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aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

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Old 02-20-2004, 06:46 PM
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stephen23
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Default aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

Hey Everyone.

This is the first time I've posted here, and the first thing I want to say is thank you all for being here. I've read through just about every thread here about electrics and its been a tremendous help as far as knowing what I'm getting into. Muchos Gracias!

That said, I'll get to the question. I've mildly considering getting into these things for several years, and now it's time to finally buy something and learn. I work an incredibly erratic schedule and tend to be kind of a loaner, so rather than going to the clubs, I'm going to get something relatively cheap and teach myself. I studied aerospace engineering many years ago, and work with my hands alot, so I figure I have at least an even chance of not killing myself out of frustration.

I'm leaning hard towards the aerobird challenger set up... I can get the rtf kit, an extra wing, plus an extra 7 cell battery for right at $150. It seems to be a good mix of relatively easy to start out on, yet capable of doing at least a bit of aerobatics as far as loops and such, plus my local shop stocks every spare part and add on made for it at good prices. I know that nothing will transfer up to the next plane, but given my short attention span, I don't even know if I'll want to move on. This might be enough to keep me interested for as long as it lasts.

That said, the one thing I'm curious about after looking at one in the shop today is something those of you who have flown them will know. The three channels seem to control the throttle and then each elevator/rudder seperately. I'm wondering how big a difference this is from a plane with a traditional elevator and rudder. It seems to me that not having those very different control surfaces would make it hard to move into a standard configuration from this V tail thing. I know I said I might not even move on, but I do want something that handles like the real thing, so I can get a real feel for it and know just how difficult or exciting controlling these things is... Otherwise I'd just buy one of the two channel toys.

So... first off, am I right that you're basically controlling the left tail flap and the right with seperate channels? And if so, for those of you who have flown them, then moved up to a more traditional set up, how much different was it?

I know many of you don't think the aerobird is a good beginner kit, but I'm really not interested in building anything right now, and this seems to give me everything I need to fly for real for half the cost of a slow stick or other "real" park flyer. Besides that, this will give me some time to figure out just how far I want to get into this, and buy a real transmitter and electronics once I know a bit about what I want to do. If several people come back and tell me that flying a challenger really isn't the same thing at all, though, then I will have to rethink my logic.

Thanks again to all of you for all the great information on here! No matter what I do, I at least know I'm not walking into it blind!

Stephen
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Old 02-20-2004, 08:38 PM
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bribri543
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

In my opinion, there is no real difference between the V-tail and Tri-tail as far as turning goes. My dad has a Firebird Commander, so there is no elevator, but I dont see much of a difference between the tail on his plane, and the tail on my slowstick.

If you do decide to move up, go with the slowstick, or anything GWS makes cause they are cheap, and fun!

I started with a slowstick, and can switch to his plane or mine relativley easily. Slowstick is easier though.

With the three channels on the Challenger, you have throttle, rudder (left and right flap things), and elevator that pulls both of those flap things up. This may end up being completely wrong, so I hope I'm not guiding you in the wrong direction. I know on my dad's plane its only 2 channels. One is throttle, and the other is rudder, which pulls on either side of the V tail control surface. So that is why my guess is that the 3rd channel must be pulling both up for an elevator.

Hope this helps, but don't count on my channel explenation...
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Old 02-20-2004, 09:42 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

The Aerobird Challenger was my first plane. I found it to be relatively easy to fly. Don't get me wrong, you will crash, but it is very durable. A big plus is that you can but replacement parts at your local hobby shop when you need to. You will find that the more you fly, the less you crash. The biggest thing you can do when starting out is don't fly in strong winds. It can easily handle winds of 10 mph or so, but wait until you have several flights under your belt. I don't regret getting the challenger, it has been a lot of fun. I plan on getting a slow stick next, but even then I won't give up my aerobird.
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Old 02-20-2004, 10:12 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

Hey BriBri

Your plan for how the other two channels work makes more sense to me than mine! It still seems to me like it would make a difference though... especially if you are doing complex maneuvers, like banking and climbing at the same time. Maybe its a vector thing, where the same force has the same results no matter what combination of forces you add up to get there. I'll see what some of the others here have to say about their experience with the plane.

