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  1. #51

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    To each there own but I hate building kits, I would not do it anymore.
    \"Hi, I am opinionated and full of myself\" - Discowings.

  2. #52

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?


    ORIGINAL: rcflip

    To each there own but I hate building kits, I would not do it anymore.
    This is an answer I get once in a while, I think it's one of the best answeres/statements I have ever heard. Up front, honest and to the point.
    My first plane was an ARF too, 1956, the FIRE BABY. Replacement parts at most hardware stores. A stab was a nickle, a wing a dime and the high dollar fuse was a quarter!!! The fuse had a metal motor mount and was made of 1/4 inch balsa. I think every boy in my area learned to fly with a Fire Baby. I had an Atwood engine, crap, but my dad let the salesman sell him that engine because they were out of the TDs. My dad was one of the {It's Good Enough Type of Guys} Once I got enough pop bottles and traded them in I was able to get a good engine, then my Life Was A Bowl Of Cherry's and a Sea of Castor Oil!!!
    Drinking and driving are illegal, why do bars have parking lots
    Daisy Air Guns, keeping kids off your lawn for 100 years

  3. #53
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    if the hobby stores would stop selling imported junk arfs from china....you would stop buying the junk....and build a GOOD plane!! you will find out them arfs are what you pay for...cheap....no glue....cheap hardware....cheap components....STOP BUYING THEM AND KITS WILL RETURN!!!!
    if it aint broke...ya aint flyin low enough

  4. #54

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    I just got started in the hobby about a year and a half ago.  I'm a kit builder.  Built an Eagle 2 for my trainer, and I have a 4-Star 60 on the board.  I grew up building models so it came natural.

  5. #55

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    Call em arf's if you want to but they too started out as a pile of balsa and ply that somebody had to put together,it didn't build itself.
    I've built from kit form a buttload of planes with my first being a 1/3 scale cub on floats, it took me a year and a half, sorry but I'm just not into the building kit thing anymore.
    I greatly admire the guys that do spend the time to build their own stuff and enjoy talking with and flying with them, but for me anymore it's arf's if I had to build em from sticks to fly I think I'd probably get out of it purely due to the time investment of building the kit, I got into the hobby back in the late 80's initially without much luck and got back into it about 5 years ago both times the intention was the same "learn how to fly" and for me atleast the arf's made that a much easier goal to accomplish without spending a year humped over a pile of balsa sanding off everything that doesn't look like an airplane.

    \"Q\" If you could have one super power what would it be?
    \"A\" The ability to leap tall blondes without them screaming

  6. #56

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    Well for me I hate "cookie cutter airplanes" You buy an arf take it to the field and there are ten more just like it. YUCK! Nowadays a kit built model is rare.

    I have started a kit. (goldberg eaglet 20) on a thursday after work. Had friday off (holiday weekend) Test flew it Sunday. Sig Kougar started on a Saturday evening. Test flew it the following Friday. Six months to build a kit. NO WAY!. Some kits go together so fast you would be amazed. Both of them were built before CA was available. I used Ambroid, wood glue, and epoxy. Now I am not in a hurry for NEW planes because I have good supply RTF now.

    I have bought arf's that took me longer because they were lacking glue. Support in critical areas. So they had to have quite a bit of work to make them safe to fly. I had to seriously BASH it to make it flyable to my standards.

    I will buy planes at a Swap meet. BUT they are kits built by someone else. 99% of the Kit builders KNOW they need to use GLUE or EPOXY in critical areas.

    When I started in the hobby ARF's were so expensive they were super rare. A kit was a 1/10 of the price of an ARF and with a little effort. They can go together very fast.

    I mow my grass with a push mower (my excercise) and do my own mechanical stuff when needed. So it is a matter of budgeting time. A little motivation or even get a building partner and build two together. They don't even need to be the same airplane. That way you can talk about airplanes, learn new things and have a good time. I have two airplanes at a friend's house I go over there a couple of times a week and build and work on planes. It is a good time. I am BASHING a CMP 120 Corsair, upgrading a 10 year old Sig King Kobra. It is getting retracts and fiberglass and paint.

    I build, rebuild, repair and fly.

