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New to RC Planes, help getting started

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Old 02-09-2018, 11:33 AM
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gbflrs
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Cool New to RC Planes, help getting started

Hello, I am a high school teacher and I inherited a classroom full of supplies, tools, and airplane kits. I don't have a clue as to how these things operate, or come togetheretc. I have very little experience with RC vehicles and models but I know airplanes are a different task. I have boxes full of brand new kits which include:
Navistar Elite
Uproar ARF
Big Stik 40
Super Sportster 40
Giles G 202
Funstar MK2
and so much more. These are just a few. There's about 15 boxes with brand new ARF kits.
I also have dozens of brnad new O.S engines, radios tanks, you name it.

I'd like to start one on my own so I can feel more comfortable when I begin teaching it to students.

I'm pretty sure everything I'll need is in this classroom because there's a few kits already built and some that are even crashed.

My level of mechanical ability is probably advanced when it comes to real vehicles like maintenance, repair, fuel pumps, transmissions, etc. Dont want you to think I'm a total newbie in that dept. I know my way around a shop.

I'll upload a few pics soon of what I have currently. Thanks for any help and any advice you may be able to give.
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:03 PM
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The best advice is to find someone local

You can plug in a zip code and reach out to any local RC clubs by using this search function.
Also, AMA has a number of educational materials for teachers such as yourself Academy of Model Aeronautics
Academy of Model Aeronautics - AMA Charter Club Search
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:04 PM
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Where are you located?
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by tailskid View Post
Where are you located?
​​​​​​​Located in the SE Houston area. Here are a few pics of what I have so far.

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Old 02-10-2018, 10:42 AM
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Your best bet is to follow Barracuda's advice and contact a local club and there are a quite a few in your general area. Stop by a hobby shop and inquire there also. You are one lucky fellow! Perhaps a local club member could set up an after school club and work with the children, err, young adults

Jerry
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by tailskid View Post
Your best bet is to follow Barracuda's advice and contact a local club and there are a quite a few in your general area. Stop by a hobby shop and inquire there also. You are one lucky fellow! Perhaps a local club member could set up an after school club and work with the children, err, young adults

Jerry
Well, that's what I'm currently trying to do, which is set up an after school class. But I'd like to get to know my way around these things first.

What can you guys tell me about licenses, permits, etc? Is it similar to what is required for drones? which I have experience with.
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:41 AM
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Same link, AMA has liability insurance that most clubs require and a magazine subscription
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Old 02-10-2018, 01:07 PM
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You're not quite clear as to whether these belong to you or to the school.
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JollyPopper View Post
You're not quite clear as to whether these belong to you or to the school.
Bought with school funds for an after school club. Sadly, the principal who taught this class and was into this stuff passed away earlier in the school year. I was asked to take over because the program director thought I'd be the best fit for the class.. it was an aeronautics club in a middle school but they have no room for storage or any person willing to take over. I brought everything over to my high school over the past few days.

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Old 02-10-2018, 04:33 PM
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Well, that did not answer the question, so let me ask it another way. If this is to be an ongoing endeavor, who must replace the equipment as it disappears or is used up? And the reason I mention that is that I don't see a plane listed or pictured that is truly for a beginning pilot. The attrition rate in the planes I see will be astronomical if they are actually to be flown and if these kids are truly beginners. The only plane I see that is even close to a beginner's plane is the Avistar and it is really not for a novice as it has a semi symmetrical wing with no dihedral. Of course, the engines and radio systems can be used for any degree of ability but they will be subject to crash damage just like the air frames will. And a bunch of high school kids flying a Giles or Uproar? I see one short flight out of each plane and then someone will have to either repair or replace them. If that is you, you best have deep pockets. I am in no way trying to discourage you. I think getting a bunch of high school kids interested in flying RC is absolutely marvelous, but it will be damned expensive. And I don't believe that you or anyone else can become an accomplished builder or flyer in one school year. I believe the only hope you have to make this thing work is to get with a club around Houston and get some of the pilots to come in and supervise the building and then to buddy box with the students (and you) for their first flights, until they become good enough to solo, Some with exceptional abilities will do it in just a couple flights, others will never get it. This is not a game you are entering into. Flying RC is arguably more difficult than actually sitting your butt in a full size airplane and learning to fly it. But this hobby is desperately in need of new blood and getting high school students hooked on it is a really good idea. Actually should have happened in middle school, as the high schoolers are about to discover what the opposite sex is for and then that is all they will want to think about for awhile.

I see some really, really good stuff in the pictures you supplied. I sincerely hope you can get some kids hooked on RC and put some of that stuff to good use. Whoever bought the stuff bought the best, but none of the airplanes are for beginners.

BTW, is the radio equipment all the same brand or is it varied? And the reason I ask that is that if you do really get into this and get with some veteran pilots, you will probably want to be flying the same brand of radio that the veteran is, unless you are going to supply a radio for both the beginner and the veteran to buddy box with. This gets damned complicated and expensive, especially on the scale you are talking about.

