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Old 01-14-2006, 02:20 AM   #1
Domino
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Question How do I know if I'm ready for ailerons?

I bought a Firebird Commander with the hopes of teaching myself to fly... with the eventual goal of getting to an EDF like the Alpha Model MIG-15. I also have and fly a Blade CP electric helicopter that I'm learning on (can hover tail in and side in, and am starting on forward flight excersizes).

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!
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Old 01-14-2006, 03:56 AM   #2
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You should definately get something in between. I think a good aileron trainer is needed before jumping to the warbird type planes. The speeds they fly at as well as the handling characteristics make them more difficult. You may want to look at getting a radio that will work well with an aileron plane and later the mig to avoid buying more than one radio. You could then just use the servos, receiver, transmitter and all that in the next plane you buy. There are plenty of trainer planes around with ailerons. I think many people like the GWS E-starter for this. (The foam is easy to fix if you crash) You may want to check some of the planes on Hobby-Lobby as well. I like the look of some of those. For example, http://hobby-lobby.com/soareasy.htm It looks like a good aileron trainer, but I don't have any experience with it.
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Old 01-14-2006, 02:11 PM   #3
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Thank's for the reply k-vette. After reading about the lack of replacement parts for the Alpha Models I'm starting to shy away from those now anyway. A lot of the E-Flite stuff is carried by our local hobby shop so maybe I'll go that route. The Mini Ultra Stick AR might be a good choice, or actually looks like the P47 is less expensive so this might be a good way that I could get right into the warbirds.
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Old 01-14-2006, 03:51 PM   #4
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You're ready for ailerons. You're just not ready for the planes you want to fly. EDF's and warbirds are not generally thought of as a next step from something like a Firebird. You may get lucky and have success but it's more likely you'll leave the hobby frustrated. I've seen it too many times.

The Mini Ultra Stick has the appearance of a high wing trainer but looking at the specs it'll be a fun plane for a more experienced pilot. Especially with the split flaps etc. They are also calling for a lot of power and it's very heavy at 22 ounces and up. I'm considering getting one.

If you are willing to build then take a look at the Mountain Models Dandy Sport or the SwitchBack Sport. For all intents and purposes they are just high and low wing versions of each other. Either one would be the IDEAL next step for you. Being laser cut they build very fast and very light. Nothing out there can fly as well as these two planes. Do a Google search for the SwitchBack then sit back and read a couple of weeks worth of praise for this plane. You can build it as the sport model then when you're ready to progress into aerobatics you can get the $20.00 high performance GT wing for it. Change the wing and you have a completely different performing plane. It'll fly WELL on the cheap GWS 300 motor package or you can go absolutely wild with it. I've flown mine with outrunners and inrunners. I had a Hacker B20-15L in one for a while which was truely overpowered. I still have the first SwitchBack I bought almost 4 years ago (#8 is on its way) and the first Dandy from almost 3 years ago. Even though I fly a heli and twins along with other high perf planes I still fly the SB and Dandy regularly. These are planes you don't "outgrow". You'll keep them in your hangar for many years to come.


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Old 01-14-2006, 09:46 PM   #5
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if you are comfortable flying that model, then making the jump to ailerons shouldnt be that hard at all. If you've ever played a flight sim, you're familiar with the concept. However like stated, you may want to look at a more intermediate/beginner airplane.

Trainer-BUHOR 60 inch wingspan
Combat-Mutant SS 38 inch wingspan, roll rate of 1.5 per second
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Old 01-15-2006, 12:50 AM   #6
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I know it's probably not your style, and it sure aint no Mig-15, but I think a GWS E-Starter is about the best aileron traner I have seen. They also have the Corsair that I think flys as easily as the E-Starter.

