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  1. #1

    "Building" an ARF or RTF (?)

    Was just looking at the ARF & RTF threads. The guys there say they are "building" ARFs & RTFs.


    I have built probably 20 kits in my day. I have had two arfs and did not consider it 'building."


    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    And schools in my area have long discontinued classes such as woodshop YEARS ago. So of course when there are planes that require batteries put in, vertical and horizontal stabilizers wing screwed in, and the wing rubber banded on, that's pretty much considered "building" these days. Yeah, they are building something (ARF, RTF, PNP BNF) when it has nothing to do with Xbox.
    Last edited by SushiHunter; 02-18-2014 at 03:16 PM.
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  3. #3
    Moderator AMA 74894's Avatar
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    I prefer to use the term 'Assembly' thread.
    I can vividly recall how impressed I was when Great Planes first stared putting out kits...
    compared to what 'we old guys' had 'way back when'
    (you know, when we were walking to school, uphill, both ways )
    even today's modern kits are head and shoulders above the 'old kits' in terms of walking you through each and every glue joint.
    (which does get a bit tedious IMO)

    completely agree though (NOT wanting to start a war)
    people assemble arf's (aka screw the 4 parts together)

    people BUILD kits.

    (OMG I hope this doesn't turn into a 'more taste!' 'less filling' thread... )
    Jim Buzzeo AMA 74894
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    RCU Forum Manager/Admin RCKen's Avatar
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    Boy I sure wish my old pal (and Jim's brother) Minnflyer was still around. This was one of his favorite subjects. There a couple of things that he used to say about kits vs ARF's. First putting together planes was the hobby and flying them was the sport. And we build kits and we assemble ARF's. Like Jim said, it's really a good way to start a war here, but if you look at it in it's basic form that's what it all boils down to. When you pull an ARF out of the box most of the major building has already been done for you. All you are doing is then assembling the major parts into the final plane. But when you pull out the parts for a kit you are building those parts into the same major parts that the ARF used, and then assembling them into the final plane. So in actuality you are really doing both with a kit, building and assembling!!!

    Ken
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by AMA 74894 View Post
    even today's modern kits are head and shoulders above the 'old kits' in terms of walking you through each and every glue joint.
    It must have been this way for at least 33 years now. Because I remember the very first SIG Kougar I bought and built in '81 had a thick instruction booklet included which was basically each and every step from the thought of getting into R/C flying to actually flying the plane. 33 years fast forward and the very same booklet is included in the SIG Kougar kit. Even the pix are all still the same, I remember since I also built two SIG Kougars in the mid 90's as well, and back then I thought it was interesting how the booklet and pix were all still exactly the same.

    Now I'm building a really old SIG Komet that I purchased recently. The kit has to be at least 40 + years old. Actually the instructions are just one big sheet, much like a blue print and that is it. This build has been so great for me simply because of all the building experiences I accumulated over the past 30 + years and that is all. Had I just stepped into this old SIG Komet build without any past experiences building, it wouldn't have turned out at all as well as it has. In order for kits to be sold, someone's got to start teaching people how to build them. Someone's got to start teaching people how to work with wood. As I was saying earlier, the school system doesn't even let kids do woodshop anymore.
    Last edited by SushiHunter; 02-18-2014 at 05:01 PM.
    SIG Brotherhood #43
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  6. #6
    Found quite a few threads where the ARFs had major components separate from the craft in flight. Tailfeathers, motor mounts, even WINGS. Many more threads about poor quality or "junk" hardware. Am I surprised ?

    Actually, I looked at the ARF & RTF section for the first time yesterday, THAT is what prompted me start this thread today.

    I replied to one thread saying I "build" my planes from kit, and have never had structural failure on any of the many planes I have built.

    NO I am not a hater, nor trying to start verbal fisticuffs. If you like to fly airplanes, you are (at least partially ) OK with me.

  7. #7
    Well ARFs, RTFs, PNP's, BNF's, etc. do have their place in r/c. These are for people who want to fly but do not want or cannot build for various reasons. Over the past few months I purchased a PNP and a ARF just to "tide" me over while I was building the SIG Kougar and Komet.kits. Being involved in both building/flying kits and simply buying/flying something already built pretty much, I do notice a difference in how I treat the two. With the planes that I actually built, I take greater care in flying, handling, and maintaining the planes. With the PNP and ARF, it's more of a "temporary" feeling so I tend not to fly, handle, and maintain them as meticulously as I do with the one's I've built. In fact, my outlook on the PNP and ARF is that if it gets damaged or crashed, no big deal, I can just go out and buy another one.

