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Old 03-23-2013, 01:00 AM   #1
GBLynden
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Default What I wish I was told when I started RC Planes

I figure I will try to make a contribution right away on this board. Please keep in mind that I am by no means an expert and I have no credentials that back what I posted below. All I have is some experience being a beginner not that long myself. This is simply offering a straighter path than the one I took.

The Hobbyzone Champ is the plane that I suggest you start off with. It is only $89 for everything you need and it stays fun for a long time. The best part is that you don't need a big area to fly it in and it is very easy to transport.

Note about high wind areas: The Champ is probably not the best option for you if you live in such areas. If you have the room, an Apprentice seems to be a great option, though I have no formal experience with it.

Back to the Champ.

Here is an example of me flying mine in the wind:
YouTube Video
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Another look at it in a more open space:
YouTube Video
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There are other trainers out there, but this is the least expensive and best way to learn IMHO due to its price and light weight. Less mass means less destructive damage. It does mean that it will get blown around in the wind more than a larger plane, but no planes should be flown in the wind by a beginner anyhow. I do suggest flying only over grass during your first few flights in a wide open area. The grass is far more forgiving than pavement is when you crash and if the area is wide open, there is no chance to crash into a tree if it gets away from you.

Here is another plane that may be used as a trainer and can be flown in your house provided there is another space (use caution with this as the covering on the wings is somewhat fragile.) It can also be flown outdoors is little to no wind as shown in this video:

YouTube Video
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Here is also something worth considering as a trainer. It is a micro powered glider:
YouTube Video
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YouTube Video
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Here is the best aileron trainer to learn on IMHO. It is $99 and works with the controller that comes with the trainer plane. It also looks insanely cool in person during low passes. It looks very realistic in the air and is a lot faster than the trainer plane.

YouTube Video
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This is a new look at the UM T-28 and how much utility you can get out of it after of a year's worth of fun!
YouTube Video
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This Hobby King Bixler is a great "parkflyer sized" aileron trainer (four-channel) option for those with flying more space and want to move to FPV flights at some point. This is a highly underrated and is an inexpensive gentle flying plane:

YouTube Video
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Once you have mastered the aileron trainer, flying either one of the next planes should be well within your grasp(you will need to upgrade your controller to handle the bigger one for sure due to the speed of the plane and limited range of the controller than comes with the trainer plane):

YouTube Video
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YouTube Video
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YouTube Video
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This plane is one that would make and excellent 3rd or 4th plane. It has no bad habits that I can put my finger on at this point and handles wind really well:
YouTube Video
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YouTube Video
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YouTube Video
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YouTube Video
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YouTube Video
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YouTube Video
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I would describe this one best as a fourth plane option, especially if you don't have someone to trim (tune) it for you so it flies well. If you do, then this might make a decent third plane if you have mastered your aileron trainer.

YouTube Video
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Here is video of this plane taking off and landing on soft green grass:

YouTube Video
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***Note: The single most important thing to keep in mind is to never try to fly more plane than you are ready for. Crashing can be discouraging and expensive. You can also hurt people if you aren't careful.***

Once you have mastered those planes, you can fly just about anything like an EDF jet:

I bought this jet as my second plane and it ended with a very smashed up jet and ego after I crashed on its very first flight! I was also lucky I didn't hurt anybody:

If you look closely, the front nose cone is all smashed to heck from its first flight lol
YouTube Video
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Here it is taking off and trying to land on a dirt road in a berry field lol
YouTube Video
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YouTube Video
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YouTube Video
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YouTube Video
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YouTube Video
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This plane has a strong rudder proficiency requirement for it to fly decent:
YouTube Video
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I think this is enough information to get the conversation started in this thread. Feel free to ask any RC related questions you have. I love this hobby and am happy to help out you guys just starting out any way I can.

Also, others should feel free to contribute what they have learned to the beginners in this thread. I certainly don't know it all and can probably benefit from your input as well as the beginners.

