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Just getting started... quick question!

Old 04-19-2011, 01:46 PM
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Drmeff
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Default Just getting started... quick question!

Hey guys and gals,

I have been building/operating RC's in one form or another since I could walk (I am 25 now) and I really would like to give planes a try! I have wanted one for many years but was always afraid to try for fear of just crashing immediatly. I have setteled on the Super Cub LP by Hobby Zone as my first plane after reading some of your posts on these forums. It seems to be fairly sturdy and with only 3 channels it should be in my wheelhouse talent-wise. I really want to work into a nitro plane (trainer style first of course) but I would like some insight on the best way to break into it when I am ready. Is it possible to be ready to fly for less than about 400 for a nitro trainer, including a decent TX/RX that can be used for multiple models? Also, would it be better to get an RTF, or piece something together. I am not afraid of building but I know nothing about planes so an easier job would be my preference!

Just for background story, I have owned about 6 or 7 different nitro vehicles ranging from buggies and 1/8th scale trucks to hydroplane and catamaran boats. I have also owned many (too many to remember) electric vehicles but all were before the brushless/lipo era... 2000mah NIMah were the BOMB when I was driving!
Old 04-19-2011, 02:01 PM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

If you are interested in Nitro, why not start with it?

Your best bet is to find a local club, attend a meeting and find out about their training program.

Then give their training sessions a visit or two.

What you'll learn there may completely change your opinion on what to get and start out with.

Old 04-19-2011, 02:58 PM
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Drmeff
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

I had originally started to look for nitro planes but I am not sure I want to sink multiple hundreds into a plane without knowing if I will even stay interested or if this is just the hobby bug giving me a bite. I have a huge field (20 acres or so) in my back yard with a long strip mowed really short (by me) that would be perfect to tinker around with a park flyer. My local club has a $35 fee to join, not to mention joining the AMA. I understand that a small electric RTF will not blow my socks off but I just want something cheap(er) to try out for a month or two and see if I have any stick skills at all before searching out a more expensive plane. I would certainly join the local club if I was going to purchase a nitro and find an instructor. Another factor is the human air flap (the wife) who will need to be a little more sure that I am going to stick with a hobby before dropping 400+ bucks on it!
Old 04-19-2011, 03:30 PM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!


ORIGINAL: Drmeff

I had originally started to look for nitro planes but I am not sure I want to sink multiple hundreds into a plane without knowing if I will even stay interested

Although I would be willing to bet you have done exactly that both with cars and boats.

Its obvious your goal is Glow powered airplanes and thats great but that goal will cost you even more in the long run if you do the self taught routine and start with electric.

If you want to fly glow then start with glow planes. If money is an issue then lose the self taught routine.

Join the AMA, join the local club that is the least expensive way to go by the time you reach any given skill level.

Your budget of 400 is not really gonna cut it on an indivudual basis especially with new stuff and you have to acquire all your field equipment all at once. You will find that some of the very best deals on trainer packages will be from your club mates something you will never access doing the solitary bit. I put together packages all the time for new folks as well as many club mates and we encourage them to save it for new members.

Yup you would be far better off to self all preconcevied ideas about clubs and instructors and go talk to them and even meet you future mentor, I hate that instructor word since mentor is so much more descriptive of what this gentleman will be to your realization of the dream.

John


Old 04-19-2011, 03:36 PM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

Hope you enjoy flying. At my LHS many race cars and go into flying.


Pete

Old 04-19-2011, 03:40 PM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

Just start with glow. Speak to some club instructors before you dive in. Most clubs have instructors and some even have a trainer set up with a buddy box. It's better to try flying before you spend money. It's better to solo before you spend any too. When I teach I furnish everything except the fuel, that's up to my students.
Old 04-19-2011, 03:43 PM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!


ORIGINAL: Gray Beard

Just start with glow. Speak to some club instructors before you dive in. Most clubs have instructors and some even have a trainer set up with a buddy box. It's better to try flying before you spend money. It's better to solo before you spend any too. When I teach I furnish everything except the fuel, that's up to my students.

That's good sound advice.


Pete
Old 04-19-2011, 04:00 PM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

I can see where a lot of the guys on here are coming from when they suggest getting into the club and going that route. I love the club I am apart of down here in the Twin Cities, but I can also say that we do not have a training program, and it might be a little challenging to find someone to instruct you here. With that being said, you can find some good deals out there if you know how and where to look. Electric is getting better everyday, but it is also a bit of an investment to get started the right way. One of the best investments would be a simple simulator. You can actually download a free simulator called ClearView and that will get you some experience with perspective and orientation, which are the hardest things about flying. Coming at you and going away. Also, getting a feeling for how the plane will stall and such things. You can buy a simulator box where you can connect the sticks to the screen from [link=http://www.hobbypartz.com/60p-dyu-1002.html]Dynam sim from Hobbypartz[/link]. Once you spend a few hours on the sim, you will be better equipped to take the cub out for the real deal.