I definitely like the looks of the slow sticks, but most likely if I move up from this one it will be to something more aerobatic. For now I'm going to learn on three channels though... I'm a big believer in crawling before one can walk or run.

Thanks!
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Old 02-20-2004, 11:04 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

I would have to say go with the slow stick. You can build it for almost the same amount of money as the aerobird and if you decide to keep flying you can upgrade the thing. I have seen people at the park that have ailerons on that plane or even brushless motors. I do like the Aerobird but it is somewhat limiting if you decide to move up to a more complicated aircraft.
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Old 02-20-2004, 11:43 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

I second his recommendation for all the reasons he stated. What else can be said? I tried to go the cheaper route and ended up frustrated. The Slow Stick is cheaper than most, but more expensive than the Aerobird Challenger. All in all its the plane for the least amount of money.

BTW, you can get a complete Slow Stick for $175 at http://www.4mht.com. Email Terry and tell him you want everything you need to fly. For ony $25 more you are getting a MUCH better plane. Tell Terry that Dana sent you.

Dana
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Old 02-21-2004, 03:12 AM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

Stephen,

My first plane is a Challenger. It was a handful because as a first plane it feels fast and responsive. It took a half dozen outings and a bunch of crashes and ugly landings to get somewhaty competent and confident. I wen the self-taught route, too.

You seem fully aware of the alternatives and of the limitations inherent to the Aerobird. I'd say go for it. I wanted to experience more stuff, so my second plane is a GWS J-3 Cub, fuselage version. It's much more docile and has the same 3-channel control. The standard tail feel sno different from the Challenger's v-tail. Same control movements from the transmitter.

If I can share from my experience thus far:

1.- Be patient. Make your first flights on WINDLESS days. Not almost windless, WINDLESS. My mistake was to find out the hard way that wind really affects these little planes. If you want to enjoy the hobby, start out on WINDLESS days until you get the plane to do what you want it to do.

2.- Fly in a BIG field. The booklet that comes with the plane suggests 600' x 600'. I wish I had listened. I tried in about 600' x 250'. There was also a mild breeze - enough to feel it on my face while standing still. I flew OK for a few minutes than got too low and I hit a boulder that marks a field boundary and smashed a wing. Calm air and a lot of space with no trees or obstacles will help keep you from getting white-knuckled early on. Oh ... and at least 50 feet of altitude is a good thing! On my second flight I augered in straight down from about 30 feet and broke a second wing cleanly into two pieces - again, ignoring a breeze and fighting the plane around. Not wise!

3.- Get a roll of clear packing tape - the 2 inch wide stuff, and some 5-minute epoxy. You'd be amazed at the repairs you can do to a wing that looks trashed! I thought the wing from the first crash was a write-off. I decided to try fixing it after busting the replacement wing on my second flight ... I figured tape was cheaper than wings, and if I was going to ding a wing per flight I could lose interest very quickly! I'm still flying both of the repaired wings.

4.- Look for the thread here that offer suggestions on how to reinforce certain parts of the Aerobird. Big help. aeajr has a great set of suggestions on helpful mods and improvements. Do a search here and apply what he says.

5.- Pick up a couple of spare wings from the local hobby shop, as well as an extra set of tail feathers. Worst thing that can happen is that you won't use them.

I've enjoyed it. I've flown a number of times in moderate breeze - 5-8 MPH, but nothing beats flying in still air.

Go for it. If you can keep to the admonition to fly on calm days, your period of learning should be less trying than mine was.

Cheers!!!

BobbyG
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Old 02-21-2004, 12:19 PM
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stephen23
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

Thanks to all of you who have replied. As far as the slow stick goes, I'm kind of amazed at how many threads have turned into the same argument again and again, and even though I thought I was innoculating this one, it seems to be happening here too. NMPhi and Dana, I know your intentions are good, but I'm really not interested in the Slow Stick.