Happy flying!
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:49 AM   #2
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I have now seen this identical thread posted at 3 other forums.........A lot time and effort appears to have been spent advertising.............. I'm not sure about jumping from a Champ to a rocket micro T-28.....other than that, seems like the guy has been flying for awhile and has a passion.........thanks for the replay!

Edit:

Note:
He got hammered over at rcuniverse but the guys at RCgroups were a bit more accepting (rockin robbins)..lol...to soon to tell at RCDiscuss.
Think he may be associatd with a communications management company in Lynden, WA...or it would seem so.
But you've got to checkout this site......He's all over this........lol

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...1889003&page=1

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Old 03-23-2013, 04:29 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
I have now seen this identical thread posted at 3 other forums.........A lot time and effort appears to have been spent advertising.............. I'm not sure about jumping from a Champ to a rocket micro T-28.....other than that, seems like the guy has been flying for awhile and has a passion.........thanks for the replay!

Edit:

Note:
He got hammered over at rcuniverse but the guys at RCgroups were a bit more accepting (rockin robbins)..lol...to soon to tell at RCDiscuss.
Think he may be associatd with a communications management company in Lynden, WA...or it would seem so.
I am not sure your post is going to help set the tone very well for me here in this thread, though if a bunch of guys that post on RC Universe post here too, I may be in trouble regardless

And no, I am not working for any communications management company and am not affiliated with the RC industry in any way shape or form. Everything I posted here is stuff that I sincerely believe and is based on my own experience and passion for the hobby.

I love this stuff and want to help offer some structure in the abstract world of RC to the noobs. It wasn't that long ago that I was very confused as to what to do or where to go at first. Most forum like this are great, but the information is splintered all over the place and requires a lot more keyboard time than it should. That time should be spent working the sticks outside or in a gym or even building planes.

Regarding the T-28, it is a very stable aileron trainer with strong dihedral. If that sounds like too much plane to you for a second plane, please feel free to offer a suggestion. I would love to hear your take on other options

Edit: I notice your detective work there. Yes, I am promoting the hobby on that message board, which I was a member of long before I got into RC. The future of our hobby can be found on that site.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
...Think he may be associatd with a communications management company in Lynden, WA...or it would seem so.
Seems to me like he's associated with Horizon Hobby.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:44 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Murman View Post
Seems to me like he's associated with Horizon Hobby.
I can assure you that I am not. Look at my posts on RCGroups to paint a different picture. I do not think they are the only show in town, but that is what I am familiar with and of course my EDF jet isn't a Habu
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:55 AM   #6
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I'm sure he'll get get his 15min of fame here too!...based on the avatar photo at the muscle site, he's not short on self embellishment either.....lol

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Old 03-23-2013, 05:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
I'm sure he'll get get his 15min of fame here too!...based on the avatar photo at the muscle site, he's not short on self embellishment either.....lol
They actually require the avatar to be you on that site. I am simply following the site guidelines there. I am also in a position to show off a lot more than when that picture was taken, but I have not updated it for years.

If you notice, I am in my videos as little as possible, but you are right. It looks like I am going to receive some "fame" on this board as well. Unwanted and unneeded fame of course.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:15 AM   #8
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Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Fishbonez View Post
Giving the benefit of the doubt here and that you are not afiliated with anyone. I live in Wyoming where wind is a norm, and the champ is definitly not recommended, I guess we are the exception to the rule, So I would recommnd a larger plane such as the Aprentice or SC for all noobs here in this State and anywhere that wind blows often, kansas comes to mind. If we follow your comment here no one would ever get into the hobby just my .02 worth
I agree completely with the wind comment. I should update the OP with a note about the wind.

Update: Video and note added.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:00 AM   #10
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GB,

IMHO......
It's just purely another case of self promotion (exhibited by the effort one has put into it's broadcast) while dragging the hobby around as a trophy....Utube and Facebook are full of this stuff, the only difference here is the lack of a bit humility........and the suggested authority implied by the author.

The passion is acknowledged (IMHO), reference to "your" self taught experience is acceptable. However, the lack of credential, referenced citation, or validation other than a few videos, leaves one with a skeptical impression and wondering "just what the point is"....?
One could argue that the objective of the RC forums is to provide such information or opinion......but to who's purpose does it serve or benefit...?.......that answer will be apparent soon enough!

