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rocket_jim
01-08-2006, 10:07 AM
A few months ago I bought a HZ FB Commander II for some fun R/C flying with my 17 year old son who is growing up and away from me way too fast. After building a lot of planes as a kid and only getting to fly a little, I really liked the RTF plane in a box concept. Charge and go flying! I immediately crashed and broke it and bought a second one to fly while I fixed the first. Along with $100 for a quick-charger, a spare 7-cell battery pack for more power, spare wings and tail, etc. etc. Had both of them going at one time or another, but it was not fun. They were too fast. Took a huge flying field. Would not turn the way it seemed they ought to. Went too fast or too slow (eventually modified the transmitter to eliminate the throttle return-to-zero spring and that helped a LOT!) Tended to death-spiral. Cart-wheeled on landings and the prop ate up the wings. Got blown away in the wind, so really needed near-calm conditions to fly. On and on. Exciting and thrilling, perhaps, but not fun. They showed me that I want to fly, but what much better plane?

I was told the Slow Stick was a much more fun plane to fly, a better trainer, and can be flown on much smaller fields. Got one with stock 300 motor and a used 72 MhZ GWS radio. Used the 6- and a 7-cell 900 MaH NiMh packs from my Commander IIs. Have flown two different days, about 10 flights total. So far this is not fun. The plane feels heavy and underpowered. Feels really sensitive to control inputs some times and other times not. Stalls easily. Doesn't fly all that long on the batteries I have. Needs a totally calm day to fly, at least for me to fly. Eats props on landings, at $2.00 a pop.

They look fun to fly when I've seen others fly theirs. Doing stunts, flying low, doing touch and gos, etc. etc. Now I realize that what I saw was experienced pilots acting real cool doing risky things they have done many times. They seemed to be having fun, but now I'm not sure.

I've read that a SS with a brushless motor is "fun". But I don't want to be constantly upgrading equipment in a never-ending search for fun.

Bulding does not interest me much. Repairing is downright discouraging. It's flying that I want to do.

I've read about flyers of "real" R/C planes having a lot of "fun" for the buck with toys like the Air Hoggs Aero Ace (aka Twin-something or another). But so far I cannot find them around here to find out for myself. As near as I can tell from reading, most of such toy planes are junk and soon just trash.

So my question is what plane is "fun" and/or when does flying become "fun".

Thanks in advance.
Jim

Don Sims
01-08-2006, 11:50 AM
Jim, hate to hear about your frustration in flying. This is a fun hobby when you get things sorted out. Besides suggesting that you take a look at the "stickied" threads here in the forum, lets discuss some possible issues with the Slow Sitck.
Please address some of the following issues that I read in your post:

1) Have you been practicing on some sort of flight simulator on your PC? FMS is a free one that helps a lot with orientation issues when flying.

2) Is the CG or center of gravity correct on your SS? From your description it reads like you are off. Be sure to measure it with your batteries on the plane. Also I've known several people who have their wing installed too far forward.

3) Can the FB battery packs handle the SS 300 motor?? (I don't personally know, hopefully someone else can chime in here.)

4) Are you putting on your props properly? The writing should be facing forward.

5) Are you replacing parts if you just bang them up? You can repair the foam if it gets holes in it with packing tape. You can fix proken parts with a little 5 minute epoxy. Just use the repair material spareingly.

6) There's a lot of folks in Alabama who fly parkflyers. It really helps when you have someone experianced help you set up your planes at first.

Good luck!! Yes it is frustrating at times, but once you get over the learning curve it can become fun!!
Don

sobamaflyer
01-08-2006, 01:39 PM
I too jumped in last year w/ a Hobby Zone Aerobird with kind of discouraging results but couldn't kick the desire to fly. After destroying my first plane I spent a month or 2 playing on FMS (free simulator, should work w/ your GWS TX) before I could justify starting over again to my wife. It did a WORLD of good in the realm of reactions, orientation, general feel of controlling the plane etc, my next flying experience was fully night and day!

I have since gotten a Slow Stick and I too think you may have your CG off because I'm having a wonderful time with it, feel like I "look" like a seasoned pilot just as you described, it's so forgiving and just plain fun. My time on the FMS has me trying all sorts of fun antics in the air with this plane.

I know you said you don't prefer to build but I have also discovered the joy of the Foamie crowd, I bought a couple of motors, servos & recievers and am about to build my 3rd foam plane from plans easily available from great folks on this forum and RCGroups, you end up spending about $5/plane after that initial investment in running gear and I have found myself more willing to try out things I might be nervous about on a more expensive plane, when it dies, oh well time to cut out a new one :)

Good luck, stick with it if you find the passion for it, when things are working right it's like.....well, it's a lot of fun :D

rocket_jim
01-08-2006, 03:02 PM
Thanks! Lots of good ideas/suggestions in the very first two replies to my question. Unfortunately most of that I already know about or have already explored.

Early-on, before I got a transmitter, other than the two from my Commander IIs, I was limited to free simulators like FMS and keyboard-only inputs. What I found right away was that FMS lacks physics and the real ugly dynamics of a plane. For instance, it does not model that the nose drops, sometimes violently, when you do a turn with the rudder. And on hand launch into the wind, the plane does not immediately turn around and fly away. So I spent a few hours there, but dropped that. Have had advise to buy the $200+ simulator that's constantly running at my LHS, but not planning to do that.

I got advise about the CG from locals, even a recommended range of CG for a beginner that was a little in front of what's in the SS manual. Made a two-pencil balance checker and know it's right in the middle of that suggested range. Have since realized that if I packing-tape a pair of triangular or similar balsa pieces on both right and left wings at this CG point, I can with my fingers balance-check it there just by feel.

I got advise from the locals that they had flown the same batteries as I use their first year on their SS with the 300 motor, no problem. Others have recommended I go immediately to LiPos. Others have warned me that a newbie has no business using LiPos without a bulletproof protective flying case. Actually they suggested a kevlar-wrapped, CA-soaked, butcher meat tray enclosure.

Yes, I'm putting on the props correctly. I learned a trick from a local to write the size and pitch on the back blades in Sharpie so the right prop is easy to find in the toolbox and the correct direction for installation is easy to recognize. If you see the black writing on the front, then the prop is on backwards.

Yes, I used a lot of packing tape on my Commander IIs rather than actually replacing parts. On my SS, the last landing of the first day broke off the vertical stabilizer. I cut it off at the bottom and put it back on. My LHS says some people have done that so many times that the vertical stab looks silly and out of proportion, but it still works.

I got a local to fly my SS first and help set the trims etc. I appreciated his help a lot.

Forgot where I thought I remembered seeing it in your suggestions, but the SS is what a LOT of the locals fly. So I was able to get a lot of help and advise specing and building and flying it.

The one thing I do know about that I have yet to do is to bend in some down- and right- into the fuselage. Yesterday I could feel it "zooming" when I increased throttle. Could not trim it for powered flight because then it would immediately pitch down violently if the throttle was reduced. I've seen some local planes with what looked like 20 degrees of down and right motor thrust built-in. That seemed really odd, but now I understand it and will put in some with a 2x4 and my trusty vise. Hopefully that will make all the difference in the world and transform my SS into a fun plane. Well, it Could happen!

Matt Kirsch
01-08-2006, 03:58 PM
rj,

One of the things I'm seeing here is that you're trying to fly crooked, badly out-of-trim planes, and you just don't have the experience to handle the unexpected behaviors. The other thing I see is that you may be trying to fly when it's simply way too windy. For a Slow Stick or FBC2 to get snatched away by the wind after a hand launch, the wind has to be pretty gusty, at least 10MPH.

I agree, it's no fun bashing your head into a wall, but since you know you're bashing your head into a wall, why continue repeating the same set of actions that result in you bashing your head into the wall? I'm not saying that you should quit, but rather, you should change your approach. Luckily, you've come to the right place.

That SS shouldn't be behaving like you're describing, which is why I'm saying it's crooked and out of trim. A straight, balanced, trimmed plane is FUN to fly, but they don't automatically come out that way. You can even get away with the plane being a LITTLE crooked.

Look from behind. The wings and horizontal stab should look even on both sides. The vertical fin should look like it's 90 degrees from the horizontal. Look from the side. The wing and horizontal stab should be parallel to the fuselage. You could measure, but if you have a halfway decent eye, it shouldn't be a problem. Make sure the wing and stab don't have any drastic twists in them. Any of these misalignments can bring undesirable behavior to the party, and ruin the fun by making the plane unpredictable in flight.

Measure the chord (front to back depth) of the wing. Divide by four. That's where the balance point should be on this type of wing. Mark the point with a Sharpie on the underside of the wing on each side of the wing mount. Unless things move, the balance should not change.