    Now since my Kougar is complete and the Komet is about 90% complete, I probably will be selling or giving away the PNP and ARF that I have. I've also got two more kits that I'm planning to build starting this spring. I've got both a Great Planes Patriot .40 and Patriot XL. I'll be doing some things with these birds that I've never done before like adding flaps and retracts to each one of them. These two may be the very last kits I build, as I will have four pretty nice birds operational and all I will need to do is maintain them. Building does take a very large amount of time and is very messy. I love the SIG kits and from my experiences in building them, there is a lot of sanding involved, especially in the construction of the wings. Looking over the Great Planes Patriot build, it appears that there isn't nearly as much sanding involved with the wings on those two birds, very big contrast compared to how SIG kits are designed in that area.
    SIG Brotherhood #43
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  8. #8
    raptureboy's Avatar
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    Different strokes for different folks. For some of the less talented individuals in the world assembling an arf is building. So what, does it really matter? I do both and like them both, some of us don't have all the time in the world to devote to a hobby. Enjoy it in whatever form you like.
    If what you believed to be true was false would you want to know the truth?

    "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free".

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by raptureboy View Post
    Different strokes for different folks. For some of the less talented individuals in the world assembling an arf is building. So what, does it really matter? I do both and like them both, some of us don't have all the time in the world to devote to a hobby. Enjoy it in whatever form you like.
    Yes, and that is just one of the many various reasons why some prefer to build & fly while other's choose to buy & fly. Also for a kid just starting off, I would suggest an ARF or RTF unless there are still people out there that do father/son projects. In my own situation I'm starting to not like how much time I'm spending building these planes plus I'm starting to get tired of all the dust generated from sanding and such. But the real deal for me is that 99.9% of what I like to fly is only offered in kits, such as like the SIG Kougar, Great Planes Patriot XL and a hand full of vintage birds like the SIG Komet, Futaba Aurora, etc. I've also been toying with the idea of getting a turbine aircraft. If I do go that route with a turbine a/c, for sure it will be something that's already been built, as I do not have any experiences with such power plants and airframes.
    SIG Brotherhood #43
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  10. #10

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    Here is one definition of build: "construct by putting parts or material together over a period of time."

    So that leaves us to the application and for me I understand that build could be thought of as a bit overboard on an ARF, but also could be a problem with a kit because depending on how a kit is cut and laid out and at what point the consumer starts it you could be "assembling" the kit right? Does using glue and sandpaper or some other different tools isolate it to be a build?

    By the above definition an ARF qualifies as a build, just not as complex as a kit build or as long to complete. Oh well, hair splitting can be tough and takes some sharp tools.

  11. #11

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    A thought comes to mind about the present state of the hobby: Can you imagine building a KIT without the excellent instructions that used to (still in some) be supplied with them? Writing the manuals and plans is a (based on engineering experience) big part of kit manufacturing. How are you going to sell good kits with the same crappy manuals written in unclear "English"? Since most if not all ARFs are manufactured overseas, I think it is actually easier for them to build up the components than writing good manuals. JMO
    Content, but not Complacent.

  12. #12
    Negative. Assembling and building are two completely different things. But no one's stopping anyone from "thinking" that final assembly of an ARF is "building" it. Regardless, at the end of the day, the box is still going to say..... "contents made in China, final assembly in Anyone's backyard, USA"
    Last edited by SushiHunter; 02-19-2014 at 03:06 PM.
    SIG Brotherhood #43
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  13. #13

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    Ok. So here is my 2 cents. Even though no one really asked. I am a relative newb, as I have only been at this for a few years. I have built a few "ARFs" and am in the process of assembling a kit...a 4*60. (That should really get some blood boiling.) My point is....... it's only a word. Is the world going to explode, because someone says they are "building" an ARF. It's theirs....they can call it what they want. In my very humble opinion, what a whole bunch of people need to do is............breathe........crack a bev. of their choice.... and enjoy the sport/hobby. Chill a bit guys............
    Kevin

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  14. #14
    So since I bolted an OS Max .65AX to my plane, attached a 11x8 prop & spinner, connected fuel tubing, glow plug, and exhaust, does that mean I can now claim that I "built" the engine too?
    SIG Brotherhood #43
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  15. #15

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    Quote: That should get some blood boiling....... Mission accomplished!!!!!!!
    Kevin

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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by kwblake View Post
    Quote: That should get some blood boiling....... Mission accomplished!!!!!!!
    Who would that be? I don't get pissed at mentally challenged people, so that wouldn't be me with the blood boiling.

