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Newbie Dad looking for xMas gift advice for 8 year old son

Old 11-27-2010, 02:47 AM
  #1  
sigv
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Default Newbie Dad looking for xMas gift advice for 8 year old son

Hi - new to this forum. My son and I say a flying RC wing a few months back and he now wants an R/C plane for Christmas.

I am looking for suggestions for an overall package. I would like to get him something pretty easy to fly but not something he will get bored with quickly.

He is pretty spatially aware but I can see him crashing this. Would be cool if there was a Mac compatible Simulator.

Any recommendations much appreciated!

Much thanks in advance!

-Sig
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:14 AM
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idealhobbies
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Hello Sigv, Welcome to Wattflyer.

For a young person, the key is keeping their interest. Unfortunately, kids interests change like the wind. The way that I got started was exactly the way you will. My son wanted one for Christmas 3 years ago. He flew it 2 times and I have been doing it since. 16 planes later, I'm hooked and having a ball. My son....well, he is still scared of the planes and worried about crashing. You MUST explain to him that crashes WILL HAPPEN, and it's ok. You too must understand that this is not a cheap hobby. It can be done on a budget with smart shopping and asking questions.

First, for your plane request.....Hobbyzone SuperCub. Hands down, one of the best trainer airplanes out there.

Secondly, the Sim. Excellent idea. I started out with a sim and it helped me greatly. My first flight turned bad quickly, but because I had spent a few hours on a sim first, I was able to get the plane down in one piece. I recommend: http://www.phoenix-sim.com

Third, check the local area for a club or any fliers that could help you out with training. This will help your chance of success. Throw a request out here on Wattflyer. There may be fliers in your area that will gladly help.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:19 AM
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Scott Page
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Default Newbie Dad looking for xMas gift advice for 8 year old son

Start with the sim. Treat it like a computer game rather than a training tool and he'll either eat it up or blow it off. If takes to it, then get the real deal. This is how my (now14) son started 2 yrs ago and now he's one of the better pilots around.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:21 AM
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CHELLIE
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[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8vQb-MMwT0[/media]

http://www.amazon.com/Air-Hogs-Havoc.../dp/B001BAD744

this will get you started cheap in this Addiction you can both have fun with it, and see if your really going to like rc, Lots of Rcrs have started with this. and you can fly it indoors.

Last edited by CHELLIE; 11-27-2010 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:25 AM
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Since you said Mac there are only a couple to pick from.

Heli-X http://heli-x.net/index_e.shtml

or

AeroFly Pro: (Maybe AeroFly 5) http://www.aerofly.com/

If you have a good enough video card you even have the option of running most of the common simulators under Parallels or Windows via BootCamp.

Sadly my MacBook has a cruddy Intel GPU and cannot run any of these well at all.



For beginner planes the suggestion of the Super Cub is pretty good.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:25 AM
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idealhobbies
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Where are you located?
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:26 AM
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Phoenix says that it works on Mac as well.
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:28 PM
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"Helicopter" is kind of a dirty word around here, but the Syma S107 is about as much fun as you can have with $30 (here in the US). Also, it should be a good way to teach the basics of radio controls. I think 8 years is kind of at the extreme lower limit of what would work, but if he's "spatially aware" as you say, it may very well work.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:12 PM
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I must say that NJ is right. 8 is possible, but you never hear of kid pilots under the age 13 even if you do hear about them. The fact of the matter is that it's simply not very easy, nor is it like a video game. BUT this does not mean that you shouldn't try! For a first plane I would recommend a Parkzone Vapor. Small, so if you crash it has little inertia built up to damage the plane, slow, so you have lots of reaction time, cheap, and very easy to fly.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:30 PM
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Actually, younger kids do remarkably well at RC. Justin Chi (Jee) started at 5 years of age. Granted he is very talented.

I do agree, the issue with kids is, they do change interests like they change their pants.

