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Story of a Newbie and two Firebird Freedoms

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Old 12-12-2005, 02:11 AM
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TheTortoise
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Default Story of a Newbie and two Firebird Freedoms

Well I read lots of posts from RC Groups and RC Universe.

Wanted to buy two Strykers for my kids (10 and 12) for Xmas. It was suggested at one shop to buy the SLO-V. Then I read several posts on the Aerobird Challenger as a great beginner plane. This thing was not what I really wanted. Man I thought I could fly a Stryker. I read the reviews and saw the videos. My kids are very cordinated. I have a Pilots license. These are toys. Silly little buggers. Boy was I wrong!

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area (Lafayette). Went to Hobby Town in Concord and was talked into a Firebird Freedom. I was going to buy a Scout to feel these planes out. Well for a few bucks more I could get a Aerobird Challenger or Xtreme than the Scout. I was told the Freedom was plane of choice for begineer. I liked the idea of a rubber nose and larger engine mount plus the screw on the shaft going to tail over the Challenger. It seemed more updated and better designed. So I bought 2 Firebird Freedoms, 4 extra batteries, 2 combat modules & 1 plug in charger. They did not have spare parts.

I figured I would fly just one of them to see how it went. I went to a large field in Lafayette. I threw the first one straight out into the wind, full power. It went in to the grass. So I made adjustments to the pushrods holding the control surfaces on the tail. Next flight was a repeat of the first. This time I trimmed the elevators way down with the trim tab and the plane flew up nicely. Then I tried to turn without much altitude (I forgot the 100ft min). I crashed and pushed the engine into the body. It cracked around the vents to motor. So I stopped went home and did like the Challeger guys do, and made a engine mount out of Aluminum (not some heavey metal washer). Beefed it up. Also I had broken the rear tail and plastic pieces that hold the push rods to the control surfaces. I stole the stuff I needed from the other Xmas gift. I WAS ON A MISSION! This thing was not going to beat me, no way.

Went back out the next day, while the kids were in school. Got the thing to fly for a few seconds and crash. Crash again and again. During this process I used the other plane as well. I bent one of the planes (the first one) nose behind the rubber nose and bent two of the push pins that hold the tail on. These things really produce a bit of force. Who would of thought.

Called Hobby Zone and ordered 2 main wings (I broke a fiberglass rod that holds the two wings together) and 4 tails. This was on Thursday.

I still couldn't wait. So Friday I called around and found a store in Dublin with spare parts. Went down there at 3:30pm and bought 2 more wings and 2 more tails. I had to get this thing down. I WAS FULLY FOCUSED! Went to a local field of 4 soccer fields along side a major highway and on the other side a major roadway. It was 4pm now. 40 min of light left. I played with the plane till I could launch it with a slight upwards angle and it turned just a bit. (Should of trimmed it flat and straight, I'm still learning). Threw it straight (no wind) and up it went. I cut the throttle 1/2 way and got it up about 200ft. Flew great! Every time I screwed up I just let go of the stick and the plane leveled out and started to turn and climb. Boy I was happy.

A strange thing started to happen at this time. The plane was flying over 580 freeway, with little control. I started to ask what the ramifications were in this. Didn't want to know! Just get the plane back! I managed to get the plane away from the freeway and cross 2 soccer fields and over a busy roadway and business. I started to ask myself, !QUOT!How long is left on the battery?, Boy it is getting dark, I can hardly see the thing, should I just turn the controller off and drive away?.

I managed to get the plane back towards me, towards the center of the two soccer Fields, but a bit East of the soccer fields. (The freeway is South, the businesses and busy street is North and the Toyota Dealership is East). By now I was about 200ft high and out of control and frustrated. I don't know what happened exactly. The plane just dived down on all those new Toyotas. It missed them I found out later. It had landed into some palm trees and fell from them to the pavement. All I saw was the plan (far away and hard to see) nose dive toward new cars.

I said the plane cost $140. It is beat up. Just leave. Do I want to pay for the body work of some car. Remember I am POSSESSED on this flight thing now. I wanted to know the result of my experiment in model flight. So I drove over to the dealership (not caring the $$$ involved) and asked if anyone had seen a plane drop out of the sky. Why yes they said. Lucky me it did not hit any car or anybody. They gave me my plane. Only a broken wing and bent nose behind the rubber nose. (Now both Xmas gifts are matching with bent noses!) What a dad.

So today I went with my kids to Hobby Town, and they still want a helicopter (that is what got me started was the E flight CX). I said we will see. I have spent $504 with tax for the planes (2 planes, 2 combat modules, 4 batteries, extra charger, 2 props and adapter), $87 for spare parts with Hobby Zone and $68 for spare parts at the Hobby Store in Dublin. So what I told them was lets get the G3 simulator for $200 and see if you guys can fly a plane and heli. So I bought the simulator. I had downloaded the FMS Simulator, v7. I didn't think the keyboard was that good of a tool. I like the Controller that comes with the G3.

So now my kids are hooked on the simulator. I have told them if they can fly a plane (any plane they choose) in the simulator and take off, fly around a bit and land within walking distance from the runway of the simulator 6 out of 10 times by next Monday (19th) I will consider buying them a plane each. They are on a mission. I on the other hand am smart. They will get the flying done much cheaper and be ready for their gifts on Xmas day. They like the idea of using the combat modules on each other. They still want a helicopter and one of those tanks that fire air soft pellets. We will save these for another time. If I get a helicopter, I want the Horse Fly.

