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no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

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Old 11-27-2005, 05:30 PM
  #1  
MASTERYODA
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Default no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

I've only just gotten into this hobby and allready im disheartened,my first plane which came highly recommended and seemed ideal to start me off in the hobby has been nothing but a dissapointment and the more i think about it the more illogical the plane seems and the more i resent it.that plane is the highly lauded hobbyzone firebird commander advertised as being "as easy as driving round the sky"

now before i start on this let me say that i knew learning involved crashing and i am ok with that i also know that others have had good experiences with this plane and this is only my own personal experience with it.

the concept of the commander is completely nonsensical. why would removing the ability to control the planes vertical movement make things easier,sure you dont have so many things to worry about doing,instead you just sit back and casualy observe your plane as it floats aimlessly into the distance,or if you actualy want to keep your £80 investment you can force the plane into a spiral dive(if your lucky and the winds blowing just right)and slam it gracefuly into the ground..or even a tree!joy!now you get the pleasure of replacing the parts that broke, oh so cheap but still a new tail and wing costs £20+ and that would be great if the plane flew. im not saying i wanted loops and inverted flight or anything but being able to bring the plane back down would have been nice. landing conventionaly,gliding in with no throttle was a no go,the commander is such a good glider that it just stays up there until it hits something or floats off Bravo!what was it called again a slope soarer?oh...right a park flyer...of course. i blamed myself at first and so i walked to the centre of a huge corn field to evaluate my flying and avoid more damage, and i mean huge,probably around 6 football(soccer) pitches square with a belt of trees bordering it, i launched the commander freshly decked out in £20 worth of new foam from the centre of the field and all was well,until of course i had to come down,once again i was faced by floaty uncontrolled lameness and the plane floated off across the field,dropping down to about 6ft just in time to meet mr tree again.

the second complaint i have with this plane is the control authority god knows why they called this thing the commander,it commands absolutely nothing in the air (maybe its the wallet commander?)the controls are ridiculously passive!i know steady controls are great for newbs to prevent oversteering and spirals but the commander was anything but confidence inspiring i felt that i had no control whatsoever on low rates and pro mode still felt weak and unresponsive. after this i started to question the electronics and wether i'd set the plane up right so i took it to my LHS and it got a clean bill of health.not broken just crap.

maybe im being harsh but it just baffles me how this is such a popular plane,why this and why not the aerobird?or any of the other quality products out there, the ones that are stable enough to allow you to learn but still positive enough to inspire confidence?this surely cant be the cream of the crop?!even if this plane did function well to me it seems nothing more than an ill designed product designed to have a short life and encourage people to pay their way through as many hobbyzone planes as possible as they move up the preordained skill zones, i personaly have decided to just count the plane as a loss(not without a fair amount of bitterness as is more than evident from this rant)and move on to a plane that will actualy help me learn and i advise anyone else who is buying their first plane to do the same,avoid 2 channel planes with gimmicks plastered over them,learn the right way,with 3 or 4 channels from the start,take it slow and learn with confidence!
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:46 AM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

first off!
1.) i had a firebird. THis is what you must know!

-AN airplane climbs with the throtle, not the elevator! even on bigger models, you climb with your throtle.

When you takeoff, apply full throtle, but only for a short amout of time! if you hold i to long your airplane will stall becasue it will want to climb to much! Try climbing at 75%.

do not attemt any turns untill you reach at leas 100ft of altitiude.

Be very light on the controlls! only move the stick a little, and when you enter a turn, you might was to add a bit of power, so you wont lose altitude. MAKE SHURE TO GET OUT OF THE TURN BEFORE IT STARTS TO DIVE! pull out of the turn as soon as you can, and resume strait and level.


GO to the library and read -"stick and rudder"

GREAT BOOK!

zachj
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:23 AM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

Hmm..I learned on the commander. I was doing loops before I moved on. When you can do loops on a 2 channel plane, its time to move on! I realize there are a bunch of complaints about the hz stuff. I found that you just have to tinker with them constantally. If the trim is not just about perfect then you will have problems.
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:53 AM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

I started flying on a Firebird Commander and I found the plane to be an excellent choice for a beginner. Your reactions do not come naturally when you first start flying, you must think about every step that you make. The less control variables to think about, the more readily you can achieve successful flights. I didn't like having the plane make flight decissions for me, so I started flying in the pro mode almost immediately.