  7. #57

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    Built my first kit many years ago, it was a Sig Kadet LT40 followed by a CGM Tiger 2.
    Through the years have seen influx of ARFs that basically shortened the time for one to be up in the air.
    Bottom line imho is the faster we can get these birds in the air, the better but I still do try to build (repair) whenever I can.

    Its all in the fun

  8. #58
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?



    A couple years ago when I started in this hobby I thought any one that builds a kit is just old, stuborn and a little dumb, with these great ARF's I can be flying in a weekend! About a dozen planes in the garage later I saw a TF Contender in a tower catalog and loved it, had to have it! Much to my dismay it was a kit!  After trying to buy one I finally gave in and bought the kit. Well 3 months later (an hour here and an hour there) I'm a few decals away from finished with my first kit.......definitly not my last. I have enjoyed building almost as much as flying. Wish I had started drawing on the plans from the get go, but I have exactly what was on the box. It is another hobby. A hobby that a 31 year old mechanic with 3 young kids barely has time for, but this is always an hour here of there. I'll always have a few ARF's around, but won't ever break one out to brag again. Anyone that's never built should, at least once, after that I'll accept your excuse of "I just don't like to build", but that's about it.

    \"that\'\'\'\'s not flying, that\'\'\'\'s Falling with style!\"
    Ultra Sport Brotherhood #108

  9. #59

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    I absolutely LOVE building. I like to reasearch, draw plans, make parts and cut wood to build airplanes that are rarely modeled. It is part of the recreation I derive from the hobby. When they fly that is a bonus! Currently on the bench is a 1/4 RRG Prufling. The 1/6 Piper PA-12 (kit bash from SIG Cub), 80" B-9, 1/4 DH-5 and 65" Yokosuka D4Y4 Judy are all almost done.

  10. #60
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    It is my experience that everyone I know who has building skills is willing, if not eager, to share his knowledge and skills with anyone who is willing to learn. And while I did not read every word or every line written in this thread, I didn't see any bashing or flaming going either way. If there was any, I missed it.
    \"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is\"

    Intolerance is not to be tolerated

  11. #61

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    ORIGINAL: raptureboy


    ORIGINAL: Oberst

    ORIGINAL: DenverJayhawk

    i barely have time to assemble an ARF. Building a kit would take me a year.

    You are exactly right. It depends on the kit though, I've seen some built in 6 months or a little less. But the guy was retired and didn't have to work 40 hrs a day and raise a family. One of the few things I like about ARF aircraft is I can do what I can to stay ahead in the economy, work 2 jobs and raise a faimily, and just grab my plane put it in the car and go flying once a week. With a kit, I'd miss out on good flying days if I had nothing else to fly. Thank God for progress!

    Now I'm a little smarter and have 3 planes and they are all backups to each other incase one needs repair. So for the most part, I always manage more air time.

    I've been a member of RCU for many years, and had 2 other avitars, so you can't go by the date I joined. It seems someone always starts a Thread like this for entertainment reasons. Threads like this starts getting into heated debates of what's better- Kits or ARF's?

    Then the name calling starts, then the Moderators do best: Warn, Clip, Cut, Edit and Lock.

    I'll say this once, and I write this with the backing of many. It doesn't matter if it's a Kit, ARF, RTF. It's all good if you bring it to a field to fly, and proud of what you have and enjoy the freedom of flight.

    Yes, I build Kits and buy ARf's and occationally I'll go to the Marketplace and buy a RTF. So for others, I don't care what you have, just as long you bring something to fly and like to share it at RCU. Anything else is just Bull IMHO.

    Enough written!

    Pete
    A BIG AMEN TO THAT ! I build kits to fly and I have arfs to practice crashing Just enjoy what ever you prefer and leave out all the name calling and all that over achiever talk. It was a cheap electric arf that got me back into the hobby. I wasn't a very good builder back when I was 14, 30+ yrs ago and it was frustrating to say the least trying to learn to build and only having a mininum of tools and help. I had an older gentleman in the club who spent a couple of wk ends helping me out. Maybe thats what you builders ought to be doing instead of bashing arf's, teach new guys some building skills, maybe a clinic during the off season or join a boy scout troop and teach it as a merit badge.

