People generally think of Radio Control as soon as model aircraft is mentioned, overlooking the two other branches of aeromodelling, Free Flight and Control Line. These two branches may lack the appeal of realism that Radio Control offers, but they have their own unique challenges, particularly in competition work, and they are a much cheaper way of getting started in aeromodelling.
In Control Line model flying (C/L for short, also referred to as U-Control), the model is flown in a circle and controlled by a pilot in the centre holding a handle connected to two thin steel wires. The wires connect through the inboard wing tip of the plane to a bellcrank that translates the handle movement to the elevator, allowing manoeuvres to be performed. The pilot must turn to follow the model as it rotates in a circle. (You will get dizzy for the first few flights, but you will quickly get used to it.) Centrifugal force keeps the lines tensioned so that overhead manoeuvres are possible.