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Old 01-15-2006, 01:31 AM   #7
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Last summer I started on a comander, then went to a great planes yard stick, then to a Mountain Models magpie, the magpie with the aileron wing is very easy to learn ailerons with it really floats, I just got a mini ultra stick and nosed in on the first flight, it is very fast and very unforgiving, not a plane for someone who is just moving up from a commander, I highly recommend the magpie, cheap and hard to kill.
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Old 01-15-2006, 04:06 AM   #8
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Funny thing is I have never been able to keep a plane without ailerons in the air. My first plane was elevator and rudder, never did fly it more than a few feet. My second plane was the BeginAir with fullhouse controls, and was the first plane I could really fly. (wore it out) So I never buy a plane that don't have them. Nine planes and two helis later here I am still flying. I guess I'm weird that way..............GW

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Old 01-15-2006, 02:19 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the comments everyone. It' nice to see so many opinions and experiences. Being the stubborn SOB that I am, I decided to go ahead and get the E-Flite P47D. I also got the DX6 Transmitter. Unfortunately I got the P47 unpacked and noticed that one of the wing tips was broken, so I'll have to take it back to the hobby store today It's too windy to be out flying this weekend but I was hoping to at least be able to work on getting it put together.

Boy, going from RTF to ARF is a big deal in the electronics department. I'm a little stumped on how the ESC, Battery, Recievier and motor all fit together. Seems that every single wire has a different connector than the other one.
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Old 01-15-2006, 05:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Domino View Post
I'm a little stumped on how the ESC, Battery, Recievier and motor all fit together. Seems that every single wire has a different connector than the other one.
Here is a photo showing the basic wiring of a brushless system. There are three wires to the motor, no polarity to be concerned with. If the motor turns the wrong way, swap any two wires. You typically use slip connectors to go between the motor and ESC to make install and maintenance easy. There are many sizes and styles on these, I use solid brass 2 mm on less than 20 amps and 3 mm on anything over 20 amps.

The ESC plugs into the Rx on the throttle channel, and provides power to the flight controls while getting the throttle signals from the RX on the same lead. We generally don't use switches on Lipo-brushless setups to save weight and improve reliability. Just turn on your Tx, then plug in the Battery. Make sure your throtttle is at the bottom stop, unless your ESC has an idle safety feature(most do). In that case, the throttle won't arm until you pull it down to the idle stop, and you deliberatly put the throttle up while plugging in to prevent motor surprise startup.

The battery connection is usually a crap shoot depending on the manufacturer, and you generally have to redo one or the other to match up. I use the Micro Deans connectors (shown) on less than 20 amps, and the regular Deans on over 20 amps. The polarity conventions are defined on the packages. These are polarized connections to prevent reverse polarity.


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Old 01-15-2006, 07:09 PM   #11
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Good luck with your P-47. Let us know how it all turns out.

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Old 01-16-2006, 04:53 PM   #12
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Thanks TManiaci, that photo helped.

Decided to just repair the little wing ding from the factory so I could continue working on it this weekend. Got everything together and balanced. Looks and runs great.

Played with the dual rates on the new transmitter, have it set for 50% Elevator and 70% Ailerons (per another thread specific to the P-47). Now ready for the maiden flight. Am going to be patient and wait for the perfect day. Will let you know how it goes.

Flew the commander this morning in some pretty high winds, makes for a wild ride. Accidently hit a goal post (flying at the football field) and the commander survived it without a scratch, I'm sure the P-47 would not have faired so well
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:21 PM   #13
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Domino, my Commander has outlived itself several times over! Goal posts, light posts, trees, pilot error, and even a strike from an over-zealous mockingbird. Cats wish they had this many lives! Your thread's pretty interesting, as I'm in exactly the same place in my "training"...ready to go to a 3 or 4 ch ship. I really like e-flite's products, i don't think it will be a bad try at all. I had my eye on the P-47 too. I'll be looking forward to that first flight report. What radio system are you gonna use? I've decided to get the new Spektrum 6ch. I figure that will taake me into pretty much anything I can grow into down the road.
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:02 PM   #14
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Yep, I got the Spektrum DX6 with it, nice radio. It's all installed and ready to go, just waiting on a calm day
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:03 PM   #15
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Default Go for it...

