Originally Posted by Domino
Ok, so I'm about a week into flying this Commander. Have been flying it almost daily on my lunch breaks at work. Seems to me I've kind of outgrown it already? I've disabled the beginner mode on the transmitter and can pretty much fly and land it without incident.
How do I know if I'm ready for ailerons? Should I be able to hop right into the MIG-15 or should I look for another trainer type airplane with ailerons? I'm just afraid that if I go that route I'll outgrow it too quickly like the Commander and be sorry I didn't just get the MIG.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
Depends on how daring you are. Glow guys typically start on ailerons, but they also start with instructors on buddy boxes.
How agressive are you on the Firebird Commander? Are you flying it as an easy going floater, almost like a powered sailplane, or are you agressively trying the limited aerobatics the plane can handle?
What is your budget for your next plane?
Are you ready to commit to a radio and ARF plane or kit, or do you need to stay in the RTF catagory?
If you have plenty of room to fly AND need to stay in the RTF category AND you want something faster and more aerobatic, then the F27 Stryker or the space scooter might be a good next step.
F27-Stryker - RTF - $170
Fun Keep-in-the-car plane
Just pop off the tail fins and it goes back in the box!!!!!
Multiplex Space Scooter - RTF
A more up to date version of the Sky Scooter Pro above
If you are ready to buy a hobby grade radio AND go with an an easy kit then the Mountain Models Magpie might be a great next step. Available with 2 wings, you can start with 3 channels R/E/T and get used to that, then switch to the aileron wing and advance on the same plane. There is a huge following for this plane.
Magpie - with both wing kits - $55
Easy to build Foam kit -
Has trainer wing AND aileron sport wing
Master the first, then advance to the second.
They offer a complete package with both wings and all the electronics for $160
Video - slow fly wing
I have a very specific position on radios. Don't buy a Standard Radio!!!
Computer radios are now so inexpensive and offer so much more than standard
radios that it doesn't make sense to get anything but a computer radio. Don't
get me wrong, there are many good standard radios, but for only a few bucks
more you get a much more capable computer radio that can do more for you than
any standard radio and can save you money by time you get the second plane.
They can also make it easier to fly your plane, perform aerobatics and more.
In short, computer radios give you things like model memories, exponential, a
variety of surface mixes and more; features not found on standard radios.
Your computer radio can store the profile for many planes and reset itself for
each plane by just selecting the model. Standard radios don't have model
memories or a lot of the other features that computer radios offer. With a
computer radio, you only need one radio to fly a bunch of planes, rather than
dedicating a radio to each plane, or resetting the radio each time you change
planes. Computer radios are great! In the end, they are cheaper. more
convenient AND can make it easier for a new flyer to learn to fly.
These are 6 channel radios so they will let you fly more advanced planes when you are ready.
Spektrum DX 6 - $199 - For the committed Parkflyer pilot
If your plans are to fly small to medium sized electrics, often called
parkflyers, hand launched gliders with wing spans under 60 inches, this might
be your best choice. The DX6 is suitable for flying around 1500 to 2000 feet
out. That is about 5-7 football fields away. This is more then enough for
these plane and further than most people will fly them. It has a nice mix of
features, 10 model memories and is backed by Horizon Hobby, so you can be
confident of good service. You will never worry about channel conflict again.
This promises to be the RC technology of the future.
Digital DSMT Spread Spectrum Modulation
10 model memories, dual rates, exponential, 6 channels, 8 standard mixes and
three programmable mixes. No crystals needed and no channel conflict control
DX6 Flight experience thread
More information on DX6 - Spektrum
Futaba 6 EXAS - Entry Level 6 Channel Computer Radio - $160
micro receiver, 3 micro servos, Switch- $160
Receiver in this package is not appropriate for sailplanes or glow planes.
OK for parkflyers/low speed electrics.
The Futaba 6EXAS is an entry level computer radio for the committed flyer who
also plans to fly glow planes, thermal duration gliders or electrics over 60"
span. Six channels, 6 model memories, a good mix of features and convenience
that will carry you a long way. The link is to a package that is good for
parkflyers, but there are other packages if you need larger/stronger
components for larger planes. For about $30 more than standard 4 channel radios, are miles ahead in capability!
Airtronics VG 6000 - $160
This particular package is very attractive for small electrics. Comes with two
small servos AND a 20 amp ESC. 6 channels, 4 model memories, a good mix of
features to carry you forward. The VG 6000 is also available with larger
components so it can also fly glow planes, and TD gliders that need greater
range than the DX6 offers.
There are lots of other good choices in computer radios that have more
channels, more features and a higher price. however these would be excellent
choices for the first time radio buyer or someone stepping up from RTFs who
knows they will continue in the hobby.