First of all, as I stated, I'm really not interested in building anything that I'm just going to go out and crash right away. That frustration factor is just too much for me. Later, when I don't crash EVERY time, it will be fine, but not now. Also the statement that there is only $25 difference is misleading. The $150 for the challenger includes an extra battery that will let me fly more, and a spare wing. $175 for the slow stick is a bare bones package that I will have to add on to by buying at least one extra battery, and spare parts, especially props and wings. That number also doesn't include the three hours or so of my time it takes to put it together, which all added up, probably makes it more like $100 difference.

I may be wrong, but as far as I have read, no one has really talked about the slow stick being much good at aerobatic stuff, whereas the challenger seems to be able to handle at least some of that. The areobird also seems much more crash friendly, with the prop in the back and spare wings to be had less than 5 minutes from my house for $15.

In addition to all of that, there is the fact that I'd still be buying a radio/receiver kit that I know nothing about. Reading recommendations is great, but I'm sure many of you are the same as me in that you're rarely happy with the first of anything that you buy, especially if you don't have any experience with it, and are going off someone else's recommendation. Yes, I would be getting a better transmitter and receiver set up, but I know myself well enough to know that it probably won't be the one that I really want once I know what is going on. If I get into the challenger, or whatever else I buy and want to move up, then I'll track down a local club and weasel my way into looking at the real gear, and buy my first 72mhz radio set up when I have a better understanding of it all.

Like I said in my first post, I've read most of the electrics forum that is relevant, as well as some threads in the regular airplanes forums. I know all the basics: no wind first times out, I'll crash a lot, mostly from oversteering at first, find a BIG field, every plane has a few places that need to be reinforced before you fly, etc. I really just wanted to find out about the feel of the control surfaces. If anyone comes back and says they are very different, then I might look at the sky scooter or some other ready to fly. I know the slow stick is a great beginner set up, and I appreciate you guys being so avid about trying to steer beginners in what you feel is the right direction, but do realize that it's not the right plane for everyone. I may not know much about this hobby yet, but I'm betting one size fits all is not the rule of thumb!

Thanks!

Stephen
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Old 02-21-2004, 05:19 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

I've wanted to fly R/C planes since I was a kid, but always afraid to get started because I knew I'd destroy the thing. I bought my first Aerobird a few weeks ago and love it. It's easy to fly, it has a number of different settings for good control and best of all when (yes WHEN) you wreck the thing all you need to fix it is some hot glue and packing tape!

The Second level of flying is done by moving to control lines closer to the tail wing itself. When you do this the angle the rudder moves is steeper and gives you more control.

The Next level is by setting the plane to lift one flap and drop the other in turns. This change is drastic for a newbie (like me) and I wound up hitting the asphalt at full throttle when I attempted this.

I spent this AM repairing the thing and as soon as the wind stops blowing I'm going back out.

Ideas:

Read some of the listings regarding reinforcing the plane BEFORE you fly it. Both myself and a buddy have had problems with the wing folding in the air. Some people reccomend putting a single piece of tape under the wing from end to end just to add extra strength. I have used bamboo skewers taped to the surface to fix this my buddy is using a piece of lattice. This again illustrated how easy they are to fix. Even with a piece of lattice taped to the wing, the plane still flies quite well.
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Old 02-21-2004, 05:45 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

For what it's worth, I don't notice any difference in flying a v-tail or a traditional rudder/elevator. My stick inputs stay the same either way. I believe that when you fly a plane with a v-tail configuration, the radio that comes with the Aerobird mixes the two channels that would normally represent the rudder and the elevator (I think this is correct). This mixing of the channels is what allows you to control the Aerobird like a plane with a "normal" rudder and elevator.

I have an Aerobird and I really enjoy flying it whenever the winds aren't too bad. Before I bought this plane, though, I taught myself to fly using Hobbyzone's Firebird Outlaw (a simple 2-channel plane). I don't really recommend (based on experience) trying to learn on your own, however I live in the middle of nowhere and my training sources were extremely limited. I thought it was important for me to learn to crawl before I walked, then ran, etc... I have no problems with my v-tail Aerobird and would recommend it to anyone. I was not worried about transferring servos, receiver, etc. just flying it.