It sounds to me that you were flying in conditions where the wind was too strong. Your initial flights should be performed in almost dead calm conditions. This is true whether you are learning on a 2-channel plane like the Firebird, a slow flyer 3-channel like the Slow V / Slow Stick, or the Aerobird / T-hawk.

The plane should have been adjusted to fly level at 50% throttle. More than 50% should give a gain in altitude; less than 50% should drop the plane in altitude. You state that the plane continued to "float" with the throttle off: this is a clear indication that the tail was not adjusted correctly. I had numerous crashes with the Firebird until I learned to give the wind the respect that it commands and until I learned to avoid trees at all costs. Since then I have flown the Aerobird extensively and now mostly fly the Cub. I have not had any major crashes with either of these planes, due mostly to the lessons that I learned from flying the Firebird. I feel bad that you were so frustrated by the plane, which is really a very docile, good plane to learn on.
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Old 11-28-2005, 03:08 PM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

Here Here I learned on a FB Commander and found it to be an excellent plane to learn on, I too found that once I could do loops and rolls it was time to move on, I would have mine to this day but I didn't take heed to the winds one day and had it up about 200 to 250 ft and winds took it away, I know about where it went into the trees so I'm hoping when the leaves fall I will find it again. I also feel bad for your experience with yours but I would hate to see newby's read that and then think they should go right to a 3 channel such as the Cub or Cessna which would be a definate mistake for most first time flyers as they require some experience and understanding of flight to be succesfully flown, I made the mistake of trying the Cub before I had mastered the Commander and it ended in dissater
So I mastered the Commander and moved onto a GWS Beaver simular to the cub but very light and forgiving, I now have another Cub and can fly it very well now. Point being this plane is popular because it is a good first plane. I agree there are others like the aerobird and just too many to list but all planes in the wrong conditions could be considered junk. I wish you luck with your next plane and hope you have a better exp with it
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Old 11-29-2005, 08:55 PM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!


ORIGINAL: MASTERYODA

I've only just gotten into this hobby and allready im disheartened,my first plane which came highly recommended and seemed ideal to start me off in the hobby has been nothing but a dissapointment and the more i think about it the more illogical the plane seems and the more i resent it.that plane is the highly lauded hobbyzone firebird commander advertised as being "as easy as driving round the sky"

now before i start on this let me say that i knew learning involved crashing and i am ok with that i also know that others have had good experiences with this plane and this is only my own personal experience with it.

..................................

maybe im being harsh but it just baffles me how this is such a popular plane,why this and why not the aerobird?or any of the other quality products out there, the ones that are stable enough to allow you to learn but still positive enough to inspire confidence?this surely cant be the cream of the crop?!even if this plane did function well to me it seems nothing more than an ill designed product designed to have a short life and encourage people to pay their way through as many hobbyzone planes as possible as they move up the preordained skill zones, i personaly have decided to just count the plane as a loss(not without a fair amount of bitterness as is more than evident from this rant)and move on to a plane that will actualy help me learn and i advise anyone else who is buying their first plane to do the same,avoid 2 channel planes with gimmicks plastered over them,learn the right way,with 3 or 4 channels from the start,take it slow and learn with confidence!
I started on the Aerobird and found it a great first plane. I wanted the greater contol of three channels.

Having said that I have flown many commanders and found them very easy to fly IF and only IF you wait for calm conditions for your early flights. Of course the manual tells you this. This plane will not take a lot of wind as there is no pitch control.

You have to learn to hold the thottle at partial power to hold altitude. The spring back throttle stick does not promote this, but it works fine.

If you want more control you move the control wires closer to the surface, just like any other RC plane. Of course the manual tells you this.

Flown under the proper conditions the plane flies very well and is easy to control. Flown in wind and you have little chance of learning how to fly.
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Old 12-03-2005, 10:38 PM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

i just purchased a commander 2 .. i hope i didn't make a mistake.....should be here middle of next week so i guess i find out then.
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Old 12-03-2005, 11:25 PM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!


ORIGINAL: lxjoe420

i just purchased a commander 2 .. i hope i didn't make a mistake.....should be here middle of next week so i guess i find out then.

A critical piece of advice to you and to all two channel pilots. Respect the
wind! REALLY RESPECT THE WIND!!!!!