Frankly, the batteries you're trying to use are not ideal. They're too heavy and don't have the voltage you need to get the power out of the motor. Get yourself an 8-cell pack of CBP750 cells from cheapbatterypacks.com. It'll be the best $16 you've spent in this hobby so far. Going to 8 cells will increase your power by 25%, and the smaller cells will reduce the plane's weight.

Even if you have to wait for the right time, wait until the wind dies down to almost nothing for your first flights. You need near-dead-calm conditions to be able to effectively trim the plane out for straight and level flight. Even 5MPH will bounce a Slow Stick around and make it VERY tough to trim.

Getting the plane flying predictably will help tremendously with the prop-breaking on landing. Another thing that will help is shutting the motor off. Also look into getting a "prop saver."

Schlepp
01-08-2006, 04:19 PM
I would recommend the Multiplex Easyster, get some 7 cell batteries and have fun! This plane will allow even hamhanded handling and still fly in the wind, not saying anything about your behavior:D I too have had the difficulties of trying to fly the wrong plane in the wrong conditions, frustrating to say the least. I use a two stick analog game controller for $12 from Walmart and lots of different models of plane on FMS, not the best but lots of good practice for nearly free, for get the keyboard, you learn nothing that way.
Then I tried jumping in with an Aerobird Extreme, WOW this thing can be a handful.
Then a Stryker, great fun and still improving.
Practicing in no wind conditions in front of the house on an Aero Ace, good fun and slight training practice.
Then the Easystar, flys in the slight wind that other planes can't tolerate, soars,glides and generally behaves better than the firebird series in the breeze IMHO
I was lucky and picked up an Easystar RTF for 150 but still a bargain at regular price but would recommend 7 or even 8 cell batteries to offer better power and control.
Good Luck:)

Jeremy Z
01-19-2006, 09:01 PM
Well, after reading a couple of your posts, it seems you are easily discouraged. There is a chance that this hobby is not for you.

Let's try this from a different angle:

Have you thought of a flying wing? I bought one as my second plane, after having mastered my T-Hawk. I was told that wings handle wind extremely well, that they are pretty aerobatic, and that they are nearly impossible to break. I've found these things to be completely true.

I'm having issues getting my elevons to work evenly at the moment, and that combined with a bad decision or two has resulted in very fast nose-dives. All four times, I've just walked over, and finding it in the weeds has been the hardest part. I check the controls, pick it up, throw it, and I'm off and flying again. (though a little more humble each time, hehehe)

They don't look like "real" planes, but they don't break like "real" planes either. Make sure you get an EPP one. I got used to the looks after a couple flights, and after a couple of crashes, I didn't even think about it any more. They are SO much more survivable than planes. When I was asking around about them, one person told me that he flies only wings now, as they are fun, and you are not grounded by wind, as you would be on most planes. I'd recommend that you go brushless/LiPo from the getgo, and it will be all the easier to fly in wind.

Head over to www.edgerc.com (http://www.edgerc.com) and download the video of the stock Overlord flying wing. This is a 48" span wing that is quite docile, as wings go. Justin's "stock" setup is still brushless, but is more mild than his modified setup. You will still have to put it together, but for a nominal fee, Justin will do it for you. Also, download the video of the crash testing of the Pocket Combat Wing. It is simply amazing, what those wings can take.

I haven't beaten on my Overlord so hard yet, but it doesn't look as if it has EVER been crashed when I look at it.

I'm sorry to have to admit that this is going to cost you some more money invested in this hobby, but it might just be the perfect solution.

Another idea would be to join a local club, and admit that you need help flying. There will usually be someone who will be more than willing to help you out, after you join the club and pay your AMA dues. You might go as far as to find out what types of radios are the most popular there, and buy one to go with your 4 ft. wing. Buy or borrow a trainer cord, and I bet someone in the club would let you fly one of their more "fun" planes once you've shown some aptitude.

Lastly, you might invest in a NICE simulator/PC. It is an expensive route to start, if you don't already have a good PC with video card, but crashes are FREE! You always have permission to fly expensive planes. Repairing & rebuilding only takes as much effort as pushing one button and waiting one second. (if that) Learning to fly helis is also free. FMS is good for the basics, but it is simply not as much fun as a proper sim. I bet your nearest large hobby shop has a sim set up on display to help sell copies of it.

Here's an alternative to the EdgeRC wings:
http://www.atlantahobby.com/shopexd.asp?id=400

It is molded, and will be quicker & easier to build, as well as easier to finish. But it won't be as fast or fun as the Edge Overlord with brushless motor. (The Ele Bee comes with a brushed Speed 400: please, which will not be too fast, but you will know if you're on the right track or not) Part of the fun of wings is that you can go fast without fear of damaging the plane when you crash. But watch out for people & property. (you ARE in the AMA & insured as such, right?)

I hope one of these ideas works! If not, you're just not patient enough. Sorry!

rocket_jim
01-20-2006, 12:51 PM
.....
Have you thought of a flying wing?
Thanks, Smaug, er.... Jeremy, for the suggestions.

No, I've not up to now seriously considered flying wings. Every time I mention wings at my LHS, the owner shakes his head and says they're too twitchy and fast for a newbee like me. I guess you cannot say "Trainer" and "flying wing" in the same sentence.

Several of the Renegades around Rocket City, that's Huntsville Al for those who didn't know, have Slingers. I've seen as many as 3 at a time in the air. They Rule! The slow sticks simply get blown away. But they don't remind me of a trainer. They seem to be able to fly in some wind. Perhaps it's because they go sooooo fast.

The sloper guys here have several different flying wings they fly. But they don't have a motor. And they require a slope that's physically inaccessible to me. So that's out for me.

I really would like something in my fleet that would fly in some wind. One Renegade has an EasyStar, and that looks like fun. It's certainly not a flying wing.

I bought a BeginAir, something a little like a T-Hawk, supposedly an aileron trainer. But so far I'm apparently having radio/ESC problems that make the motor cut out in flight. Gotta resolve that before I try again.

Meanwhile, I found and bought the last Aero Ace in the whole Target shopping center after looking for them for literally months. Perhaps that will be fun!

Thanks for the suggestions.

frvrngn
01-20-2006, 04:38 PM
I'd back up Jeremy for the wing idea. They are nearly indestructable when built correctly. Even if they arent built correctly, they will still bounce back repeatedly. I have the one wing Jeremy has the link for - the EleBee. Very docile, but a little underpowered stock. Very easy build since all the servo holes are molded in and everything else mounts in a tray. It will handle 10mph winds easily stock. Mine is now brushless and can handle even higher winds. The big reason wings fly so well in wind is lack of profile. They just slice through it. With EPP foam, if you do dork it into the ground, the most that normally happens is the winglets fly off. A couple pcs of tape later (or use velcro) and you are back flying.

I was like you and got frustrated early on. I had a Slo-V as my first plane last year and it was fun the whole 3 mins it was airborne... I kept wanting to keep the plane close to me and never followed the "3 mistakes high" rule. Plus, stock powered it was very hard to get 3 mistakes high. With an upgraded battery and prop I could get up there and then it became more relaxing and "fun". I sure became good at repairs though! My wife just shook her head. I then upgraded to a Stryker and had even more experience repairing! It was quite twitchy at first, but FMS helped and flying high helped even more.

For me it just "clicked" one day. I was out flying the Stryker and realized that I was more relaxed and I was actually in the air for what seemed like forever. I am sure it was only 10mins or so, but it felt like I had been flying for an hour! It was so satisfying to bring it in for a smooth landing and not having to stick anything back together. Of course, that just fueled the fire and since last July I now have the Slo-V, Stryker #2, brushless EleBee wing, homemade 26" wing built out of Stryker #1, 36" wing built out of an old Zagi 400X, and most recently a brushless SlowStick! Oh, I also own 3 AeroAces too. Now my wife is really shaking her head...

Keep with it, hopefully you'll get some more help or one day it will click. It really is fun, just a steep learning curve.

rocket_jim
01-20-2006, 05:31 PM
.....
For me it just "clicked" one day. I was out flying the Stryker and realized that I was more relaxed and I was actually in the air for what seemed like forever. I am sure it was only 10mins or so, but it felt like I had been flying for an hour! It was so satisfying to bring it in for a smooth landing and not having to stick anything back together. Of course, that just fueled the fire and since last July I now have the Slo-V, Stryker #2, brushless EleBee wing, homemade 26" wing built out of Stryker #1, 36" wing built out of an old Zagi 400X, and most recently a brushless SlowStick! Oh, I also own 3 AeroAces too. Now my wife is really shaking her head...

Keep with it, hopefully you'll get some more help or one day it will click. It really is fun, just a steep learning curve.

Thanks for sharing. I'm hoping that some here can remember when it "clicked" and what made the difference to them and can share that.