Have you considered purchasing a r/c simulator like GreatPlane's RealFlight G2? This is a great learning tool. It has a v-tail plane in there as well as planes with a traditional tail. It is kinda pricey, but in the end, it is worth it. Better to crash a computerized plane than the real thing.

BUY AN AEROBIRD!!!
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Old 02-21-2004, 10:32 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

Stephen, the path that you are taking is almost identical to the one I took.

I wanted a relatively cheap way to get into the hobby and see if is something that I'd want to commit more time and money to. I didn't like the idea of buying a big glow plane and having to drive 45 min. to the nearest AMA field in the hopes of getting some time on the buddy box. I am a grad student, I am busy, and I am out of town during most weekends. I wanted something that I could toss in the car and fly if I had some spare time during the week. Something that wouldn't need a huge field or much supporting hardware. Something that was simple enough that I could teach myself. Something that wasn't pathetically underpowered. Something that could tolerate some beginner abuse. Something that was somewhat acrobatic.

I decided to get an Aerobird challenger. Found one online for $130 shipped to my door. (I'll tell you where if you ask).

I don't think that teaching yourself to fly is really that hard at all, especially if you've spent any time playing with flight simulator software. Just heed the warnings in the manual. Find a *big* field. Don't try to fly on a windy day. The Aerobird, with its undercambered wing, is very sensitive to wind and to airspeed. Once you have some experience, you'll be able to handle some wind. But it's best to build up to that slowly.

After your first few successful flights, you're going to want to order some extra batteries. And then you'll need an extra wing or five, and maybe an extra tail. The ABC is so resilient that it just invites very risky flying. Don't be shocked when you add up all the money that you'll probably spend on the ABC and realize that you could have bought some equipment that you can reuse down the line (aka, a good transmitter, receiver, servos, motors, speed controls, chargers, etc).

The ABC was a very fun way for me to get started in the hobby. I loved flying it. I found time to fly almost every day that weather permitted, since I had found a field that was on my way to the University.

The skills that you will develop with the ABC will transfer to another plane. It is real RC flying, in my opinion, unlike those deals that have no control surfaces, two motors, and use differential thrust to turn. I have actually found that my second plane (the Dandy sport in my avatar) is actually easier to fly. The aerobird is pretty quick for a beginner plane. The undercambered wing is very sensitive to airspeed, as I mentioned. You'll find yourself feeding in down elevator after you come out of a loop to keep the plane flying level, because the additional airspeed makes it want to pitch up. My dandy has none of those characteristics. Hand-lauching the aerobird is also much harder than hand-launching the dandy. Most of the damage that my Aerobird accrued occured during a botched hand-launch. Perhaps this is a result of my throwing technique, I don't know. I'm not trying to say that the aerobird is hard. But flying it is in the same league with flying other airplanes. It has adequate thrust, also. It can climb out at about 30 degrees on a fresh charge, which isn't too shabby.

The ABC has one serious flaw, and that is in the V-tail design. The neutral position of the control surfaces is maintained by a control line that connects the the servo on one side, and a rubber band on the other side. I have found that the rubber band does not reliably deflect the surface downward. I only began to notice this problem after about 50 flights. Also, the foam v-tail can widen out very easily, making the plane almost impossible to control in flight. You can replace the v-tails at low cost, so take that as you will. Also, many ABC owners don't seem to have the problems that I've had. Maybe I've just been unlucky.

My aerobird is now sitting in a box at my parents' house. It hasn't been used since December, when I got my next plane. I now fly my dandy sport / dandy GT about 4-5 times a week. It is far more capable than the Aerobird, but far more expensive. Not a fair comparison. The aerobird trained me to the point where I felt comfortable teaching myself to fly on a balsa four-channel plane. So far, I haven't reduced it to a pile of matchsticks, so I figure I'm doing pretty well.

I probably sunk $250 into the Aerobird over the course of about 3 months. This is including the original purchase.

I hope this helps. I would give the aerobird a tentative recommendation. It would be a whole-hearted recommendation if a better setup was used to connect the servos to the control surfaces, such as a pull-pull setup.

