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Old 11-22-2012, 04:16 AM   #1
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Default Another Newbie!

All right,
I am 57 and desperately in need of a hobby. I have flown RC's twice (on a buddy box) for less than 5 minutes each time. I can't seem to make up my mind if I want to start with a 3-channel Super Cub LP or a 4-channel E-Flite Apprentice. Then again, should I go with the 3-channel Radian or 4-channel Radian Pro. From what I have researched, 3-channels are usually best to start with, but I am not flush with lots of cash so don't want to get something I will get bored with too soon. I would prefer to stick with American made products. I am also considering starting with the Spektrum DX6I. I probably won't be purchasing until February, but I want to have plenty to think about until then. Any suggestions and reccomendations?
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:30 AM   #2
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Go with a 3-channel (e.g. a HobbyZone SuperCub LP) if you plan on flying it alone. If you are flying with an instructor, the Apprentice might be the way to go. Flying with an instructor is always recommended over trying alone.

The DX6i is a good radio, but if you can afford it, get a DX8 instead. You won't need all the features now, but if my progression into more advanced models is a guide, you'll need them much sooner than you had ever imagined.

Good luck finding American made products! 99% of everything is assembled in China. There are some American-run companies, though. My favorites include Horizon Hobby (HobbyZone, ParkZone, E-flite, Hangar 9, etc), 3DHobbyShop and Extreme Flight. For a beginner, you should look at HobbyZone. They have the SuperCub, which is a classic, but also some more modern trainers, such as the Stratos.

Good luck, and don't ever hesitate to ask for help, whether is from your local RC club or from the online communities. There's a wealth of knowledge out there, and most people are happy to help!

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Old 11-22-2012, 06:04 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard Hisflite!
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:32 AM   #4
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If you plan on continuing with the buddy box, i.e. learning with an instructor, then go straight for 4-channel. OTOH 3-channel will be easier to get on with if you're going to try learning on your own.

Whether you go for a glider type (Radian) or more conventional plane depends on what you intend to carry on flying. I'd probably start with the Apprentice but that's because I'm not very interested in gliders.

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Old 11-22-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
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One thing that is rarely mentioned .... there is no reason why a 3ch machine cannot be modified to 4ch later ... this I used to do with people years ago ... get them flying and then show them how to create literally a new model out of the existing ... opening up more possibilities and capabilities with what they thought was a first learn and move on model.

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Old 11-22-2012, 01:39 PM   #6
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welcome to wattflyer!!!!!!!!! great bunch of folks willing to help you out. like everyon said above,if you have a rc buddy to help you learn then get the plane you can do more with as your skills grow.

i started flying using the hobbico skyfly [1st version] 3channel and it survived so many crashes!! i finally moved up to keeping the balsa kits i built to fly and still on my own...many repairs later i joined a club. they weren't much help in the begining and i was still doing tons of repair work. a few younger pilots started helping me learn and 5 years later....it's all good!!! joined a new club with a great group of guys and never looked back...now i can fly.

so,if learning alone go 3 channel and buy the most durable,crash resistant plane you can find....lol...,you'll have a blast!! you'll learn thru repairs,dooohh!it really is an important part of this hobby.

plus ,we'er rooting for your success and will be standing by to answer any of your questions.

again,welcome to wattflyer!stu

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:02 PM   #7
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From one newbie to the other: Welcome!

Friendly place and very knowledgable!

Best of luck to you in your R/C adventure.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:11 PM   #8
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Default Happy Thanksgiving!

I thank all of you for your responses. My first flight with a "buddy box" began with a food bank fund raiser. (Bring 2 cans of food and fly a plane). A couple of years later, I ran into the same group flying at the same location and they let me fly again.
What is your opinion on flight simulators? Phoenix or RealFlight or? They seem to be pretty expensive. Are they worth the money?
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:18 PM   #9
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RealFlight has a "Basic" package. No "whistles and bells", so to speak, just solid simulation performance. Here's a link:

http://www.realflight.com/basic.html

I had Rea lFlight G4 last time I dabbled in R/C. I firmly believe it helped me to get the eye/hand coordination I needed to be able to keep my real plane from suffering from a terminal flight.

I'm toying with the idea of purchasing the "Basic" version of Real Flight to use before I start trying to fly my first aileron airplane.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:41 PM   #10
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I vote on getting Phoenix and the Apprentice. That's what I did. :-) I think the simulator is great for building "muscle memory" and getting used to orientation. Is it like the real thing? Well, for those few things like I mentioned, yes. For real pucker factor, no.

