Beginners New to e-power flying? Get the low down in here from experienced e-power RC pilots!

Newb to RC

Old 03-28-2012, 02:52 AM
  #1  
w3_
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I am new to RC and am looking to get my first plane. I am looking for a reliable website to buy from. Also gas or electric? I noticed that gas nitro rcs are cheaper and larger...i think. Sailplanes/trainers look like fun because you can just use the air currents to keep them gliding in the air for some time, but I heard that they can be boring after a while. What is a good plane that is not very expensive for a beginner? super cub?
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:25 AM
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Don Sims
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Lots of folks have learned on Supercubs. Check out the sticky threads in the beginners forum. Lots of info there. BTW, welcome to WF!!!
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:47 AM
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TM4197
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I agree with Don, alot of SC out there that are good starters. Flying sailplanes get boring? I have been flying them for over 30 years and always get a challenge from mother nature, I dont even remember any flights that were exactly as the last flight. Sailplanes can provide you with huge amounts of stick time and you will learn to use signs that you see, hear and feel to keep them up as long as possible. There is a real challenge on every flight! I can fly patterns in a power plane (mostly warbirds) all day as long as the batteries charge up, but something about a beautiful sailplane just floating along on lift that you will strain your brain to keep her in, and to watch birds come from all around to check you out and see what you are and how the heck are you staying in the lift your in...they seem curious...and you will learn to watch them to take advantage of something that is second nature to them...finding and staying in lift!...You get a nice sailplane....and fly her!! if you get bored with it..I'll buy it from ya!!
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:18 AM
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w3_
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I think you have convinced me to get a sailplane! What are some good types and where should i order from?
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:30 AM
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TM4197
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I can suggest a few...but I would really like to see you go to the High Performance and Sailplane threads....go through it and read all you can, watch some videos and read reviews..then ask the same question in a new thread, you will get alot of different views and comments, good and bad. Then you can make a decision. There are some great members in this area with some really good advice. AS FOR ME??
Buy a Radian..."standard". I think you will like Sailplanes, and you will get really good at flying electrics...then go get a nice super cub! LOL!!!
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:13 PM
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Rockin Robbins
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Sailplanes are an acquired taste. What you get out of them varies according to the time and effort you put into it. If you are happy boring holes in the sky you'll quickly find yourself bored.

But if you are like me and are fascinated by the behavior of that three dimensional sea of air that is our sky, and its extremely varied behavior, the more you fly a sailplane the more interested you will become. Every skill with sailplanes is a hard-won skill. There is very little that comes "natural" to the body of knowledge you'll develop. The sky reveals its secrets reluctantly, just like the ocean.

Flying a sailplane isn't about the gross capabilities of the plane. It is about the infinite variety of the air. If you've watched the hawks, seagulls, pelicans, eagles, vultures or other soaring birds and been hypnotized by their command of the sky, you're a sailplane pilot!
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:14 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by w3_ View Post
I think you have convinced me to get a sailplane! What are some good types and where should i order from?
For a beginner, I would recommend something inexpensive and made of EPO foam. There are a lot of people who have learned on a Sky Surfer/Bixler/Easy Star type of powered glider. (Similar to a Radian but smaller and less expensive.)

You can get RTF versions but if you have someone experienced to help you then the kit versions have advantages. Typically, the radios, servos and motor/esc are of second quality. Support isn't great either. You can assemble a better plane for about the same cost.

If you are going the RTF route I would recommend a HZ Super Cub LP. Horizon has excellent support, it's a good rugged trainer, and can be upgraded with ailerons and more power to make a fun sport plane. If your LHS carries it, they'll likely have replacement parts or can get them for you.

Electric will be easier to start with than fuel. You'll have more places to fly it too. If you have a club nearby, that's a good place to start. Most clubs have a training program and you'll meet experienced people that will shorten the learning curve.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:25 AM
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Welcome to the addiction. I started with the HZ SC and she's still dear to my heart. Have modded her out to the hilt. The stock HZ Cub is running on 27mhz. Most clubs are runring 2.4. Tried sailplanes initially but suffered from neck strain flying one. The "purists" are the gassers. Higher performance than electrics for the most part, noisy in a good way, messy. This site is called Wattflyer for a reason ! I see many of the gas guys spending more time running up their engines and adjusting carb setting than actual flying.

