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Newbie W/Areobird Challenger


Old 09-01-2005, 09:14 PM
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Default Newbie W/Areobird Challenger

After going to a local Airshow and watching the local model culb also perform I was hooked. A 37 year old kid. Today was the third time out with my new areobird challenger. It can take some tuff crashes and I'm happy with the product so far. Today on my third time out I was able to make a couple good landings as well as ground take off's. I was smiling from ear to ear! The area where I fly is mostly gravel where a Mall may be built. I wanted to learn by myself before joining the local club. The club tells me to get the insurance and come have fun. I was a little scared to see the parking area close to the landing area. I want to be in controll when I show up. The packed ground makes for good takeoffs with the small wheels on the landing gear. I dont think it will work to good on the club's grass runway. I really like ground takeoffs and Landing with gear alot. I dont want to hand lunch.Has anyone tried a Mod with larger wheels on the "Bird"? Also I get a little scared when she gets a little high or eighty yards away. I guess this will "wear off"with confidence. Will I be ready or should I be ready for a parkflyer like a mustang in the spring?...Hope you enjoyed the Newbie story. thanx for any input and tips.
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Old 09-01-2005, 11:14 PM
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Default RE: Newbie W/Areobird Challenger

You can put bigger wheels on. Fer sure!

My minimum flying height is about 100 feet and Usually fly WAY above that. Our field is 800X1600 and I fly over the entire expanse. So let it climb and let it run!!!
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Old 09-02-2005, 01:23 AM
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Default RE: Newbie W/Areobird Challenger

Also make sure that when you fly at a long distance it is against the wind so you can bring the plane back easier if the motor stops.

Happy flying!
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Old 09-02-2005, 07:42 PM
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Default RE: Newbie W/Areobird Challenger

With a nice late afternoon with no wind I went to my fly spot , only to find a 4X4 bottomed out on top of a sand pile. I would of helped but my truck is not for pulling out strangers. I left and went to a second spot I have been thinking of. Tall grass...no runway. but the field is Huge with no hard gravel to crash into. Took off the landing gear and hand launched by myself. I felt so much comfortable in the feild then the elevated mall to be site where if the plane got away it could go down over the slope and into the tree tops. Belly landings where good but not as fun as gear. I need to find the perfect place. I will be ready for the Club soon anyways.Today I was able to control where I wanted to land nicely. Almost ready to try a loop!?

More input on Landing gear options for a grass strip would be great.. { size wheels. brand install mods...etc..}

Thanx for the reply aeajr.[8D]
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Old 10-14-2005, 10:55 PM
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Default RE: Newbie W/Areobird Challenger

Whether you have a coach or you are trying to learn to fly on your own, you
will need to be mindful of these six areas if you are going to become a
successful RC pilot. After two years of working with new flyers at our club,
and coaching flyers on the forums, there are a few things I have seen as the
key areas to stress for new pilots. Some get it right away and some have to
work at it. They are in no particular order because they all have to be
learned to be successful.

Over Control
Preflight Check

1) Wind - The single biggest cause of crashes that I have observed has been
insistence upon flying in too much wind. If you are under an instructor's
control or on a buddy box, then follow their advice, but if you are starting
out and tying to learn on your own, regardless of the model, I recommend dead
calm to 3 MPH for the slow stick and tiger moth type planes. Under 5 MPH for
all others. That includes gusts. An experienced pilot can handle more. It
is the pilot, more than the plane, that determines how much wind can be

The wind was around 10 mph steady with gusts to 12. That was strong enough
that some of the experienced pilots flying three and four channel small
electric planes chose not to launch their electrics. This new flyer insisted
that he wanted to try his two and three channel parkflyers. Crash, Crash,
Crash - Three planes in pieces. He just would not listen. Sometimes you just
have to let them crash. There is no other way to get them to understand.

Many parkflyers can be flown in higher winds by AN EXPERIENCED PILOT. I
have flown my Aerobird in 18 mph wind (clocked speed) but it is quite exciting
trying to land it.

Always keep the plane up wind from you. There is no reason for a new flyer to
have the plane downwind EVER!

2) Orientation - Knowing the orientation of your plane is a real challenge,
even for experienced pilots. You just have to work at it and some adults have
a real problem with left and right regardless of which way the plane is going.
Licensed pilots have a lot of trouble with this one as they are accustomed to
being in the plane.

Here are two suggestions on how to work on orientation when you are not

Use a flight simulator on your PC. Pick a slow flying model and fly it a lot.
Forget the jets and fast planes. Pick a slow one. Focus on left and right
coming at you. Keep the plane in front of you. Don't let it fly over your

FMS is a free flight simulator. It is not the best flight sim, but the price
is right and it works. There are also other free and commercial simulators.

