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Old 01-14-2013, 03:35 AM   #1
mattman0182
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Default What did you learn on? How long did it take?

Just wondering what you guys used for your first few planes.

What is the first plane you flew?
What was the first 4-channel plane you flew?

How long did it take you to get where you could fly pretty much anything without a whole lot of trouble?

As many of you know, I am new to the hobby. I have gotten very good with the Champ, but I am having trouble with the PZ T-28. Once I fix it, I aim to try again.

I will stay in this hobby, I am determined to. I understand it will take baby steps.

But I would like to know about the learning experiences of some of the more experienced flyers on this site. Perhaps this could help me in my own quest.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:42 AM   #2
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first flights were with the hobbyzone supercub. maybe 5 flights, as the plane was my brothers.

then i bought my first plane. the eflite apprentice. still like flying this plane. about 3 months of flying this plane i was pretty comfortable with it. then went to the parkzone albatros and while it flies good, it's a lot more intimidating. i don't have any problems flying this plane but it just takes alot more attention. i also have the parkzone t-28 and it is a great flying plane. it actually flies better than my apprentice! it is alot faster than the apprentice tho, and i don't think i would have had the same success with it if i had not learned on the apprentice.

i have a few micro planes, and for me, they are not as easy to fly as the bigger planes and really not as much fun either. the only exception i've seen in the micros is the UMX Sbach. it's a great plane!!
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:35 AM   #3
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I learned on the Dave Brown RC flight simulator when I was 13 or so. First plane was, IIRC, a 73" wingspan J-3 Cub. It was 4 Channel I managed to put it in the air and back on the ground with no damage (it did flip on its top as I landed in grass) It might of helped that I basically grew up on an Airport and at that time could fly a Cessna 172 without anyone touching anything. Couldn't solo cause I was too young LOL. We're actually rebuilding that Cub in the near future to be Electric. But I smashed up a few different sport planes in that 2 year span we were flying. Fast forward 11 years and the first bird I put in the air was an Art tech corsair which instantly rolled and wrecked cause I didn't do a proper pre flight check and the ailerons were backwards
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:56 AM   #4
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Path to flight for me, circa 1997:

Buy Carl Goldberg Mirage 550 trainer kit, which was a box of many balsa parts and a set of plans, plus the 550 can brushed direct drive motor. Then buy radio,rx,servos, pushrods and horns, covering, covering iron, and glue. Spend most evenings from Jan. 1st to feb 28th in the basement, learning to build, cover and set up the 3 ch. model. Then meet up with the wonderful guys at Burnaby Lake Flyers, an electric only club flying at an authorized city park site, where they had the patience to teach a total newbie how to keep his many hours of labour in the air, and in 1 piece during the learning process. My first full solo flight was after about 20 flight lessons, and the trainer lasted for several years after that, fitted with floats for lake flights.

I remained active in the Burnaby Lake club until 2 years ago, when a move to my new home, 60 miles away, made it impractical to continue flying there, but some of the members are still my friends, and I stop in there every time I have to travel that way. Just writing this out brought back some great memories of those times! :-)

Brad.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:27 AM   #5
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First plane was the Apprentice. Soloed on my 2nd flight, it was about 5 years ago. But then, I was flying flight simulators since they first came out on home computers! I'm comfortable now flying my FMS 1400mm P-51, fairly quick EDF's, and the UMX Stryker 180 I won at a club raffle, but when trying some stunts, I can get into some 'oh shoot!' (Edited for family consumption...) moments pretty quick!
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:47 AM   #6
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Wow, first flights. Ken Willard design School Master single channel rudder only .049 second GoldBerg Skylane 42 again single channel rudder only .049 followed by a GB Jr. Falcon ( the $3.95 kit ) same radio and engine.

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Old 01-14-2013, 08:27 AM   #7
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I learned to fly R/C back in 1988 using a very old Little Ship high winger that I bought, minus any gear, from a flier for reasonable cost.

Quote "The Little Ship is one of the many designs from the drawing board of legendary aeromodeller, Dick Schumacher. circa 1952.
With a wingspan of just 44”, it was designed for a .074 engine and Otarion radio, which operated a ‘ruddervator’ - a rotating, angled vane behind the tail that could be stopped in any of four positions to give either right rudder, down elevator, left rudder, or up elevator."