    I don't like crashing ARF aircraft either. And I started on 2 RTF aircraft, and then went to ARF, kits and then bashing. It's true it hurts more to demolish a kit plane, but it's still painful to crash a ARF. Sometimes it hurts more to crash a ARF that's discontinued and impossible to replace than a kit that's still available. Those too I fly, and try not to crash.

    I did so much work on my Discontinued Great Planes .60 Fokker DR1 no one would have known it was a ARF, if I didn't do a write up Thread in the ARF section and blab it all over the place. So I have to disagree a little with your statement. I'd be very saddened to crash my Fokker DR1.

    I started rebuilding and modifying the bird last July and in 3 more months it will be a complete year working on it. I'm hoping to have it completed and on the runway in about 2 months. What's really not talked about often is there's a new breed of builder called the "ARF Bashers."

    What we do can be harder than just building from a Lumber Yard Kit.

    So again I'm starting to see the same old topic " What's better, Kits or ARF " when the topic was " Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?" The answer is yes, many of us do build kits and I'm one of the guys who aren't bias, I love them all.

    I suspect this question is for Troll entertainment, I hope that everyone is smart enough to see that. Anything else other is like beating a dead horse and opening a old can of worms.

    JMHO

    Pete


  12. #62
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    G'day all. As I said back in Post #4, I build kits and I assemble ARFs. I guess I have about half and half of each. I do prefer to build simply because I need things to do now that I am retired AND the planes I build are generally better to fly than the ARFs though not always.

    Currently I am assembling two ARFs for a friend. One is a cheap 40 Size Yak 54 and the other is a fun fly Extra a bit like the Sig Somethin' Extra. Both these ARFs were not expensive and now I know why. Both differ from what is in the instructions, both have needed mods (the Yak would have filled up with fuel as they had cut so many holes in it around the engine bay) and the other one showed places for servos in the plans which were not actually present in the woodwork.

    The hardware with both is marginal - plastic clevises, thin soft wire push rods, poor covering; the list goes on and on. And I suspect both are going to turn out very tail heavy and need lots of lead to get them to balance. This is partly because of the way the servo setup has been designed in both.

    So after all this frustration, I would have far preferred to build a kit than work on these poor planes.

    That said, the Hanger 9 kits I have assembled have been fine and have flown well. I have also built and flown several Black Horse ARFs and they too have been good. I guess you get what you pay for.

    My next job it to build a Sig Somethin' Extra. That I will enjoy. And they fly well too.



    \"I just had no control. Must be the radio.\" Club Saito #597 Kadet Brotherhood #66

  13. #63

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?


    ORIGINAL: mike109

    G'day all. As I said back in Post #4, I build kits and I assemble ARFs. I guess I have about half and half of each. I do prefer to build simply because I need things to do now that I am retired AND the planes I build are generally better to fly than the ARFs though not always.

    Currently I am assembling two ARFs for a friend. One is a cheap 40 Size Yak 54 and the other is a fun fly Extra a bit like the Sig Somethin' Extra. Both these ARFs were not expensive and now I know why. Both differ from what is in the instructions, both have needed mods (the Yak would have filled up with fuel as they had cut so many holes in it around the engine bay) and the other one showed places for servos in the plans which were not actually present in the woodwork.

    The hardware with both is marginal - plastic clevises, thin soft wire push rods, poor covering; the list goes on and on. And I suspect both are going to turn out very tail heavy and need lots of lead to get them to balance. This is partly because of the way the servo setup has been designed in both.

    So after all this frustration, I would have far preferred to build a kit than work on these poor planes.

    That said, the Hanger 9 kits I have assembled have been fine and have flown well. I have also built and flown several Black Horse ARFs and they too have been good. I guess you get what you pay for.

    My next job it to build a Sig Somethin' Extra. That I will enjoy. And they fly well too.




    Well said. I get very good satisfaction in taking a bad ARF and turning it into a masterpiece. I wish I had kept my VQ Me-108, I would have torn the covering off and made it better from the bones up. But my building skills at the time weren't ready for that kind of thing then.

