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Beginner to RC Airplanes.

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Old 03-01-2013, 02:01 PM
  #1
micah11
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Default Beginner to RC Airplanes.

I have an RC car, but am looking to get into rc planes. I know that I should join the AMA and a flying club, but am confused on what plane to buy. I'd like to keep it around $200 total, TX and engine included. I have no preference between nitro or electric, and I would take either kit or RTF. I was looking at the "Smoothie" from Balsa USA. From what I can tell, all I would need is a TX/RX, and an engine, or is there more?
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:16 PM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

www.gettingairborne.com

This won't answer all of your questions, but it should help with giving you an idea of some of the basics of getting started and getting in the air.

Hope this helps

Ken
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:42 PM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

Here is my 2 cents.
As far as planes that is a bad choice as a first plane. You want a high wing trainer that has self-righting qualities. When you master that with instruction then you move on to a high wing plane with a flatter wing and you can practice aerobatics and after that you can move to a mid or low wing trainer. the Smoothie is several steps up from where you are now.
Second ,this is a kit. If you have never built a kit before BUT you want to build instead of buying an Almost Ready To Fly ARF then again ,you need to get a trainer kit like a Sig Seniorita or similar.
Your budget is going to be a bit of an issue if you want everything new. There are small foamy planes in that price range out there ready to fly as electrics but those are a bad choice in my opinion as they are tough to learn on for many reasons and they become throw-away planes. I've trained new flyers who bought these small electric planes and they are not a good investment. if you are serious you want to get a larger plane around a 40 size with around a 56" wingspan and one from a company where you can easily get replacement parts when it has an incident.
If you want new you will need to spend at least $300.00 or more plus the ground equipment you will need depending if you go glow or electric.
If you can't spend more than $200.00 then I would recommend buying used. On the classifieds here and on other sites, at RC flea-markets/shows, or on craigslist and sometimes at your local club, you can find a glow trainer plane, RTF with a transmitter and some or most of the support equipment for that price.
Here is an example of someone who is starting out in glow planes,did their homework, and is heading in the right direction:
http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_11..._1/key_/tm.htm


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Old 03-01-2013, 03:36 PM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

Nitro isn't going to happen with that budget unless you get lucky and find a guy selling a trainer setup with all the field gear and a good radio. That's assuming of course that all the batteries are still good and nothing is broken. If you're a teenager and this is going to be basically a toy for you (and the only one you plan to buy) get a Hobby Zone Super Cub and go have a great time. But if this is going to be the start of a hobby you plan to keep developing and investing in, saving a few more dollars to get a better radio and a 4 channel trainer will give you a much easier learning curve.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:53 PM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

What do you think about the Great Planes PT-40 Kit? With it being a kit, it would allow me to buy things as I go, so I wouldn't have to lay out $300 at one time. What other tools would I need to buy to  complete the kit?
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:28 PM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

That's a better plane to learn on and a better one to learn to build IF building is really what you want to do.
If you never built any kits before you will need to spend about $150.00 on building tools and to complete the kit probably another $ 120.00 on building supplies. To get it in flying condition you will need to get the engine,fuel tank, wheels, a new radio ,receiver and servos, etc..etc... so figure another $350.00 . Then you will need the ground equipment like a field box, starter , glow igniter, field charger,, fuel pump, etc so figure another $180.00 or so.
As you can see it adds up pretty quick compared with one like this::

www.horizonhobby.com/products/HAN4400
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:33 PM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

If you contact a club that has an instructor then you probably don't need to buy anything except your own fuel. Every club but one I belonged to had a club trainer. I still have a trainer and buddy box to teach with, once a student solos I let then use the trainer to fly until they buy there own plane and gear. Check with your local club before you buy anything. $200.00 isn't going to get you much but there are a few nice little three channel foam planes that come complete with the gear needed to fly it but if you want to get into glow power then it's a waste of money.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:24 PM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

You need to decide
What do you want to do or would you enjoy doing more?
    [*]Just Build Planes (some people just enjoy building )[*]Just Fly Planes (some people don't want to build ,they just want to fly)[*]Build, Fly and Repair Planes (some people enjoy it all)[/list]
    If you just want to build then get the kit and what building tools you can and slowly get the rest over time knowing it will take you some time to complete.



    If you just want to learn to fly NOW and don't have much more than $200.00 to spend for a plane and support equipment and don't want to search for a used glow plane/equipment then I would get this as it's made of some tough foam that will take a beating, the motor is mounted high so it won't get damaged and you can easily turn it into a full 4 channel plane. The other cheaper foamy conventional planes don;t take much abuse and you will be throwing money at props, prop shafts, gearboxes,cowls, etc after a few bad landings



    If you want to build and fly and do it in a reasonable amount of time it won't happen easily with $200.00. You would need to search the classifieds,flea markets for used building tools, plane kit, parts, engines, radio, etc,,, and you can get started but it will take time to amass all of the stuff and complete it before you get in the air.