One advantage I had was that I could already fly control line having done so in my early years. I installed one of my AM 10 1cc diesel engines that I had kept from those days and with help from the great guys at the a nearby flying club I was in the air.
No buddy box for me then just a " if I shout hand me back the TX quickly" request from my tutor.
Mine was set up for rudder and elevator control so I installed a brand new Futaba Challenger set up with two 148 servos.
The lack of any throttle control proved " interesting", especially as diesels are very economical and will fly for longer than was often needed for first flights, so it wasn't long before I bought a PAW 1.5cc throttled diesel and experienced the joy of full throttle control.
I learned quickly with that set up and moved onto a scaled up Sharkface " Eric Clutton design" which I built from enlarged plans. Again rudder and elevator but a high wing stunt design with nothing in common with the Little Ship.
I had many years fun flying with both designs and I still have them today. The Little Ship is now converted to electric power and the Sharkface is undergoing conversion.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:21 AM   #8
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My first flights ever were with a Hobbyzone Mini Super Cub on my 50th birthday, about two years ago. (That's it in my avatar.) I learned to fly on that plane. Honestly, my very first flights went pretty well and I was looping and rolling and carrying a little keychain camera around in about a week.

My second plane was a Radian Glider.

My third plane was a GWS Tiger Moth 400 - also my first aileron plane, my first ARF kit, and my first bipe.

The Mini Super Cub has been recycled into other builds and its electronics are long dead and buried, but the other two planes are still flying.

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:42 AM   #9
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Back In 1966 When I was about 12 ( I am 29 years old Now ) My Father Bought a PT-19 CL plane,and i learned to fly with that, then we got a p-40 cox CL, That was so much fun, I never left Model Aviation about 25 Years ago, I bought a New Cox RC Foam low wing plane from a co worker, it was a 2 channel rc plane, with only 2 channels I thought i could fly it Ok Wrong, I crashed that plane so many times, epoxied it back together and tried again and again untill the plane got way to heavy to fly with so much epoxy , Then my friend gave me a 2 meter Wander glider kit, so i built that kit, put the 2 channel Sanwa radio in it, bought a Sig power pod and a 049 cox engine with a 6x4 prop and pertty much taught myself how to fly RC, My Friend helped me a little with RC, but I pretty much learned on my own, that 2 meter glider Taught me a lot, I got to the point where i could bring it back in and catch it out of the air then i bought a futaba 4 channel radio, and some foam kit planes from Hobby people, they had a 152 and a 172 cessna plane i belive, and my friend gave me some old HP 40 nitro engines, so i tossed those in the foam planes that were designed for a 19 to 25 nitro engine those planes Hauled Buns, my friend used to use those engines for Quicky 500 Planes and raced them I have had a lot of RC planes over the years, and I have been with E Power for about 7 years now, I sold all of my Slimy Nitro Engines that i used to use I Think it took me about 2 month before i Could take off, fly and land OK, there were no Sims back then anyway, those are my Humble beginings with Model Aviation, Take care and have fun, Chellie

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:14 AM   #10
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Self-taught on the E-Flite Apprentice 15e and RealFlight simulator. Being a scale fan I then bought several Cessna's. Two Dynam Cessna 182 and a Lanyu Cessna 182. Looking to learn low wing I bought a ART-Tech P51D mustang and a PZ T28. Wanted some smaller park fliers so I bought a HZ Champ, UM Ares Trainer 100, UMX Sbach and UMX 3D Beast and found them the hardest to fly of all my planes. My latest is a Startmax MX2.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:22 AM   #11
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Still very new at this..................my first plane is a Dynam "I can fly" trainer and a self Christmas present Super Cub.I try to fly the wings off both every weekend,so far so good(hot glue and clear tape).

Robin
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:30 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by RobinA View Post
Still very new at this..................my first plane is a Dynam "I can fly" trainer and a self Christmas present Super Cub.I try to fly the wings off both every weekend,so far so good(hot glue and clear tape).

Robin
Hi Robin And Welcome to Wattflyers I have the Dynam I can Fly Trainer Too, I bought it for my Grand Kids to learn on, the Ailerons are not big enough on it or the rudder, in a slight wind i have to use both the rudder and ailerons to get it to turn, make the Ailerons wider with some balsa aileron stock from Hobby people and make the rudder bigger for more control, I am converting my Dynam trainer into a Float plane with some GWS floats and a more powerful motor Take care and have fun, Chellie

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:18 PM   #13
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That's a hard one... Like Chellie I flew control line first way back in the early 70's, also freeflight. I flew my first RC model around 1975 when I was about 12. It was a .40 glow powered trainer called The Saturn Apprentice (not the same plane as today's E-flite Apprentice). It was a hand-me-down from my father who also learned on it.

