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  1. #1

    Beginner Builder Seeking Advice

    Hey all!

    I am a beginner builder and flier (own 2 Walmart quality airplanes.) I am looking to turn my game up and build my own 4 channel aircraft. I'm not looking to make anything fancy (need a durable body as I will crash a lot.) Can anyone suggest a build and some equipment/credible brands I might need?

    Any help appreciated!
    Last edited by eli.musgrove9; 07-14-2016 at 03:22 PM.

  2. #2

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    Two words:
    Sig Kadet
    Sig Brotherhood #68
    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #196
    Prolific sport and scale hydroplane builder and all around hydro maniac

  3. #3

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    ..
    Last edited by RagwingFan; 07-17-2016 at 09:58 PM.

  4. #4
    flyboy2610's Avatar
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    I started with a Great Planes PT-40. Really nice stable plane.
    \"Never put passion before principle. Even if win... you lose.\" Mr. Myagi

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by RagwingFan View Post
    plenty of great trainers out there. even better, they are cheap on the used market. get hooked up with a club that has a trainer program. it will save you a lot of planes while you are learning.

    if you go foam and electric,there are plenty with built in gyros. they will save you as well. I have seen young kids at field flying the Apprentice. foam high wing trainer. lot of built in self correcting features.

    you will need to decide electric or nitro. each have their benefits
    If you go back and read the original post, HE WANTS TO BUILD A PLANE, NOT BUY ONE
    Sig Brotherhood #68
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    Sorry for that first poor response, was no help at all, Shame on me.
    Last edited by Leroy Gardner; 07-20-2016 at 10:08 AM.

  7. #7
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    6 words: SIG Kadet, instructor, assistance, AMA club.
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  8. #8

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    Hey, there! It's nice to see someone ready and willing to "take the plunge". I have been building models since early childhood (I'm 63) and built my first R/C plane in 1979. The very first thing you must do is visit the local flying field in your area and talk to some of the guys there. Find someone who is willing to act as your instructor. It is crucial that you find an experienced modeler who knows what he is talking about. As far as equipment is concerned, there are plenty of good choices available, of course. For your first serious radio, I recommend either Futaba, Hitec, or Airtronics. I personally use a Futaba 8J and an older Hitec Optic 6. Both have all of the features and programming you are likely to need for all but the most complex aircraft. For your first kit, the Great Planes PT-40, or better still, the PT-60 are excellent first builds. Everything you will need to build either of these planes is listed in the instruction manual. Be sure to build your model WITH AILERONS! Just trust me on this, okay? Get the biggest airplane (within reason) you can afford. Bigger flies better! Do not, I repeat, do NOT think for one moment you are going to be able to do this without help! As far as engines go, O.S. is the gold standard when it comes to model engines. yes, they are more expensive than others, but nobody does it better! We all want you to be successful, so keep us posted with your progress, okay? If you have any questions at all, just ask. We're here to help. Oh, one last thought . Build it light, build it straight, and build it strong. You're gonna love this!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by born2build View Post
    Oh, one last thought . Build it light, build it straight, and build it strong. You're gonna love this!
    And while I do agree with most of what B2B said, I'm going to throw a bit of caution out on his last comment.
    Building light is good. Keeping weight down is almost a requirement to have a plane that flies well.
    Building straight is also good. A plane built with a twist or warp in it will not fly well and may lead to its premature death.
    Build it strong, however, I have an issue with. There is a big difference between building strong and overbuilding. This is where many new builders get into trouble. Building a strong plane doesn't require adding a lot of re-enforcing or added bracing. This is where an instructor with building experience can be beneficial. Where you might want, for example, to add a large fillet or a larger than called for glue block, an experienced builder may know of a better way to strengthen an area without adding a lot of weight.
    Sig Brotherhood #68
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    Hey, Hydro Junkie. How ya doin'? Perhaps you read something in my post that was unintended, even though it was unwritten. I never said you should "beef up" or "over build" an airplane. Light, straight, and strong have always been in the forefront in my building endeavors. I believe you can build strong without any weight penalty by make sure the parts fit accurately and the use the right adhesive for the task at hand. For example, I never use 5-minute epoxy, for anything. Slow-cure epoxy weighs the same but is much stronger. Firewalls, landing gear mounts, wing halves, etcetera all get careful fitting and 30-minute epoxy as I'm sure you'll agree. Stick-built models such as the Sig Kadet Senior or any of the Pat Tritle designs require special attention, of course. Careful sanding and fitting of each part will yield a stronger AND lighter model at the same time. I hope I have clarified myself to your satisfaction. I certainly don't want to mislead a beginning builder into developing bad building habits. Happy landings...Rick.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by born2build View Post
    Hey, Hydro Junkie. How ya doin'? Perhaps you read something in my post that was unintended, even though it was unwritten. I never said you should "beef up" or "over build" an airplane. Light, straight, and strong have always been in the forefront in my building endeavors. I believe you can build strong without any weight penalty by make sure the parts fit accurately and the use the right adhesive for the task at hand. For example, I never use 5-minute epoxy, for anything. Slow-cure epoxy weighs the same but is much stronger. Firewalls, landing gear mounts, wing halves, etcetera all get careful fitting and 30-minute epoxy as I'm sure you'll agree. Stick-built models such as the Sig Kadet Senior or any of the Pat Tritle designs require special attention, of course. Careful sanding and fitting of each part will yield a stronger AND lighter model at the same time. I hope I have clarified myself to your satisfaction. I certainly don't want to mislead a beginning builder into developing bad building habits. Happy landings...Rick.
    Trust me, I wasn't cutting down your post, just putting in a word of caution. Many new builders(including me, way back when) don't know the difference since there is a not too fine line between strong and overbuilt. As I said, many times we see a new builder that feels the structure isn't strong enough so they start beefing it up. Over-sizing parts or adding unnecessary fillets were just two examples of things I've seen. Over the years, I've learned many lessons the hard way. My first plane was wrecked before it was even completed due to having to move. Looking back, it might not have survived it's first flight due to the then unknown errors I made in assembling it.
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  12. #12

