View Full Version : help getting started

12-01-2005, 05:53 PM
Can i get some advice on getting started. I have not purchased anything yet. Please recommed a rtf to get for a beginner that I can still have some fun with. I pick up on things pretty quickly. Also, any suggestions or "tricks of the trade" that I should know.


12-01-2005, 06:09 PM
Well newbie, are you familiar with r/c flight at all? If not there is some really good reading. It is a book, the only one we have on our site, by Scott Stoops. http://willstech.com/products/index.php?cPath=106&osCsid=a5d29214604b0343e0df91d27f587159

There are a lot of people who start an assortment. Horizons Aerobird and the new Firebird Freedom are good starters. However they are a learning plane only. It will be something you will upgrade if you stick with it.

GWS has a nice high wing trainer E-starter that you can heavily modify as you progress in flight. You will have to get a transmitter and outfit the plane with servo's.

JR has a sport radio that comes with mini servo's and rec (non computerized) 4 channel that is less than $100.00.

There is also the Spectrum Radio coming out end of December on 2.4 for parkflying. It's going to be nice and less than $200.00

So there is some food for thought and I am sure there will be a lot more. I hope this information gets you started in the right direction.

Remember you have to start somewhere. Your experience will and should determine where it is you do start.

Have fun and welcome to the hobby.

Don Sims
12-01-2005, 06:10 PM
Be sure to scope out the threads that are "stickied" at the top of the forum. Those threads have a wealth of information for new flyers.

I personally like a plane made from EPP foam to learn on because of its bouncability. Multiplex makes a couple that have their version of EPP in them.

Don Sims
12-01-2005, 06:16 PM
BTW, two threads were started and since Deb and I answered in those threads I merged them....

12-02-2005, 03:32 AM
thanks for the input deb. do you think i'll get too bored too quick with the freedom. My concern is i'll get a trainer and be ready to move on too quick and it'd be a waste of money. I didn't know if it would be better to just get a 4channel foamie of some sort (foamie since it would be better to handle a few crashes :D )

I'll definately pick up the book you suggested.

Would it be beneficial to get a cheap virtual game to practice on (since it is winter time here?)

thanks again,

12-02-2005, 09:08 PM
I'm relatively new to RC flight and I'd highly recommend a simulator to practice on. Make sure you have some package tape or replacement parts, cause you'll need them ;) My buddy and I learned with a J3 Cub and a Stryker and a whole lot of simulator time. I used the parkzone parts from a P51-D that had a nice 10 second flight and crash and bought 2 foam cub bodies for $70. I've since destroyed both of those, I tried to fly in too much wind. The Stryker is a great plane and if you tape it up with shipping tape you can crash it all day long. I'd really invest in a decent simulator though, it really helps.

12-02-2005, 11:10 PM
I don't think you'll tire of the Firebird freedom. We keep one (aerobird challenger) in the hanger on days when nothing else is going to fly. I like to do short distance soaring with it. I get a kick out of keeping it around for kids that show up and let them fly.

I think you should start somewhere, and a sim is a very good idea. I did the majority of my training on a sim but not just any sim. A good flight sim is the Aerofly Pro Deluxe. Very realistic.

If you want to go with an all out system then look at the radio's available and coming up. The new 2.4 ghz system coming out is going to be perfect to start with and grow with as it has 4 servo's and that will outfit most of your training type aircraft. Entry price for this radio is $199.99. Good entry level price for what you are getting.

If you don't want to wait the couple of weeks then consider the Optic 6. I am not a Futaba dealer so cannot advise you on them. The Hitec Optic 6 is versitile and will grow with you.

You can see all these at our sight.

The pilots guide I referenced earlier will be in short supply until Jan. The first printing is sold out and available only through a couple dealers. Based on the ordering traffic today, those will be gone quickly. If you got yours great.