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Old 03-02-2013, 08:39 AM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

As Grey Beard said, do not buy anything until you visit the local club(s) and talk to some of the members. Even if they do not have a trainer you can try, they can give you good advice and you may be able to even see some of the choices. All the clubs I've ever been associated with were more than happy to help a newcomer.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:18 AM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

And if you get into a club, there are always memebers wanting to sell equipment they have advanced beyond, sometimes at a very low price. Sometimes they actually give stuff away that they won't use any more. And the friendships you will develop are priceless.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:22 AM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

I would follow Grey Beards Advice...Your Budget is a bit small but we can't get everything we want at once...Your new club instructor will probably have some advice as to what he would like to see you working on so it might be best to wait and see what he or she has to say...My Pref would be a Four star or a LT 40 or some high wing trainer if you want a kit to build...If you just want to fly it would be much cheaper to watch for somebody that is selling a package deal ..Plane ,motor servos ,everything ready to go . Sometimes you can get fantastic deals on used stuff...I have acomplete set up rite now waiting for a new member to come along..It a Tower trainer with a 40 motor servos,transmitter,flight box with a electric starter and glow driver, fuel fump etc etc...every thing you need to go flying for $300 .00 There are lots of deals like this available...But building your own is by far the best way to learn
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:06 PM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

go to your local flying field ask around there 200.00 is not much to spend on a good trainer plane more like 400.00
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:09 PM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

pt 40 good kit lots more like that out there if you think you really want to fly dont go cheap
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:55 PM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Gray Beard

If you contact a club that has an instructor then you probably don't need to buy anything except your own fuel. Every club but one I belonged to had a club trainer. I still have a trainer and buddy box to teach with, once a student solos I let then use the trainer to fly until they buy there own plane and gear. Check with your local club before you buy anything. $200.00 isn't going to get you much but there are a few nice little three channel foam planes that come complete with the gear needed to fly it but if you want to get into glow power then it's a waste of money.
Very good advice, I keep a trainer around and a spare radio with a buddy cord just for these occasions, you will be able to get a feel for it and see if it is something you really want to persue. Good luck and happy flying!
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:00 PM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

Find a local flying club and join. They will point you in the right direction and get you started.
A kit is a good way to start, but your budget won't get you everything you need. With all hardware and covering a $100 kit will be closer to $150 to finish, then you need an engine and a radio.
There are some smaller trainers, but I'd get at least a .40 size trainer, they are more stable and easier to see.

The guys at your local field might sell a used trainer to you.

I'd sell you mine - Hobbico Superstar with .40 OS and 72 Mhz radio, looks like new and has no more then 2 hours on it - how about $150?
Shipping would be too expensive, that's the dilemma with planes. Check the ads here on RCU or Craigslist to find something local.

A very good investment is a simulator like Real Flight, it costs some money, but it saves you a lot in the long run.

And you might consider getting an arf - http://www.valuehobby.com/airplanes/...-series-1.html

Or this: http://www.valuehobby.com/airplanes/stik-series.html
It's a tail dragger, but very easy to fly and steer on the ground. I have the .60 size with a gas engine and you can slow it down to walking speed, it's very stable and makes a great trainer. And the pirce is right, great quality



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Old 03-07-2013, 04:15 AM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

Im very new to RC planes as well, but flyinwalinda is right it would prob be less expensive if you bought the Hangar 9 Alpha .40 trainer, thats the plane I bought, and just put together. The total price for that plane is $339.00, then look around for used field gear, I was able to find everything I need for $65.00, that comes in around $400.00 for everything you will need except the instructor . Also many flying field will not let you fly there unless you belong to the AMA.
Good Luck,
Paul
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:07 AM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.

I suggest the Super Cub for a first plane. It's ready to fly so you don't need anything else in order to get one up in the air. They are available at cheap price They are made of foam, so get a bottle of "Foam Safe CA" glue and just keep gluing stuff back together when it breaks." they are prettyeasy to learn to fly on. 

>>

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Old 04-05-2013, 05:40 AM
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Default RE: Beginner to RC Airplanes.


Quote:
ORIGINAL: flyinwalenda

That's a better plane to learn on and a better one to learn to build IF building is really what you want to do.
If you never built any kits before you will need to spend about $150.00 on building tools and to complete the kit probably another $ 120.00 on building supplies. To get it in flying condition you will need to get the engine,fuel tank, wheels, a new radio ,receiver and servos, etc..etc... so figure another $350.00 . Then you will need the ground equipment like a field box, starter , glow igniter, field charger,, fuel pump, etc so figure another $180.00 or so.
As you can see it adds up pretty quick compared with one like this::

www.horizonhobby.com/products/HAN4400
Unless he owns zero tools this it not true, I'm building my first kit now and I haven't bought any tools I didn't already have, I will have to get a couple things soon but nowhere near $150.


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