ensure your decision is not only informed but also sets you up for an unmatched remote-controlled flight experience.

  • Ready-to-Fly Design: The E-flite Apprentice comes ready-to-fly (RTF), which means minimal assembly is required. This is ideal for beginners who might not yet be familiar with the intricacies of building an RC plane. However, it’s essential to understand that “minimal” does not mean “none” – you will still need to perform some basic setup tasks before your first flight.
  • SAFE Technology: SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology is a remarkable feature that helps protect the inexperienced pilot from losing control of the aircraft. It’s important to know that while SAFE can significantly aid in flight, it’s not a substitute for learning how to fly an RC plane properly. Pilots should still invest time in learning flight basics to fully enjoy the Apprentice STS.
  • Size Requirements: With a 1.5-meter wingspan, the Apprentice STS is not a small plane. Before you buy, ensure you have enough space to store it safely and an adequate area to fly it, such as a field or RC airplane park.
  • Battery and Charger: The Apprentice STS includes a battery and charger, but it’s crucial to know the charging times and to have a proper understanding of battery care to maintain the longevity of your flights and the life of your battery.
  • Replacement Parts and Upgrades: It’s inevitable that at some point, you might need replacement parts or might want to upgrade your plane. Be aware of the availability and cost of E-flite Apprentice parts and compatible upgrades to enhance your flying experience or to make repairs as needed.

Equipped with this knowledge, you’re nearly ready to take the skies with confidence. But what happens after you’ve made your purchase? In the next section, “You Bought It, Now What?” we’ll navigate the exciting steps following your acquisition, ensuring that your transition from grounded enthusiast to pilot is as smooth and joyful as your future flights.

You Bought It, Now What?

Congratulations on your new acquisition! The E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is now yours, and a sky full of adventures awaits. But before you head out to conquer the blue yonder, let’s ensure you’re fully prepped for the journey ahead.

  • First, acquaint yourself with the manual. It’s not just a booklet; it’s your go-to guide filled with essential information to get you started. From assembly instructions to control checks, it has it all. Read it thoroughly; there’s wisdom in those pages that will save you time and prevent mishaps.
  • Next, register your model with E-flite. It’s a quick step that keeps you updated with the latest information and ensures warranty coverage. Plus, it connects you to a community of fellow enthusiasts who are just as eager to share their flight experiences.
  • Now, check your inventory. Your package includes the aircraft, a controller, a battery, and a charger. Inspect each piece carefully to confirm everything is in pristine condition. If you notice anything amiss, contact customer support promptly – they’re there to assist.
  • Charge your battery, but do so with vigilance. Use only the charger provided to ensure safety and battery longevity. While waiting, set up your flying space. Choose a wide-open area, free from obstructions – a local RC airfield or a quiet park can be ideal spots.
  • Once your battery signals readiness, it’s time for a pre-flight checklist. Secure all moving parts, check your control surfaces, and test your controller’s response. Ensure everything operates as smoothly as the breeze you’ll be flying in.

As you stand ready to embark on this thrilling endeavor, remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Navigating the skies with your E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is not just about exhilaration; it’s also about safety and respect for the craft and your surroundings. Speaking of safety, let’s smoothly transition into ensuring your flights are not only successful but also secure.

Safety First: Having Fun With Your RC Plane Responsibly

Ensuring safety while indulging in the thrill of flying the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is paramount—not only for the longevity of your RC plane but also for the well-being of you and those around you. Here are some key safety measures to keep in mind:

  • Pre-Flight Checklist: Before each flight, conduct a thorough inspection of your aircraft. Check for any loose parts, ensure the battery is securely fastened, and verify that the control surfaces are responding correctly.
  • Understand the SAFE Technology: The Apprentice STS is equipped with Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope (SAFE) technology. Familiarize yourself with its three flight modes—Beginner, Intermediate, and Experienced—as well as the Panic Recovery mode. These features are designed to assist pilots of all levels, but understanding how to utilize them effectively is crucial.
  • Keep a Clear Flight Area: Always fly in a wide-open space, free from obstructions. Avoid areas with crowds, and always be aware of your surroundings. This ensures not only your safety but also that of bystanders.
  • Respect Weather Conditions: Even though the Apprentice STS is robust, adverse weather can affect its performance. Windy or wet conditions can be challenging and potentially dangerous. Fly on calm, dry days for the best experience.
  • Follow Local Regulations: Each area may have specific rules regarding the use of RC aircraft. Make sure you are familiar with and adhere to these regulations to avoid any legal issues.
  • Buddy System: If you’re a beginner, consider flying with a more experienced pilot initially. This can provide you with valuable insights and an extra pair of eyes to help manage any unexpected situations.
  • Emergency Procedures: In case of an unforeseen event, have a plan. Know how to cut power to the motor and how to safely land your plane in an emergency.

Responsibility is the companion of fun when it comes to RC aviation. By adhering to these safety measures, you ensure that every flight with your E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is not only enjoyable but also secure.

As you embrace these safety practices, you’re now ready to take the next step. Let’s gear up and pave the runway for success by setting up your Apprentice STS for its inaugural flight. With the safety checks out of the way, you’re poised for a smooth takeoff into the fascinating world of RC flight.

Setting Up for The First Flight

Before you experience the thrill of its maiden voyage, a proper setup is crucial to ensure both safety and success. Let’s walk through the process, step by step, ensuring your first flight is as smooth as the aircraft’s sleek design.

First and foremost, find a spacious and open area, free from obstructions and distractions. Safety is paramount, and your flying zone should reflect that. Once you’ve selected the perfect spot, begin by inspecting all components of your E-flite Apprentice STS right out of the box. Check the wings, fuselage, and control surfaces for any signs of damage or defects. It’s rare, but shipping can sometimes be less than gentle.

Next, ensure the battery is fully charged. The E-flite Apprentice STS comes with a Smart battery that makes charging simple and straightforward, but patience is key. A full charge ensures maximum flight time and optimal performance. While you wait, familiarize yourself with the controller, making sure you understand each button and control. This knowledge will be invaluable once your plane takes flight.

Assembly is a breeze with the Apprentice STS. With its RTF (Ready-To-Fly) status, most of the intricate work has been done for you. However, you should still attach any remaining parts, like the wings and tail, following the manual to the letter. A secure fit is essential to maintain the integrity of your aircraft in flight.

Once assembled, it’s time to bind your transmitter to the receiver, ensuring responsive and precise control. Follow the instructions provided meticulously, as this process is the lifeline between you and your aircraft. With the E-flite’s advanced technology, this step is usually a seamless affair.

Before you line up for takeoff, conduct a pre-flight check. This includes testing the control surfaces—ailerons, elevators, and rudder—to confirm they’re moving correctly in response to your transmitter inputs. Additionally, check the motor’s responsiveness and ensure the propeller is securely fastened.

You’re almost ready for the thrill of the first flight. But remember, even the most advanced aircraft like the E-flite Apprentice STS needs a pilot who is prepared. Take a moment to breathe and center yourself, embracing both excitement and responsibility.

With the groundwork laid and the pre-flight checklist complete, your E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is primed to soar. It’s at this juncture, with the anticipation high, that we shift focus from preparation to execution. In the following section, “Tips for Flying your E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic,” we will navigate the nuances of flight, ensuring your experience in the sky is as rewarding as the meticulous setup you’ve just accomplished.