    Also, the question remains....since I bolted an OS Max .65AX to my plane, attached a 11x8 prop & spinner, connected fuel tubing, glow plug, and exhaust, does that mean I can now claim that I "built" the engine too?
    Last edited by SushiHunter; 02-19-2014 at 04:37 PM.
    SIG Brotherhood #43
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  17. #17

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    I'm and ARF guy, new to the hobby. I believe ARFs are assembled, kits are built.

    I never would have considered building a kit until I attempted a motorbox repair on my balsa ARF. It was a bit of a revelation. I just bought my first short kit and I'm going to give it a shot.

  18. #18
    I also own an ARF and a PNP. Those are fun for the instant right here right now excitement while I build the Kougar and Komet. I get the ARF out when I've been out of the loop for a bit and don't want to chance crashing what I worked so hard building. After getting back into the swing of things with the birds I assembled, I get out the birds I care most about, the ones I built.
    Last edited by SushiHunter; 02-19-2014 at 04:38 PM.
    SIG Brotherhood #43
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_S View Post
    I'm and ARF guy, new to the hobby. I believe ARFs are assembled, kits are built.

    I never would have considered building a kit until I attempted a motorbox repair on my balsa ARF. It was a bit of a revelation. I just bought my first short kit and I'm going to give it a shot.
    Andy....... this is what is needed. You got my attention, when your said "I believe", not "this is how it is". I think exactly as you do.....but......what I cannot stand...is the "putdowns" toward people that fly "ARFs". If someone wants to say they "built" an ARF, what is the real harm. What I enjoy, is this sport/hobby. What I hate is the "I am better than you" attitude of some involved. And it is still only a WORD, guys.

    P.S. Andy, stick around, this will get real messy. "ding" round two........
    Kevin

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  20. #20
    RCU Forum Manager/Admin RCKen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwblake View Post
    Ok. So here is my 2 cents. Even though no one really asked. I am a relative newb, as I have only been at this for a few years. I have built a few "ARFs" and am in the process of assembling a kit...a 4*60. (That should really get some blood boiling.) My point is....... it's only a word. Is the world going to explode, because someone says they are "building" an ARF. It's theirs....they can call it what they want. In my very humble opinion, what a whole bunch of people need to do is............breathe........crack a bev. of their choice.... and enjoy the sport/hobby. Chill a bit guys............
    What difference does a word make?? What is the difference between assemble and build mean?? Nothing really actually. Well, I do hope that the guys on the Boeing factory line do know the difference when they are building, uh, um assembling, oh hell, what difference does it make, that 757 will hold together just fine and get me to my destination. Let's see, those guys over at the Nissan factory surely know the difference between assemble and build, so I can trust that my Frontier truck is going to be perfectly safe to drive in as I"m driving 80 mph pulling all my toy airplanes behind me.

    While we can sit here and think it's a joke to bandy around these words and say there isn't any difference between the two words, talk to anybody with any engineering background and they will tell you that there is a huge difference and it can make all the difference in the world in how something is made.

    Here are the literal definitions of these two words for clarification purposes

    buildbild/
    verb
    [COLOR=#878787 !important][/COLOR]

    • 1.
      construct (something, typically something large) by putting parts or material together over a period of time.
      [COLOR=#878787 !important]"the factory was built in 1936"[/COLOR]
      synonyms: construct, erect, put up, assemble; More







    as·sem·bleəˈsembəl/
    verb
    [COLOR=#878787 !important][/COLOR]

    • 1. fit together the separate component parts of (a machine or other object).


    • [COLOR=#878787 !important]"a factory that assembled parts for trucks"[/COLOR]
      synonyms: construct, build, fabricate, manufacture, erect, set up, put together,piece together, connect, join More





    These aren't my take on the two words, these are the literal ACCEPTED definitions of these words. In the engineering world this is what they use these words for in how the define processes on built in our world. To sit here and try to twist these words to try to make light of a discussions actually causes lots confusion that needs to be avoided. Yes, we are only talking about toy airplanes here. But remember that Burt Rutan who was one of the best airplane designers in the world started out playing with model airplanes. So getting right at our level here translates into getting right in the bigger picture down the road.

