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Old 07-19-2011, 12:15 AM   #1
Sidhewynder
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Default Beginning airplane to see if I like RC

Hi Everyone,

I've always been interested in RC planes, but not sure if the hobby is right for me. I don't really have a great deal of time or space to devote right now, so I was interested in the eplanes instead of the gas versions. In addition, it will be very difficult to find a teacher because of my work schedule. All that being said I have 3 questions/criteria.

1) I was wondering what would be a good plane to start with? Let me say I've seen a lot about the Wing Dragon 3s and 4s (WD-3 & WD-4). My concern is if I start with a 3 channel unit, will I be learning some really bad habits if I like the sport. On the other hand, if I decide I prefer a casual level, isn't the 3 channel just easier to fly for beginners? (I'm referring to what I've read about turning.. the self righting vs turn with ailerons).

2) I love seaplanes and if I really take to the sport I'd prefer to fly a seaplane off water. I see the WD-3 has a float option. My general plan was to learn the plane on land, then attach the floats. (I'd like to eventually fly a catalina off salt water.. but hey that's waaay down the road).

3) $$ Since I'm not sure how involved I'm going to be, I like the idea of a low-buck plane that includes everything needed to fly. I know I'll have to sacrifice some quality/performance, but I've seen the WD-3s for around 129.00. Actually I've seen ads for the WD-4 for the same price, but they seem to be all sold out..

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:30 AM   #2
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You want the Champ.

http://www.parkzone.com/Articles/Art...ArticleID=2129

Mike
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:35 AM   #3
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Talking

Hi
Welcome aboard
Pleased to meet you
Nothing wrong with learning 3 channel and then going to four
In fact its how i progressed, from 2 throttle and rudder to 3 added elevator to 4 added ailerons
And now ive been in this fine hobby for 36 years
Theres many good trainers out there, Look for high wing with some dihedral
Good ones are
The Flyzone Switch, two planes in one trainer and aerobatic trainer
http://www.flyzoneplanes.com/airplanes/hcaa2530/
Any of the HobbyZone Super Cubs
http://secure.hobbyzone.com/HBZ4800.html
http://secure.hobbyzone.com/HBZ7300.html
HobbyZone Champ
http://secure.hobbyzone.com/catalog/...f/HBZ4900.html
Hobbico Mini NexStar and NexStar
http://www.hobbiconexstar.com/nexstar-mini/
http://www.hobbiconexstar.com/
Take care
Yours Hank

"When wild the head-wind beat,Thy sovereign Will commanding, Bring them who dare to fly, To a safe landing."
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sidhewynder View Post
Hi Everyone,

I've always been interested in RC planes, but not sure if the hobby is right for me. I don't really have a great deal of time or space to devote right now, so I was interested in the eplanes instead of the gas versions. In addition, it will be very difficult to find a teacher because of my work schedule. All that being said I have 3 questions/criteria.

1) I was wondering what would be a good plane to start with? Let me say I've seen a lot about the Wing Dragon 3s and 4s (WD-3 & WD-4). My concern is if I start with a 3 channel unit, will I be learning some really bad habits if I like the sport. On the other hand, if I decide I prefer a casual level, isn't the 3 channel just easier to fly for beginners? (I'm referring to what I've read about turning.. the self righting vs turn with ailerons).

2) I love seaplanes and if I really take to the sport I'd prefer to fly a seaplane off water. I see the WD-3 has a float option. My general plan was to learn the plane on land, then attach the floats. (I'd like to eventually fly a catalina off salt water.. but hey that's waaay down the road).

3) $$ Since I'm not sure how involved I'm going to be, I like the idea of a low-buck plane that includes everything needed to fly. I know I'll have to sacrifice some quality/performance, but I've seen the WD-3s for around 129.00. Actually I've seen ads for the WD-4 for the same price, but they seem to be all sold out..

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!!
Hey Sidhewynder, welcome to the addiction (or soon to be addiction)

There are tons of planes to choose from wether they be 4 ch high wing trainers or 3ch cubs. But for the sake and sanity of getting 100 different recommendations, I want to partially hijack your thread and ask the pros to maybe try a different approch to helping new piloots pick their planes.

So how about if we make a list of maybe 10-15 models we all know would help a begginer and then just list the pros and cons under that plane???

So I will start the list with just two I would recommend. Please feel free (anyone) to ADD or COMMENT on opinions but for the sake of the new guys, please don't make it an open debate, we each have our own likes and dislikes and all comments good or bad can be useful.