What I would do is try to get a plane from a swap meet here in the TC area. HobbyWarehouse and skyhobbies both have swap meets pretty frequently, they should be coming up in May. There you should be able to find a trainer style airplane. You can outfit it pretty cheaply. You can find an engine and 4 servos on Hobbypartz (SG5010 servos, and an ASP .46) together for under $90 and the radios there are about $50 or less. If you want to dabble in this, you can go cheap and not worry too much of your investment. People will try to sway you with more expensive things, but as a beginner who is pretty young, it pays to be smart with your limited resources.

If you have any questions, you can PM me and I will be happy to help you out.
Good Luck,
Curtis

P.S. I started out in the hobby getting a balsa electric trainer kit that was way overpriced and underpowered. I went the mainstream online hobbystore route and kick myself thinking about what I could have gotten for an electric if I had asked around.
Old 04-19-2011, 04:54 PM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

Clubs let folks visit free and many times you can find an instructor who will take you up for a sample lesson free. Also you can watch and ask questions as people work on their stuff to get a good idea if gas or electric is right for you.

And remember a big part of the club experience is hanging out with other pilots.

Tom
Old 04-19-2011, 04:56 PM
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Drmeff
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

Wow, thanks for all the advice guys it is obvious that you are all passionate for your hobby! It seems that there is a more "help the other guy" mentality when it comes to flyers, which I find much more mature and endearing than what I have found in the Car/Boat world. I will get in contact with some of the locals and see what they have to say.

I am pretty content taking a slower route, even if it takes me longer to reach the ultimate goal of glow planes. I would like to build up the equipment slowly so I am not just spending like mad and constantly worried about a crash that will take out my only plane.

Thanks again guys, great insight.
Old 04-19-2011, 05:57 PM
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TedMo
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

I think you have discovered the truth about this hobby such as: There's a lot to it, it's expensive, a club is a good choice, We are glad to be helpful, Electric/fuel, If fuel powered is your choice go for it. To dabble in electric would be expensive. It takes quite a bit to get started so choose one or the other.YOU WILL CRASH OFTEN.
Old 04-19-2011, 06:58 PM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

For the most part someone took the time and trouble to teach us so it's just a pay back to the hobby. My thinking is there is no reason to spend money until you are sure you are going to enjoy the hobby and stick with it. Too many people see us fly and think that looks like fun then dive in with both feet. For one reason or another they decide it isn't for them and get out of it as fast as they got into it and get stuck with a lot of gear that they discover they can't get any of there money back from. Some used equipment is going to sell but your return on your investment is nothing compared to what you paid for it. Best to learn first without any investment. Later on you will develope a sense to what is worth buying used and what is not. Last week at a club swap meet I found a couple of good deals on good radios but there was a lot more crap on the tables that looked better then it is. Buyer beware!!!
Old 04-19-2011, 08:02 PM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

It sounds like you're thinking the Super Cub is an easier plane than the nitro trainer. In fact, the opposite is true. Small, light planes get tossed around by the wind more and are harder to keep orientation on. The advantage of the foamy is durability for a flyer who wants to be self-taught.
Your $400 limit is pretty low, but doable if you do some shopping. I've seen flyable used trainers with engines and servos for under $150 in the classifieds and on Craigslist. You'll need a starter and battery, glow driver, fuel pump and something to put it all in. Keep an eye out for a guy selling an outfitted field box for $40-$50. The radio is the only place I wouldn't suggest buying used unless it's a unit less than a year old. Find out what brand the buddy boxes are at your club and get something compatible. Add in a flight battery, can of fuel, and sundries and that'll wrap up the $400 investment. The upshot is that you'll have something that flies well and will do basic aerobatics once flying in circles gets boring.
Old 04-19-2011, 08:18 PM
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Drmeff
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

Sounds like buying a new car, once it is off the lot it is darn near useless

What do you guys think about something like the Hanger 9 Alpha 40 RTF? Are most RTF's just decent planes with junk engines/electronics? I see they sell that one for about 300 with most of the stuff you need to get going (minus some of the field boxes and such). Are the Spectrum radios any good? I seem to remember a lot of RC boaters saying they cut out all the time... could just be all the water, sure does crazy things to electronics.
Old 04-19-2011, 08:47 PM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

Hello there, and welcome to this side of the RC hobby. Asking whether the Spektrum radio's are good or not is kind of a loaded question. It is true that there were some problems with the Spektrum radio's cutting out, especially when using a 4.8v reciever pack. But going to a 6v Reciever pack seems to have reduced the amount of problems, but thats just heresay...... When it comes to radio's, everyone's got their own opinions of all the radios available, and each opinion is correct... for that individual. I would suggest speaking to those at your field that you will be flying at, and see what they are all flying, because when it comes down to it, when you need any help with programming mixes, or trying new things, they are the one's your gonna turn to for help.