The Apprentice is a great plane. It flys well out of the box. Spare parts are readily available. Batteries for it are reasonable (from vendors other than e-Flite). I learned to fly it by "passing the transmitter". About 1/2 dozen flights and I was taking off, flying, and landing on my own.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:28 PM   #11
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I have to respectfully disagree with MX5Seeker on sim choice. I'm looking to replace my old Realflight v3.5 I gave to a friend, and fortunately, found my LHS had the latest RF and Phoenix sim demo stands right next to each other, so I got to try both, back and forth. The main thing I based it on was trying to fly stunts and 3d with some planes like Yak's and Edge's. RF really felt more realistic, like the planes had some mass. Phoenix felt too 'video game'-like. Please take my opinion with a grain of salt, as I never went into the settings of the sims, so maybe Phoenix was set in an easy mode or something. I was actually leaning towards Phoenix before, since you can use your own tx with it.

Maybe MX5Seeker can shed some light on my experience. Next time I go in there, I will definitely check into the settings for the sim. I'm sure Phoenix will still be a great sim , It's just that RF felt more realistic to me. Maybe it's a subliminal thing with the name! No sim can simulate the 'pucker-factor' of having your real hard earned dollars up there and no reset button.

As far as the Apprentice, great plane! Of course, I'm biased as it was my first, but I can tell you I now have probably more than 10 planes, including my PZ Corsair, a fairly large P-51, a twin ducted fan biz-jet, and a couple of pretty quick EDF fighters, and I still enjoy taking out the Apprentice and brushing up on my basics. Especially doing touch-and-go's, to keep my landing skills sharp. And I can buddy box others who are interested in learning. I got floats for it, too. Just haven't found the time to install them.

But that's my bias. There are many paths to learning, and many good planes out there to do it with. The HZ Super Cub, the Apprentice, Multiplex Easystar, Parkzone Radian, etc., etc.,.... One will catch your eye, and get you started. Just go onto forums and read what people have experienced with them before you buy. One thing I see a lot of people make a mistake about, is they think just because a model is a Cub, it's easy to fly. Not all models are created equally. My PZ Corsair was my 2nd plane, and only slightly more challenging to fly than the Apprentice, but I've seen other people's Corsairs at the field that they wrestled with and crashed. So do your research!
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:40 PM   #12
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Welcome to the hobby! I have a friend who taught himself to fly with the Super Cub LP this past summer. Even though he flies 4-channel now, he still loves flying the cub. I think he has three of them actually, and talks about adding ailerons to one.

If you are on a budget the DX6i is a great radio. It's what I use, and a pricier radio is more of a want than a need for me.

If you are willing to build from a kit there are some excellent airplanes out there that are American designed and made. You might try Mountain Models and/or Stevens Aeromodel for starters. Well done laser cut kits with good instructions and good selection of airplane types, including several well suited to beginning builders and flyers.

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Old 11-22-2012, 08:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by HisFlite1 View Post
I thank all of you for your responses. My first flight with a "buddy box" began with a food bank fund raiser. (Bring 2 cans of food and fly a plane). A couple of years later, I ran into the same group flying at the same location and they let me fly again.
What is your opinion on flight simulators? Phoenix or RealFlight or? They seem to be pretty expensive. Are they worth the money?
I have Reality RC Flight Sim ... about $25 on ebay incl. USB TX ...

The graphics may not be up to Clearview / Phoenix etc. - but it does a very good job ...

One point with a sim - you have no spatial awareness with them. Basically you cannot look around as you do when actually flying a model .. your peripheral vision helps you know where ground is ... whats to side etc. With the Sims you don't get that ... so it's a pure 2d view only. BUT it's worth it .. you can practice all the moves without costing you a model ...

Nigel

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Old 11-22-2012, 08:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by xmech2k View Post
..............I was actually leaning towards Phoenix before, since you can use your own tx with it.
................
You should be able to use own Tx with ANY sim ... if you can't - then somethings wrong with your cable / set-up etc. or the Tx you have is not capable to work with a sim

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Old 11-22-2012, 09:02 PM   #15
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Hisflight,

I was in the exact situation you are in about 2 years ago transitioning from 5 hour rounds of golf back to RC which I was away from for some 30 years. At 57, this is a perfect hobby IMO. Can manage the time, not overly expensive , unless you want it to be and it's challenging.

Sound like you're well on your way with the fundamentals.

Sim is a good idea. I started with the Real Flight Basic that I bought from ebay.

High wing trainer is a good idea. I started with the HZ Super Cub , went to an Airfield Cessna 182 and then to a PZ T-28 in about a 3-4 month span. Still have all 3 models and have modded them out. The C182 is my least favorite in this category

Got into building foamie "prop in the slot" pusher jets(F4,F-22, F-15, Sea Dart) and this made me a better RC pilot and I've had a lot of fun flying what I built. Really helps you understand everything going on in the aircraft when you build a few.

Like a teenager, I am still experimenting with different model types and flying styles. Have gone for more speed with the HK- Radjet and JPowers Rare Bear and have a small squadron of 50 & 64mm edf's that each have their own quirks. Trying out 3D with some homebuiilt foamies but I also have a 52" Yak-54 sitting in the box waiting to be built.

Even playing around with Twins. Have the DH-88 Comet and just bought a Cessna 310.