1) Eflite Apprentice 15e - moderatly easy to fly, but not limited to just beginners
2) HZ Supercub LP - easy to fly, a bit slower and managable than the Apprentice 15e
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)
9)
10)

Hope this helps and others play along

Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory!

AMA #964800
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:43 AM   #5
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why not find a club and let them take you up on a club trainer

that won't cost you...

it won't be tiny and they can answer other questions that will come up.

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Old 07-19-2011, 12:47 AM   #6
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. (I'd like to eventually fly a catalina off salt water.. but hey that's waaay down the road).

all we have to do is set the hook......


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Old 07-19-2011, 12:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tampaflyer View Post
. (I'd like to eventually fly a catalina off salt water.. but hey that's waaay down the road).

all we have to do is set the hook......
Hi
When you do stick to fresh water ponds and lakes
I know this from learning the hard way
I wanted to fly out of my back yard
The "Long Island sound" and found the salt is quite bad for the airframe and the electronics
Now i only fly over and not in or on the Sound
Take care
Yours Hank

"When wild the head-wind beat,Thy sovereign Will commanding, Bring them who dare to fly, To a safe landing."
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:50 PM   #8
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Wow.. thank to everyone for the reponses. There are just so many good planes out there its hard to choose.

I contacted the local club here, and they're very open to helping beginners, but unfortunately my work schedule doesn't line up with any of the members free time. So they're more than willing to help with advice, and with any of the physical issues (planes, breakage, tuning, etc.), but unless schedules change when the bird is in the air I'm on my own.

Hank beautiful home... Tampa.. yea.. that sets the hook. Being a part time Marine Mechanic I know salt water is bad for everything... except the soul...

Please add any suggetions or tips.. I'd really appreciate it..
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sidhewynder View Post
Wow.. thank to everyone for the reponses. There are just so many good planes out there its hard to choose.

I contacted the local club here, and they're very open to helping beginners, but unfortunately my work schedule doesn't line up with any of the members free time. So they're more than willing to help with advice, and with any of the physical issues (planes, breakage, tuning, etc.), but unless schedules change when the bird is in the air I'm on my own.

Hank beautiful home... Tampa.. yea.. that sets the hook. Being a part time Marine Mechanic I know salt water is bad for everything... except the soul...

Please add any suggetions or tips.. I'd really appreciate it..
All the planes mentioned are great trainers. I got back into the hobby with a Parkzone T-28. Went on a buddybox after crashing it once and that was the best decision of the whole return, find a club and get on a buddy box so you don't get frustrated and thing you can't do it. Great think about the T-28 is that parts are readily available, the foam can be epoxied back together and your back in the air in no time if you do have a mishap. Stay two mistakes high and enjoy it!!!!

It is extremely addictive, my wife thinks I need help, especially when I use vacation days to go fly, she doesn't know it but I am doing it again Thursday!!!

Have fun and welcome to the hobby, keep us posted whatever you do!
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:55 PM   #10
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While all are good trainers recommended - all are difficult to fly with no help.

That is why I like the Champ - when you crash it (and you will) since it is so light it tends not to break.

Mike
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:08 PM   #11
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Lots of good suggestion as starter aircraft, mine was the Super Cub, which I pretty much learned on my own, but I also had a lot of computer sim flight time, which is very different but still gives you a feel for how airplanes work ( and crash)

Best idea is get an experienced pilot to help you but if that just will not work out, there are a number of RC flight simulator that will be very helpful with the basics and getting down the muscle reactions to plane coming at you or away from you. It will not give you everything you need to learn, but there absolutely no trainer on the market that repairs faster or cheaper when you crash

Good luck with it
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:36 PM   #12
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Hey Sidhewynder,

Unless you can only fly at midnight or at the time when normal people work, someone will be able to help you during your available time. In fact some of us fly at night with lights on the plane, and some of us are retired, and have no work schedule to worry about, so that about covers everything as far as time goes.

Maybe your local hobby shop can help you find an instructor, or at least let you use the flight simulator that most shops have, and give you tips.

Or if possible get a new or used transmitter with a trainer jack, then download "FMS" Flying Models Simulator, the download is free, and it is a decent simulator, yes many others are better, but you can't argue with the price. I have seen kids that have played on a sim, all winter, solo on their second flight in the spring.

Where do you live? maybe someone would be able to meet up with you, and get you in the air,( you might have to buy lunch though)

Yes you will crash a few planes, but most of the time, a little glue, and it's OK.
The first time you smoothly land with no bumps or bounces, and taxi up to your feet, makes it all worth while, then your really hooked.