Guys, go for it. I think the aileron control is far more natural, and I think you will agree once you taste it. If you have a simulator, practice there if you are concerned. If not, get a buddy-box going with an experienced flier. On a 4-channel trainer platform, no biggie, fly it.

The big issue is the aircraft. A P-47 is pretty ambitious for a first 4-channel plane. Not the worst choice, but pretty agressive. The warbirds fly fast, heavy on the wing and are fairly unforgiving with hot landings. You will probably struggle to get her down the first time or two until you get the whole "fly it in" thing. It's not a trainer, where you can line it up and chop the throttle, plop it's down.

My two cents...

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Old 01-17-2006, 03:34 AM   #16
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TMan...Yup...confirmed..these warbirds are no trainers. Today, as luck would have it, I went out with a friend and used his P-51 from Kyosho. Nerve-racking. He had it up to altitude "three mistakes high" and I ran out of my alloted mistakes and altitude pretty quickly. They don't glide very well, and are quite a bit faster than trainers...scary. I wish we had a video of me yelling "take it, take it, take it!!!" while I handed him the radio. Nice save...could've been a James Bond stunt. As I've said before...I'm in no hurry, so I have now confirmed that the low wings are another step away. -Paul
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Old 01-30-2006, 08:41 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Domino View Post
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!!!!!
http://horizon.hobbyshopnow.com/products/description.asp?prod=PKZ1200
Discussion
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=233
Video
http://rc-galaxy.com/Video/F-27_Stryker_Richard_Harris_7-9-04.wmv
http://www.hobbyzone.com/rc_videos/parkzone_F27_stryker_smallformat.wmv
http://www.hobbyzone.com/rc_videos/parkzone_stryker_video.wmv
Review
http://www.rcuniverse.com/magazine/article_display.cfm?article_id=392


Multiplex Space Scooter - RTF
A more up to date version of the Sky Scooter Pro above
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXGZV5&P=7
ARF
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXGZV4&P=7
Review
http://www.rcuniverse.com/magazine/article_display.cfm?article_id=548
Video
http://www.bungymania.com/videos/films/spacescooter/spacescooter_sun_stunt.wmv
http://67.18.81.100/rcuvideos/magazine/reviews/548/SpaceScooter.wmv



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
http://www.mountainmodels.com/magpie.php
discussion threads
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3502851#post3502851
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=306795&highlight=SmoothE+build
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3502851#post3502851
Video - slow fly wing
http://www.mountainmodels.com/Magpie.wmv
Sport wing
http://www.mountainmodels.com/MagpieSP.wmv


RADIOS

Starter Radios

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
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Shop/ByCategory/Product/Default.aspx?ProdID=SPM2460
Review
http://www.rcuniverse.com/magazine/article_display.cfm?article_id=623
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
needed

DX6 Flight experience thread
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=452817&page=2&pp=15
More information on DX6 - Spektrum
http://www.spektrumrc.com/DSM/Better/DX6.html


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.
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXJUV7**&P=ML

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"
wing
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
http://www.airtronics.net/VG6000.htm
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXEUY5**&P=7
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.

Long Island Silent Flyers
www.lisf.org
Eastern Soaring League
www.flyesl.org
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Old 01-30-2006, 01:34 PM   #18
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WOW AEAJR... lot's of info there, THANKS!

Here's where I'm at.

I did buy the DX6 and the P47D. I have not yet flown the P47D, kind of scared too after seeing how nice looking, and fragile it seemed after building it.

I've been flying very aggresively with the Commander, and have broken the tail boom and knocked the motor loose. I fashioned a splint for the tail boom, re-rigged the motor and it's back flying again. Have been flying it in horrible windy, gusty conditions and it's a handful, but at least I'm flying.