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    Hydro Junkie. Well, I'm glad we cleared that up. Hopefully the O.P. will find all of this helpful.

  13. #13
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    I have always had a problem with the build it light mentality for a person who is just starting out. Build it with the parts that come in the kit and according to the instructions! "Build it light" is just confusing.

  14. #14
    sensei's Avatar
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    Building light is not confusing, it's rewarding... Many builders believe it is an necessity to begin beefing things up to their own liking when they are building a kit that a designer has already in most cases worked out any issues and test flown their design. If you wish to scratch build then design and scratch build with as much or least amount of beef as you believe necessary. Learning to build light has nothing but great expectations waiting for you in the end, the heavier you build an airframe, the heavier the airframe needs to be in order to support the extra weight you build into it in the first place. It is a vicious cycle with many trade offs along that road. Lighter flies better, plain and simple, so don't ever let anyone tell you anything different because it just isn't so...

    Bob
    Last edited by sensei; 07-19-2016 at 10:16 AM.
    Fly It Like You Stole It!!!

  15. #15
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    sensei, walking gets you there faster than crawling but when you are first starting out you have to crawl before you can walk.

  16. #16
    sensei's Avatar
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    I was taught that bad habits are hard to break, so don't start them to begin with.

    Bob
    Fly It Like You Stole It!!!

  17. #17

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    Hey, fellas. I guess I opened up a can of tuna with the whole "light, straight, and strong" philosophy. To me, it's a no-brainer. There are any number of ways to avoid adding unnecessary weight to an airplane. The first thing I do with a new kit is to look through all of the wood and make sure none of it is heavier than it should be. Balsa can vary in density a LOT! If, say the wing sheeting is rock-hard (it can happen), I'll replace it with some nice medium grade. The same goes for models with all sheet tail surfaces. I replace any wood I determine to be too heavy. Sometimes I will even replace the sheet tail with a stick-built version. Any extra weight behind the C.G. will require more weight in the nose to balance properly. So, keep the tail light! Once the basic airframe is ready to sand, the real "fun" begins... sanding. Sand the airframe (carefully) until you get tired. Rest. Then sand some more. Equipment selection will play a big part in weight reduction. Servos, batteries, covering, engines, pushrods, clevises, control horns, etcetera all come into play here. As you gain experience, these ideas will become more instinctive. Even an ARF can be lighter with careful equipment selection. Right now, I'm putting the finishing touches on a Hanger 9 Christen Eagle. There's a thread for this plane somewhere in the ARF section of RCU. Some guys have stuffed DLE 20's in the nose, which require a separate ignition battery, kill switch, and who knows what else. All up weight was reported to be over 12 pounds (!) Mine, with a Supertigre G90 and the best hardware I could find (I tossed all of H9's stuff) comes in at 9.134 pounds. Which airplane would you rather fly?

  18. #18

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    Building light is something that has to be learned, not something that is intuitive.
    As B2B stated, for example, there are ways to take weight out of the tail feathers in most trainer aircraft:
    1) Stick framing, as he mentioned, is one. While not difficult, it's something that a new builder wouldn't just do since they wouldn't have a clue as to where to start.
    2) Lighter materials is another, but this is one that must be learned over time since too light can be as bad, if not worse, than heavy. A mentor would be invaluable in this case.
    3) Cutting lightening holes in the solid structure, again, something that must be learned since too big or too many will compromise strength. This is another place where a mentor would be an asset

    For the experienced builder, all of these are "no brainers". For the beginner, they are things that wouldn't even be thought of or considered. If you compare the Sig Kadet MKII and Seniorita, the Seniorita has been lightened by changing the slab sides and tail surfaces in the MKII for a stick built versions. This reduces the weight but, for a beginner, it increases the complexity by a factor of three.
    Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 07-19-2016 at 03:39 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by eli.musgrove9 View Post
    Hey all!

