RC planes anyone?

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Ponies ate my Bagel, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. Ponies ate my Bagel

    Ponies ate my Bagel Bisexual Bandit

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    There's a video of bitching SR-71 model in Jomamma, it got me thinking about RC planes. I've always been interested in them, but I've never known anyone personally that flew them. I used to build rockets as a kid and I love tinkering with shit. Can anybody point me in the right direction to get an idea of how this hobby works. Besides Wal-mart toys I've never had an RC truck or anything either so I'm not familiar with controllers etc. I think I would prefer to build my own versus buying a pre-made kit or something. I have a full shop and it would give me something to do.
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  2. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    RC is tons of fun. I suggest a computer flight sim is a great way to get started. I use Realflight.

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  3. Ponies ate my Bagel

    Ponies ate my Bagel Bisexual Bandit

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    This is probably a dumb question but how does a flight sim help you with an RC plane? Is it just understanding the use pitch, yaw etc.? Do the skills you pick up on a flight sim translate to the controller/radio you'll be using for the RC?

    I've been doing some reading online and it seems like the recommendation is to start with a glider of some sort before moving to a powered aircraft. Any thoughts on that?

    Edit: Oh, I see it comes with a controller, I typed before I looked. That's really freaking cool. Is there any reason the basic kit wouldn't be sufficient? I have a computer that will handle the sim without any issues.
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  4. Jeffy

    Jeffy Hmm...

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    Well, ignoring the cockpit camera, it allows you to visualize the plane as it's moving around you. Things like how the controls reverse when it's facing you. It also allows you to crash without having to spend money. To properly use Real Flight you need to use the RC controller that comes with it and not use a mouse and keyboard.

    For your first real plane I highly suggest getting a 90% build foamy. They're cheap and can fly nice and slow. Parts are cheap and their easy to fix as well. Something like this;

    http://www.hobby-lobby.com/super_cub_dsm_rtf_1035112_prd1_1035115_prd1.htm

    There are a few powered foam gliders that are good for beginners but I wouldn't get a true glider. Thermal Gliders are easy to fly but can be tricky trying to launch and land them if there's a lot of wind. Slope gliders usually need a lot of wind and can be tricky to launch and fly. I wouldn't recommend going that route. If a thermal was a prop plane then a slope would be a jet.
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  5. Ponies ate my Bagel

    Ponies ate my Bagel Bisexual Bandit

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    That's really neat, so between the plane and the sim I'd be in around $300. Is that a good starting set up? I know this is one of those hobbies that you could drop $50k into if you wanted, but I want to keep the cost down as much as possible. I really appreciate the advice.

    Edit: Oh I guess I should ask, where would I go to fly something like this? I live near the beach and see people flying planes a lot out here. Is that all good and legal, do I need a license or something?
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  6. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    When I started, I discovered that RC flight was 5 hobbies; radios, woodwork, engines, covering/painting, and flying. Now we can throw computers, batteries, and electric motors into the mix.

    I highly recommend finding a local RC club with a program to help newcomers fly.

    Your first plane should be a high wing trainer. I always recommend that a newby build their first plane. If you do that, you will learn about how it works and you can fix it if you crash it.

    The RC sims are not a replacement for hands on experience, but the can greatly speed up the learning curve, Most newbys can only think one channel at a time. You need to control 3 channels to fly (throttle, turn, altitude).

    I never cared for gliders - I always wanted to go faster. :D

    Realfight has a design side too.

    Real RC plane (circa 1988)
    [​IMG]

    Virtual copy in 2012
    [​IMG]
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  7. Ponies ate my Bagel

    Ponies ate my Bagel Bisexual Bandit

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    That's kind of what I was looking for, I think I'd enjoy it more if I built it myself. At the same time though I might be to scared of breaking it. I'll see if I can find a local RC group, my SIL used to own the best hobby store in town (Laws Hobby in SLO) but it went out of business.
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  8. Jeffy

    Jeffy Hmm...

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    Well Realfight is the gold standard for RC simulators so you'll do good to get that one. It should come with a USB controller.

    As for planes, the kit I linked to is a good one. There are others but what it looks like doesn't really matter. You will want to get some air time with something simple before you try building your own planes. It doesn't make sense to make a plane then turn it into a pile of sticks it the first time out. So learn to fly first. Then explore the hobby. Large scale, warbirds, multi-engine, wood, nitro, duct-fans, jets, etc...