Have fun, and good luck!

Matt
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Old 02-22-2004, 10:12 AM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

Multiplex Easy Star. $180 RTF
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Old 02-22-2004, 12:09 PM
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stephen23
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

I looked at the easy star mikerjf. At least in the video it looked easy enough to fly, and super stable, but boring as heck. It's a shame, because I like the way it looks much better than the challenger, and it's bigger, but at least from the promo video, looked too slow and completely incapable of any sort of aerobatics. I'm afraid that once I got past the beginner phase I'd be bored with it... and for that amount of money that just won't do.

Stephen
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Old 02-22-2004, 01:52 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

ORIGINAL: stephen23

Thanks to all of you who have replied. As far as the slow stick goes, I'm kind of amazed at how many threads have turned into the same argument again and again, and even though I thought I was innoculating this one, it seems to be happening here too. NMPhi and Dana, I know your intentions are good, but I'm really not interested in the Slow Stick.


I learned my lesson to LISTEN and not ignore those arguments that come up again and again. If it does, there must be something to it.

First of all, as I stated, I'm really not interested in building anything that I'm just going to go out and crash right away. That frustration factor is just too much for me.

Building a Slow Stick takes about 2 hours, and take it from an ABC and SS owner-its a LOT easier to crash the ABC than the SS.

Later, when I don't crash EVERY time, it will be fine, but not now. Also the statement that there is only $25 difference is misleading. The $150 for the challenger includes an extra battery that will let me fly more, and a spare wing. $175 for the slow stick is a bare bones package that I will have to add on to by buying at least one extra battery, and spare parts, especially props and wings. That number also doesn't include the three hours or so of my time it takes to put it together, which all added up, probably makes it more like $100 difference.

It boils down to this: If you just want to occasionally fly and think you'll be forever satisfied with only one plane and never want to move on, then the ABC is fine, but I can almost guarantee you you will later want to try something else and you'll end up like I did lamenting: "Damn, now I have to buy a transmitter, and servos, and this and that because other than the battery, I can't use ANY of this plane's parts in anything else.!"


I may be wrong, but as far as I have read, no one has really talked about the slow stick being much good at aerobatic stuff, whereas the challenger seems to be able to handle at least some of that.

The SS can handle any stunt the ABC can and can also do almost an "about face" in mid flight with those huge control surfaces
The areobird also seems much more crash friendly, with the prop in the back and spare wings to be had less than 5 minutes from my house for $15.

In addition to all of that, there is the fact that I'd still be buying a radio/receiver kit that I know nothing about.


Ahhh...it's easy

Reading recommendations is great, but I'm sure many of you are the same as me in that you're rarely happy with the first of anything that you buy, especially if you don't have any experience with it, and are going off someone else's recommendation. Yes, I would be getting a better transmitter and receiver set up, but I know myself well enough to know that it probably won't be the one that I really want once I know what is going on. If I get into the challenger, or whatever else I buy and want to move up, then I'll track down a local club and weasel my way into looking at the real gear, and buy my first 72mhz radio set up when I have a better understanding of it all.

Like I said in my first post, I've read most of the electrics forum that is relevant, as well as some threads in the regular airplanes forums. I know all the basics: no wind first times out, I'll crash a lot, mostly from oversteering at first, find a BIG field, every plane has a few places that need to be reinforced before you fly, etc. I really just wanted to find out about the feel of the control surfaces. If anyone comes back and says they are very different, then I might look at the sky scooter or some other ready to fly.

I know the slow stick is a great beginner set up, and I appreciate you guys being so avid about trying to steer beginners in what you feel is the right direction, but do realize that it's not the right plane for everyone.

Look, I read the same things you did, and did a quick search on the internet to see what the SS looked like (I had no idea) and when I did, I said, "Ugghh!! what an ugly POS! No way I want that cheesy looking thing!" So I bought the ABC, then I got a SS just to see what the hype was about.

The ABC hasn't flown in 3 months.