I mentioned adding down-and right-thrust to my SS. I've made just one flight since then, and that change did not seem to make all the difference I'd hoped. In the flight I was having trouble trimming the plane. I don't understand why the transmitter trim levers move the control surfaces such a tiny amount. Why cannot the trims give you 25% of the throw? Hypothetical question, of course.

Rugar
01-20-2006, 05:41 PM
Which Radio are you using? You should be able to get more then enough for trim adjustment as long as your servo arms are close to being centered and the control surfaces are neutral to start with.

sobamaflyer
01-20-2006, 06:33 PM
Thanks for sharing. I'm hoping that some here can remember when it "clicked" and what made the difference to them and can share that.

That's the problem with "the click" you can't share how it happened, it doesn't seem to happen from an event or action for any of us, just one flight from the one before you seem to "just get it" (There's a lot more to this flying little objects than it would first seem to be)

I don't understand why the transmitter trim levers move the control surfaces such a tiny amount. Why cannot the trims give you 25% of the throw? Hypothetical question, of course.

For optimum performance from any plane it should theoretically be setup to fly as straight and true w/ 0° trim anywhere, in that situation, just a couple of clicks will make a significant difference to the handling of your plane, so in essence, if you need more than a full trim setting in any direction to obtain straight level flight you need to land and figure out what's wrong w/ your plane.

Keep plugging dude

frvrngn
01-20-2006, 06:33 PM
I think it clicked after I had been playing with FMS for a while. I just used one of the cheap USB 2 stick game controllers that look like a Playstation joystick. Not the greatest, but much better than the keyboard! You can buy them for $10 at WalWart or Target. I also flew models in FMS that were much faster than what I would normally fly. You're very correct about lack of proper dynamics, but at least with me it got my thumbs trained to react quickly and really helped with orientation. Instead of staring at my plane go into a death spiral and trying to figure out what to do next, my thumb just responded and pulled out.

You mentioned the thrust mod - I didnt do that with my SS, and it flies well. Just make sure to have it all aligned from every angle and really make sure that CG is correct. I think its about 4-1/8" from the leading edge of the wing and the front wing strut is about 5-1/4" from the front of the fuse. Also, check your throw lengths. A lot of times you'll want to over correct and that will make things worse in a hurry. Move the control rods in on the servo arms and out on your control horns to slow things up. Especially if you are trying to fly in wind, the SS wants to get knocked around a little. First reaction is to fight that with the controls - Dont. Let the plane do its thing and fly and just use the controls gently for your turns and altitude adjustments. If you try and correct the "bounciness" of it getting knocked around in the wind you will soon just exagerate the problem...

Jeremy Z
01-20-2006, 06:50 PM
rocket_jim, I stand by my argument to get a brushless flying wing. Yes, are capable of being fast, but you're after fun. You can always slow them down by not using full throttle. The main reason newbs are advised to stick with something slow is that when things happen faster, you don't have the time to make decisions. The decisions don't come naturally at that point, so it means damaged planes and lots of frustration. But with an EPP wing (NOT the Slinger) you don't need to worry about damage. The extra power makes them easier to launch, and allows you to climb to mistake height more quickly.

Wings can be twitchy, but not so much with the bigger ones. Buy a wing that has a 48" or 60" wingspan. Put a brushless motor on it. (or start with a Speed 400 and accept that you can't climb as quickly or fly in as much wind) Do NOT set it up with full elevon throws at first. If you do, it will seem twitchy. Then again, anything seems twitchy after a Slow Stick. ;) Someone once told me he didn't really appreciate his EPP wing until he hammered it into Mother Earth, and was able to pick it up and fly again with no repairs.

Since you're still not happy, maybe you shouldn't listen to your LHS for a while?

As for your radio problems, it sounds like you're still on the 27 MHz toy RC frequency band. This is prone to interference. The radio system that you had for your Slow Stick should be less prone to interference. When I ditched the 27 MHz radio system on my T-Hawk and put a proper 72 MHz receiver in, it was a whole new plane. No more glitches.

My original goal was to fly 3 battery packs in a row without any damage. That made me very happy. After that, it was to make smooth landings consistently. Then, I went to a faster, more manueverable plane and had the same goals all over again. Sometimes I still damage things with stunts, but once you can make the plane do what you want it to do, reliably, it will click.

My dad was very impressed with my Overlord wing. Not only is it pretty fast, (which doesn't impress him much) but I had some control problems (elevons not moving evenly) which caused a few spiraling nose-dive crashes. All I had to do was find the plane, (the hardest part) do a function check, and launch it again.

I don't remember what you've got, radio-wise. But if you have a decent radio, receiver, and wing. You will probably have fun. Just make sure you fly it where you have some room at first.

If you want, I will look into it and recommend a good brushless setup for the Ele Bee. Let me know.

Jeremy

frvrngn
01-20-2006, 07:15 PM
EleBee brushless setup is the same as most of the others with similiar mounting.
Best - Mega 16/15/4 with a 30A esc (my setup)
Good - Mega clone - Het RC, Warp 4, etc. ALLeRC has the Warp 4's on sale for $54.95. You'd want the 4 turn.
You can run a outrunner, but you need to cut apart the tray and make a new mount for it. The Mega style motors mount the exact same as the stock motor.
Run a APC 6x4 prop. You can fly just fine with the NiMh pack thats recommended with the EleBee (8cell 1700). More speed - get a 10 or 12cell pack that will fit the tray. More duration and speed, need to go LiPo, but then CG can get funny since LiPos are so light.

** sorry for the off topic - just filling in for above :) **

If you want to try a wing without building one, talk to the guys at Speedwing.net They will build any of their wings for a small fee. They even have a new lightweight (like 5oz light!) parkflyer wing thats RTF. That one will be just as bad in wind as the SS, but their other wings will work. That way you dont have to worry about setting up CG, setting up throws, and the covering. Just add your RX crystal and go fly!

rocket_jim
01-21-2006, 02:05 AM
I was not saying anything against flying wings, just sharing some stuff I ran into along the way. Cute comment about my LHS and not listening to them.

In my case, it's not a matter of 27 vs 72 Mhz. My Commander IIs were of course on 27, but I never ever had a glitch there. Since then, everything has been either on 72, or most-recently with a Spektrum DX6. The brand new BeginAir is on 72, and I really don't yet know what the motor-only glitching problem there is. Having a new plane (any plane!) with a known problem and not being able to enjoy it till that problem gets ironed out does not make me smile. Hopefully I'll be smiling when it flies!

I mentioned trims. The trim amounts were exactly the same on my 72 Mhz radio as with the DX6, using the same servos, and even swapping in the new servos. I had hoped that it would have or allow more trim. Well, it does have some deep internal trim, but you realistically cannot change that while you are in the air. On my SS, the servo bracket apparently slipped on the fuselage mid-flight, affecting both the rudder and the elevator. I would have liked to have been able to adjust it out in the air, complete the flight, than land and readjust things. No such luck. I ended up going home after just one flight that day to put a small screw thru the servo mounting bracket into the fuselage so it won't ever move and to that to me again.

Hoping to get past some of these petty problems to start smiling soon!

Don Sims
01-21-2006, 05:23 AM
But Jim, do you at least have a little grin yet??!! It does read like thisng are working out slowly but surely though for you.

rocket_jim
01-21-2006, 04:23 PM
Yes, a little grin.

Decided to take a different direction. Got an Atmopod kit to build and fly indoors and later outdoors when there is less wind. It looks like FUN!

http://www.metascope.com/atmopod.htm

cyclops2
01-23-2006, 12:22 AM
1 of the biggest problems to accept, is that most of us who want to fly ALSO_ ALSO have to also do all the non- flying jobs that keep the plane ready to fly.
Kind of like having a garden and only picking the vegtables and eating them.
If you lived near me, we would be a team. I enjoy building, not flying.:D

Artisan
01-27-2006, 06:17 AM
I was not saying anything against flying wings, just sharing some stuff I ran into along the way. Cute comment about my LHS and not listening to them.

In my case, it's not a matter of 27 vs 72 Mhz. My Commander IIs were of course on 27, but I never ever had a glitch there. Since then, everything has been either on 72, or most-recently with a Spektrum DX6. The brand new BeginAir is on 72, and I really don't yet know what the motor-only glitching problem there is. Having a new plane (any plane!) with a known problem and not being able to enjoy it till that problem gets ironed out does not make me smile. Hopefully I'll be smiling when it flies!

I mentioned trims. The trim amounts were exactly the same on my 72 Mhz radio as with the DX6, using the same servos, and even swapping in the new servos. I had hoped that it would have or allow more trim. Well, it does have some deep internal trim, but you realistically cannot change that while you are in the air. On my SS, the servo bracket apparently slipped on the fuselage mid-flight, affecting both the rudder and the elevator. I would have liked to have been able to adjust it out in the air, complete the flight, than land and readjust things. No such luck. I ended up going home after just one flight that day to put a small screw thru the servo mounting bracket into the fuselage so it won't ever move and to that to me again.