That's it for my contribution to the 15min. of fame.......lol

Enjoy your time here GB.......the vid's are pretty good entertainment!

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Old 03-23-2013, 08:49 AM   #11
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I absolutely hear where you are coming from and don't blame you for having that perception. I think I am going to make another adjustment to the OP to help with that a bit, or at least attempt it.

I do thank you for your kind words about my videos. I appreciate them.

GB
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:10 AM   #12
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I'm not really sure Ultra Micro planes are the best way to learn RC.
Personally I'd recommend something closer to parkflyer size. Larger planes just all round 'fly better' and cope with less than perfect flying conditions much better too so you get to fly more. Unless you plan on flying ultra micros for your entire 'RC career' then a larger trainer is better preparation for what comes next. Additionally getting a 'full size' plane means your RC equipment can be used for your next model, saving cost in the long run.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:49 PM   #13
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Don't really know why this started turning contentious. Seems to me that GB is just trying be helpful whether you agree with his recommendations or not.

Clearly, there is a plethera of knowledge on this site coming from some of the best rc guys and gals(Chellie) on the planet. Lot's of how to's, sticky's, etc. I've learned alot of things I probably should have learned in school. It's been like a crash course in EE 101 and aeronautical eng 101.. Volts, watts, amps, thrust, batteries, motors, props, airfoils, etc. That's really the fun part. to me. Understanding how this all works.

In two+ years, I've been like a teenager experimenting with new things and different types of flying. Scale to high speed and some sport aerobatics. I went from the HZSC to a C-182 to a T-28 to several scratchbuilt park jets, to edf''s to twins, to small speed high prop jobs like the Rare Bear. and am now getting a small, F3A pattern ship( Formosa II ). No true 3D planes yet though I have a large, HK YAK-54 sitting in a box. Another year for that I'm afraid.

Ironically, it's been the cheapie scratchbuilt Dollar Tree parkjets that have made me a better pilot where I now maybe am an advanced beginner or low intermediate. Depends on the day. Can now do inverted for example. Can go 100mph. But do I make rookie mistakes? Yes.

So, I think GB's heart is in the right place and I don't see self-promotion here at all. Not sure why anyone's panties would get in a wad.

Now, you don't necessarily have to agree with him on all his choices. And maybe thats the point of thread. To chime-in and share your own experiences.

For me, just starting out , I was lucky in that I hung out at the club asking alot of questions. When I took the pill, I got a simulator, then had some buddy box training, got started with some basic things like a good battery charger, standard connector type, help hand launching the SC, etc.


This forum in particular has been a great help. Alot more friendly than RC Groups IMO. Alot of shared experiences and a go-to place for any question, best practices, information or advice.

+1 on Jet's comment's about the UM''s. IMHO, for the most part, they are too twitchy for even the advanced beginner. The only chance may be with the new versions that include a gyro. The GEE BEE I saw the other day looked pretty good.

In Texas, we too have wind. When it's 10+, the small planes like the Champ do struggle. The EDF's do fine as do the heavier( over 4lb ) planes. For folks like me and Fish that live in the high wind districts, we just get used to it or we'll never fly at all. When I see a forecast for 5-10 , I jump in the car !

My rant for the day !

Best,

Hawk

Wounded Warrior Fun Fly - Aug 16th ,2014 - Grapevine TX - Info link: https://support.woundedwarriorprojec...ising/RCPilots
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dahawk View Post
Don't really know why this started turning contentious. Seems to me that GB is just trying be helpful whether you agree with his recommendations or not.
Hawk
I agree with Hawk here but I have to admit I was a bit skeptical as well. However I could not view the video as of yet. Darn .mil Networks tend to block video. So will have to wait until I get back to my hooch to watch them. Anyhow the way GB authored it does sound like he may be selling something and then of course a body building web site... well that just made me giggle. Who da thunk to post a thread like this here. Just plane funny

GB Im all about flying. well I like to call it that anyway, I am a noob who may someday graduate to "Hey your kinda good at this" who cant type worth a darn on the threads so, I guarentee you will always get the benefit of the doubt from me. Welcome to Wattflyer if no one has said it and look forward to more post you may have. You truelly have bumped into some of the smartest folks in RC.