You want it for cheap?
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Old 02-23-2004, 03:59 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

I'm going to throw my hat into this discussion as well. I own both an Aerobird and a Slow Stick. I realize that spending $250 on a plane just doesn't seem right when you can get an Aerobird for $100 less. But as much fun as the Aerobird is, it has its faults. The biggest one someone mentioned -- the control surfaces are pulled by a line and returned by a rubber band. This doesn't make for the most responsive surfaces. I'm self taught, and I'd really go ahead and buy the Slow Stick. If you purchase from pilot2pilot, you can get a very nice package for $240 that includes radio, charger, all electronics, two batteries, and three props. Should you decide after building and trying it out, you don't want to continue, sell off the electronics on Ebay. You'll probably get more than that $100 extra you spent back.

That said, the Aerobird's a lot of fun, and isn't a bad choice at all. It's just that knowing what I know now, I'd have bought the SS first and skipped the Aerobird.

Sean.
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Old 02-24-2004, 01:31 AM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

I started with the Aerobird and I love it! One channel for throttle, one channel for steering (moves BOTH of them, one up one down), one channel for elevator (moves BOTH of them up and down together). I think the aerodynamics might be a bit different, but the same control has the same effect on a standard plane (untill you get into ailerons but not beginner planes have ailerons anyway so it is no different).
I hope that made sense, have fun!
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Old 03-03-2004, 12:15 AM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

Stephen23, I think you are on the right track in the decision making process. I'm flying the Firebird Commander and having a BLAST with it! Me and two other guys have a fleet of five Firebirds. They are amazingly durable surviving many crashes, of course, we've replaced many wings and tails though. That the electronics still work after HARD high speed crashes is amazing! Two of the planes have even survived dunkings in flooded beanfields! (it took a week for the electronics to fully dry out...but they did) Today I flew after having replaced the tail with the "aerobatic" replacement tail which has even more control surface than the Aerobird! The result was IMPRESSIVE! I have purchased an aerobird and am waiting for it to arrive, but its hard to imagine more flying fun than we are having right now with the less complex Firebird Challenger.(it doesn't have the third channel to control elevator) I was not even flying in "expert" mode but with the aerobatic tail I was whipping that plane all over the sky! Yes, it does have some flaws like somebody mentioned for example, the v-tail tends to squat out (become a less pronounced vee) and this affects flight characteristics, but anyone with a little mechanical sense can fix this easily. We have a roll of white duct tape and use it religiously. Two little pieces to hold the tail to its plastic clamp assembly fix the problem of the tail squatting in about 5 seconds.

Can't wait till my Aerobird gets here! With its clipped wing, third channel, and the aerobatic tail I will immediately change too, I can only imagine the things I will have it doing!

Buy it and start having fun!

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Old 03-04-2004, 02:51 AM
  #18  
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

I have only had my Aerobird challenger for two weeks, but I really like this plane! I have never had an RC plane before and I didn't have any real problems learning to fly it. I did crash a couple of times and thease planes are tough. By the end of the first week I was able to do about everything I wanted to do loops, tail slides, and even role to the left.

No one here has mentioned the Xport? One of my friends has the commander and we have been dog fighting. This is so much fun you can't imagine.

If you don't mind not being able to use the electronics in another palne than get the challenger, or the new more powerful plane from hobby zone, in my opinion you can't go wrong.
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Old 03-12-2004, 07:20 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

just a quick addition about the aerobird. i read and read all the stuff about it and decided on a T-Hawk. the 2 planes look just about the same but the t-hawk has a conventional tail and all the electronics can be used in a different airplane because they are all individual units( 2 servos, esc, and reciever. it comes with 2 wings 2 batts. and 2 tails for $149.00 from readytoflyfun.com. the down side is that you cant go to the local hobby shop and buy replacement parts.(aerobird wings should be able to work on both,theres not that much difference in size). it being march, the winds have been to high for me to fly mine more than once. it was my second time ever to fly an rc plane. crashed it a lot, but it is still in great shape. the plane flies great but i dont do so good (going left when i wanted to go right and that sort of thing). like i said ive read all the other stuff and the aerobird seems like a great trainer, but the ONLY reason i chose the t-hawk was the electronics. HAVE FUN!!!
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:13 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

I'm also a big fan of the Easy Star Multiplex.