I dont recall how long it took me to solo on it although I do clearly recall that i cartwheeled it on my first solo landing attempt and snaped the fuselage clean in half
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:14 PM   #14
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So far the one and only r/c plane I've had is the HobbyZone Super Mini cub also. flew great first couple of flights but after it crashed a couple of times not so good. Then the electronics would give me problems. All I really have right now is a simulator, hoping to save enough to buy another plane.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:21 PM   #15
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I learned on a Nine Eagles U.M. P47. That poor little planes been through Hell and back, and 3 motors later, still flying! Now it's got a Blade Heli motor now. Not only did it teach me to fly, but it also taught me how to repair foam, what works, what doesn't work, re-inforcing key points like leading edges of wings, all kinda stuff. I love my 'lil Jug. I painted it red.

R.C. Hobby is a hole into which one dumps money.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:31 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by matiac View Post
I learned on a Nine Eagles U.M. P47. That poor little planes been through Hell and back, and 3 motors later, still flying! Now it's got a Blade Heli motor now. Not only did it teach me to fly, but it also taught me how to repair foam, what works, what doesn't work, re-inforcing key points like leading edges of wings, all kinda stuff. I love my 'lil Jug. I painted it red.
Wow it must have been hard to learn on that thing. I really do not want to give up on this hobby. There are quite a few plans i'd like to own and be decent at flying. I guess we all go through those growing pains.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:47 PM   #17
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I started on the Raidentech "Accipiter Baddius"!!! lol First "real" rc was a GWS SLowstick if I remember right and the first succesful 4 channel was a GWS E-Starter. Nowadays it seems as if the best starter plane is the Hobbyzone SuperCub.


I really didn't get very good at it until I joined a club and started getting so really good help.

I heard a saying once that went like this...

"Self taught pilots are like their airplanes... Rare"!

2012 SEFF Night Bowling Champion!
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:55 PM   #18
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First had an second hand plane think it was pt-19(yellow and blue)
Then a big purple plane that flew into a fuse on power lines at the end of my Gpa's grass runway, knocked out power to 2 homes for couple hrs.
didn't fly too much after that. lol Always had at least one of those free flight gliders.
Couple years ago involved in oilfield accident, after month of PT, bought an Apprentice (excuse was "more PT for my hands!") and haven't looked back.
E-gliders and a few 182's are my favs, couple scratch builts that didn't fly at all. mini pulse and a few cheap others. Just bought a voodoo. Can't walk ten steps without thinking about being in the air.

have a good one
Christopher
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:04 PM   #19
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Matt,

I got back in the hobby two years ago after a 30 year layoff. Initially bought an Airfield C-182 but benched it shortly thereafter. Got a Real Flight Sim, hung out at the club and buddy boxed on the club gas trainer. Bought a HZ Super Cub. Quickly modded her out to 2.4, ailerons, BL, bigger wheels, floats, etc. Was handed a Futaba 6EX from my boss which instantly made me a Futaba guy. The addiction set in immediately. Actually gave up golf in favor of RC.

Next up was the PZ-T-28, which today has had more facelifts than Joan Rivers. Still love this plane and have also modded her out with a bigger motor, 4S, even transformed her to a tail dragger to better handle our bumpy grass field. She’s old reliable…

Got interested in the homemade Dollar Tree profile pusher jets after watching a bunch of guys fly F-22’s in Combat on Sunday afternoons. What a hoot ! Built the F-22, F4J Phantom, an F-15(depron) and a Convair Sea Dart (depron). These cheapo profile foamies actually made me a much better pilot. My F-22 probably has 150 flights on it and is still going strong. My warm-up plane.

Started looking for more speed and got a Radjet-800, then into edf’s with the 50mm Jpowers T-45 and F-16. Later bought the Jpowers Katana and the Phase 3 F-16 which today is my favorite EDF in the squadron. Very smooth flying edf. Also started experimenting with the JPowers Warbird series and got the AT-6 Texan( a dog) and Rare Bear both of which are faster than my edf’s. Loads of fun with these. RIP for the Texan !

Love twins so I bought the Durafly DH-88 Comet with CR props and now the Dynam C-310 . Great flying airplanes though the C310 is much bigger and flys scale. Even bashed together a $10.00 Air Hogs kids glider into a twin 66mm edf with retracts, lights etc. A project itself that is still on-going.

So, it doesn’t take very long to ramp up quickly in this hobby with your skill level improving exponentially. After two years, I’d place myself in the lower intermediate level. I’m going to dip my toe into the 3D world later this year. Have an HK Yak-54 ARF I won in a raffle that’s still in the box. Have all the components needed to complete the build. Going to start off slowly with 3D and first build a foamy profile plane to learn on before augering in this big bad balsa model. Sport flying first then transition into 3D maneuvers.