Hoping to get past some of these petty problems to start smiling soon!


-------------


The most difficult thing to learn is patience. I have seen clergymen break out with a burst of profanity that would embarrass a sailor, when things did not go right in modeling. You have to admit, those folks are usually pretty darned patient.

Commitment. Declare to yourself that you are going to stick it out, however long it takes - and mean it.

You wouldn't be here talking about it if you weren't already committed, so I'll have to acknowledge that you are here for the duration. Sometimes it is just nice to admit it to yourself.

Regardless of what size models you fly, there are days when the wind is such that it is foolish to fly. Yes, the smaller/lighter models probably miss more flying time than the larger models, but it is only a matter of degree.

A flying wing is good for windy weather flying. Yes, it is fast. If it weren't fast, it wouldn't be good for windy weather flying.

Some models are just dogs for certain people. Their styles are incompatible. I'm not discussing aesthetics. It's a fact. I never got along with Sig models. They did everything wrong, as far as I was concerned. Others love them. Don't waste your time and money on a model that displeases you. Sell it or give it away. NEXT!

Trying to fly any simulator without a Tx-like controller really contributes very little to the experience you will need when flying with a Tx.

A lot can be learned from FMS. For instance, the aileron and rudder reversal that is experienced when the model is flying toward you. Better to learn this on a simulator than by crashing models. Sims do not have to be perfect in order to be useful in training.

Having a flight plan in your mind before you takeoff is how you really get down to learning how to fly. Just planning a simple circle around the field in a particular direction is not as easy for a newbie as it sounds.

Taking off and just reacting to the model in order to keep it from crashing will eventually lead to a crash many times. Have a flight plan. Even if it is as simple as landing directly in front of you after launch, without crashing.

Good luck.

Artisan

Artisan
01-27-2006, 06:24 AM
1 of the biggest problems to accept, is that most of us who want to fly ALSO_ ALSO have to also do all the non- flying jobs that keep the plane ready to fly.
Kind of like having a garden and only picking the vegtables and eating them.
If you lived near me, we would be a team. I enjoy building, not flying.:D


---------------


It is a fact that R/C flying is a technical hobby. Someone with no mechanical aptitude will not fare well in this hobby unless they become determined to accept the fact that models require maintenance and repair and that they will, indeed, learn what they need to know.

A knowledge of adhesives, fasteners and various materials will have to be acquired in order to be successful in this hobby. It is unavoidable, unless one is prepared to pay someone else to perform their maintenance.

Fear not, anyone of average intelligence can learn to keep their models flying, assuming that they do not jump in over their head with something way too complicated.

Artisan

rahtware
01-27-2006, 09:50 AM
The answer as I see it (not just for you, but all new pilots) is give yourself time to learn the basics before expecting “the fun” to start. (I am guessing that by fun you mean being able to make the plane do what you want it to… and taking home a plane at the end of the day instead of a pile of parts in a shopping bag.

In 25 years in this hobby I have seen quite a few guys, with the same problems you are experiencing give up because they are too impatient to learn the steps that need to be learned, and think that the problem is the plane, not the pilot. This is not meant as a slam on you, just my view of the situation from the tiny window that this thread is.

From reading the posts I feel that the problems you are experiencing “might” come from inexperience in setting a plane up to fly properly, expecting too much of yourself / the planes and over-control. And that is why I have to vote against getting a flying wing until you are ready for it. Flying wings are great, can handle lots of wind, have a super power to weight ratio etc, etc, but… they are very hard to see in the air compared to fuselage planes, have tons of power (especially the setup suggested) and large control throws that could be a hand full for an inexperienced pilot. Kind of like buying a Hayabusa 1300 Limited because you would like to learn how to ride. Sure you could cruse around at ¼ throttle, but would that be fun? One of the most honorable things I ever saw a cycle salesman do was refuse to sell a high-end streetbike to an inexperienced rider (who was ready to, and wanted to buy it).

As a RC pilot with stick time on many different types of planes, I have to agree with everything you have said about the Airobirds and Slow Stick. And still, the young pilot that convinced me ‘that even an old guy like me’ would enjoy a Stryker started out exactly as you did, teaching himself to fly on a two channel Aerobird… But he learned what the ‘bird “needed him to do” so “it could fly instead of crash” before moving up to a faster, more maneuverable plane. Not to say that the AB is the perfect trainer for you.

So, what do I suggest? Learn from each mistake, stick to slow flying trainers and dead calm days until you can land without breaking props and find the “fun” in “learning” how to fly. One thing I can guaranty is that no matter winch way you go, as long as you stick to it the fun will come… It’s just that some paths to this goal take longer and cost a heck of a lot more then others.

rocket_jim
01-27-2006, 11:18 AM
This is long and chatty, sorry!
.....

Regardless of what size models you fly, there are days when the wind is such that it is foolish to fly. Yes, the smaller/lighter models probably miss more flying time than the larger models, but it is only a matter of degree.

A flying wing is good for windy weather flying. Yes, it is fast. If it weren't fast, it wouldn't be good for windy weather flying.
......... Artisan
Yesterday at lunch I went to the local Renegades flying field and saw a nice number of the local flyers there. The wind was gusting between 10-15 MPH based on my later look at the local tabular data on-line.

The Slynger flyers were having a ball. Wind? what Wind?

Several flyers had smaller flying wings. If you held the wing, the wind would blow you and the wing about violently. They flew anyway, but barely could advance against the wind. Groundspeed very low, and negative when the batteries ran down. And too often a gust would slam you right into the ground. Whump!

One SS pilot went up. His flights were high, full power, directly into the wind. Then carefully turn around for a very fast return to the starting location. Then do it all again. To land, look for a pile of leaves, fly full throttle into the wind. Reduce to 99% power and glide into the leaves. That did not look like fun to me. I mentioned to one flyer that I had my SS charged up in the trunk, but I thought it too windy. He said that if I wanted to keep my SS, to keep it there. Wise choice.

Later one flyer brought out a Carbon Falcon. Neat design and folding concept. I had not seen one before, much less seen it fly. It barely flew. The wind gusts distorted the airfoil so much that it turned inside out in flight like an umbrella does, and it fell out of the sky. Well Duh! He said it was possible to add carbon stiffners to maintain the airfoil shape, but they would make it harder to fold up for transportation. Neat Plane! But not really good for such a windy day.

All in all I enjoyed the guys, seeing them having fun, and was glad my SS was safely in the trunk. Made me think further about a wing, specifically an Overlord, as in "potential flying wing trainer" and reportedly "indestructable". But I see all sorts of unhappy posts about past and recent dealings with Edge RC after they moved. So I would not order one unless I knew someone actually had the plane and motor in stock.

This winter here, between the short days, working 8-5, and the high wind mostly as compared to almost no calm, usually when it's dark and way below freezing, have made for few and far between flying opportunities. Hard to learn much flying when you're grounded. Sorry, no simulator here.

Makes me wonder if I need to add a flyiing wing to my fleet to greatly increase my available flying times and for fun.

watt_the?!
01-27-2006, 09:04 PM
well i dont know about fun whilst flying....exhileration yes, but maybe not ''fun''. ..I love my planes and hate when things go wrong, so almost every flight i am apprehensive at least....not exactly what i'd call ''fun''... helis are worse!

for me the ''fun'' is after a successful flight. Nothing comes close to putting your machine through it's paces and then bringing her in to land. It's even better on a maiden!

i think it is also unreasonable to expect that every person who has a go at this hobby will experience ''fun''.

i have several friends that had no fun at all and consequently dont fly anymore.

not trying to be pessimistic, but rather realistic.

Tim.

rahtware
01-27-2006, 10:06 PM
well i dont know about fun whilst flying....exhileration yes, but maybe not ''fun''. ..I love my planes and hate when things go wrong, so almost every flight i am apprehensive at least....not exactly what i'd call ''fun''... helis are worse!

for me the ''fun'' is after a successful flight. Nothing comes close to putting your machine through it's paces and then bringing her in to land. It's even better on a maiden!

i think it is also unreasonable to expect that every person who has a go at this hobby will experience ''fun''.

i have several friends that had no fun at all and consequently dont fly anymore.

not trying to be pessimistic, but rather realistic.

Tim.
Watt_the

You got me thinking… What is the definition of fun? I assumed that anyone that stuck to this or any hobby did it for fun, but could I be wrong? So, I had to stop what I was doing and look “fun” up in my Webster’s unabridged, and came up with: “something that provides mirth (entertainment, laughter) or amusement.” I guess it all depends on whose shoes you are standing in as to whether this hobby is fun.