Tips for Flying your E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic

Embarking on the maiden flight with your E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic can be a thrilling experience. To ensure you make the most of this adventure, here are some essential tips to help you soar confidently:

  • Understand SAFE Technology: Your E-flite Apprentice comes with Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope (SAFE) technology, designed to provide maximum stability and control. Familiarize yourself with its three modes—Beginner, Intermediate, and Experienced—to make the most of each flight according to your skill level.
  • Pre-Flight Checklist: Always conduct a pre-flight inspection. Check the control surfaces, ensure the battery is fully charged and properly seated, and that all components are secure. A thorough check can prevent mishaps and ensure a smoother flight.
  • Ideal Conditions: For your initial flights, choose a day with calm weather. Wind can be a challenge for even seasoned pilots, so it’s best to learn the ropes in gentle conditions.
  • Space to Soar: Select a spacious and open area, free from obstructions such as trees and buildings. A large, open field is perfect for beginners to maneuver and land safely.
  • Buddy Up: If possible, have an experienced RC pilot with you. They can offer real-time advice and assist with the Buddy Box system—if your model is equipped—allowing them to take control if necessary.
  • Gradual Throttle: Begin with gentle throttle increases to get a feel for the power. Your Apprentice is designed to lift off smoothly without the need for full throttle.
  • Stay Oriented: Keep the Apprentice in a comfortable range and altitude where you can clearly see its orientation. Losing sight can lead to loss of control, so it’s crucial to maintain visual contact.
  • Gentle Maneuvers: Start with simple and gentle maneuvers. Sharp turns or aggressive moves can lead to a stall or spin, especially if you’re not yet accustomed to the plane’s response.
  • Use Trim Sparingly: If the plane is veering off course, use the trim controls to adjust. However, do this sparingly; minor adjustments can make significant differences.
  • Plan Your Landing: Before taking off, plan your approach and landing. Make sure you know the direction of the wind and have a clear runway for a smooth touchdown.

As you glide through the sky, revel in the freedom and keep these tips in mind to enhance your flight experience. Remember, every successful flight paves the way for the next, and taking care of your E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is just as essential as learning to fly it. Let’s transition now into ensuring the longevity of your cherished RC plane with some key maintenance insights.

How To Care For Your E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic

Caring for your E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is pivotal to ensuring that each flight session is as exhilarating as the first. Maintenance is not just about prolonging the life of your RC plane; it’s about securing the quality of performance and safety in the skies.

Begin with the visual inspection. Before and after each flight, do a walk-around. Check for any signs of wear or damage on the wings, fuselage, and tail section. Even the smallest crack or bend could influence your Apprentice’s aerodynamics.

Next, it’s crucial to keep the moving parts moving smoothly. A silicone or plastic-safe lubricant can keep servos and control surfaces free from grime and responsive to your commands. Remember to apply sparingly; a little goes a long way.

The battery demands respect and care. Always use the charger provided with your E-flite Apprentice, and follow charging instructions meticulously. Store the battery in a cool, dry place, and never leave a charging battery unattended. It’s wise to invest in a LiPo safe bag for charging and storage, which can help contain any mishaps.

After each flying session, clean your aircraft. Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe away any dirt or debris. Avoid harsh chemicals that can degrade the materials over time. For the electronics, a can of compressed air can gently remove any dust from servo motors and the receiver.

Firmware updates are often overlooked but can be essential. They ensure your Apprentice STS operates with the latest programming, offering you the best possible flying experience. Keep an eye on the Horizon Hobby website for updates and instructions.

Finally, always store your Apprentice in a safe, dry place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. This not only protects the electronics but also the foam from warping or discoloration.

By following these care instructions, you’ll help ensure that your E-flite Apprentice remains a reliable and high-performing aircraft. And while maintenance can help prevent many issues, sometimes challenges arise that require troubleshooting.

As we transition from care to correction, let’s delve into the common hiccups you might encounter with your E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic. Knowing how to quickly address these issues will keep your downtime to a minimum and your enjoyment at a maximum.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic

Navigating the skies with an RC plane like the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic can be a joy, but even the best models can have their off days. Troubleshooting is part of the learning curve and becoming a proficient pilot. Let’s address some common issues you might encounter and how to resolve them, ensuring your flight experience is as smooth as possible.