If you fly on a windy day you have a very high probability of losing the
plane. Why, because you have no way to fight the wind. If the plane gets
down wind from you, and it will, here is what happens. You hit the power to
fight the wind, but these planes climb when you hit the power, so instead of
coming back to you, they climb and as they climb, the wind pushes the plane
further away.

A very very experience two channel pilot can work around this through a series
of maneuvers called the death spiral. However, this is a difficult thing to
control for a new pilot. There is a fellow in our club who has lost two
Firebird Commanders to the wind. We finally convinced him to get an Aerobird.

A three channel plane with elevator control can push the nose down and dive
into the wind to come back. This is how gliders can fly against the wind
without motors.

So, don't fly your rudder/throttle or diff thrust plane in wind over 5 MPH
until you are very good with the plane. Don't get over 7 MPH until you can
easily fight your way back from a down wind position.
TIP

I don't know if this works for that Outlaw or the Scout, but for the Firebird,
II, sT, XL,
Fighterbird and Commander, if you put a popsicle stick under the back of the
wing, it lowers the angle of attack of the wing and the plane will not climb
as much on power application. If you learn to manage the plane well, this can
give you better penetration into the wind, but it still will not let you put
the nose down into the wind.

Enjoy these planes but remember, they are best flown in little to now wind.
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Old 12-07-2005, 04:29 PM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

just recieved my commander 2 ...looks awsome my first plane ...can't wait to get it in the air .
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:27 PM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

lxjoe, I'll be waiting to hear how you make out with your new plane. I'm getting one for Christmas and am anxiously awaiting to get some tips on what to do (or not to do). Hope you have a better experience with your first flights than Masteryoda did.

I believe I will take the advice of waiting on a very calm day to get started. I know the importance of patience when it comes to model rocketry. A little breeze down at the surface can equate to lost rockets, or planes, up there.

Be sure to post an update after you get your Commander 2 in the air.
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Old 12-08-2005, 12:21 AM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!


ORIGINAL: zachj1212

first off!
1.) i had a firebird. THis is what you must know!

-AN airplane climbs with the throttle, not the elevator! even on bigger models, you climb with your throttle.

When you takeoff, apply full throttle, but only for a short amount of time! if you hold i to long your airplane will stall because it will want to climb to much! Try climbing at 75%.

do not attempt any turns until you reach at leas 100ft of altitiude.

Be very light on the controls! only move the stick a little, and when you enter a turn, you might was to add a bit of power, so you wont lose altitude. MAKE SURE TO GET OUT OF THE TURN BEFORE IT STARTS TO DIVE! pull out of the turn as soon as you can, and resume strait and level.


GO to the library and read -!QUOT!stick and rudder!QUOT!

GREAT BOOK!

zachj
OK...my slow stick climbs with the elevator....with out elevator on this or a 3D foamy, your not going to climb very well. i can hold it wide open and it stays nice and level.

thats a good tip for a noob, but i can fly at a kickball field about 50 yards by 40 yards at about 15-20 feet high and do just fine...but yes, climb !QUOT!3 mistakes high!QUOT! so you can save yourself when you get into trouble.

another good tip is to give just a little bit of up elevator in the turn...you don't necessarily have to give more power, but it works.
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Old 12-08-2005, 09:20 AM
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lxjoe420
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

i will be sure to let ya'll know how my first flights go ...but from the the way its looking it might be a few days before i get a chance to fly her.[]
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Old 12-09-2005, 07:59 AM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!



OK...my slow stick climbs with the elevator....with out elevator on this or a 3D foamy, your not going to climb very well. i can hold it wide open and it stays nice and level.

thats a good tip for a noob, but i can fly at a kickball field about 50 yards by 40 yards at about 15-20 feet high and do just fine...but yes, climb !QUOT!3 mistakes high!QUOT! so you can save yourself when you get into trouble.

another good tip is to give just a little bit of up elevator in the turn...you don't necessarily have to give more power, but it works.
Actually your slow stick climbs on wing lift. The elevator just influences the angle of incidence of the wing to the oncoming air.

The elevator is not the only way to influence pitch in order to change the wing incidence. Ask any pilot who started in the days of one channel rudder ony planes, or any free flighter.

This is also true of turns. Ailerons are not the only way to bank the wings to turn the plane. Your Slow Stick has no ailerons but it banks and turns. Geometry is used to do that. Not all planes are designed the same.

The Firebirds use geometry to influence pitch and change wing incidence which is what causes a plane to climb. Quite clever actually.