    I don't think a beach is a good place to fly. There's going to be too much wind. Small light foamy's don't like a lot of wind. For wind you really want a larger heaver plane but those typically aren't as good to learn on. You want a park or a school field. Someplace where there is little wind.
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  9. Ponies ate my Bagel

    Ponies ate my Bagel Bisexual Bandit

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    That makes sense. I just found out that the hobby store that's like 14 miles from me has a demo station for realflight. I might ride over later this weekend and check it out. This whole are is really windy so maybe a local RC group would be able to tell/show me where to go.
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  10. Apxgrndr

    Apxgrndr In the snow

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    I tries one of those real flight setups last week, really liked it. I walked in looking for an RC chopper but left wanting to buy a plane!
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  11. Ponies ate my Bagel

    Ponies ate my Bagel Bisexual Bandit

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    It looks awesome, I used to love flight sims. I had whatever the sim that Microsoft makes and a sidewinder, good times!
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  12. Apxgrndr

    Apxgrndr In the snow

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    Yeah I had flight sim 2004 which was great but I'm sure theres a much better version now.
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  13. Jeffy

    Jeffy Hmm...

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    Playing a regular flight sim isn't the same as an RC specific flight sim. They're very different. You're learning to fly from a fixed position on the ground. This is what takes some time to learn.

    As for clubs, some are good some aren't. I hate the elitism some clubs have. AMA is another matter.
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  14. Toysrme

    Toysrme Been here awhile

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    People think automotive hobbies and playing PC games (requiring a constant influx of hardware) are expensive hobbies LoL!
    This is the majority of what I don't have in storeage or any of the mountain of little fan-fold-foam foamies i've made. hah

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Always remember, like any hobby, you need to let your sigother know for the start. My love of {insert hobby here} was established before I met you and if need be will continue after!
    The big growth now is in the grey area of "FPV". First Person Video flying. As in, using R/C equipment and (typically illegal) video transmitting equipment, fly via video link. Very challenging technology & quite rewarding!


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is my 19th year of flying. Here's golden info for beginners:
    1) Flight-Sims will teach you the sticks, but NEVER forget they are primarily MARKETING products. Double the weight & cut the power output in half and "it's about like the real world". Out of the box, they're not very similar!
    2) Bigger flies better! Think of this in your long-term goals. A LOT of people suggest a certain plane (champ/clone) flying tiny foam plane becuase its cheap. ya well remember to read in between the lines in that they weigh less than two pounds and fly like crap after you can't glue it back together LoL!
    3) There has been a shift from wood/composite & fuel engines to foam & electric. Neither is less expensive. Electrics (lipos) are more dangerous, but easier to use (especially for "non engine heads" to understand!), fuel engines are generally more powerful and versatile but requires some engine knowledge to operate.
    4) With regards to radio equipment BUY AHEAD!!! Be it the most advanced radios of yesteryear or mid-range $250-300 radios of today!
    5) It is better to buy what your LOCAL flyers can help you with than what internet newbies can help you with! If your only local flyers fly tiny 1-3 pound tiny foam planes in a ball park. Do that. If they fly 4-20 pound wood planes from an airstrip, buy that kind of trainer. Real hands on help > anything the internet will ever teach you.

    My pushes are slightly old-school, but I shoot for SUCCESSFUL advice! Not money wasting!

    If you have absolutely zero help, buy a 2 meter glider. Period. Anything else is a waste of money and you'll never out-grow a reasonable glider...
    If you have zero/little help and do NOT want a glider, buy/build a SIG Seniorita. By nature, it is the slowest, easily to fly plane with the most ridiculous amount of built in self-righting & stability ever designed. You can put one level & inverted at 300' AGL let go of the controls and it'll be right side up with room to spare...

    If you have some help if you go fuel planes a .40 sized balsa trainer (eagle II is great) If you go electric any EasyStar (E*) or a cheap clone of one.



    Also, no matter who is helping you, three things right off the bat.
    1) do a glide test (run with the plane above your head, and gentle TOSS it overhand. DO NOT JAVELIN THROW AN R/C PLANE. If you do it will go straight vertical, stall & become a lawn-dart)
    2) CLIMB. Your goal as a newbie is to be "3 mistakes high". As in, you can fudge up three consecutive control inputs and still have a chance at not hitting the ground. When you see all these n00bs on youtube flying 20 feet off the ground, they're idiots. "3 mistakes high" is take a full grown tree and be higher than that. 100-300' above ground level.
    3) DO NOT fly so far away or so high you can not tell what orientation& direction the aircraft is at.