If I were flying my stock GWS Tiger Moth, doing lazy passes over the field or slow touch-and-goes I would be having fun. Or, if you “putting your machine through it's paces”… And, if I was standing back and watching you fly… The more “exhilaration” you would feel, the more fun “I” would be having.:D

opquickie
01-30-2006, 03:13 AM
haven't read the other posts but may i recommend a flying wing also...

it will handle the wind well and is much faster and more aerobatic than the SS by FAR.

even when i have complete control of my Parkzone Styker i find myself letting out a sigh of relief when i land safely. it's that exciting. then i promptly walk over toss it up and repeat!

rocket_jim
01-30-2006, 09:26 AM
haven't read the other posts but may i recommend a flying wing also...

it will handle the wind well and is much faster and more aerobatic than the SS by FAR.

even when i have complete control of my Parkzone Styker i find myself letting out a sigh of relief when i land safely. it's that exciting. then i promptly walk over toss it up and repeat!
What you say "feels" true. When I go flying and the guys have their big flying wings out, I just go "AHHHHHHH!" and watch them in awe.

I suppose some of it is the speed they can fly.

Some of it is the aerobatics they do with their ailerons.

Wind? What Wind?! They don't sulk in the trunk on the mid-windy days like my SS does.

Perhaps some of it is the sheer size.

Perhaps some of it is that these pilots are rather experienced and really good at what they do.

Perhaps it's that the flying wings are so tough that they don't spend their flying time worrying about crashing and taking home a bag of pieces.

Altogether, they just "blow away" figuratively and literally the SSs.

Some day!

flypaper 2
01-30-2006, 02:16 PM
Jim :
Been flying RC for 40 yrs and after a flight I look like this :D Takes experience to grin like that but it comes with practice. Flew the Zagi when I got into electrics and it's a tough bird. This was with a speed 400 brush motor and NMH batts. Leading edge is epp foam and will take a joke as said above. We used to fly contact combat with them. Many times we'd have midair and fly away from one another. One fellow learning how to fly would break his plane in a few minutes and go home in frustration. I told him to buy a Zagi. I set the controls at about half of what they called for and showed him how to fly it. He's grinning now.:p If you had a wing those fellows at the field could have showed you how to fly it in the wind. They can be made to fly fast but that's what the throttle is for. They also fly slow very well. Give it a go. Don't be afraid to ask for help. I'm sure they want you to enjoy it as much as they do.

Tom Moody
01-31-2006, 03:36 AM
I'm not sure I agree on the wing for a beginner. I have 23 flyable planes in my hanger that include a SS, a Mini Ultra Stick, an IFO, a MM Smoothe and many others. But, I have owned 3 Wings, a Mini Speed Wing, an OverLord and a Unicorn. I had to give up on all of them and no longer have a wing.

Tom Moody

Artisan
01-31-2006, 03:55 AM
I agree that not all beginners are capable of handling a wing. But, there are some tricks that can make it easier.

First, one should know that all flying wings need to have a little "lip" on launch in order to avoid promptly hitting the ground. The "lip" that I speak of is a touch of up flaperon or elevator. Wings fly normally in level flight with a bit of up elevator or flaperon. A bit more than what is normally carried for level flight is usually needed when being launched by hand. Other folks call this "lip" that I refer to reflex. Both terms are correct. Lip is the modelers' slang term from long ago.

If one hasn't sorted out the old left/right reversal problem on a simulator, the task of learning to fly with a wing that provides less visual orientation clues than a conventional model, is a bit more difficult. I would invest in a simulator and acquire this skill electronically before attempting to fly any model, wing or not. Even the free FMS program WITH A TX STYLE CONTROLLER will suffice. Spend the money on the Tx adapter for FMS at the very least.

Wings tend to disappear at certain angles because of their low profile. This can shake one's confidence to the point that when they reacquire the model visually, they are not sure which way the model is going. Again, a simulator can help overcome this natural fear generated problem.

Lastly, not everyone will be able to adapt to flying a wing. Variations in a person's spatial relations ability and simple things, like poor vision, can make flying a wing all but impossible, or at least very difficult, for certain folks to fly successfully. It is the luck of the draw and genetics. Not much can be done about the genetics at this point.

The Zagi wing, and several others like it, can take a pretty good beating without being structurally compromised. Some folks will get through the crashing period with an intact model. Some won't.

And now I am going to save a future model for you. Do not use polarized sun glasses to fly with. Sooner or later, the model will simply disappear altogether when using polarized sun glasses. How do I know? BTDT.

helo-watt
01-31-2006, 04:11 AM
Jim, patience is the key. I've been at it slow and easy. I started out with a Firebird Commander. Once I got the hang of flying around, throttle control and the sort. I started to fly the plane to the edge of its envelope. I started to induce stalls and spirals just to see if I could recover. I knew I was ready for the next step when I could recover from anything and land WHERE I wanted to WHEN I wanted to. For a lot of us newbies, we confuse controlled crashes with landings...not so. Now, I have the Aerobird, which adds pitch control. Flying the Commander to it's limits, helped me with the lower end of the Aerobird's ability. By the time I get to the bird's limits, a more maneuverable 3 ch will come a little easier. The best analogy was the one I read above with the Hayabusa bike. You'll get much more enjoyment out of the more capable planes if you get into them with the ability to control them, and "learn" your way into their limits. Everyone from musicians to martial artists to professional athletes will tell you: It's mastery of the basics that will make the advanced stuff happen with ease. You'll want the basics to be second nature so you can concentrate on the advanced. If you have to concentrate on the basics because they aren't there, you will have a much harder time with the other stuff. It will take time, but from what I've seen...it's so worth the effort.

Jeremy Z
01-31-2006, 06:20 AM
But, I have owned 3 Wings, a Mini Speed Wing, an OverLord and a Unicorn. I had to give up on all of them and no longer have a wing.

:confused:

How come? Couldn't see them? The stock Unicorn is pretty famous as an easy-to-fly wing...

I just love mine. Two times in the last two weeks, I've flown it in 35+ mph winds. Before I figured out how to get the elevons moving evenly (my own fault) I had trouble too. When I'd start to dive, then pull up, it would start to pull up, then spiral instead. One elevon was coming up faster or further than the other. Once I got that worked out, it is a thing of beauty.

Anyway, I feel like I'm getting away with something when I fly my Overlord. I don't have to worry about crashing, unless I crash into the lake. It is fast and maneuverable, but still flies a long time and is easy to land.

Tom, we should hook up some time. I'm only an hour or so east of you. Drop me a PM if you're interested.

flypaper 2
01-31-2006, 01:11 PM
My friend learned how to fly with the Zagi because of its ruggedness. Probably would have given up otherwise so take it for what it's worth. I still fly a Hustler delta, occasionally, that I built back in the 60s. Also two scratchbuilt 25 size combat wings, the Zagi, a larger hotwired swept back Zagi lookalike with two speed 400s mounted on the ailerons. Sort of a poor mans vectored thrust.:D Anyway, give it a try, you have little to lose.

LuckyDay
01-31-2006, 04:24 PM
I hear you, rocketjim. I got a Terry for my birthday, and my first flight lasted about 10 minutes and was a blast! Even had a (nearly) uneventful landing. However, my second flight lasted about 5 minutes and ended in a lake, and my third (following some replacement parts) lasted a whole 20 seconds before being whacked out of the sky by a tree. Did I say out of the sky? I meant, the wing got knocked out of the sky, the tail fluttered another couple hundred feet downwind, and the fuselage got stuck about 25 feet up. Not fun.

However, I still find myself repairing (and replacing) the parts, and ready to fly again. I don't know why, but even though it was discouraging, the building process isn't bad, and I'm waiting for the next calm and dry day to take my lumps, er... I mean take her up again. I guess I have come to realize it is part of the learning process - I had some terrible gigs as a guitarist while I was just beginning (wait... I still have those now!), and have spent enough time learning various videogames/simulators that it takes a lot of work and some heartache to really get good at something. And that first time you play at the Alamo Dome, or when you finally win your first online race, or whatever you are working towards, you start to see how the time and effort was worth it.

I'm waiting to get to that point with RC - I'm a lot more patient than my wallet is at this point! But I'm confident it will happen. Just wanted to share a little commiseration and encouragement.

rocket_jim
02-01-2006, 03:47 AM
I came back from a late afternoon SS flying session today with big grins! Got in two real nice flights in the near-calm around sunset. Didn't crash! Didn't break any props. Didn't bring anything home needing repairs. Got the plane trimmed out to pretty much fly itself under medium power and still glide reasonably. All around great flying session. Hope this is the beginning of a majority of good flying times.