Learned a lot just by hanging out here from the likes of RCers, AERJR, Chellie, Jetplaneflyer, Solentlife, stuart, NJSwede, Crashalott, kyleservicetech, Crimzonrider and many others. There’s probably has not been a day that has gone by when I haven’t learned something new. WF is the best forum out there, no question.

Enjoy and have fun !


-Hawk
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:19 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dahawk View Post

Learned a lot just by hanging out here from the likes of RCers, AERJR, Chellie, Jetplaneflyer, Solentlife, stuart, NJSwede, Crashalott, kyleservicetech, Crimzonrider and many others. Thereís probably has not been a day that has gone by when I havenít learned something new. WF is the best forum out there, no question.
+1 on WF!! Quote of the day!! BTW you can't put me in that list!! lol They know so much more than I and I'm still learning from them too! Kudos to Super Contributors!!

cr
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:26 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by mattman0182 View Post
...
What is the first plane you flew?
What was the first 4-channel plane you flew?

How long did it take you to get where you could fly pretty much anything without a whole lot of trouble?

....
I started on my own as well. I started with a Hobbyzone Aerobird. I got pretty good on that after flying it for a season. Bought a ParkZone Typhoon3D next and never learned to fly it. I could fly in a simulator, but in real life I destroyed it muluple times. Gave up on flying for a year or two... Then bought a Mountain Models Dandy with both the 3 and 4 channel wings. The Dandy is a great 1st plane if you have some building skills. Had a riot with that plane and have never looked back.

I do agree with Firemanbill, I did not get really good (well maybe acceptable) until I joined a club. I will say that it took me a good flying season to get to where I was comfortable with most aspects of flying and felt good about takeoffs and landings with my Dandy.

Now about 4 years later... Even though the guys at the club say I'm a pretty good pilot, I will not fly anyone else's plane without a buddy box. I just do not feel that I can handle all emergency situations and I am not willing to risk other's planes.

With my planes, I can fly inverted for as long as I want, I'm getting pretty good at knife edge trips around the field, I can execute the complete sportsman (basic) level pattern sequences.... But, because I am part of a club I can still see that I still have a long way to go as compared to some other pilots.

Good luck on your journey, don't give up and don't be afraid to look for help!

Steve

Growing the fleet!
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:36 PM   #22
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My progression into RC flight was 6 years on coaxial, fixed pitch and CP helis. I got the RC airplane flight bug and bought a HZ Firebird Stratos and then the HZ Champ to fly at a local park. I got really good with the Chanmp and FB Stratos and bought the HZ Super Cub and finally the Ares Gamma 370 as my final trainer. Now, almost a year later, I have only the Super Cub as my only 3 channel; I have passed down the others to friends and family. I now have the new Ares Gamma 370 Pro and an AXN Floater Jet...........plus, 13 other planes, all warbirds. Guess which one gets flown everytime at the field.............yep, my good ol' HZ Super Cub. I fly her first to relax and last to come down from the warbird adrenaline high. Oh, I have just joined the Silent Electric Fliers of San Diego. It has been a very satisfying RC flight year.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:52 PM   #23
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I started in the early 70's flying a tidewater pronto that i built from a kit. I found a local club and i showed up on a weekday ,looked around and a bunch of old farts said come here kid.lol They helped me tune it checked the controls and said i passed their inspection then took it up and let my fly it. About a month later i was flying on my own and in contests at the club. A year later i was a club instructer for 15 years helping frightend flyer's like i was . Last year i kinda missed my old first pronto so i scratch built another one with the same motor (K+B 28) on it.


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Old 01-14-2013, 09:55 PM   #24
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I flew control line .049's back in the early 70's, then bought a Champ on an impulse about two years ago. After 6 flights I could finally keep it in the air, most of the time. I got as much experience repairing as flying. I guess I'm not a "natural".

Now I build my own and have lots of fun.

Tom
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:50 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by mattman0182 View Post
Wow it must have been hard to learn on that thing. I really do not want to give up on this hobby. There are quite a few plans i'd like to own and be decent at flying. I guess we all go through those growing pains.
Yup, it was. Very first flight ended in a crash not 4 seconds after I tossed it, but I kept at it, gleaned little tid bits of info from this and other forums, and most importantly, GOT A FLIGHT SIMULATOR. No they don't teach you to fly, but they DO teach you basics, and give you a leg-up on the real thing. If it weren't for the Sims I used (FMS and Clearview) I would have most likely walked away from the Hobby disgusted. Best bet is to get someone who DOES know what they're doing to show you the ropes...

R.C. Hobby is a hole into which one dumps money.
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