A couple of things that I can recommend to save you some angst or you can go ahead and learn the hard way:
1). Get your AMA card. Can do this online. It's a requirement
2) Join a club. There's a plethera of information for the old pro's and most clubs will welcome you with open arms. Plus it's fun.
3) Get the best TX you can afford. This will be the backbone for eveything else you do with rc airplanes going forward: JR, Spektrum, Hitec, Frysky, Futaba etc. See what the folks at te club are using. I'm like the lone wolf futaba guy.
4). Get the best battery charger, Power supply and balance board set up you can afford. The little 2amp things that come with the cheap RTF's are a pain . So are the alligator clips that some include for hooking up to a car battery. Checkout: www. progressiverc.com I got the Icharger 206B. There's better ones but that's all I could afford.
5). Standardize on a battery/esc connector whether it be EC3, Deans, XT-60. This will save you a lot of time later. Trust me.
6). Once you have all that, you'll be buying ARF's instead of RTF's. With the RTF's you'll be paying for a cheapie TX/RX combo that you really can't transfer to other planes very easily.

7) You'll find you need a bunch a odds and ends supplys like CA glues and accelerators. A watt meter( nice to have), A voltage checker for your batteries, etc.

Hobby Shops on line:

Alot of controversy. Good and nightmare reports from the leading sites.

I buy a lot of stuff from Hobby King. RX's, servo's etc. Low prices but they hit you pretty hard on shipping. Have a US warehouse now but they don't carry the same inventory as China. Do not ever place an order if one or more of the items are on backorder. Never had a problem with them.

I've bought stuff from Headsuprc.com, Grayson Hobby( motors for my scratchbuilt parkjets) . Nitroplanes is a popular site but you'll hear love/hate discussions about them on all the sites. I actually gave Banana Hobby a try recently and reluctantly. Had very low expectations but the Red Arrows T-45 shipped in 3 days. $75.00

I still buy alot of odds and ends from my LHS. Broke down and bought a PZ T-28 last year. Sometimes, you may pay a little more but you make it up on shipping. A good hint at Fathers Day and Christmas is a gift certificate ? Oh yeah !

Have fun with this hobby because it is fun . The people here on this site are great and I've learned a whole lot in a rather short period of time. Yes, it can be a money pit and you'll be nickeled and dimed to death and yes, you may have some splaining to do as shipments arrive at the door.

You will crash your plane. Sorry, it happens to the best pilots. So, if you revere your $500.00 ARF, know that it will get brusied from time to time. Most EPP and EPO foam models are fairly easy to repair. Then, you'll find out that its not a beauty contest !

Just fly !

Welcome and good luck !
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:11 AM
  #9  
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I am going to have to disagree on most things you have said.

Ama is not a requirement, and I would argue, not even really useful if your not near a club.

A good radio takes your intial radio investment from $10 to $300+. I started on an old fm radio that my dad is still flying on. Never a hickup, and I would have no regrets buying one, and then stepping up to a dx6I like I did. Especially if you can get a good computer radio cheap, $100 will "upgrade" it to spectrum as well. A lot of the time you will end up with a better radio.

My dad has been using cheap 2 amp chargers for 2 years, and I have for a year. Had one of 7 burn up, with a total investment of $40, I am very happy, and I can charge six batteries and have them done in one hour, and I can charge 4 at at time in the car. Today I charged 6 total while I was flying. I must admit, we are using one of many "free" computer power supply's we have just had laying around. If you don't have one, it will add to your initial investment. Every battery comes out from 4.18 to 4.20 volts, and has for years.

If it were me and I had to do it over again, I would spend more flying time on a simulator to get the basics down. Then I would get a cheap plane like a super cub, or slow stick, then an electric trainer. A all in one plane with radio would not be a bad way to go, if it comes with a good radio.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:49 AM
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I started out 3 months ago with the Realflight 6 simulator, for 2 weeks followed by an E-Flight Apprentice. I had no interest in flying a 3 channel aileron-less plane, so I went with this highly recommended 4 channel trainer. I would not change a thing. I was forced to train myself, and I could not be happier with the path I chose.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:39 PM
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dahawk
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Hayofstacks, I did forget to mention getting a sim. I started off with Real Flights basic but regret I didn't get the latest and greatest.

Hey, no doubt , if you want to do this on the cheap, you obviously can. It's kind of like pay me now or pay me later. The HZ SC is a cheap first plane. Without ailerons, and with 27 mhz. The Airfield radio I got with a the Cessna 182 RTF was okay but left me wanting for more.

If you're out in the middle of nowhere with no people around to crash into or no club to join, I suppose you can do without joining AMA. But if you plan on flying at the local soccer field, and hit someone, hope you have a really good lawyer.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:50 PM
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If you live in Toronto and like sailplanes you'll need a car and willingness to travel.

There are a lot of really good shops in the GTA. Most sell online as well as in-store, but you can't beat seeing the thing in person and talking to knowledgable, helpful guys.

Originally Posted by w3_ View Post
I think you have convinced me to get a sailplane! What are some good types and where should i order from?
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