Enjoyed seeing the flying wings zip about nonetheless. Their owners observed how improved my flying is and mentioned that someday I'll be ready for their kind of hot planes.

rahtware
02-01-2006, 07:10 AM
I came back from a late afternoon SS flying session today with big grins! Got in two real nice flights in the near-calm around sunset. Didn't crash! Didn't break any props. Didn't bring anything home needing repairs. Got the plane trimmed out to pretty much fly itself under medium power and still glide reasonably. All around great flying session. Hope this is the beginning of a majority of good flying times.

Enjoyed seeing the flying wings zip about nonetheless. Their owners observed how improved my flying is and mentioned that someday I'll be ready for their kind of hot planes.
This is good news!!! We all need days like that to keep us going, and the"bring the plane home in a bag" days to keep us humble.:D

Don Sims
02-01-2006, 11:34 AM
Alll right Rocket! Glad to hear the attitude is changing. Wings are a hoot to fly and a wing was my 2nd plane after I had the basics down. (Not counting all the planes I destroyed at first when learning!)

buzzbomber
02-01-2006, 05:11 PM
I came back from a late afternoon SS flying session today with big grins! Got in two real nice flights in the near-calm around sunset. Didn't crash! Didn't break any props. Didn't bring anything home needing repairs. Got the plane trimmed out to pretty much fly itself under medium power and still glide reasonably. All around great flying session. Hope this is the beginning of a majority of good flying times.

Enjoyed seeing the flying wings zip about nonetheless. Their owners observed how improved my flying is and mentioned that someday I'll be ready for their kind of hot planes.

Jim, I read most of this thread, and I see a breakthrough in the post I quoted--you mention the plane is trimmed to fly level at medium throttle. IMO, that's the only way to do it with a plane like the slow stick. Undercambered wings don't like to go fast, and they balloon as speed increases; trim it for 1/2 throttle and it'll rocket upwards at full, trim it for full, and it'll dive at half throttle.

I guess you resolved the issue with the plane "stalling" or diving with rudder turns too--nobody told you a plane needs banked into the turn with rudder and pulled through with up elevator, did they?(maybe you knew that already, I'm just noting somthing I've seen many new pilots struggle with) No matter, you figured that bit out yourself.

I'll bet it was quite a bit calmer yesterday too-this makes a big difference. Trying to learn to fly in the winter is frustrating--it seems like every day where there's no rain or snow, there's wind instead. I know because I taught myself in the winter several years ago. It will get better come springtime.

Glad to see you're making progress--here's wishing you continued luck.

Solcat
02-01-2006, 09:46 PM
A Multiplex Easystar is bigger than a slowstick, tougher and can handle more wind. It's available RFT for about $180 and as a ARF for $55. With a Slow Stick you will go through a ton of props and maybe a fuselage before you are competent. A Slow Stick does require only the space of a baseball field to fly, where the Easystar requires the space of a soccer field. See http://www.plawner.net/3/1st_plane/ in which re recommends mainly Multiplex planes for their toughness and ease of construction. They also fly very well. Other options from Multplex are the Easy Glider and the Twin Star II.

rocket_jim
02-02-2006, 12:59 AM
Jim, I read most of this thread, and I see a breakthrough in the post I quoted--you mention the plane is trimmed to fly level at medium throttle. IMO, that's the only way to do it with a plane like the slow stick. Undercambered wings don't like to go fast, and they balloon as speed increases; trim it for 1/2 throttle and it'll rocket upwards at full, trim it for full, and it'll dive at half throttle. .....so much good stuff!
Yes, getting it trimmed there does seem to have made a huge difference.

Went back out early this AM. Very light winds. Flew twice, once for 25 minutes and the second time for 20 minutes. Only came down when the battery pack got noticeably lower. Putted around at something like half throttle mostly. Nothing too sophisticated, just flew back and forth and around in different direction of circles. Did go up to some altitude and looped 3 times, one loop each, 3 different times. Did not use the throttle, but that will come later. The flyer next to me was amazed to see me do a loop. Guess I felt I was several mistakes high and had some hope of recovering if it went wrong. But it was fine.

We had 4 SS and two flying wings up at the same time. That many planes adds to the pilot load, but I did ok. Kept making sure I was flying MY plane. One guy brought out his Aero Ace, and the turbulence from the SSs just about threw it back to the ground! Big Smiles when I reluctantly went on to work.

Went back after work. Had more wind, and it was not nearly so fun. The wind wanted to grab and turn the SS downwind. So made that a short flight and took it safely home. Learned a lot today and had some real fun. Thanks for all your encouragement along my way.

flyranger
02-02-2006, 01:01 PM
When does the fun begin? I'm a balsa builder and flyer and the biggest thrill I got was after I installed my scratch-built and designed semi-symettrical wing to my Lil' Poke fuse, gave it the throttle and watched it fly without any trimming needed at all! A few days later, I got a little wild on the controls and crunched the fuse. Too many repairs and added weight to re-use. Wing was fine, building new fuse. Now the plane is totally mine. New plane will have ability to balance with the batt from underneath the servos at the rear all the way up to the firewall! What do you think of my attempts? New motor is a e-flite park 480 outrunner with 220watts available. All up weight should be around 22 oz. The feline quality control inspector keeps me in line.

rahtware
02-02-2006, 03:28 PM
When does the fun begin? I'm a balsa builder and flyer and the biggest thrill I got was after I installed my scratch-built and designed semi-symettrical wing to my Lil' Poke fuse, gave it the throttle and watched it fly without any trimming needed at all! A few days later, I got a little wild on the controls and crunched the fuse. Too many repairs and added weight to re-use. Wing was fine, building new fuse. Now the plane is totally mine. New plane will have ability to balance with the batt from underneath the servos at the rear all the way up to the firewall! What do you think of my attempts? New motor is a e-flite park 480 outrunner with 220watts available. All up weight should be around 22 oz. The feline quality control inspector keeps me in line.

Looks great! The only thing I wonder about is fuse-flex (no internal bulkheads), but the wing should help with that.

And that "little" motor... I dont know if it will have enough power... to put that ROCKET in ORBIT!!!:D

flyranger
02-02-2006, 07:10 PM
Hey Larry! Yeah, just had it on my scale experimenting with props and getting thrust numbers. Looks like 30 to 32oz of thrust with a 10x4.7 apc and 15amps. Tried a 10x8 and although the wattmeter only indicated 16 amps peak, the Castle Creations 25 shut me down. Believe it or not, I'm not building this to be a fast flyer and will probably be using 1/2 throttle or less most of the time. Just wanted to pull a few aerobatics every now and then (hmmm....wonder if THAT's the reason I spend so much time building and re-building?) and didn't have enough umphh with the park 400. I did reprogram the CC25 to be insensitive to current peaks. Will try again later. My next project is a Kadetito 4 channel. My fingers are itching (or is that just the spilled CA glue?)

rocket_jim
06-26-2006, 12:43 PM
The fun really finally began about a month ago when I bought an Easy Star. My LHS had recommended it to me from the very beginning, but NO..... I finally broke down and bought one when I realized I was getting nowhere with the other twitchy, small planes. A few seconds of hairy flight, crash, then rebuild or replace!

Since then I have had more fun with the ES than with everything I flew before combined! Nearly every flight has lasted till I reached LVC. Usually I've done 3 or 4 flights per flying session. Been genuinely tired after flying. Fly regular, fast, slow, and also prowl around gliding looking for thermals! Can do inside loops easily, and have started trying inverted flight. It lands itself! It's big enough that my mature eyes can see it and keep oriented way far away and high in the sky.

I did manage once to get the CG too far back, to discover the truth about how unflyable a plane is with the CG too far back, and to mess up the nose with a lawn dart "landing". I extended it 2 inches while I was repairing it so a lighter-weight 3S 1650 mAh LiPo pack could balance it properly with lower overall weight than with the 900 mAh NiMH packs I was using. More Power! Plus my run time is about doubled! No, I don't expect the stock motor to last forever this way, but so far so good with some throttle management. Nice to have more motor than I need most of the time, except during the climb-out. It's not vertical, but pretty steep now!

Anyway, I'm having FUN now, and I wanted to let all you kind folks who contributed earlier when I was really frustrated with other smaller planes to know about the fun now.

rahtware
06-26-2006, 03:36 PM
RJ

I am so glad to hear that you have made that tough, first step! From what I've seen the ES is a good plane... Although I watched a newbe turn one into wood pulp thanks to a LHS owner who believes that once a plane is sold it is no longer his problem. In retrospetive I should have gone over the settings and ballance with the guy, but I had just met him and didn't know how little he knew.

To the Slow Stick owners, don't throw them away just yet... I just turned mine into an AP bird by straping on a $130 camcorder!

Leo L
06-26-2006, 07:44 PM
Glad to hear the you stuck with it and that you are finally having fun. Your experience is a good example that what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for everyone. Most people who have the Firebird and the SloStick love their planes, but there are also plenty who don't like them. Its a good thing that there are so many choices out there.