Dave R, Proud PGR rider.
When you have flying skills like mine,
You become a master at repair.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:22 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
While all are good trainers recommended - all are difficult to fly with no help.

That is why I like the Champ - when you crash it (and you will) since it is so light it tends not to break.

Mike
The Champ is great 1st plane.
And 4th for me

"ZZ Rider"
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:27 PM   #14
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How much space do you have? This is very important.

For most parkflyers, small but not micro electrics, you want about 600X600 as a new pilot. That would be 4 football/soccer fields or 4 baseball fields with the backstops in the corners.

What are your wind conditions like? Do you get days with winds under 3 mph or is it always windy?

Others can recommend planes without this info but I won't. I need to know your flying conditions before I will make a recommendation.


Do you have a RC Aiplane flight simulator. This is an excellent investment that will save you $$$ in crashes and repairs. Like any other sim, it gets the brain and the hands working together and starts to develop muscle memory.

It also helps you get used to how airplanes behave. They are very different from cars. The are much more like boats, but in three dimmensions. If you stop a boat it does not sink, but if you stop a plane in the air .....

This is a big change from what most of us are used to.

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Old 07-20-2011, 03:51 PM   #15
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Hi Everyone. Again thanks for all the input. I live in central PA, and went to the local flying club to find a teacher. Unfortunately I have changing shifts and can get toned out at anytime (I work in HazMat), so I'd feel terrible having someone show up to train me and have to leave.

I have farms all around me and after the hay is cut I have a lot of tree-free area to fly around in. Winds here are just really variable, but die down right before dusk. The advantage of a smaller plane is I could walk out my door and in 15mins be flying.

That being said, I've read where the smaller planes like the Champ are really touchy in winds. Does anyone have any opinions about the Hobby Zone Mini Super Cub? I've read where its a bit bigger than the Champ, so is less impacted by wind, but still small enough not require a true flight field??

I am interested in a simulator. I'm not sure any of the radios that come with ARFs come with a buddy jack. At least I've not seen that in any of the literature, but I might have missed it. As with planes there are many simulators, so does anyone have any suggestions as to which would be better for a beginner?

Thanks again...
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Sidhewynder View Post
Hi Everyone. Again thanks for all the input. I live in central PA, and went to the local flying club to find a teacher. Unfortunately I have changing shifts and can get toned out at anytime (I work in HazMat), so I'd feel terrible having someone show up to train me and have to leave.

I have farms all around me and after the hay is cut I have a lot of tree-free area to fly around in. Winds here are just really variable, but die down right before dusk. The advantage of a smaller plane is I could walk out my door and in 15mins be flying.

That being said, I've read where the smaller planes like the Champ are really touchy in winds. Does anyone have any opinions about the Hobby Zone Mini Super Cub? I've read where its a bit bigger than the Champ, so is less impacted by wind, but still small enough not require a true flight field??

I am interested in a simulator. I'm not sure any of the radios that come with ARFs come with a buddy jack. At least I've not seen that in any of the literature, but I might have missed it. As with planes there are many simulators, so does anyone have any suggestions as to which would be better for a beginner?

Thanks again...
Hi
The Mini Super Cub is a wonderful aircraft for the novice to the expert
Heres mine
DO NOT USE THE ACT
Did you watch the videos i posted The Full Nexstar Comes with a Realflite sim and is buddy box capable
Many RTF packages do come with both of those features
I use Phoenix to brush up, practice new moves, and its great in the winter months
http://www.phoenix-simv3.com/default.asp
Take care
Yours Hank

"When wild the head-wind beat,Thy sovereign Will commanding, Bring them who dare to fly, To a safe landing."
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:11 PM   #17
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Typically the larger the model the less it is affected by wind.

If you want something to fly in front of the house with little or no wind:

Ember RTF
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...ProdID=PKZ3400
Night Vapror ( lights for night flying)
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...rodID=PKZU1100

These can be flown in front of the typical house - watch out for trees, they reach out and grab small planes.

For the open fields, I like the HobbyZone Super Cub. This has been a wildly successful first plane. Hard to break and easy to fix it flies great. Can be hand launched or runway launched.
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...#quickOverview

There are several versions. This one is on 2.4 GHz and comes with a DX4e radio that has a trainer port. No frequency conflict issues.