If you look at the motor, you will notice that it faces back and is slightly pitched up. In addition, it is behind the CG, so when you hit full power, it will push down behind the CG causing the nose to pitch up. Climbs quite nicely without an elevator. In fact most planes will climb on throttle alone as speed induces lift which will cause a plane to climb. Elevator only influences pitch

If you can learn to moderate and control the throttle, you can make the plane fly level or climb. You can't really do a flat dive, but you can induce a spiral dive with the rudder, but you better know how to get it out of the dive since your pitch control is indirect.
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Old 12-09-2005, 12:33 PM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

master yoda, it seem like you`ve had not the best time in the hobby, i just hope that things start to improve for you and get better maybe get some hands on help before you fly again, or even better someone to be there to advise/help you at your next flight, this hobby should be about having fun which right now sounds like the last thing your having,


best of luck, aaron
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Old 12-09-2005, 01:02 PM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

I got started with a cheep toy type plane with differential thrust. I was not even looking for an entry into this activity. I was looking for computer parts on Ebay. I kind of flew that plane a dozen times in winds I wasen't even smart enough to know were too much for that low powered, undercontroled plane.
A roll of packing tape went with the plane whenever I got it in the air. Required use after the hard landings. A huge tree sucked it into it's branches. My girlfriend & I found it in the tree & still visit it. Yes the plane is still in the "air".
But that loss started my pleasure. I bought two Firebird Commander II planes. One for me, one for my girlfriend Eileen. I still did not understand how huge the effect of wind would make on our flying "skills".
Now I have an addiction. We have flown at least sixty times. Lost a $15 Ebay commander to whereever the wind finally took it. As it was becoming the tinyest speck in the distance, it was still fun.
After that I really tried to learn just what it took to do this stuff. I still keep packing tape with me when we fly. We have used two tubes of epoxy and bought more wings. I have seen what others do to build there planes and that has helped me to invent ways to put the FBCs back together. You see, I wanted to get in the air anytime, not when there were the right conditions for the plane and my beginning ability.
Here is what has happened to me since. I have bought an Aerobird Challenger, and an Aerobird Extreme used. The ABC came with dead electronics, the Extreme without a propeller. I knew we were going to have nice weather the next day. Thanksgiving. So, I needed the prop and the only place was thirty miles away that had one. Kind of.
Frank's Hobby Shop in Gastonia, NC, had a returned unflyable Extreme he would sell me very low. It had a propeller. I had the need to fly.
I have flown a bunch, fixed the other planes with easy to get replacement parts and I STILL do not have enough of this sport.
I got in touch with a local electronic flying club and We are AMA members now.
I will be ordering a DX6 Transmitter set. In my mind, I have plans that someday I will see come true. I love this already. Jim
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Old 12-09-2005, 07:12 PM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

aeajr, does that mean that it is nose heavy a little? the CG is right on. for some reason or another, i went flying today and it wanted to roll right....on high rates, i tried correcting it with left rudder and it barely wanted to go straight. should i check the lateral balance?
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Old 12-10-2005, 04:17 PM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

just came in from my short dissapointing but fun while it lasted first flights.....i had a buddy of mine launch the plane ,,,first couple of throws he wasn't putting enough force behind the launch so the plane did a couple belly flops ....when we finally got it airborne i could only keep it above ground for only bout a minute before crashing ...everything still seemed to be in working order so we lauched it again and this time i managed to hit the one tree in the middle of the field and tore the plane all to pieces but i hoping it won't be that hard to fix...as the wing suffered a big rip and one of the steering flaps on the tail was ripped completely off..not to mention a few scratches on the nose ...i really hope there isn't any enternal damage......its going to have to sit for the next couple weeks till i can get the money to fix it, prolly sometime after christmas[]
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Old 12-10-2005, 09:35 PM
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Default RE: no command and lots of frustration! a warning for beginners!

a few things i forgot to mention earlier ....i spent the past year practicing flying on real flight g3 flight simulator...and the firebird is my first plane ..i knew from reading that the commander2 was a 2 channel airplane but i just thought ok i spent the past year flying on the sim and gottin pretty good at 3 or 4 channel planes, i should beable to fly this no problem right?...WRONG......the control set ups are a lil different on 2 channels which required me to do a lil more thinking while flying....and plus when your actually out flying in a field and not on the computer you tend to get a lil excited while flying and make bad decisions and end up in that one tree on the field
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