    I don't use stock hardware, I like adding my own most of the time. But I have used the stock hardware on Seagull and Hanger 9 and have had good results.

    Sig Somethin' Extra, you'll enjoy that plane.


    Pete

  14. #64

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    I'm an arf guy but I would like to try to build a Balsa usa Cub, as many arf's as I have rebuilt and fixed I should be able to build one.I would have to slow myself down from one week or less and flying to a few months.

  15. #65
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?


    I've got 5 planes and only 1 of them is an ARF. However, nobody else at our flying field shows up with a kit-built plane.

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  16. #66

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    Arfs are cool as long as you dont mind having 1 of 10 in your club...I also think when you build one from a kit you will know more about how the airplane works which will make you a better flyer..Its also nice if you get minor damage you know how to fix it..I had to always fix my kadet senior and even had to do a total rebuild once and knew that plane inside and out..Like I said there is nothing wrong with ARFS but if you realy want to be proud of an airplane build it and I bet people will notice it more than an ARF..
    Ultra Sport Brotherhood #114
    Sig Kadet Brotherhood # 37

  17. #67

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    We have read many reasons why some people don't build kits and opt for ARF's. I can't add much to that, and admit to having a couple of ARF's myself. For the most part they fly fine.

    Having said that, I can make another observation about my ARF's - I have NO PRIDE in them. None. I cannot say they are not fun to fly, they are. In fact my EAM Glastar flies exceptionally well. However, there is a warm and fuzzy feeling that is just missing with these planes. When I fly a plane I built I feel the pride and satisfaction that comes along with a job well done. I build because I enjoy the process. I can choose the subject, build to suit the engine I have chosen, and can finish it exactly the way I want. I typically use fiberglass and Solartex, painted. A durable finish that you will not find on any ARF. Another minor factor is that anything I build is very easy to sell down the road when I get tired of it. Used ARF's less so.

    I know guys that buy hot rods build by others and take them to static shows to compete for trophies. I have never understood that - how could you have any sense of pride, accomplishment, or satisfaction winning that trophy? These same guys, if R/C'ers, would fly ARF's, show them to others, and say "Look what I did!!"

    littlera
    AMA #386

  18. #68
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    Mike109 said:

    .......The hardware with both is marginal - plastic clevises, thin soft wire push rods, poor covering; the list goes on and on. And I suspect both are going to turn out very tail heavy and need lots of lead to get them to balance. This is partly because of the way the servo setup has been designed in both.....
    Mike.. Way back when, I bought a Goldberg Tiger 60 ARF that had what I figured was decent hardware. I didn't know enough about it to realize what I had, so I put it together with what came in the box. When I was finished, I flew it a few times and I was disatisified with it so I opted to make a few changes.

    It became a learning experience because what I opted to change out ended up needing additional work to make it right. I opted to put in Sullivan Goldenrods as pushrods to the elevator and rudder. After I put them in, I flew the plane. The faster I flew the plane, the more sluggish the elevator and rudder response was. I found that the rods were flexing within the fuselage, so I re-opened up the fuselage (the Tiger 60 has a flat bottom so it makes it easy to simply cut away the covering to gain access, then re-cover it when finished).

    I ended up applying epoxy to the rod casings at each of the formers which ended up fixing the problem. And, the plane was much more responsive with the change.

    What I am say is that I learned that with ARF's or kits, you do what you have to do to make them fly. Some require minimum to no effort some require more. I usually put my "signature" on a finished ARF (hey, even an arf gets finished, ya know? ) that has my changes and enhancements/improvements. I've never had one fail due to problems with the internal construction from the manufacturer. But, I also found out, from reading posts from my fellow RC'ers, what to look for and what to "fix" before flying. And I usually do just that.

    A little added epoxy never hurts in places like behind the firewall, or to beef up the landing gear mounting blocks... at least with glow powered planes. For electric, well, even a couple ounces makes a difference in flight characteristics, so I do a minimum of "fixes" to electrics.

    Bottom line.. if kits are your thing, well, that's great. If ARF's are, that too is great. There are builders and there are those that, well, can't build worth a darn. I happen to be in the second group... so I fly with ARF's, and enjoy myself 100% of the time.