You never indicated how your son was taking to flying. Is he also flying the EasyStar?

Eric_N57105
06-26-2006, 08:05 PM
Since then I have had more fun with the ES than with everything I flew before combined! Nearly every flight has lasted till I reached LVC. Usually I've done 3 or 4 flights per flying session. Been genuinely tired after flying. Fly regular, fast, slow, and also prowl around gliding looking for thermals! Can do inside loops easily, and have started trying inverted flight. It lands itself! It's big enough that my mature eyes can see it and keep oriented way far away and high in the sky.

I followed the same path. I spent far more time fixing my Slow Stick than I did in the air. After a week of that crap, I went with my first choice...an Easy Star. Just a month ago. I have 30+ hours on it now and have never had a crash that produced structural damage.

For some unknown reason, the twitchy, fragile Slow Stick has a cult following among some experienced pilots that makes them foist it on unsuspecting newcomers. I don't get it. It is heresy to condemn the Slow Stick in public. Whatever. As you have discovered, the Easy Star provides challenges equal to your abilities. It put the fun into RC for me too.

My only advice to you at this point is go brushless. It will open up a whole new world of capabilities for you and the Easy Star. I did it after a week on the stock motor so by now you can handle it easily.

Good to see you survived.

Eric
www.ke6us.com

buzzbomber
06-26-2006, 09:11 PM
FWIW, I agree with you, Eric. I had a Slow Stick for a while, and I liked it SO much, I GAVE it away, complete with radio gear. The only category where the SS cannot be beaten is price. I've had other trainer planes that were slower, more forgiving, more capable, but none cheaper. Oh well. I'm glad that you and rocket jim perservered and are now ENJOYING the hobby.

rocket_jim
06-27-2006, 12:33 AM
Thanks guys!

My son Scott has completely lost interest in R/C. Oh Well!

I'm running the stock motor. With my 3S LiPo, it may or may not last too long. I glued it in pretty good, and I did not insert a third wire. Should it go, I'll have to pry the pod apart. Would get a brushless, of course. Will run the wires and the ESC on the outside for cooling and simplicity. But I'm happy with the stock motor so far. Plan to run it till it burns out.

Like some folks, I just never got along all that well with my SS. But am thinking of ordering one of the new STIKs. That would use a lot of my existing equipment and would get me into an aileron trainer with much better reported performance than the SS. And that should fly in much more wind than the SS did for me. Some could clip the SS wings, stick on a big brushless, and go kiting i high winds, but that did not feel right to me to do.

jb48
06-27-2006, 02:27 PM
[quote=rocket_jim;83640]The fun really finally began about a month ago when I bought an Easy Star. My LHS had recommended it to me from the very beginning, but NO..... I finally broke down and bought one when I realized I was getting nowhere with the other twitchy, small planes. A few seconds of hairy flight, crash, then rebuild or replace!

I had experimented the same fustration RocketJim. In chronological order I bought and flew (crashed/repaired/recrashed would be better verbs) the following models: Hangar 9 Alpha Trainer .40, Parkzone Slo-V, Hobbico Superstar with ailerons and, at last, the plane that saved my interest in RC flying and that is still giving me TONS of fun: EASY STAR! From day one with the EZ, my learning curve seems real steep. Sure, I crashed the EZ at first flights, just like the other ones, but with a big difference: No damage (except the time were a high speed dive broke the nose which was easily glued back). After maybe 2 hour of flying time, I modified the rudder to full span and cut/added ailerons to my EZ. Stock motor, 6 x 3 prop, 2S 2500 mAh lipo. It flies so well that my new learning curve is now basic aerobatics! I do snap rolls, inside loop, stall turn, inverted flight (well for maybe 2 to 3 seconds); all that from a newbie without simulator and/or instructor (my first 8 flights with the Alpha was with an instructor using a buddy cord, after that our schedule were not matching, so I decided to continue learning by myself and then began the frustration, forever repairing and crashing again... up to 2 months ago when I got my last-try plane, the EasyStar. Yesterday morning, I flew for 35 minutes non-stop, motor on and off, my personnal record. Now I know that I will stay in the hobby (Note: Alpha and Slo-V are things of the (recent) past but I begun to fly the Superstar again, not as funny than the EZ, but I do it).

rahtware
06-27-2006, 04:29 PM
The fun really finally began about a month ago when I bought an Easy Star. My LHS had recommended it to me from the very beginning, but NO..... I finally broke down and bought one when I realized I was getting nowhere with the other twitchy, small planes. A few seconds of hairy flight, crash, then rebuild or replace!

I had experimented the same fustration RocketJim. In chronological order I bought and flew (crashed/repaired/recrashed would be better verbs) the following models: Hangar 9 Alpha Trainer .40, Parkzone Slo-V, Hobbico Superstar with ailerons and, at last, the plane that saved my interest in RC flying and that is still giving me TONS of fun: EASY STAR!... ...(my first 8 flights with the Alpha was with an instructor using a buddy cord, after that our schedule were not matching, so I decided to continue learning by myself and then began the frustration, forever repairing and crashing again... ...(Note: Alpha and Slo-V are things of the (recent) past but I begun to fly the Superstar again, not as funny than the EZ, but I do it).

It's nice to hear these success stories. I learned with and instructor and didn't crash until I got my 2nd plane, early E-powered, which taught me how to stall, snap, spin, CRASH! Since then (1980) I have rekitted many planes, but most by choice (doing stupid stuff). It's a shame that you wern't able to stay with your instructor as it would have saved you a ton of cash, but I am happy for you that you were able to get to "when the fun starts".

OBTW I was wrong about the plane I saw go in, it wasn't the Easy Star, it was a Hobbico Supperstar. Sorry about that.

jcblough
07-07-2006, 02:38 AM
Good thread, glad to see you've gotten on the right path. I pretty much got through my "training" - I'm still learning - on the firebird freedom. Had a bit better luck than you, though maybe just a bit.

Can't help but say where I think the fun starts, b/c I gotta good idea and that's plane #2 and a Stryker 27B. I got mine thinking it'd be a relatively inexpensive stop over while I saved up for a good radio and a 4 channel sport plane, but I'm loving this plane to death. I fly about 1.5 to 2 hours on it a week.

There will come a point probably on plane #2 where things will just "click" like others have mentioned. And once that happens, your abilities and confidence seem to just over flow. I hit that spot about a week ago and I went from a cautious roll or loop at 3 mistakes high to multiple rolls, loops, inverted flight, inverted turns and acrobatics and high speed dives. I think eventually your hands and brain just catch up to what you are trying to do and when that happens it is amazing. I actually catch people watching me now instead of hoping no one sees me.

Other good news is every bit of it I did on my own w/ the help of folks here so you can do it - trust me :D

firemanbill
07-07-2006, 02:52 AM
Good thread, glad to see you've gotten on the right path. I pretty much got through my "training" - I'm still learning - on the firebird freedom. Had a bit better luck than you, though maybe just a bit.

Can't help but say where I think the fun starts, b/c I gotta good idea and that's plane #2 and a Stryker 27B. I got mine thinking it'd be a relatively inexpensive stop over while I saved up for a good radio and a 4 channel sport plane, but I'm loving this plane to death. I fly about 1.5 to 2 hours on it a week.

There will come a point probably on plane #2 where things will just "click" like others have mentioned. And once that happens, your abilities and confidence seem to just over flow. I hit that spot about a week ago and I went from a cautious roll or loop at 3 mistakes high to multiple rolls, loops, inverted flight, inverted turns and acrobatics and high speed dives. I think eventually your hands and brain just catch up to what you are trying to do and when that happens it is amazing. I actually catch people watching me now instead of hoping no one sees me.

Other good news is every bit of it I did on my own w/ the help of folks here so you can do it - trust me :D

Just don't get over confident. Ask my buddy Nate about the day I dorked my bipe in from about 10 feet up while flying inverted for a photo pass while he was shooting.:o Now I've got photos that I really did not want...

at least it was fixable... I then promptly put it in the top of a 80 sycamore tree. My buddy Kevin will tell you about how high it was since he climbed the tree for me:o .

But it is so much FUN!!!I really do have fun flying that plane:D

jcblough
07-07-2006, 03:04 AM
I'm not 10 foot high inverted confident yet :D
I guess I was referring to the feeling I got this weekend when it dawned on me "hey that's MY stryker going across the field at full throttle inverted, cool!"
There Just seems to be that point where you know what the plane is going to do and you know you can control it. Then the whole world starts to open up. You don't try a slow roll, you just do it. It's a whole new world to me.

firemanbill
07-07-2006, 03:16 AM
oh I agree JC! That's kind of what I was getting at, not digging at you!:D

It kind of hit me that same way with the bipe. I struggled on each and every plane I had, I would maiden one and not be able to breathe while doing it! Then I got this one and maybe it was coincidence, maybe it was just the first one I finally built that was balanced well enough to be easy.