I personally love the Airtronics line of radios, as I have an RDS8000 and SD-6G 2.4 radio. My reasons for going to this radio system is the cost of the receivers being very affordable compared to Spektrum or JR/Futaba receivers. I also like the ease of programming that comes with these radios, makes it easy for the new pilot to get comfortable with, and not feel too lost in trying to set up their planes. But thats just my personal opinion. We have several folks who fly with the new Aurora 9, Futaba Super8FG, Spektrum 7's and 8's and they all really like their radios too. So basically it all comes down to personal preference, and also what the majority of your club is flying with as well.

Just something to think about...........
Old 04-20-2011, 04:53 AM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

Havent flown the Alpha 40 personally, but there are a couple of members at our club that have them. They, much like all other H9 planes, are fine. Ipersonally think that the Alpha 40 is one of the nicer "looking" trainers out there as far as trim scheme goes. Some of the trainers are just down right ugly looking. The a40 looks nice!

However, like someone already said. Im sure if you go to a local club...there will be several guys there with trainers for sale RTF for about 150 bucks, give or take. I have a couple of trainers in my hangar I plan on selling to the next new member that needs a plane. Trainers are plentiful "used" from club members it seems.

just my .02's

PS...someone stated that ClearView RCSim is free. It is only free for "x" amount of run time of the application. Once you hit that limit...it locks out till you buy the license, which is only 40 bucks. Probably the best "cheap" SIMon the market IMO. Just be aware that you will have to purchase separately the cable to connect your TX to your PC to really get any benefit from a SIM. These cables can be found all over the net from about 10-20 bucks. Will be something like this...

http://compare.ebay.com/like/2207592...=263602_309572
Old 04-20-2011, 07:57 AM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!


ORIGINAL: Drmeff

What do you guys think about something like the Hanger 9 Alpha 40 RTF? Are most RTF's just decent planes with junk engines/electronics? I see they sell that one for about 300 with most of the stuff you need to get going (minus some of the field boxes and such).
The H9 Alpha 9 RTF is a great combo. I've taught many people who show up with their new planes w/o any problems... but I end up "finishing" and adjusting the plane for them.

However as said repeatedly... DON'T SPEND THE MONEY ON A PLANE YET!

Instead go to a local club. Find one with a training program and preferably a nearby airfield and JOIN.

You'll need the AMA liability insurance ( BTW: It only covers amounts in EXCESS of your personal liability insurance so makes sure both are up to date! )... and the club field will be a place you'll be able to fly even if you are faced with irate neighbors or the police showing up at your door....

The cost of joining both the AMA and the club will be offset by the cost of a plane you DO NOT crash. Club programs try to get you through the most "dangerous" period safely, and hopefully keep your interest in the hobby.

Remember though, that in spite of the cost, we are all doing this for free, simply because we want to encourage others.... bare that in mind when dealing with club members... though hopefully you'll find a friendly bunch... or better yet an interesting group that keeps you laughing and amused too!



Old 04-20-2011, 10:05 AM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

I have to say that I enjoy just hanging out and BS'ing with my club buddies almost as much, if not more, than flying.  We always have a great time bustin' on each other and cutting up. 

After being in the club...it would seem rather boring to just fly by myself on my own property.  This is just me though, your milage may vary.  lol
Old 04-20-2011, 10:17 AM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!


ORIGINAL: ATVAlliance

I have to say that I enjoy just hanging out and BS'ing with my club buddies almost as much, if not more, than flying. We always have a great time bustin' on each other and cutting up.

After being in the club...it would seem rather boring to just fly by myself on my own property. This is just me though, your milage may vary. lol
Exactly... it is a completely different experience in a club versus by yourself.

Much of the enjoyment comes from socializing with other members who obviously have similiar interests.
Old 04-20-2011, 02:02 PM
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Drmeff
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

Good points, I would never lay out the cash for a glow plane before checking out the club and seeing what it is all about. The field in my back yard is park flying size only, I wouldn't attempt a glow powered plane back there. I think I will just give a call to the local club and see if there is a time I can go check out the activities.
Old 04-20-2011, 02:07 PM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

You may want to ask "what is the best time for a newbie to show up?".

That way you don't appear when the Jet guys are heads down into their aircraft trying to get ready for something.

The AMA web page has a "club finder" that you can use to find clubs close to you.

You also may want to drive out to the flying field(s) just to check them out before joining a club.

Old 04-20-2011, 03:05 PM
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Default RE: Just getting started... quick question!

Most clubs allow 3 to 5 visits before you are asked to join.

Ask. Many clubs have a club trainer they let newbies use for a few tries.

Actually I have days when my post polio legs are acting up I just drive out for the bull sessions.

Tom

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