Our server got a little slow this afternoon. That's a good thing. :)

Stryker is fun and some do use that as a trainer as it is very durable. Not sure what all it's gonna teach you except how to go fast:)

Cubs are not very good trainers. Some get away with it but very few have good experiences.

What is nice about the Freedom is it's complete in the box ready to fly. Just put in the supplied AA batteries in the transmitter and charge the NhMh batteries and go for it. Everything is in there. Like Prego!!.

When you are done with the freedom you can sell it or make it a gift to someone else.

All this is in my humble opinion. And like all I have one. I do try to keep it contained though:)

Oh yeah, The replacement parts on the freedom are available too. The wings come off and you can pack it back into it's box for carrying. You have a couple learning stages with the freedom. As you progress you can turn off the anti crash and you can adjust the linkage to give you a different reaction. Probably be able to get some aftermarket arms and adjust it even closer to experience a responsive plane and you will evolve into a full fledged r/c flying nut:)

12-03-2005, 01:22 AM
ok ill be the ''alternative'' advisor here if i may...

i dont disagree with anything at all written here...all good advice.

I'd like to pose an alternative of sorts though, that has pros and cons of course.

That is to purchase a radio that you can grow into...i.e. 6 channels minimum and computerised for heli/plane, buy yourself mainstream componentry, such as brushless motors, escs, servos, Rx and then purchase a trainer type, aileron enabled ARF to put the items into.

get into the sim and preferably go to a club and get someone to teach you, and put you on the buddy box also.

this angle means you dont get to fly so soon, and you need to do more homework, but the goods you buy enable you to use them on subseuqent projects.


12-03-2005, 02:26 AM
Yep. I agree. Hence all the suggestions. One I failed to mention was getting with a club. Seems to be so contriversal however. But you know I just got my AMA card and sticker tonight. Boy is it pretty.


My clubs are having Christmas parties next week and the week following. We are all excited about upcoming events in our area.

Find a club and participate. Its fun. You make great friends and you will learn more than you ever hoped to in 11 years of school plus. :)

Sky Sharkster
12-05-2005, 12:13 AM
Hi Wes, I have a couple of suggestions, in addition to all the good ones posted so far. If you're unsure about buying a simulator, why not try a free one? No, it doesn't have the model choices or as realistic an action as the Realflight but it's a start. http://members.tripod.com/manuelguillen/pcair2/air.htm. You can use an inexpensive analog controller, keyboard or TX. for controller.
Second, try contacting a local club...the Academy of Model Aeronautics has a state-by-state listing http://www.modelaircraft.org/templates/ama/
Once you find a club (or more than one) in your area give'em a call and ask what training program they have. Some clubs will allow you to "Buddy Box" (Dual controls) their club trainer before you join, usually with an AMA-certified trainer. You can spend some time at the field and see what fliers are using, which planes, radios, motors, etc. This will give you more info before you buy any gear. They can also tip you to which local hobby shops are supportive of R/C flying and which are "toy sellers".
So I guess what I'm suggesting is a bit more research. Generally I'm in favor of a decent entry-level 4 channel radio (from a major mfgr, not a bargain brand), an E-Starter or Slow Stick (both from GWS) as opposed to a RTF, but it's up to you! Good Luck, Ron

12-05-2005, 12:52 AM
thanks for all the input so far. Well, I've decided to pick up the freedom in the next week or two (i'll tell my wife it's a christmas present from her)

In terms of a simulator, will the controller that comes with the freedom work on most. Also, my goal is to advance into a sleek plain that i can roll and flip pretty easily. I'm kind of eyeing Great Planes "slinger" w/ a brushless motor. Anybody have any input on that?

Because of it's material core it should be pretty durable, plus i can just by a new plane for as cheap as parts as some other planes (not including servos, motor, etc...)

Thanks again

12-05-2005, 03:36 AM
I presume you mean the Firebird Freedom. Good luck with it. Be sure to read the manual and watch the DVD. Lots of good info.

No, the radios that comes in most RTF packages do not have trainer ports and that is what you need to use it with the simulators.