I hope this does not discourage you. I am all for you and what you are attempting here. I see several thousands of dollars in the equipment you have pictured and I suspect from your posts that there is much more. Good luck to you.
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Old 02-10-2018, 06:35 PM
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Thanks for the reply, JP. Lots of good info in there. I'll try to answer as much as I can and I sincerely appreciate all the time you took to write that out.

First off, the class/club will not be open to any kid that walks in and wants to contribute. I've asked a few that I know can be trusted and some I've spoken to even mention they used to help him out last school year. I think I'll start off with about 5-7 students first and grow from there

Looking at the kits that were purchased, there are about 8 brand new Avistar boxes that I figured would be the closest thing to a beginner kit. I think what we'll do is begin with one of those, work together to build one and leave the other boxes for later when we start to get familiar with this. Maybe I can pair up with a local club to help me with building my first one and then I can come back and pass it on with the next build.

We know this won't be a quick learning experience, but rather something we build on through the rest of the year. Summer is coming up soon so I hope to learn most of it and continue with a summer school club with those same students.

Not pictured are the other 4 airplane kits hat have already been flown and crashed. Looks like the Avistar kit. I assume some of these parts can be reused if needed. They still have props and engines attached. I also have about 12 brand new radios of varying brands and different functions.

If you can bear with me, I will continue to post more pictures of the supplies as I sort them and put them in a storage cabinet for easy access. Right now they're currently in plastic tubs that were used for the move of one school to the other.

Money isn't an issue for any replenishing or purchasing of necessary items, seeing how the program director and everyone involved is very supportive and wants this to be a success. We have funds that are reserved for this program only. And every year we receive new funding. I know this is an expensive hobby and I've made sure they understand that we aren't done spending. The principal was well liked and it hurts to see all this sit in a room untouched for about a year. He stopped teaching early last school year as his condition worsened. There is still plenty of money left If anything is needed. Everything I am posting was brought throughout the years as he received funds, so this has all accumulated over about 5 years.

So definitely start off with building one kit together, and I'm going to reach out to a club and ask if they can come help or maybe I can bring the kit to one of their meetings and receive help building it. We're 10 minutes away from Ellington Airfield so I know there has to be someone around here with experience or maybe I'll get lucky and find out what local club he belonged to.

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Old 02-11-2018, 07:41 AM
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This might make good reading. Lots of illustrations and the book covers the basics to advanced techniques. Perfect for the beginner to advanced builder.

Basics of R/C Model Aircraft Design: Practical Techniques for Building Better Models

https://books.google.ca/books/about/...4C&redir_esc=y

First off since you will need a place to fly I would highly recommend you touch base with a local club and see what can be worked out as far as student membership and instruction. Also contact the AMA and see what they have to offer in light of this being a student activity.

From experience your biggest challenge will be to keep the interest burning. With less than 10 students 2/3 beginners models are all that is needed. 2 flying one spare in case of an accident, after all these will have to be transported to the field along with associated gear.

You will have to depend on the club instructors and their time may be at a premium. To keep the students interested get them flying as soon as possible. Long periods of building for a first timer can put a damper on initial enthusiasm.

I notice you live in Houston so your flying season can be quite long. You also said you have access to some funding set aside. Since initial trainers for group efforts tend to sustain more road rash than an individuals trainer I would recommend an ARF rather than a kit built as the introduction to model flying. What you are looking for is a high wing trainer that has a flat bottom wing and some dihedral. Great Planes has quite a few that range from $125 to $200 for a bare bones ARF. Use what you have on hand to flush out the builds. I have used the PT 40 several times and at $125 its more than adequate. If they are all identical parts can be salvaged even from heavily damaged models. Same with engines keep them all the same if you can.

Get them in the air and flying meanwhile back at the ranch they can be building their next model the Avistar. By the time they learn to fly, repair any rash and build a new model they should be well on their way in a year or so. Then if they are still around they can help you mentor the next group.

One thing to mention is with any crash it is important to pick up every bit and piece they can. Back at the ranch these can be fit like a jigsaw puzzle and many times the model resurrected. The ca glues today are wonderful for this. Teams that used my shop had to wear safety glasses, shoes/runners no open toes.

Here is an example of one of my university teams where at 2:30 into the video the soldered elevator link fails and the resulting crash damage. They worked in their hotel rooms piecing everything together and finished at 4:30 the next morning and made the day 3 flight line.3:42 in the video.


Designed and built by students with no prior experience in 5 months time. I start them out by giving them the book I recommended and a P40 kit. It usually takes them about a week to build the kit and between reading the book and studying how the kit is put together teaches them more than I could by instructing them. I am available to answer any questions they have. I have lots of blueprints they can study

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Old 02-11-2018, 01:10 PM
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I reach middle school tech ed and engineering in Fort Worth. This is one of my annoyances about education - districts will spend immense amounts of money on equipment with no plans to effectively use it for teaching.
If I were in your position, I'd try partnering with a local flying club. Invite some volunteers to come guide the building and set up flight training days at the club field. Get some simulators and good computers to run them on so you can offer training opportunities at school too. Avistars are outstanding trainers for windy Texas, better than any flat bottom design. This way, you can supervise everyting and take care of the equipment without having to take your eyes off the kids to fly.
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Old 02-11-2018, 01:58 PM
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HMMM never had a problem teaching students on a flat bottom wing. Most if not all university designs use the Selig 1223 airfoil a highly under cambered high lift low Reynolds number airfoil they flew quite well in Fort Worth wind. I wouldn’t be concerned about a flat bottom wing and wind..