What's common ? I have one TX: Futaba, One Charger: ICharger 206B and have standardized on the EC3 connector ( my only mistake )

It's been addicting to say the least. There's a plethera of knowledge on WF, some of whom have responded above. Everyone's out to help as we all want each other to succeed in the hobby.

It's tough to find Arf's that are American made and are reasonably affordable. I do try to support the small business community as much as I can like my LHS and American RC shops like Headsuprc, Grayson, Value Hobby, etc. but let's face it: In the foam built rc world, the Chinese have mastered the molding process.

Best of luck and welcome to the addiction !

-Hawk
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
You should be able to use own Tx with ANY sim ... if you can't - then somethings wrong with your cable / set-up etc. or the Tx you have is not capable to work with a sim

Nigel
[Slaps forehead!] You're so right! What a brain fart! I just never tried it before with RF.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:11 AM   #17
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I want to thank all of you for your responses. It gives me plenty to think about this winter. Hopefully, I can get my hands on a simulator before I start flying in the spring.

Happy Thanksgiving from North Idaho!

-HisFlite1
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:27 AM   #18
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xmech2k,

I don't own RealFlight, just Phoenix. Maybe it's just personal preference, but when I used RF in the stores, to me the planes seemed "clunky". Maybe it's the processor power. I'm sure RF is great, and I have no real prejudice against it. It's just that for me, Phoenix does the trick.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:34 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by HisFlite1 View Post
All right,
I am 57 and desperately in need of a hobby. I have flown RC's twice (on a buddy box) for less than 5 minutes each time. I can't seem to make up my mind if I want to start with a 3-channel Super Cub LP or a 4-channel E-Flite Apprentice. Then again, should I go with the 3-channel Radian or 4-channel Radian Pro. From what I have researched, 3-channels are usually best to start with, but I am not flush with lots of cash so don't want to get something I will get bored with too soon. I would prefer to stick with American made products. I am also considering starting with the Spektrum DX6I. I probably won't be purchasing until February, but I want to have plenty to think about until then. Any suggestions and reccomendations?
If you can find a local club, by all means try to identify an instructor and a buddy box system setup. That will cut the cost (read crashes) by a big fraction before you are accomplished enough to take off and land without breaking anything.

The AMA has information on all the RC clubs in the USA.
http://www.modelaircraft.org/membership/clubs.aspx

DennyV
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:30 AM   #20
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Welcome. I looked online and noticed Coeur d'Alene has a local rc airplane club. Why not go there and strike up a conversation? Mention that you are considering taking up the hobby and you may get lucky. Someone may have an old trainer and transmitter they will part with for not much money. Also ask about indoor flying. If there is a location nearby, then maybe something like a Parkzone Night Vapor would be a good trainer. With the winter months coming up, a Vapor will get you used to flying a 3-channel plane so you will be ready for something bigger once the weather warms up.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:23 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by MX5Seeker View Post
xmech2k,

I don't own RealFlight, just Phoenix. Maybe it's just personal preference, but when I used RF in the stores, to me the planes seemed "clunky". Maybe it's the processor power. I'm sure RF is great, and I have no real prejudice against it. It's just that for me, Phoenix does the trick.
Yeah, they both must be good. I definitely want to try Phoenix again and check all the realism, wind, and turbulence settings. I wan't too impressed with RF at first, either, until a buddy suggested turning on some wind and turbulence. That was when it felt more like the real thing.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:38 PM   #22
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Save yourself a ton of headache and buy a slow stick. 3 channel, cheap, easy to fly, and immensely fun.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:16 PM   #23
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Slow Stick is great, but, you have to build it and set it up right. A noob doesn't need to do that with all the great ARF/RTF stuff out there. If he can find someone competent to build a Slow Stick for him, then yes, it is a great plane to start with.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:21 PM   #24
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For the best of all worlds, check out the fairly new Ares Gamma 370. This guy is bigger than a champ, lighter than a Super Cub, has a steerable tail wheel, has a brushless power upgrade AND a pro wing with ailerons available to simply plug onto the plane! It comes with a six-channel radio in the RTF version. I don't know what kind of features the radio has.

Or you can buy it in the RFR ready for receiver version where you supply the receiver, battery, charger and of course the transmitter.

It's $130 RTF and $80 RFR, a decent difference in price that (unlike Horizon) makes it worthwhile to buy the RFR and you have $50 toward a DX6i setup.

Aileron wing: $30, a BIT pricey but when you think that then you actually have two airplanes to fly, the price is easier to take. It includes aileron servos installed. All you have to do is plug the wire into your receiver and attach the wing.

Looking at the rest of Ares' line they don't have another model that's as well thought-out as this one, or any that are in any way compelling. But the Gamma looks like the real deal, a Champ killer on the prowl!
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:07 AM   #25
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That Ares Gamma 370 looks like an excellent "upgradable" intro plane! Wish it was around when I purchased my Super Cub a couple years or so ago.
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