    So there's another 2 cents on the subject guys

    Ken
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by RCKen View Post
    What difference does a word make?? What is the difference between assemble and build mean?? Nothing really actually. Well, I do hope that the guys on the Boeing factory line do know the difference when they are building, uh, um assembling, oh hell, what difference does it make, that 757 will hold together just fine and get me to my destination. Let's see, those guys over at the Nissan factory surely know the difference between assemble and build, so I can trust that my Frontier truck is going to be perfectly safe to drive in as I"m driving 80 mph pulling all my toy airplanes behind me.

    While we can sit here and think it's a joke to bandy around these words and say there isn't any difference between the two words, talk to anybody with any engineering background and they will tell you that there is a huge difference and it can make all the difference in the world in how something is made.

    Here are the literal definitions of these two words for clarification purposes






    These aren't my take on the two words, these are the literal ACCEPTED definitions of these words. In the engineering world this is what they use these words for in how the define processes on built in our world. To sit here and try to twist these words to try to make light of a discussions actually causes lots confusion that needs to be avoided. Yes, we are only talking about toy airplanes here. But remember that Burt Rutan who was one of the best airplane designers in the world started out playing with model airplanes. So getting right at our level here translates into getting right in the bigger picture down the road.

    So there's another 2 cents on the subject guys

    Ken
    ARRRRRGGGGGGG......... now you went and called them toys........"ding" round three.

    My point is Ken.....what does it really matter if someone that puts an ARF together.....calls it a build? They should not be flamed for it. It's all about the enjoyment of the sport/hobby.
    Kevin

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  22. #22
    RCU Forum Manager/Admin RCKen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwblake View Post
    ARRRRRGGGGGGG......... now you went and called them toys........"ding" round three.

    My point is Ken.....what does it really matter if someone that puts an ARF together.....calls it a build? They should not be flamed for it. It's all about the enjoyment of the sport/hobby.
    My point is exactly what I said above. Many people do more than just fly model air plane, and the accuracy that we use in terminology here extends through all walks of life. While you may not see the difference, having a background in engineering and computer sciences I can tell you that their are huge differences and that it does matter way more than you will ever image.

    Ken
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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by RCKen View Post
    My point is exactly what I said above. Many people do more than just fly model air plane, and the accuracy that we use in terminology here extends through all walks of life. While you may not see the difference, having a background in engineering and computer sciences I can tell you that their are huge differences and that it does matter way more than you will ever image.

    Ken
    I have a flying buddy that has an engineering background and I respect his view, yet sometimes I think he goes way too far in explaining things that I could have understood, or maybe did not need to understand, with less explanation. In other words if I ask him how tall a certain blade of grass is, he will tell me and then he has to tell me all the intricate details of a blade of grass. I think that is just the analytical engineering mind.

    I am sort of like Ken in thinking accuracy of terminolgy extends through all walks of life. There are some "gotchas" though and one is when to realize that some are struggling with perception of a matter Looking at the two definitions I get the thought that build and assemble can work together, yet assemble cannot go before build. Kind of like a jigsaw puzzle. It can be assembled after it is built - that seems confusing to me, yet should be correct.

    Maybe an ARF is "Doing the final touches of the build and assembling" - now I think I just hurt my brain Here is another thought, does build encompass completion? In other words, do we have to have the plane completed before we can really say we built it?
    Last edited by Luchnia; 02-19-2014 at 07:38 PM.

  24. #24
    acerc's Avatar
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    Well for us scratch builders that start with a 3"x3"x36" block of balsa and don't have a manual, "YES", there is a huge difference between assemble and build. Next time you need some epoxy, after squeezing both part's into the container, try shaking instead of stirred. Both will mix it but one will be better than the other!!!!
    My definition of build is to manufacture the parts that build the airframe. After the airframe is "built" I assemble the hardware and install the engine.
    Last edited by acerc; 02-19-2014 at 07:59 PM.
    Robert
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  25. #25
    acerc's Avatar
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    How about "I operate a motor vehicle" and "I can drive a nail". Try switching the operate and drive in those statements.
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