    All I'm trying to say, is I've been flying a long time. Gotten a lot of people in the hobby (Successfully!) Did my stint as the local AMA "instructor/buddy box" for awhile. Do the best you can to be SUCCESSFUL and not whatever the "tiny plane of the year" club is calling a "trainer". If you take that advice, you won't immediately go out & wreck several hundred hours & dollars worth of investment and quit a massive & rewarding hobby!
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  15. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    Another Realflight Screenshot.

    [​IMG]
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  16. Toysrme

    Toysrme Been here awhile

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    VS a "Real Flight"
    having a hot 18 year old softball player to catch a plane is another area the sim falls short :lol3

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  17. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    Goldberg Eagle II

    [​IMG]
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  18. Toysrme

    Toysrme Been here awhile

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    had two :) second one is in the box still heh.

    they're easily the best 4 channel primary trainer. fly rings around all the trainers out now. much better handling. the reason is because eagle II's don't require a master builder to build at 4 1/2lbs where all the ARF/RTF trainers out there now are all 5.5-6.5 pounds and that's just too heavy!
    #18
  19. Ponies ate my Bagel

    Ponies ate my Bagel Bisexual Bandit

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    Awesome advice, I went to the hobby store and couldn't help myself....

    [​IMG]

    They had the earlier recommended super cub and was WAY bigger than I expected. I think I'll play around with the sim for a bit and then work towards either a super cub or an eagle II I'm very competent with gas or electric engines so I foresee some of both in my future. I found there is an AMA field very close to me and a not so official field about 20 miles away. What does AMA stand for and how much is it to join? (if anyone knows)
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  20. Toysrme

    Toysrme Been here awhile

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    yay! big first step! :clap


    Academy of Model Aeronautics
    First understand you DO NOT have to have a license to fly R/C "hobby" aircraft in the USA. You can fly ANYWHERE as there has never been FEDERAL restrictions to where you may fly. NO agencies BUT the FAA has a legal claim to the Airspace in our country. (That wont stop cities/towns/municipalities and the park services from running you off tho!)

    Their Positives:
    • Virtually all ACTUAL R/C clubs require AMA membership. (As in, they own the property, hav ena airstrip, pits, actual club membership, etc)
    • AMA is the modelers only political lobbiest. They AT TIMES protect US from the FAA and the FCC
    • AMA provides "up too $250,000usd" insurance should you play somebody/something
    • They have a magazine
    Their Negatives:
    • They are a magazine publisher & Insurance company ONLY. They are ONLY interested in eventually pushing the FAA and FCC into REQUIRING all hobbiest R/C useage to have an AMA license
    • Absolutely nobody, ever, gets an AMA insurance claim. They ALWAYS come up with a reason to fully invalidate a claim.
    • Put your aircraft on your HOMEOWNERS/RENTERS policy. Many will cover it and you won't have to fight.
    Ok, so it's obvious I'm rather Anti-AMA for the above reasons. Here's why I DO continue saying new members SHOULD join an AMA R/C club if there is one nearby. They will have people that can help you and assuming you don't have 15 acers to fly on yourself, youll need a real "field"once you start flying reasonably sized planes. (3-4 pounds and larger).







    Just please heed my words. Real Flight (and Pheonix) are built to SELL you planes. Even with all the "physics" and "difficulty" maxed out, planes in sims are flat out easier than real life. In real life virtually all the planes/helis found in the sim are significantly heavier with significantly less power.
    My rule of thumb (Because I have & have owned many planes in real flight over the years) is cut the engine power by 30-50%, and if it's a sport plane, increase the weight 50%. THEN they fly "about what they should". LoL!

    I'm not anti-sim. They save money ever time you reset! I'm "so many newbies have bought them in the last 2 decades only to be bitterly disappointed with the real life versions of the planes that are 10-15mph slower and have a much higher, faster sink-rate when gliding)". It's just not a lot of guys out there (even on the R/C forums) have enough experience with enough types of models & flying to actually tell you that! Mainly, because they're out flying and never have a use for sim flying LoL!
    #20