    CGr
    Skylark 70 - OS .75 AX; Excelleron 90 - OS 1.20 AX; Venus II - OS 1.20 AX; And, I still fly my trainer, Hanger 9 Alpha - OS .46 FX! Some electrics. Airtronics RD8000 - Spektrum DX7 - DX6i. AMA 705964.
    Semper Paratus!

  19. #69
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?


    ORIGINAL: Oberst

    What we do can be harder than just building from a Lumber Yard Kit.
    Whatever helps you sleep at night.
    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

  20. #70

    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    Bought my first kita couple years a go; a 1/5 J-3 Cub.I worked on it every night for about5 weeks and thengot to a certain point and decided to take a break. Twoyears later I dug it outof storage and started back onit. Gettingready to cover it with fabric. Never done it before so praying I don't make a muckofit.I'll feel proud when I finish it but will probably cry if I crash it. I crashed a coupleARFs over the years and just had tolaugh it off both times. Wasn't worth getting upset over.
    Cub Brother # 186

  21. #71

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    I think it's just a matter of individual differences/experiences as to whether you're an ARF guy or a builder. I know some guys at my field don't even put together their own ARF's......All they want to do is fly and that is fine by me. Me personally, I do both ARF's and I do build at least one kit a year as a winter project to keep me busy during the cold months. I probably like the build more than the flying becuase it's like a stress reducer and it keeps my mind sharp. I do love float flying, so on every kit build, I like the fact I get to make my own modifications to the fuse to easily and quickly accept float struts, etc. I don't have the best shop set up, but do have a dedicated corner of the garage with a workbench, etc. My next home will have the ultimate work shop and I plan to some day scratch build something.

    Cheers....Hutch...
    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #25

  22. #72

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    Wow! This is another group (kit vs ARF) that if they were locked in a room together with their planes, it wouldn't be long before there were bloody noses and broken planes on the ground. I liked the idea that the "sport" is flying aspect and the "hobby" is building aspect and everyone's level of involvement is unique to them. To yell at someone and call them names because they can't or won't do things the way you do is pretty silly. It seems these kind of "why don't they" questions never get answered without emotional attacks from the "hobby" side while the "sport" side states their case and leaves it at that.

    By the way I have several ARF's, used planes from swap meets and one I built from kit and one kit I've been working on for over a year.

    Cheer up, it's flying season again!

    Jaybird
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  23. #73

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    My view...

    Flying an ARF is an activity.

    Building and flying a model airplane is a hobby.

  24. #74

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    I've been in the RC hobby for years. As a kid in school (60's) I built and flew control line. I then moved on to free flight and finally RC. At that time if you wanted to fly you had to build your plane. Most of the planes I built were kits which had the outlines printed on the balsa and you had to hand cut everything, there was no such thing as laser cut kits. I enjoyed building as much as I did flying. When the first ARF's appeared (I believe it was early 90's) I stayed away from them. Over the years the ARF's have become good looking and flying airplanes which could be assembled in 20 hours are less. I now only own and fly ARF's. As I've aged, I find that I like to spend my spare time with my 5 grandsons and at our lake house. I still enjoy repairing crashed planes that fellow club members no longer want. If someone wants to fly only ARF's and not build kits I see nothing wrong with that. I do believe that we will see more and more ARF's as that is what most of our club members fly now.

  25. #75

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    My first plane was an ARF. I purchased it becous I wanted to get flying quickly. I have built many rubber band and control line kits, but I wanted to get into RC quickly so I bought a ARF. I have been out of RC for the last 15 years. I am getting back into RC, and was suprised to find that there are hardly any kits any more.
    I want to build a scale 40 size war bird kit. I am suprised that there are almost no 40 sized scale kits avaliable. I think great planes has 1 p51 and 1 corsiar kit that are 40 size. 15 years ago, there where all types of scale warbird kits around. I dont begrude anyone that wants to by an ARF, so that can get it to the field quickly.
    The problem I have is that there are hardley any kits avaliable any more. I assume that all the ARFs are built from kits at the factory. Why cant they set some of those kits aside to sell to the builders? just my two cents worth.


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