Saw a great deal at Tower Hobbies and couldn't resist, the Great Planes Wright Flyer was only $49 with speed controller and battery. I built it this weekend and went out early AM Sunday morning to maiden it. Conditions were perfect (or so I thought), no wind. Since I've been so used to flying in windy conditions I don't think I gave it enough "umph" when I tossed it and it quickly headed towards the ground.

I should have flown the commander first and I would have realized that with no head wind it needs a little more to get going.

So anyway, a bit of panic and a sharp pull up caused the flyer to veer up and back around to the right, heading straight at me. More panic and into the ground. Very minimal damage for such a fragile looking model.

I flew about 20 minutes on the Commander before going home to repair the damage on the flyer. A cracked canard, sliced lower wing and a couple of the frame braces pulled out, not too bad. All back together now and ready for another try.

Not discouraged at all, loving every minute of it I know I can fly this Wright Flyer and looking forward to the next flight. Then I'll try the P47. I've been flying the simulator a lot also so think I should do ok.
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Old 01-30-2006, 01:41 PM   #19
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That was an extremely helpful post you just made.

Based on that, I would highly recommend the Magpie.

You have a radio - Nice choice!

You have kit experience

You need 3 channel experience and you should transition to 4 channel pretty quicly.

Magpie would be my #1 recommendation. Bulid and fly it with the slow fly wing first. Get good with that. Then add the sport wing and work on your flying with that. You will be ready for your war bird.

Long Island Silent Flyers
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www.flyesl.org
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Old 01-31-2006, 04:01 AM   #20
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Again, just wanted to thank everyone for their opinions in this thread and to post a picture of my son with the commander.

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Old 01-31-2006, 05:00 AM   #21
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Yep! Looks like a pilot to me! Domino, I am sure if you are nice to him, he will teach you how to fly it someday. Maybe!

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Old 01-31-2006, 05:24 AM   #22
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Is there anyone that can help you with the maiden. I understand that you've mastered the Firebird, but the P-47 flies light years differently. I'm thinking your Commander has given you a false sense of security. Not saying that you "can't" fly it. Just saying there WILL be a learning curve. Keep the control rates low, and learn about expo. The spectrum doesn't support expo for the rudder and elevator, but it does for the ailerons. Go with at least -70. Thats negative 70.

Remember that when you bank left or right, the aircraft will not right itself. It will go where it's pointed. This may all be moot, as you may just be a natural. I'm wishing you the best of luck.

Steve

I refuse to grow up! And as long as there are RC planes to fly, I don't have to!
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Old 02-03-2006, 08:32 PM   #23
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Well I am a beginner. I flew a gas job with ailerons and did quite well on take off and landing. I bought my SS and all within about 2.5 seconds I took off hit about 8 feet altitude and then the ground. All happened so fast, I ended up buying a new boom. I was used to using ailerons and not the rudder, I added ailerons and I am waiting for no wind. ;-}
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Old 02-03-2006, 09:56 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Doppelganger View Post
This may all be moot, as you may just be a natural.

Steve
absolutely...some people just pick it up straight away. i think a flight sim is the single best tool going around.

my first plane from a trainer (aileron with club buddy boxes) was the F4U corsair (glow)(despite many warnings from others) ....scared the cra* out of me the first flight...but managed it..actually we had low cloud and fog that day and it made matters worse when i flew into cloud a few times...ended up having to fly where the clouds werent.

The thing is, i didnt want to risk my plane ''trying'' stuff at the field, so learnt on the sim and then was pleasantly surprised to replicate it in real life....gotta love those sims...

so dont be too scared of the p47....just be prepared to part with it for some reason, and be overjoyed when you take it home in one piece.

Tim
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:58 AM   #25
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Default Easy transition to ailerons..

I find it easier flying with ailerons and I think most others will say the same.You really should get a good aileron trainer and several hours of stick time before moving to fighters/or even sport type planes.The beforementioned Dandy or Switchback will do nicely,if you are scared of crashing it,go with a T-52 foam trainer from www.JKAerotech.com I started on one 3 years ago and it served me well.Almost unbreakable...
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