I recommend a couple of planes to start - the Hobbyzone Super cub LP is a good one. It is also important to have a bit of help. It is a super hard hobby to self start in - at any age.

Mike
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:46 PM
  #11  
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As per earlier post, #1 goal is to capture attention and get new pilot hooked.

I would consider Hobyzone Supercub as a second plane and an AirHog SuperHawk or Biplane as first plane. Airhog will easily bounce off trees and houses that would end a day of flying for the Supercub and erode confidence.

Key is to maximize flying time and minimize repair time, repair costs and frustration.



Clint
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:00 PM
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@cbatters: I second that. The SuperCub may be an easy plane to fly, but it sure has been doing a great job at eroding my self confidence. Also, it's a relatively big plane and needs a lot of space and when you run out of space, things go from bad to worse really, really quickly. Talked to some guys at my LHC the other day, and they all agreed that The Champ (also from HZ) has taken the throne as the ultimate beginner's plane. I haven't tried it myself, but people all over the net have been raving about it.

But as I said: I'm 42 years old, and I've taken my share of disappointments and failures in my life. Still, as the absolute beginner I am, that SuperCub can ruin a perfectly good day for me and make me vow to get out of the hobby. I can only imagine it being far worse for an 8-year old...
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:18 PM
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Bub Steve
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Originally Posted by NJSwede View Post
@cbatters: I second that. The SuperCub may be an easy plane to fly, but it sure has been doing a great job at eroding my self confidence. Also, it's a relatively big plane and needs a lot of space and when you run out of space, things go from bad to worse really, really quickly. Talked to some guys at my LHC the other day, and they all agreed that The Champ (also from HZ) has taken the throne as the ultimate beginner's plane. I haven't tried it myself, but people all over the net have been raving about it.

But as I said: I'm 42 years old, and I've taken my share of disappointments and failures in my life. Still, as the absolute beginner I am, that SuperCub can ruin a perfectly good day for me and make me vow to get out of the hobby. I can only imagine it being far worse for an 8-year old...

Flying Monkey brought a "the champ" to the TurkeyToss at my place and had Daisy (8 year old) flew it Great, she's been flying aero ace's and had a handle on the champ right away
I was just about the start Daisy on the Super cub next week, I've started Many of my club Kids on aero aces then to the SuperCub, Flying Monkey gave the SuperCub to our club a few years back and she taken alot while still stay'in in one piece It's got Mods like Outrunner ,Etc,, but prop'ed down to fly like stock and make the flights much longer,
Great thread, thanks,bubsteve
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by NJSwede View Post
Talked to some guys at my LHC the other day, and they all agreed that The Champ (also from HZ) has taken the throne as the ultimate beginner's plane. I haven't tried it myself, but people all over the net have been raving about it.
Well at least you admit to having given the throne to a plane you have yet to fly. I find it hard to recommend planes I have not flown.

I do see others talk about it, but my issue with the Champ is that it weights 38g. So with really any wind to speak of, it is not practical as an outdoor trainer.

I like the Micro planes as trainers, as they are so tough to damage, since so light.

Again how does it handle a 10mph wind?

Mike
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
Well at least you admit to having given the throne to a plane you have yet to fly. I find it hard to recommend planes I have not flown.

I do see others talk about it, but my issue with the Champ is that it weights 38g. So with really any wind to speak of, it is not practical as an outdoor trainer.

I like the Micro planes as trainers, as they are so tough to damage, since so light.

Again how does it handle a 10mph wind?

Mike
Good point Mike, I was in 4-5mph and she did okay but anything over that and she'd been a handfull for a newbie (or me!)
I did a loop and a rudderRoll with it , bubsteve
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:01 PM
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The Easy Star is also a very good trainer aircraft. It ha the added advantage of being practically indestructable.