So buy a simulator. The $200 is a wise investment. I asked some customers that were in the shop what they thought of the simulators and they liked them. It is cheaper than wasting a plan. You will not loose a plane either. Also trim the elevators to fly level and the rudders to fly straight. If you get confused when the plane is flying towards you, just somehow get it to point at you and let go to the stick till it is in the vacinity.

I hope all you 1st timers get a feel for this from this post. Will I stay with the sport. I don't know. I will give the kids their planes on Xmas. The kids will have many hours in the simulator by then. If they have fun, then we will get into model building. I have also promised them flying lessons at the local field in the future. All these experiences are good for kids.

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Old 12-12-2005, 10:24 PM
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muddy udders
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Default RE: Story of a Newbie and two Firebird Freedoms

All this rings so true.
I have stripped a servo(replaced the gear set) broken the tail boom twice, First time I shortened it, second time I have used a carbon arrow, Broken two tails and lost the screws. I replaced them with studs with nuts on each end, broken a set of wings

One more tip that I read. If it is coming at you and turning and you want it to go the other way turn to the lower wing.
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Old 12-13-2005, 05:13 PM
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Default RE: Story of a Newbie and two Firebird Freedoms

I have three flights in with mine, no crashes and it flies great. I am a complete noob aswell my only previous flying experience is with a aeroace. I had no problem turning at pretty low altitudes around 20 30 feet. Maybe, i am just naturally talented I dont like the ACT though it almost made me lose the plane from lack of control. Flip it off though and it is a awesome plane. Hope to get a vid next chance i get to fly.
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Old 12-16-2005, 01:41 PM
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bdavison
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Default RE: Story of a Newbie and two Firebird Freedoms

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....thats the funniest thing I think Ive read....sorry. I know its not funny crashing, but man...wow.

When I was in Colorado, I had a guy that had seen me flying, and wanted get a plane. I told him to get a trainer, and bring it out and I would help him learn to fly it. He said "OH no, Im a Northwest airlines pilot, I can fly that thing". I said " Im a R/C pilot and... NO you cant"
Well he decided to get a plane...oh no, not a trainer.... Two weeks later he showed up at the field with a Ugly Stick. Ugly is right. I asked him if he would like me to help him get it up and running and help him learn to fly it. He replied no. He gassed it up, and shoved the starter on it, and it blew fuel all over the place. I started explaining to him that the engine needed a glow plug in it, and he said" I know, Im just priming the engine". (snicker)

I finally figured that this guy was determined to fail and completely clueless, and had no intentions upon letting me help him, so I checked what freq he was on, just so MORON wouldnt shoot me down, so I left him alone and went about flying my plane.

After about an hour he finally figured out how to get the plane started. It was WAY lean. Apparently he didnt know what a needle valve was either. He picked up the running plane, set it out on the runway, pulled out his tx antenna, And shoved full throttle to it. The Ugly Stick shot across the runway. After it travelled about 40ft, he yanked back on the elevator, and of course it shot straight up, full lean throttle to about 200 ft. I had already hid my plane in the little shelter, and took shelter myself. Of course he shoved full down elevator next. And the thing immediatly started heading for the ground, full throttle, engine screaming as fast as it could go. He yanked full up elevator, and it headed back up. By this time I had sat down on the ground to watch and wait for the inevitable, because I knew it was going to be good. I wished I had a video camera.

He shoved full down in it again...here it comes, is it going to go in this time???? As it approached the ground, he of course snatched full up elevator again....only this time the wings weren't level, so it started this REALLY violent turn to the left. I stood up to watch, because I knew this was it. It was about knife-edge, heading down at full wide open throttle, BOOOOOOOOOOOOM It hit, and spread balsa everywhere. I do mean everywhere.

I took a couple of garbage bags over to him, and asked him if he needed any help picking up the pieces. He replied "NO"

About two weeks later, he shows up with a .40 trainer, and asks me if Ill help him with it. Dont know where he is now, but Ill bet he's still flying airplanes someplace. He was solo'ing about 3 weeks later.

Moral of the story...GET HELP! Find a local pilot, and have him help you learn to fly. It will save you LOTS of money and disappointment. Most pilots will be more than happy to help out new pilots.
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Old 12-26-2005, 08:25 PM
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Default RE: Story of a Newbie and two Firebird Freedoms

Me and my father both have freedoms now. We took them out today both flew great. I had to help my dad some, It was a little windy and started getting away from him so i took over and brought it down.

here are a couple little vids from today

http://www.reaction-image.net/albums/album758/Movie.wmv

Loop

http://www.reaction-image.net/albums..._0001loop2.wmv
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Old 08-17-2007, 02:32 PM
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ConRMan
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Default RE: Story of a Newbie and two Firebird Freedoms

I've been looking for an electronic board out of a Freedom. Sounds like you might have one to provide me. If yes please reply.
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Old 08-18-2007, 01:31 AM
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Default RE: Story of a Newbie and two Firebird Freedoms

That was funny. Man I was crying reading that intro to the hobby. I can totally identify!
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:12 AM
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john canfield
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Default RE: Story of a Newbie and two Firebird Freedoms

The Super Cub would be a far superior trainer over the Freedom. Better yet would be a Slow Stick with good radio gear that can be moved along to your next plane(s.)
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