Oh yea if its 5-10mph here in My and Hawks vile well that is just a nice cool breeze.

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:03 PM   #15
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Looks like he's mainly trying for you tube hits. Maybe a contest or a bet.

My advice? Get a Sig LT-40 and an instructor on a buddy box or, if you simply must go it alone, a powered sailplane.

TP
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:36 PM   #16
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My trainer was a Superfly. Not your conventional trainer by any means, but it's epp construction made repairs easy. It also handles the wind exceptionally well.



I've seen a lot of different trainers at the field over the years and the one I would recommend for new pilots today is the E-Flite Apprentice.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:01 PM   #17
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GB.....

Apparently you have made quite a few modifications to the "original" post.........it does have a better tone to it now.

As stated previously, having dropped into (by) one of the most information filled, knowledge supported by "real" authenic pilots and builders forums on the internet, I'm sure you'll appreciate the wisdom expressed by the Masters as much as the satisfaction you gain from passing on your own experiences.

There is much to learn here at Wattflyer.......especially from the great Old School crowd that supports this web site.

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Old 03-23-2013, 05:14 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Tepid Pilot View Post
Looks like he's mainly trying for you tube hits. Maybe a contest or a bet.

My advice? Get a Sig LT-40 and an instructor on a buddy box or, if you simply must go it alone, a powered sailplane.

TP
At first I thought what is Sig LT-40 never heard of that plane before then googled it and found only a gas engine type plane then I saw an electric conversion on RC groups. I am thinking this could be a really great plane. Keeping my eye out for this one

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:28 PM   #19
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Wattflyer is a bit more civilized than some of the other groups, which I am not even going to name, although I post often on one of them. Seems to me that Sir Lynden is pushing conventional theory for learning to fly covering the same ground as AEAJR to wit:

RTF makes sense to someone new without help who needs to learn to fly. Let the poor guy concentrate on learning to fly without having to worry about whether his plane WILL fly.

Choose the RTF plane from the fairly short list of planes that fly slowly enough for a beginner to react wrongly, realize the mistake and correct his error before he craters.

The plane has to be of sufficient quality that it can be depended on to fly properly right out of the box, no CG adjustments, no control linkage adjustments, just charge and fly. And it must be impact resistant and easily enough repaired to stand the bumps and bruises reasonably expected from a newbie.

It must have a complete inventory of spare parts available for reasonable prices and readily available.

It must have a record of teaching unassisted newbies how to fly--lots of them!

It must have a major thread in a major internet discussion group, like Wattflyer, devoted to unassisted newbies who are learning and have learnt to fly using that plane.

Of course, Horizon Hobby wasn't mentioned in these points but how do you avoid recommending Horizon Hobby planes if you're using the list? And FlyZone owns newbie training outright except for the Ares Gamma 370 line and Easy Star and successors (not Easy Star clones, which are of much lesser quality and don't qualify).

I'm not especially fond of Sir Lynden's confinement of recommendations to a couple of airplanes when there are lots of planes (okay, several.....) that will serve as well. I love ultra-micros but they are suited for the central Florida climate and I can get five hours of stick time on a Champ for every one on an Apprentice. But that is not true of everyone.

Nothing Sir Lynden says is wrong. Nothing is unique or new either. It merely reflects majority opinion of the time and doesn't add anything to what AEAJR has said for years. Only the specific planes change. The advice remains the same. If you couch your advice on "Champ," "Apprentice," "UM T-28" your advice becomes obsolete very quickly. If you couch your advice on flying characteristics and just supply specific planes as examples, your advice, as AEAJR's is timeless.

