This article is from the Radio Control (R/C) Flying FAQ, by Shamim Mohamed firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
A 2-channel (rudder+elevator) polyhedral [see below] glider is just about
the easiest way to learn to fly, and is highly recommended. Once you can
handle that you can move up to rudder-elev.-spoiler-flap competition
ships or (on the slope) rudder-elevator-aileron-spoiler aerobatic ships.
Sailplane plug (aka religious sermon): ... don't think glider flying is
just "launch, glide back"---It's very easy to get 30+ minute flights and
about 1000' altitude. Remember, power flying is limited by the size of
the fuel tank (about 10 minutes) and gliders are limited by the receiver
batteries (about 2 hrs). And glider flying is *much* more challenging (my
opinion, of course), while at the same time being easier to learn. And no
fuel costs, no starting hassles, no cleanup afterwards... Also, many
cities have ordinances prohibiting model engines, which means the flying
fields are outside city limits. BUT, since sailplanes don't have those
nasty, messy smelly things, we can fly in any large enough area!