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Old 02-11-2018, 06:57 PM
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I didn't say a flat bottom wing flies badly. I think the Avistar wing flies better in the gusty, turbulent wind we usually fly in.
As an aside, I'm a member of FTW Thunderbirds where the SAE contests are. I've seen some really neat planes and some truly weird ones over the years.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:53 PM
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One of the times I visited I noticed the plaque for Mr. Cunningham so the following year I brought my Lazy Ace and flew it several times. Biplane, flat bottom wings YS 1.20 for power handles the wind there like a champ. The plane is old, recovered 4 times even set it up like a trimotor for a bit. Glider tug, drops a sky diver, have even spread the ashes of a fellow modeler over our field. One of the best airframes I have ever owned.

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Old 02-12-2018, 02:55 PM
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Yep, Chuck Cunningham is a legend around Fort Worth. I guess everywhere really for those who know the history of our hobby. Several Thunderbirds own Lazy Aces, and they all fly terrifically.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:20 PM
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So, after giving this some thought... what I've decided to do is slowly get the students started on an Avistar model while we wait for a local club to guide me and show me the ropes. In the meantime I'll also look for AMA membership and all requirements to fly with the local club I reached out to. Hopefully we'll be ready to fly near the end of the school year. Even if I'm the only one flying by that time, they'll still enjoy it. Looks like there's a field they fly out of about 5 minutes from our school.

In the meantime I'm also going to start building a J3 Cub with the help of some of my trusted students so we can become familiar with an actual build from start to finish. There's an awesome in depth tutorial on YouTube I found where he builds one step by step, and is easy to follow. Hopefully by the time we finish this one we'll have some practice flying as well.

im still waiting on some standing storage cabinets so that all this can be accessed quicker rather than stacking tubs every time we need something.

This will come in handy, no?
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:53 PM
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Go to the flying field just as soon as you can, and spectate. Start encouraging your students to do the same. This hobby is infectious, and seeing it first hand almost always instills a strong desire to try it out. The Avistar will make a great trainer. There is a good argument for several other airplanes that might be "better" trainers, but young people have great "eye hand" skills, and are fast learners, particularly if you can get a flight simulator for them to practice on. Hooking up with a local club, or a mentor, will still be the best resource you can have. Beginning pilots can be instructed with the use of a buddy box, which allows the instructor to intervene if the student gets in trouble. Find out when the local club has their meetings, and attend one. Introduce yourself, and explain your needs for help. Even though you don't have flyable airplanes, and right now isn't the best flying weather, it's not too soon to start absorbing this hobby. Good luck.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:38 PM
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I admire what you're doing... and it seems you will all learn together.. cool. When I was in Junior High in mid '70's, one of my favorite teachers taught an aviation class(amongst other classes he also taught).. He structured the curriculum for 2 different classes Aviation I and Aviation II(as a continuation of I ). We actually made small .049 control line planes from plans he'd drawn up...and we got out own wood that was cheap cheap... and we went on to finish small control line planes, and Friday's became our flying day. Those classes have stuck with me all these years.. and it really meant something to me... best times in school I had....

So... reason for my post, and something to ponder as well... He not only taught us to build and fly a small plane.. but he also did lectures and study on principles of flight. Airfoils, balance, weather, and much history on many things aviation related... I was fascinated... still am... I still have those plans and my notebook from those classes... and that was 45yrs ago.

So I would encourage you to not only share in the building... but share in the "why" they fly. Share the Wright Brothers, share about Otto Lilienthal, Samuel Langley, even DaVinci studied and had renderings of flight... You're opening up a whole world to these young people. I wish you were in our area, as our club is now looking into doing some serious outreach for kids just about like what you're working with... and we would snatch you all up... It's a very cool thing you're doing.

I'll say that flying a plane isn't easy until you've got some time under your belt... but making an impression on a kid is very easy... and that's what it's all about... and you will all literally learn together. My guess some of you will come out simply hooked on the hobby, and others just might find their calling if it's in aviation. Some of the best doctors in the world discovered their calling by disecting their first frog.... just like some of the best pilots in the world found their calling building their first model. Good luck to you and your class.

This site, as well as a few other sites are great resources for info. Your students can even have their own account(with parents permission of course)...as we're all family and kid friendly...that's what it's all about.

So yeah.. find a local flying club.. talk to some of them... many of us that fly in clubs are very eager to help.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:07 AM
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I know it may not make sense but I would look at Flite Test. They offer a STEM program with "kits" that are class sized. There is a video that gives step by step on how to build their planes, setup other tips and tricks. They have done all the homework for you. Maybe you could possibly sell some of your current supplies to fund the Flite Test curriculum??? Here are some links for you to follow.

https://store.flitetest.com/arrow-class-starter-kit/

https://www.ftstem.com/curriculum

Flite Test Beginner Series | AMA Flight School

Tiny Trainer build video.

Ken
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