It's not boring at all!

It flies in light-medium winds. It can last over 10 minutes with proper throttle management. It can do a loop and probably other tricks (I don't have the guts yet.)

If you are a true newbie trying to teach himself, then please take a second look at this plane. I am a newbie and fly mine for the first time today. I slammed it right into a brick wall when trying to land. Hard. It was back in the air in 30 seconds. No repairs needed. Now that I got it home I'll put some glue in and re-sand the split and you'd never know.

It nealy lands itself. I just cut the throttle and point it into the window and it comes down a little faster than walking speed.

Get what makes you comfortable, of course. But this is a great plane and worth looking at closely. I took my time putting it together because I'm not a a modeler. It took 4 hours. Someone who knows what they are doing could put it together in half that time.

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Old 03-25-2004, 04:11 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

I've been reading through this thread and has some nice reminiscent moments about flying my Aerobird. I had the older orange model and not the new Challenger. I had a lot of fun flying it and managed to replace pretty much every part other than the transmitter. The money I spent would have easily bought me a nice Hobbico .40 trainer, but at least it taught me how to fly. I bought two of the 7 cell batteries and they made quite a difference. Loops became much easier and I enjoyed flying it in 10 to 15 mph winds (that does explain some of the repairs, though). I put it down a few months ago and started flying a Zagi with a Magnetic Mayhem. It's much faster and much more fun, but the Aerobird was a great trainer. One downfall that I have to agree with is that if any of the electronics get damaged, you have to buy a whole new fuselage. At least you had to with the old one. Also, if ever you fly a somewhat regular plane, it takes a few tries to get used to not having to dead stick the controls to get it to move (that was even with the larger tail). The first time I flew a regular 4 channel plane I had trouble keeping it stable because I wanted to move the stick too much. I don't know if the Aerobird is the absolute best trainer, but it gets the job done and is quite a bit of fun to fly. Good luck.
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Old 03-25-2004, 09:11 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

Stephen...buy a T-HAWK,...youll be so happy you did...you get so many extras for about 159.00 dollars..it has proportional throttle and can glide or do 25 mph if you want it too...
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Old 03-25-2004, 09:26 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

1 other thing..the aerobird uses a string line to control rudder movements{i think}..t-hawk uses stiff wire...which is much more responsive and dependable...and boy it can take a ton of abuse...which is a neccesity for a newbie...theyre service is aslo fantastic....
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Old 03-29-2004, 08:03 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

I agree with rumme. You should take a close look at the T-Hawk. I know guys who have Aerobirds and a T-Hawk and they appear to be very similar. It also comes with a spare wing, tail, props, and extra battery for about the same price. You also get real servos and control linkage rather than that fishing line/rubber band arrangement.

If you want to spend a few bucks extra you can buy the T-Hawk without the radio and put real 72 MHz gear in it. I am a radio amateur (KB5EZ) and am a bit obsessive about the radio gear. I started with a Firebird Commander and have gotten out of range a couple of times at nowhere near the published 2500 ft limit - more like 500 feet. I have also been "shot down" by radio interference at close range. Those 27 MHz low price radios operate in the CB radio range and RC channel 6 (where my Firebird lives) is on exactly the same frequency as CB channel 23. AMA recommends against using 27 MHz for precisely this reason. If you must go 27 MHz, try to avoid ch 6. The other 5 channels at least fall in between CB channels and are less likely to experience interference. I have 72 MHz Hitec dual-conversion receivers in my Slow Stick and Easy Star and at least don't have to worry about radio problems. I know these opinions probably belong in a radio forum but it is something to consider if you are thinking about T-Hawk vs Aerobird.

I have been very impressed with the Aerobird and I'm sure you would enjoy it. Just give the T-Hawk a look before you buy and think about radio gear you could use with other planes.
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Old 03-29-2004, 09:06 PM
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Default RE: aerobird V tail or rudder/elevators?

i am on channel 3 and have no problems at all with interferance with the transmitter that came with the t-hawk...of course it might help that im flying in a cemetary without any interfernece around
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