FMS Flight simulator Home Page
Free download

Parkflyers for FMS

The links below take you to sites that provide cables that work with FMS. If
your radio has a trainer port, these cables allow you to use the trainer port
on your radio to "fly" the
simulator. This is an excellent training approach.


An alternative is to try an RC car that has proportional steering. You don't
have to worry about lift, stall and wind. Get something with left and right
steering and speed control. Set up an easy course that goes toward and away
from you with lots of turns. Do it very slowly at first until you can make
the turns easily. Then build speed over time. You'll get it! If it has
sticks rather than a steering wheel even better, but not required. Oh, and
little cars are fun too.

3) Too much speed - Speed it the enemy of the new pilot but if you fly too
slowly the wings can't generate enough lift, so there is a compromise here.
The key message is that you don't have to fly at full throttle all the time.
Most small electrics fly very nicely at 2/3 throttle and some do quite well at
1/2. That is a much better training speed than full power. Launch at full
power and climb to a good height, say 100 feet as a minimum, so you have time
to recover from a mistake. At 100 feet, about double the height of the trees
where I live, go to half throttle and see how the plane handles. If it holds
altitude on a straight line, this is a good speed. Now work on slow and easy
turns, work on left and right, flying toward you and maintaining altitude.
Add a little throttle if the plane can't hold altitude.

4) Not enough altitude - New flyers are often afraid of altitude. They feel
safer close to the ground. Nothing could be more wrong.

Altitude is your friend. Altitude is your safety margin. It gives you a
chance to fix a mistake. If you are flying low and you make a mistake ....

As stated above I consider 100 feet, about double tree height where I live, as
a good flying height and I usually fly much higher than this. I advise my new
flyers that fifty feet, is minimum flying height. Below that you better be
lining up for landing.

5) Over control - Most of the time the plane does not need input from you.
Once you get to height, a properly trimmed plane flying in calm air will
maintain its height and direction with no help from you. In fact anything you
do will interfere with the plane.

When teaching new pilots I often do a demo flight of their plane. I get the
plane to 100 feet, then bring the throttle back to a nice cursing speed. I
get it going straight, with plenty of space in front of it, then take my hand
off the sticks and hold the radio out to the left with my arms spread wide to
emphasize that I am doing nothing. I let the plane go wherever it wants to
go, as long as it is holding altitude, staying upwind and has enough room. If
you are flying a high wing trainer and you can't do this, your plane is out of

Even in a mild breeze with some gusts, once you reach flying height, you
should be able to take your hand off the stick. Oh the plane will move around
and the breeze might push it into a turn, but it should continue to fly with
no help from you.

Along this same line of thinking, don't hold your turns for more than a couple
of seconds after the plane starts to turn. Understand that the plane turns by
banking or tilting its wings. If you hold a turn too long you will force the
plane to deepen this bank and it will eventually lose lift and go into a
spiral dive and crash. Give your inputs slowly and gently and watch the
plane. Start your turn then let off then turn some more and let off. Start
your turns long before you need to and you won't need to make sharp turns.

I just watch these guys hold the turn, hold the turn, hold the turn, crash.
Of course they are flying in 10 mph wind, near the ground, coming toward
themselves at full throttle.

6) Preflight check - Before every flight it is the pilot's responsibility to
confirm that the plane, the controls and the conditions are correct and
acceptable for flight.

Plane - Batteries at proper power
Surfaces properly aligned
No damage or breakage on the plane
Everything secure

Radio - Frequency control has been met before you turn on the radio
A full range check before the first flight of the day
All trims and switches in the proper position for this plane
Battery condition is good
Antenna fully extended
For computer radios - proper model is displayed
All surfaces move in the proper direction

Conditions - No one on the field or in any way at risk from your fight
You are launching into the wind
Wind strength is acceptable ( see wind above )
Sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes
All other area conditions are acceptable.

Then and only then can you consider yourself, your plane, radio and the
conditions right for flight. Based on your plane, your radio and local
conditions you may need to add or change something here, but this is the bare
minimum. It only takes a couple of minutes at the beginning of the flying
day and only a few seconds to perform before each flight.

If this all seems like too much to remember, do what professional pilots do,
take along a preflight check list. Before every flight they go down
the check list, perform the tests, in sequence, and confirm that all is right.
If you want your flying experience to be a positive one, you should do the
same. After a short time, it all becomes automatic and just a natural part of
a fun and rewarding day.

I hope some of this is useful in learning to fly your plane.
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:33 AM
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Default RE: Newbie W/Areobird Challenger

As a commercial pilot, I would stress that ALL full scale pilots, no matter how much experience they have, go by that check list on EVERY FLIGHT! It is when things seem to be routine that mistakes are made. You would be surprised to see how many RC pilots take off with the antenna DOWN on the tx. It will cost you a plane almost every time!
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