  • Binding Issues: Sometimes, the E-flite Apprentice may not respond to your transmitter. Ensure the transmitter is correctly bound to the receiver. Refer to the manual for binding instructions, and check that you’re within the proper range when attempting to bind.
  • Motor Won’t Start: If the motor doesn’t engage, verify the battery is fully charged and properly connected. If everything seems fine with the power, check the throttle trim and ensure it’s set correctly; it might be preventing the motor from activating.
  • Unexpected Nose Dives or Tail Drags: Improper center of gravity (CG) can cause your plane to pitch unexpectedly. Check the CG according to the specifications in the manual and adjust the battery or add weights as needed to balance the plane.
  • Control Surface Issues: Should the plane’s ailerons, rudder, or elevator not respond accurately, check for any obstructions or damages. Make sure the control rods are securely connected and the servos are functioning by listening for the sound of servo movement.
  • Loss of Signal: First, don’t panic. The Apprentice STS comes with SAFE technology that should level the plane and bring it back into control range. If you frequently experience signal loss, inspect the antenna placement and avoid environments with high radio interference.
  • Short Flight Times: If you notice the battery depleting faster than expected, ensure you’re using the recommended battery type and it’s in good condition. Also, aggressive flying and frequent use of full-throttle can drain the battery faster, so consider a more conservative flying style to extend your airtime.
  • Landing Gear Problems: After a rough landing, you might find the landing gear bent or detached. Check the mounts and use the appropriate tools to straighten any bends. In case of a detachment, reattach or replace the gear following the manual’s guidelines.

For all issues, remember to check the manual first; it’s an invaluable resource. If the problem persists or you’re unsure, reach out to the vibrant community of Apprentice enthusiasts or contact customer support for professional advice.

As with any complex hobby, a little troubleshooting is par for the course, and overcoming these challenges can be incredibly rewarding. Speaking of rewarding experiences, let me share with you a day that truly showcased the resilience and performance of the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic from our personal flight logs.

Our Experience With this RC Plane

In the bustling world of RC aviation, it’s not just the specs that tell the full story of a plane, but also the experience it provides once airborne. Having personally guided the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic through its paces, we can affirm that it stands out as a paragon of beginner-friendly flight without sacrificing the thrill that seasoned pilots seek.

From unboxing to liftoff, the Apprentice STS is a marvel of intuitive design. The Ready-To-Fly (RTF) format meant we were at the flying field in record time, with minimal setup. It’s here that the Apprentice truly shines. The takeoff was as smooth as one could hope for; with just a nudge of throttle, the plane ascended with grace and ease. In the air, the SAFE technology – a true game-changer for novices – offered a safety net that inspired confidence, allowing us to push the boundaries of our flying skills in a controlled manner.

We were equally impressed by the robustness of the Apprentice. It weathered a few less-than-perfect landings with barely a scratch, a testament to its durable build. Its flight characteristics were predictable yet responsive, a combination that we found deeply satisfying. Whether executing simple maneuvers or more complex aerobatics, the Apprentice responded with obedience and agility.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, our flying session came to a close, but the E-flite Apprentice left a lasting impression. It’s rare to find an RC plane that balances user-friendliness with the ability to grow with the pilot’s skill level. The Apprentice does just that, making each flight an enjoyable and educational experience.

With such a positive personal flying experience, one might wonder what grounds our praise beyond our own enjoyment. In the following section, “Why Trust Us?”, we’ll delve into the ethos and expertise behind our reviews, offering transparency into why our hands-on experiences with RC planes like the E-flite Apprentice STS can be the trusted companion to your decision-making process.

Why Trust Us?

How We Tested

Our approach to evaluating the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic is rooted in a systematic and thorough testing process. With our comprehensive repository of plans, drawings, and blueprints, we assess every aspect of the aircraft, from its aerodynamic design to its electronic components. Our test flights are conducted by seasoned RC pilots who monitor performance under various conditions, ensuring that our conclusions are based on solid, empirical data. Our review reflects hands-on experience, technical analysis, and a deep understanding of RC aircraft dynamics.