Whatever the reason the maiden was awesome. I could breathe and everything. From that day on it was like hey, I can really do this! Then I went and got other planes that I couldn't fly well before that and all of a sudden I could fly them too

It comes... :D I'm glad it has come for you too!

Oh and I'm not really 10 ft high inverted confident anymore either, just ask nate... lol

jcblough
07-07-2006, 01:48 PM
I did the over confident thing last month when I flipped the DR switch on the stryker last month and buried her in the turf - I'm over that now :D Not using dr til I can get a radio w/ expo on it.

Joe Ford
07-09-2006, 04:06 AM
I'm not 10 foot high inverted confident yet :D

I remember when I was at that stage...went from "oh geeze don't let me mess up" to "time to get the knees shaking" within 6 months of learning to fly...now (and for the past 2 1/2 yrs) it's 150mph flat line passes, inverted, and @ less than 10ft. off the deck w/my pylon ships...admittedly though, that's ONLY when there are very few people around (for safety's sake) and I'm desperate for an adrenaline rush. ;) :D :cool:

jcblough
07-11-2006, 02:45 PM
I'm still prone to some knee knock. Every so often I'll get disoriented when I'm flying inverted. Always recover, but good for a couple of seconds of freak out.

Kingcrash
07-11-2006, 06:37 PM
Heh. I'm having fun, but I'm still plowing more dirt than a farm tractor. I've had just enough time to sneak in about 2 hours of actual flying the past couple of months (it's either too windy for me to attempt it or I'm pulling overtime) It's amazing how tough this little Firebird actually is.

Greg S

jcblough
07-11-2006, 07:33 PM
Don't sweat it king, my freedom lies in a broken heap in my garage. Those planes can and will take a beating when you are learning.

rahtware
07-12-2006, 02:57 PM
All you knee-knockers out there... Feel free to make a copy of my old invention (from my learning days).

13978

Cut a piece of 1/2 ply to shape shown and to fit comfortably between your knees, velcro in place and enjoy knee-knocking-free flying... Please be careful as use of the KK makes it difficult to run to crash site!:D

jcblough
07-12-2006, 07:23 PM
Lol, nide. I needed that last weekend. Never fly when you are tired. Never every fly inverted when you are tired

radralph
07-12-2006, 08:12 PM
You people remember the first time you lost your inverted plane in the sun at about 30 feet? I remember it like it was just last Sunday. Sunny but windy day. Every other statement out of my mouth was "Oh Sh(oo)t" trying to keep my freshly glued Stryker from saying hello to mother earth in a completely indesirable manner (again). Coming from upwind right at me, about to get behind me. I recalled the whole of my flying experience...4 minutes flight plus 2 hours on FMS to get me out of this situation and decided to do a wonderful maneuver I'd mastered on FMS. Half loop with a half roll to get back on track and headed the other way.

Good plan, says I!!!

Pulled back and found myself staring straight into the noonday sun. Alas, my plane had completely disappeared. I'm blind, screamed I, and continued moving the stick. Much to my surprise, through the dots and squiggly lines I saw all around me, the Stryker majically reappeared. It flew straight and level. Westward to safety. What a wondrous sight!

You know, I never took those "keep the sun at your back" statements in all the flight instructions I've read all that seriously. I wondered what the was the big deal. I also wondered, later that afternoon, what that warm sticky feeling was near the back pockets of my pants.

My knees are still knocking,
Ralph :D

jcblough
07-12-2006, 08:18 PM
Yeah lost mine in the sun like that once too. Lesson learned. I didn't crash but it scared me to death.
My neighbor lost his typhoon in the sun on his maiden and augered it in BIG TIME. totalled the airframe and 2 servos. . . not fun.

Sunday I was flying. Kids had kept me up the night before so I was feeling a bit "off" I rolled over to inverted and started practicing inverted turns - then all of a sudden I woke up and was like "hey they plane is diving dummy" Rolled topside and climbed out. Then I did the most advanced maneuver I've ever pulled off. I landed the plane and put it in the truck.

Grasshopper
07-12-2006, 08:24 PM
Yep, loosing one in the sun is no fun but can you imagine being in a WWII Warbird over Germany or the Pacific and loosing the ME 109 or Zero you're chasing in the sun? Talk about your knees shaking. I think I would have drowned from my cockpit filling with sweat (and other things).

reyn3545
07-13-2006, 02:37 AM
Hey, rahtware.. you just took me back amost 25 years... My first sales manager had a sign over his office door that said Non et Illigitimi Carbarandum ...

After he told me what it meant, I never forgot!... Thanks!

jcblough
07-13-2006, 03:12 AM
Yep, loosing one in the sun is no fun but can you imagine being in a WWII Warbird over Germany or the Pacific and loosing the ME 109 or Zero you're chasing in the sun? Talk about your knees shaking. I think I would have drowned from my cockpit filling with sweat (and other things).

I think my shrieking like a woman in terror would knock anything out of the sky if that happened to me. :D

rahtware
07-13-2006, 05:57 AM
Hey, rahtware.. you just took me back amost 25 years... My first sales manager had a sign over his office door that said Non et Illigitimi Carbarandum ...

After he told me what it meant, I never forgot!... Thanks!

Me neither... I also use it to remind myself not to respond to "them".

Grasshopper
07-13-2006, 05:59 AM
OK, so can you post what it means?

rahtware
07-13-2006, 02:16 PM
OK, so can you post what it means?

"Don't let the (bad people) grind you down".

reyn3545
07-13-2006, 05:04 PM
I like your paraphrase!

rahtware
07-13-2006, 05:48 PM
Thank you

Back on thread... What does it take to make a great first trainer??? I learned to fly in 1980 (with a teacher) so I find that what I learned about trainers is a bit dated.

I would think if you are trying to teach yourself then survivability would have to be high on the list. built in stability would make up for poor control inputs. Slow (but not too slow) flying planes allow more time for the pilot to think about what to do before things go to heck. No bad stall characteristics, nothing worse than stalling into a snap-spin-crash! Low cost! It is a bit depressing to destroy a couple hundred bucks on the first flight. Normal sticks would be nice. Some single stick planes have you push the stick away to increase throttle/climb. This is OK if it is on the left stick, but if it is on the same stick as the rudder then you will have to relearn when you go to a normal trans that has you pull the right (or only) stick back to climb.

So what have I forgotten???

If you don't know about them already, the Air Hog Aero Ace biplanes are great first planes and only cost $29.99. Four nonfliers have learned on mine. Even my 4 year-old nephew has fun slamming the sticks around... And when it crashes he retrieves it and then flies again, which he can as we haven't broken it yet.

reyn3545
07-13-2006, 07:31 PM
I'd agree... stable flight, gentle controls, good gliding plane (for slow landings).

Unfortunately, most of these characteristics make for a great first plane and a not so great secone one...

rahtware
07-13-2006, 08:04 PM
I'd agree... stable flight, gentle controls, good gliding plane (for slow landings).

Unfortunately, most of these characteristics make for a great first plane and a not so great secone one...

To someone just getting into this hobby that may seem like a negative, but it is really a blessing in disguise. Most 1st planes don't survive the learning process, but those that do become backups, Sunday fliers, night fliers or aerial photography platforms... I have around 20 planes in my rafters, all just in need of equipment to be flyable... Most are nitro though and as I don't do that anymore I should probably get rid of them... But, who knows, I might get tired of this E-power someday and go back to oily right shoes.

jcblough
07-16-2006, 05:30 PM
Most people will probably want to ditch their trainer at the first chance they are ready anyway. I remember taunting my freedom that a stryker was on order everytime I'd hack me off.

I think an ideal trainer would be to take an aerobird challenger and put the freedom's pushrods on it. cheap, tough and no mono-filament. I know it works, it just seems shoddy to me.

Joe Ford
07-16-2006, 06:57 PM
I'm self-taught...first plane was a GWS Funny Park (which was brutally tortured every time I took it to the flying field...first successful plane (and the one that really taught me to fly) was an XE2 flying wing from www.combatwings.com (http://www.combatwings.com) . I smacked that thing into terra firma at 50+mph so many times I lost count...but it taught me to fly without buying plane after plane after plane. :) In my book there are only 2 "first planes"...a flying wing for it's durability and a Slow Stick for the extremely low speed at which it flies. 15mph seems like 150 when you're learning. Your hands can never react fast enough as your brain has not yet acquired the necessary muscle memory. Thanks heavens humans learn new tasks quickly (relatively at least ;) ).

flypaper 2
07-16-2006, 11:29 PM
Shoddy is good. You don't get attached to shoddy planes. Shoddy planes last forever. How come all my planes are shoddy? :D