As for Sims, Macintosh, being pretty much a "cult status" platform usually gets the short stick when it comes to programs. Which is a pity cause from what I hear it rums much better than "The Other One". Conversly, I'm suprised that none of the major flight simulator manufacturers havent jumpedon the TV-video game bandwagom with versions for Nintendo, X-Box, so-on and so-on ad absurdum.

I think that FMS comes in a Macompatible format, and it's free. It skimps a bit on realism, and it's graphics are, well, "Donkey Kong-ish". I don't know how much that matters to your kid, but it's easilly the cheapest way to go, especially since you have no idea how long his RC interest is going to last. Phoenix is the best physics wise, and has more realistic imagery. Of course you pay for what you get.

Good luck with your potential new pilot
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:03 PM
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@rcers: You're right, I haven't flown it. I'm just echoing what seems to be the consensus. Anyway, anyone who has read about my failures as a pilot will take any recommendation from me with a huge grain of salt...
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:32 PM
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I get it - many are speaking highly of the Champ. I have flown it briefly, it is a great flying micro.

I am hesitant to recommend it as a primary trainer only because you need a calm day to fly the plane. Those are few and far in between here.



I like the Super Cub, it is durable, flies very well and can handle wind. But the downfall it, perhaps unlike the Champ, needs an instructor.

Mike
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:34 PM
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Phoenix claims Mac compatibility -if- you run it under Windows (Bootcamp), VMWare or Parallels (Virtual machines). I suspect it's the same deal for FMS.

NJS brings up an interesting point... As many gaming consoles are out there you'd think the sim duhwelopers would cater to that market.

I need a good heli sim. Sadly my 3rd generation MacBook has a crappy video card.

As for the Easy Star I have flown one and can also recommend it as a trainer.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:57 AM
  #20  
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sigv,

How good are you at building? Check this out!

http://www.e-foamy.com/products/ezfly.php

Regards,

Hankg
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:20 PM
  #21  
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GWS Slowstick? that was my first. its stable, decently large not to get lost by the eyes even into the sun, and 3 channel. plus i personaly think it looks cool
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:24 PM
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although btw youd still need a transmitter reciver servos and an esc. i flew a wing into a field goal post at my highshools fooball field and spun arouind, and kept flying. its durable
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:50 PM
  #23  
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Champ..... If he is going to take to the hobby, the Champ will be the one to help him along. Tough little plane, a complete blast to fly. I recently put LED's on mine so I can fly after work during these shorter days.

And if he doesn't like it, you're not breaking the bank.

I got mine to do a rudder roll too and fly inverted as well...
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:51 PM
  #24  
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Actually, younger kids do remarkably well at RC. Justin Chi (Jee) started at 5 years of age.
RCer

Justin started what I call flying at around 2 1/4 with cordinated turns on sim. He was on buddy box at 2 3/4 and soloed at 3 years and 1 month.

This one was when he was 3 1/4. But, I would NOT recommend this as a first airplane!



He gave up on airplanes after learning to to torque rolls, rollng circle, 4 point rolls etc at 3 1/2 because they were boring (according to him). So, he start on helis (dirty word here according to some) at 3 3/4.


OK, enough about Justin.




sigv

We do have one Champ. While forgiving, I consider it to be a bit delicate for small hands. I am in favor of Easystar and the like with the pusher config where the non essential part take the brunt of the damage when crashed. If you are going to pair it up with a sim (AeroFlyPro works on Mac), I would consider getting one with ailerons as well. While adults need more forgiving airframe due to slower reflexes, kids can learn quickly and respond to something that has exact response to his sticks rather than something that is watered down. Elapor or EPP will be an excellent first airplane over regular foam that also require foam safe glue for repair. I would not recommend flat foamies before they learn how airplanes behave and glide.


Between Champ and EasyStar, thumbs up for EasyStar. But, if you can find a variation of Easystar, that is made from EPP and has ailerons, go with that.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:10 PM
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I just checked around. But, can't seem to find one that looks like the EasyStar but with ailerons. I suppose you can add it later.
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