The Reasons to Rely on Our Expertise

model-aircraft.com isn’t merely a platform; it’s a convergence of passion and expertise. Our team’s decades of experience in both scale modeling and RC flying offer you insights that are both rich in historical knowledge and cutting-edge practices. We pride ourselves on crafting content that is detailed, instructive, and most importantly, grounded in real-world application. From every word of our guidance to the meticulous details in our reviews, our expertise is evident, providing you with information that’s as trustworthy as it is valuable.

Final Verdict

Final Verdict:

As we draw this review to a close, it’s time to weigh the merits of the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic, a model that has garnered appreciation for its stability and user-friendly features. This aircraft is not just another addition to the market; it is a thoughtfully upgraded avatar of its predecessor, the beloved Apprentice S 15e, known for its generous size and robust performance.

The integration of SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology is a game-changer, particularly for newcomers to the RC aviation hobby. It provides a safety net that enhances the learning curve, making the E-flite Apprentice a reliable companion for first flights and beyond. This technology, paired with the option to upgrade to SAFE Plus and add a Landing Assist Sensor, places this model at the forefront of innovation in RC flight training.

The price point, while not insignificant, reflects the quality and capabilities of this trainer. At approximately $329.99, it strikes a balance between affordability and advanced features, positioning itself as an investment for serious enthusiasts and a reliable tool for clubs and instructors​.

When considering the powerful and efficient brushless power system, including a Smart ESC, this model promises performance that can satisfy both the novice seeking a gentle introduction to flying and the seasoned pilot looking for a reliable training aircraft.

Ultimately, the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic stands out as a comprehensive package that combines ease of use, advanced technology, and a solid build. It’s an investment that can offer returns in the form of skill development, confidence-building, and, importantly, the sheer joy of flight. For those on the threshold of the RC flying hobby or looking to refine their skills, this model is a compelling choice that promises many hours of gratifying flight.

If you’re convinced that the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic aligns with your aspirations as an RC pilot, we invite you to consider it as your next, or perhaps first, significant step into the exhilarating world of RC aviation.


What is the flight time of the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic?

The E-flite Apprentice typically offers around 15-20 minutes of flight time, depending on flying conditions and throttle management.

Does the E-flite Apprentice STS come with everything needed to fly?

Yes, the ‘RTF’ in its name stands for Ready-To-Fly, which means it comes with all essential components, including the transmitter, receiver, battery, and charger.

Can beginners fly the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic?

Absolutely. It’s designed with beginners in mind, featuring SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology to ensure a stable and controlled flight experience.

What kind of battery does the E-flite Apprentice use?

The E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Basic uses a Spektrum Smart LiPo battery, usually around 3200mAh 3S 11.1V LiPo, providing a balance of weight and power.

Is it possible to perform aerobatics with this plane?

While the E-flite Apprentice is not primarily designed for aerobatics, it is capable of basic maneuvers such as loops and rolls when flown by an experienced pilot.

Are parts readily available for the E-flite Apprentice STS?

Yes, replacement parts and upgrades are widely available, which makes maintenance and customization easy.

Does the E-flite Apprentice STS have a warranty?

Most E-flite products come with a limited warranty, but for the specific terms and duration, it’s best to check with the retailer or the manufacturer’s official warranty policy.

Can I fly the E-flite Apprentice STS with floats?

Yes, there are optional float sets available for the E-flite Apprentice, allowing it to take off and land on water.

What should I do if I encounter issues with the plane?

Consult the manual for troubleshooting tips, reach out to the retailer, or contact Horizon Hobby’s customer support for assistance.

How long does it take to charge the battery?

Charging time can vary, but with the recommended charger, it typically takes about 60 minutes to fully charge the battery.



A team of pure enthusiasts, we are deeply passionate about RC planes. With decades of experience, we love to share everything we know about RC planes: product reviews, safety tips, and the latest industry news. We are fueled by a pure passion for RC aviation and commitment to both beginners and seasoned hobbyists alike. Read more…

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