    I am a beginner builder and flier (own 2 Walmart quality airplanes.) I am looking to turn my game up and build my own 4 channel aircraft. I'm not looking to make anything fancy (need a durable body as I will crash a lot.) Can anyone suggest a build and some equipment/credible brands I might need?

    Any help appreciated!
    a wood build kit isn't going to be durable/broken proof in the event of a crash... sounds like you are going at this building and flying solo... if so get a foamy trainer, like the apprentice or similar, get real flight simulator, find a nice open empty park, and faa registration and voilla..

    Once you can fly your foamy trainer without crashing. then you can build a nice wooden kit, maybe even a nice high wing 2nd plane like a stik instead of trainer...
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    Hydro Junkie? Hi! Yeah, it's me again. I don't really like to quote myself, but if you take another look at my previous post, I said, "As you gain experience, these ideas will become more instinctive." I guess you missed that part, or are you just trolling?

  21. #21

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    Nope, I missed it. I don't like trolling by others and won't do so intentionally either. In fact, I was agreeing with you. Apparently, it didn't come across the way I had intended.
    Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 07-19-2016 at 04:37 PM.
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    GSXR1000... Did you not read his post correctly? He wants to build! Did you not read the replies to his post? We are trying to give him the best possible advice. Why are you trying to discourage someone from becoming a true aeromodeller?

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
    Nope, I missed it. I don't like trolling by others and won't do so intentionally either. In fact, I was agreeing with you. Apparently, it didn't come across the way I had intended.
    Apology accepted. I get that you're agreeing with me. It's just... I post these replies as clearly and as carefully as I possibly can, and still, I am criticized because someone doesn't comprehend what they are reading. It's very frustrating. Try being more careful in the future, okay?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by born2build View Post
    GSXR1000... Did you not read his post correctly? He wants to build! Did you not read the replies to his post? We are trying to give him the best possible advice. Why are you trying to discourage someone from becoming a true aeromodeller?
    I read it... did you read.... and i qoute " (need a durable body as I will crash a lot.)" there is no durable wooden kit for a true crash..... so i told the truth.... and the majority of instructors and vet fliers discourage kit building for 1st plane cause they don't want the flier to get discouraged.... so you are saying build a kit and take time consuming repairs for it... with a foamy and crash he can be up in the air in hours or minutes instead of glueing toothpicks back together in case of major crashes.. and FYI building a kit doesn't construe a true aeromodeller and if you read my post correct, I said only if he going at this solo building and flying...did i list my suggestions...so appearantly you didn't read my post thoroughly....
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSXR1000 View Post
    I read it... did you read.... and i qoute " (need a durable body as I will crash a lot.)" there is no durable wooden kit for a true crash..... so i told the truth.... and the majority of instructors and vet fliers discourage kit building for 1st plane cause they don't want the flier to get discouraged.... so you are saying build a kit and take time consuming repairs for it... with a foamy and crash he can be up in the air in hours or minutes instead of glueing toothpicks back together in case of major crashes.. and FYI building a kit doesn't construe a true aeromodeller and if you read my post correct, I said only if he going at this solo building and flying...did i list my suggestions...so appearantly you didn't read my post thoroughly....
    Okay, let me repost the original post at the start of the thread:
    Hey all!

    I am a beginner builder and flier (own 2 Walmart quality airplanes.) I am looking to turn my game up and build my own 4 channel aircraft. I'm not looking to make anything fancy (need a durable body as I will crash a lot.) Can anyone suggest a build and some equipment/credible brands I might need?

    Any help appreciated!

    If you note the line hi-lighted in blue, he's flown a couple of toy grade planes already. He now "want's to up his game and build a four channel aircraft". That eliminates ARFs, ARCs and foam planes.
    Two of us have recommended the Kadet. B2B recommended the PT 40 with OS power. These fall right into what was asked in the line hi-lighted in red.
    Where you say there is no durable wooden kit for a true crash, that is true. It is just as true, however, for a foam plane. What is also true for foam planes is:
    1) They are generally very small when compared to balsa kits
    2) They are generally very quick to react to control inputs when compared to a balsa kit
    3) They area pretty much always electric powered.
    4) They are pretty much a "throw away" toy when compared to a balsa kit
    5) There is no "investment" such as building time when dealing a foamy. Unlike a kit, if you crash, it's more of a "so what, I'll just go buy another one" type of deal, ideal for today's "instant gratification society".
    Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 07-19-2016 at 07:58 PM.
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