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Build a plane

Old 01-03-2022, 04:59 PM
  #1  
KJGCT1
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Default Build a plane

The Rc hobby is being ruined by ARF's! To all those who only fly ARF's try building a kit! The benefits of building a kit begin while the plane is taking shape on the table. I suspect everyone who built their first kit looked at it taking shape on the table and said to themselves "wow, I am building an airplane!" Though the end result of building a kit, turning a box of wood into a flying model is a long investment the satisfaction of flying a plane you built is well worth it. Sure you can put an Arf together on Saturday and fly it on Sunday, but when you finish that first flight it is an anti climactic ho hum. I have put a lot of ARF's in the air, and their only benefit is time. I have also crashed kits I built, and arfs. Crashing an Arf is a ho hum who cares experience, all you lose is money. Crashing a kit you spent the time to build is certainly not ho hum, if it were not for the group of club members sitting behind me I may have cried when I crashed my first kit, a Great Planes Super Sportster. But the memory of its first flight was better than the planes demise was bad. So go ahead, build a kit, if you need help I am sure theres a member of your club who can help, just as I am sure that following your first flight in a plane you built will leave you with a sense of satisfaction no ARF can ever supply!
Old 01-03-2022, 09:41 PM
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ARFs do not only save time which is critical for those with commitments beyond the hobby.

I have found out they also offer an economic advantage.

I’ve been scratch building scale models from plans for some 40 years but guess what? This is by far the most expensive way to produce a model today.

Wood kits are less expensive than scratch building but when I consider availability and shipping and customs costs to my corner of the world the cost increases.

An ARF is by far the cheapest and my LHS has an extremely wide variety plus some pop up occasionally on the s/h NIB market.

HOWEVER, in order to raise the enjoyment level I do perform an extensive makeover on them to enhance endurance and longevity and suit my personal taste so I do feel more ‘involved’ in them and it does take me several weeks to complete an ARF this way, which I then enjoy flying for years.

Here’s a current example:
I wanted a large Stinson Reliant as my next model. A TF kit is way beyond my budget, a Laser cut short kit is also very expensive and that’s even before considering the cost of a f/g cowl, wheel pants and accessories, but the LHS had an 86” span Reliant complete with everything on sale at a 50% discount. I have already made a list of mods for it and so after several weeks of creative time in my workshop I will have my ‘personalised’ model.
So you can combine and enjoy all worlds.
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Old 01-22-2022, 06:18 PM
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SC1951
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I like both worlds ARF and kit building .ARF’s are hard to come by these days, back order out of stock etc so I went back to the building board. Just finished a Fokker DR1 and just started a Neuiport 17
Old 01-23-2022, 08:20 AM
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J330
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Well there you have it. 3 replies in 3 weeks in an outdated topic. Not a lot follow the building life anymore to have an opinion, much less have an ARF experience to compare. I doubt people invest time in ARF's either, as marketing shows it's your worse case scenario, it's a RTF and BNF instant gratification society we live in now of RC pilots who are troubled with any adhesive. They rely on gyro's to get through a 3 minute flight. All you have to do is look at society to understand how this developed.
Who sticks with a job, or has craftsman skills anymore in their trade? They think "making it" is being a Uber driver. Most capable folks live 7,000 miles away. But this wasn't always true.
Wander back in time and learn how it once was;