I don't see any red meat to growl at. Actually, it's time for a nap.....
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Fishbonez View Post
At first I thought what is Sig LT-40 never heard of that plane before then googled it and found only a gas engine type plane then I saw an electric conversion on RC groups. I am thinking this could be a really great plane. Keeping my eye out for this one
A few years ago I was in a club and helped a lot of folks learn to fly on a lot of different trainers. In my opinion the LT-40 was the best of the lot. Since then I've gone electric, and the E-Flite Apprentice 15e also is a very good trainer. However, the key to success with either of those airplanes is the buddy box.

TP
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:19 PM   #21
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I learned to fly on RealFlight so I'm a newbie pilot this year.

My first 2 planes were UMX Trojan T28 and Regular size T28.

I solo'd both of them the first time without incident. I now fly the Extra 300 and a few other planes.

They key to me is the simulator (with wind enabled) and correct orientation and stick movements. I had a ton of Sim time prior to real flying. In fact my plane sat for 4 months after I bought it while I continued to fly on the PC.

I think the Champ is a good first plane but not too good in windy conditions and not the best with the controller that they provide to you. I'm teaching my nephew on it now.

A DX6+ would be better. I think if you are self taught, it might not be a bad idea. Otherwise, I feel that the Apprentice or a larger trainer may be better with an Instructor. The UMX's can be kinda twitchy. I fly a few UMX now including the Gee Bee but I'm flying it with a DX8 which makes the planes (without ASX) appear less twitchy given Expo capabilities. Also, the UMX can get bent out of shape pretty easily although the Champ is pretty stout in design.

Bottom Line, better to start with less plane then crash alot and get frustrated, costing $$$, your time to repair etc. I didn't buy a "Trainer" per se because I don't like how they look. However, the T28 is kinda a trainer as it has very nice flying characteristics. I guess you can say I gambled and won, probably as a result of Sim Time. I just didn't want to spend $200 bones on trainer, then quickly have another plane expense and then Radio etc. It adds up over time. Everything is Relative, when I first flew Trojan, I thought it was really Fast, now it seems (and is) extremely slow. I still love flying it! I have a bigger motor I'm going drop in when I get a chance.

I honestly think the larger Trojan T28 could be a trainer plane with an instructor and buddy box. It just flys really great although it has no auto correct tendencies like trainers.

I'm a newbie so if I'm talking out my butt, let me know! I am just sharing my personal experiences. I fly almost everyday now, I enjoy seeing the progress I'm making. Although, I wish I was an expert today. I guess in a few years with some practice, I'll be a more accomplished pilot!
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:02 AM   #22
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Well as someone who was self taught I say Thank You to anyone who is willing to offer help to someone who might be starting out in the hobby. Is it perfect advice?
Maybe/maybe not. But it is someone willing to take the time to let others know what worked for them. Not something they have to do.

If just one person is able to learn something from it then it's priceless.

If we don't share what worked for us we are just being selfish to those who need to know.

Like said it may not be perfect, I've yet to find any perfect info out there for everyone.
But take it for what it is, someone willing to let others know what worked for them, it gives them a better idea of what's involved and where to look/ expect.

Man I would have loved to have someone around to give me advice on what would work, way, way back when. It took me a never give up attitude, and really deep pockets to learn my way.

When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:30 PM   #23
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Wow, if you think RC Groups is unfriendly, you should try...............well, you all know pretty well where I mean. Anyway, when I first ready GBLyndens posts about his "path" to RC Pilothood, I experienced sort of dejavu because that's basically how I learned and only posted about my difference of opinion regarding the HZ Champ. I was completely taken aback when he was basically "attacked" for his posting, especially on one forum populated by die hard, never changing, hard headed folks who basically still live in the 1980's and 1990's. I can sympathize because I was "attacked" by the same group when I dared to post that I had actually learned to fly by myself with 4 highwing trainers. I was basically told that I "wasn't really flying" and that I should quit wasting my time and money. I now have the same attitude as Glacie Girl. We all belong to a great community in this hobby and everyone's opinion has value.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:08 PM   #24
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Wait. You mean you can't teach yourself to fly? Uh-oh.

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Old 03-25-2013, 09:58 PM   #25
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Apparently not, according to some.
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