Lots of fun accesories too:
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...ickAccessories


My other favorite RTF for beginners is the Multiplex Easy Star. Again, wildly successful. No trainer port on this one.
http://www.hobbypeople.net/index.php...-c-rtf-rc.html


If you have any interest in gliders, then the Parkzone Radian is the one to get. I belong to a glider/small electric club. This is the #1 recommended package for new glider pilots. Climb high, power off, fly for a long time. It is very hard to fail with a Radian RTF. Trainer port on the radio.
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...ProdID=PKZ4700


There are huge discussion threads on each of these planes. Tips, tricks and modifications you can make to them over time.


Apprentice
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...725#quickSpecs

If you are going to be learning at a club field then I would add the Apprentice to your list of planes.
No reason you could not do this one on your own at the hay fields, but it is better suited to a runway environment in my opinion. 2.4 GHz so no channel conflicts. Has a trainer port. It is larger and heavier than the others so it will be able to tollerate more wind, but still has a great reputation as a trainer plane.

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www.lisf.org
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www.flyesl.org
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:58 PM   #18
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Mini Super Cub was my first plane. I learned on my own with no mentor and no sim time.

It will handle a bit of wind - much more than, say, the Champ. This is a big consideration to me, as I live in Kansas and it's always, always windy. Sub-3MPH winds happen almost never so light, tiny planes like the Champ and problematic here.

To me, it's a good compromise in terms of size and price. You're up and flying for about $100 and when/if you outgrow it, you can mod the crap out of it.

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Old 07-25-2011, 05:14 PM   #19
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Hi Sidewinder,
I'm 80 yrs old. I learned some on a trainer / buddy box last summer. Practiced ALL winter, almost every day on FMS with a DX5e controller, several models.

This spring I built a simple Slow stick practiced several hours a week (flying and repairing). I can now take-off my GWS Slow Stick (tricyle gear), do simple patterns, loops, hammerhead turns and land where I want to. haven't had a crash with her yet.

No particular plane will train you to fly or make you an RC pilot. Only an easily controlled plane and practice,practice, practice can do that. AN EASILY REPAIRED PLANE IS ALSO A DEFINITE PLUS.

best wishes for happy landings, Fly
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:57 PM   #20
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I taught my self to fly with the Mini Super Cub, I figured it was 99.00 RTF and if I didn't like it there wasn't a ton of money lost. Great starter plane I would recommend it to a beginner!!

You will crash, its all part of the fun of the hobby, don't let it discourage you.

I have been in RC cars and boats for a long time and was always discouraged by the crowd involved with those hobbies. On the other hand the people who I have meet so far that fly planes are great people and have always been very helpful in educating me, this forum included.

Hope you get in to hobby, it becomes a addiction just fair warning

Richard
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:46 PM   #21
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Hey, Sidhewinder, Where do you live in Central PA? I live in Dallsatown (near York) and teach in the West Shore School District near Camp Hill. If you're looking for someone to fly with, hit me up. I'll be glad to get together and help you out. I am no expert, but do pretty well.

All of my landings are three point landings if you count the spinner, too
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:01 PM   #22
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How about a Multiplex Easystar 3 channel or if you want 4 channels an easystar clone like the Dynam Hawk Sky. Both are foamies so easy to build and repair, both are "glider/plane" style so extended flight times are possible. Both are pushers so your prop and motor are protected. The Dynam can be bought for under $100 complete with bruhless motor, lipo, 2.4 Ghz radio setup.

EFlight Mini Pulse XT, Durafly Dynamic S, Scratch Built 52" Pushycat, HK 330 Edge Profile, HK Mini Spirit, Thunder Tiger EHawk 1500.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:04 PM   #23
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Ditto with the Sky surfer from Banana Hobby. I am partial to the HZ Super Cub, myself!

All of my landings are three point landings if you count the spinner, too
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:32 PM   #24
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EarthSci - I live outside State College. If we could work schedules out, I'd appreciate the chance to fly a bit. Shoot me a PM if you want and we'll see if we can work out some times and places.

I'm checking out all the planes everyone has suggested. I'm really surprised that there is such a diversity.
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Old 07-29-2011, 01:38 AM   #25
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I wonder why no one has recommended a Radian glider? This was my second RC and it was an easy plane to fly and made me feel that I had learned something every time we went flying. Its big so its easy to see (orientation) and forgiving, partly because its slow you can fly for 15 to 20 mins easily, much longer once you learn how to find thermals. And the Radian breaks down into a small package that fits into most small cars.

I bought a T-28 as my first plane because it was recommended from the local hobby shop. Not an easy plane for a first time pilot, partly because it has 4 channels (ailerons). The Radian is big and slow and only 3 channels, rudder elevator and throttle.
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