Anyone in this hobby back in the kit days often had all the adhesives on hand, a garage of tools, and invested already in his RC supplies to complete more than one kit build project, so his cost isn't beyond his means. But the biggest point to take away here is this; Building IS his half his hobby. While my father never flew RC once, (just control line) but he sure did enjoy building and watching me fly. I grew up doing both, trained through the fabrication parts of tough kits. In the 60's, there wasn't anything called an ARF I ever saw. Kits started as ink printed on balsa you had to cut out, die cut was a luxury, bending wire into landing gear shapes with a propane torch was routine, and so on. Radios cost a couple of weeks pay, and it took years before you even had servo reversing as a much appreciated feature. YOU flew the plane without expo, no dual rates, and certainly no gyro's technology. The thread starter comes from this generation obviously. Part of the hobby that's getting lost in time is the glow engine. Picking different ones for their personality is reduced to Saito or OS. Tuning them, adjusting its performance with exhaust systems, fuels, glow plugs, prop changes, all again was taking pleasure in accomplishing and completing these tasks you developed over the years, known as a skillset. I've never left glow power and never will. Balsa wood kits (or completed kits) have weight, and you find them in the classifieds. They fly better. They fly in windy conditions. They last many seasons if not decades. The return on the investment to build them far exceeds any foam fair weather model I've ever seen. Walking the line, foam begins to look ragged in no time, dented, paint wears off, skewered back together again, puffed up batteries, but most lack the graceful take off and landings I enjoy with my glow powered planes I can smell, hear, and all my 4 strokes give me 15-25 minute flight times, I often land before fuel is even a concern. If I want to go up again, it's 2 minutes to refuel, not investing in batteries to swap or charge times, and my kits built plane was prepared for that engine to endure the residue and vibration far better than any ARF. You take your kit skills into any ARF purchase and pick up where Vietnam left off, making it more dependable.

So this boomer, on this boomer site, agrees with the feeling of putting your own work in the sky, that maiden flight has more meaning, and reward than any BNF / RTF you'll experience. The so called "time" constraints to build are total BS. Park the project and go back to it. Some piece in their work over a year, so what? Don't quit. What keeps you from doing it? Gaming? Cable TV or Netflix? Really? Addictions are what those are called. Manage time for it. You have the same time as I do in a day to make it happen. If I did it in my youth, it's the same 24 hour day in my adult life to do it again on some weekends, some evenings, and sharing it with a son makes it even traditional of an experience. People are home more than ever these days.
Old 01-23-2022, 12:28 PM
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...

Last edited by allanflowers; 01-23-2022 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 01-24-2022, 02:24 PM
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I would point out that this is the ARF section of the website. So maybe it isn't as appropriate to come on here and put down the category in such a blanket way.
Personally I have built from several designs from scratch (not talking about "plan" building), some rather difficult kits, plenty of ARFs and a number of foamies. Every type of plane has its value and it isn't cool to put other's activity's down even though it isn't quite your thing.
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Old 01-24-2022, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by allanflowers View Post
I would point out that this is the ARF section of the website. So maybe it isn't as appropriate to come on here and put down the category in such a blanket way.
Personally I have built from several designs from scratch (not talking about "plan" building), some rather difficult kits, plenty of ARFs and a number of foamies. Every type of plane has its value and it isn't cool to put other's activity's down even though it isn't quite your thing.
I've been in this hobby enough years to have a 5 digit AMA number and I've done it every way possible, I've scratch built, kit built, assembled ARFs, bought other's already built planes, pretty much any method that renders a flyable model airplane you could think of. And ya know something, I've had fun with every one of em and would never even consider denigrating someone's involvement in the hobby for flying a foamy ARF, if that person is having fun I'm 100% behind them having that fun of being in control of something flying in the air.

I'll tell ya this, I'm a Hell of a lot more brave flying "envelope pushing" maneuvers with an ARF VS with something that took me the better part of a year to build, that's for sure.....
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Old 01-24-2022, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
I've been in this hobby enough years to have a 5 digit AMA number and I've done it every way possible, I've scratch built, kit built, assembled ARFs, bought other's already built planes, pretty much any method that renders a flyable model airplane you could think of. And ya know something, I've had fun with every one of em and would never even consider denigrating someone's involvement in the hobby for flying a foamy ARF, if that person is having fun I'm 100% behind them having that fun of being in control of something flying in the air.

I'll tell ya this, I'm a Hell of a lot more brave flying "envelope pushing" maneuvers with an ARF VS with something that took me the better part of a year to build, that's for sure.....
From a fellow 5-digit flyer (could be four, if I ever gave Joyce a call to see if my old number could be found!), this is a spot-on summation!
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Old 03-04-2022, 07:35 AM
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Default Wait wait for me !!!

At 84 I have done it all. Foam is FAR MORE ACCURATE. I have built a 80" WS A-10 from a piece of DOW floating dock blue foam 2' X 4' x 8' one piece, So I can scratch anything to a scale model.

ARF only !

Rich
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