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Beginner Planes with SAFE

Old 08-15-2019, 01:22 PM
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Real2You
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Default Beginner Planes with SAFE

I was just curious what the seasoned flyers think about a beginner flying with SAFE select on their plane? Does it kind of stunt growth and give a person a false sense of security so to speak? Its pretty darn hard to crash a plane when in SAFE mode.....but you flip the switch and it's a whole different story.
Old 08-15-2019, 02:15 PM
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If you have a plane with that system, turn it off and leave it off. Part of learning to fly is learning to recover from situations where the plane gets out of shape. SAFE does that for you so you never learn to do it yourself. This is something we read about all the time here in the forums. For comparison, it's kind of like having a car with autobrakes(yes, that is a real thing). Since the car operates the brakes for you, you never learn how to properly use the brakes. Then the day comes where you have to drive a car without autobraking and have to stop it yourself. Since you've always relied on the car to stop safely and, not knowing how to use the brakes, you end up with a totaled car and a lawsuit because you hit someone. Now the question is "WHO IS AT FAULT?" Truth be told, YOU ARE AT FAULT because you're the one that never learned to actually drive a car.

Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 08-15-2019 at 02:20 PM.
Old 08-15-2019, 03:27 PM
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Real2You
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I bought a Horizon Hobby Timber to fly while I build a Sig Kadet and it is so darn easy to fly you really don't learn anything unless you are a complete beginner and even then you better turn off SAFE like you said after a few flights and learn the "real" way.
Old 08-15-2019, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Real2You View Post
I Its pretty darn hard to crash a plane when in SAFE mode
The problem is when you dumb down the controllability of the airplane you vastly increase the actual space you can fly it in. typically these silly systems often end up in tall trees, rooftops and even power lines.

These so called learning devices have been fostered on folks going all the way back first mass marketing of radio controlled airplanes in the nineteen sixties They all have a common denominator and that is, they don't work.

There is nothing that can beat the tried and proven buddy cord system and an experienced instructor. Using a cordless buddy box system improves the odds on success even more.

All of the above is just my opinion

John
Old 08-15-2019, 08:17 PM
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..

Last edited by JohnBuckner; 08-15-2019 at 08:19 PM. Reason: double post
Old 08-16-2019, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Real2You View Post
I was just curious what the seasoned flyers think about a beginner flying with SAFE select on their plane? Does it kind of stunt growth and give a person a false sense of security so to speak? Its pretty darn hard to crash a plane when in SAFE mode.....but you flip the switch and it's a whole different story.
Since , thanks to advances in computer technology , these devices do seem in fact to work by keeping the model from crashing , here's my opinion on their use ;

Of course , the first and best choice in learning to fly an RC model airplane IS the real life instructor route . The learning curve is much quicker when being mentored by an experienced teacher .
But , there are those folks who , for whatever reason , don't want to go the instructor route , and I will not attempt to analyze or denigrate their motives , obviously the industry believes there are enough of these people wanting to go it alone that they spent all that money developing , perfecting , and marketing things like SAFE .
But now what of the question of the stagnant skills aspect of having the plane fly FOR you rather than being flown BY you ?
Simple , anyone who is self taught with these systems has the choice to use them proactively . By this I mean that you let the plane fly itself to a safe and comfortable altitude (the proverbial "Three mistakes high") and then switch off the autopilot and learn to fly it up where you can't crash it , then use the crutch to get it back down in one piece . As the skills of flying up high progress begin pushing yourself again , you line the plane up for landing and let the autopilot finish the landing a few times , eventually landing it yourself totally without the help of the electronics . Ultimately it's up to each self taught pilot just how much they want to push themselves to learn VS having the plane fly itself for them , and the plane will only do just as much or little of the flying as the person at the controls decides it will .
Old 08-17-2019, 06:11 PM
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I agree with init4fun. I call the systems electronic training wheels. I didn't use one as a beginner, but I imagine after a while the SAFE system starts to become annoying just like training wheels do. Yes, absolutely a plane needs more space with SAFE than without since you can't do a hard bank and yank turn. Of course, I always recommend to beginners that if they can see a tree they can hit it, so try to get as much open space as possible. Sure, an instructor is better. But SAFE makes it possible for people to go it alone that wouldn't have been able to before. I'm a fan.
Old 08-17-2019, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
Since , thanks to advances in computer technology , these devices do seem in fact to work by keeping the model from crashing , here's my opinion on their use ;

Of course , the first and best choice in learning to fly an RC model airplane IS the real life instructor route . The learning curve is much quicker when being mentored by an experienced teacher .
But , there are those folks who , for whatever reason , don't want to go the instructor route , and I will not attempt to analyze or denigrate their motives , obviously the industry believes there are enough of these people wanting to go it alone that they spent all that money developing , perfecting , and marketing things like SAFE .
But now what of the question of the stagnant skills aspect of having the plane fly FOR you rather than being flown BY you ?
Simple , anyone who is self taught with these systems has the choice to use them proactively . By this I mean that you let the plane fly itself to a safe and comfortable altitude (the proverbial "Three mistakes high") and then switch off the autopilot and learn to fly it up where you can't crash it , then use the crutch to get it back down in one piece . As the skills of flying up high progress begin pushing yourself again , you line the plane up for landing and let the autopilot finish the landing a few times , eventually landing it yourself totally without the help of the electronics . Ultimately it's up to each self taught pilot just how much they want to push themselves to learn VS having the plane fly itself for them , and the plane will only do just as much or little of the flying as the person at the controls decides it will .
This captures the best use of these. Several of the instructors in my club use SAFE enabled airplanes to train on a buddy box. I'm 100% "old school" - glow engine on a buddy box. Yes, they turn it off after just one or two flights with a new student. But, as outlined, it can be very handy for stepping the student into good landing approaches, etc. It is a good set of training wheels...but are only that, and it should be dispensed with as quickly as possible.
Old 08-18-2019, 07:46 PM
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I agree that SAFE should only be used to get started to learn....what happens(at least with me) is you are having fun flying fast and turning quickly and doing all sorts of things(because it is fun) where you just used full right aileron or left and the plane turns and then presto...its back to level...I was thinking this is going to screw up my learning curve because there is no way when I flip the switch to turn SAFE off that I come remotely close to using the sticks the way I did in SAFE. I think I am going to join a club(contacted one somewhat close by) and learn with the help of some experienced flyers. Thanks for the input everyone its appreciated.
Old 08-18-2019, 08:20 PM
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A wise decision indeed Real2You. There is no doubt in my mind that this will be the key to your continued success.

John
Old 08-28-2019, 11:31 AM
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We used to have a very active training program at our club, but it is dwindling away recently, I believe because of the SAFE enabled aircraft. We have been training almost exclusively with electric Apprentice planes lately and our instructors have been training with the SAFE disabled. But many students today don't understand why they have to come back week after week trying to get a solo certificate. Often they will buy an Apprentice or similar and bring to training expecting to be flying immediately, and leave disappointing. In order to keep our train program active we really need to rethink how to deal with this modern technology, which is here to stay. Would you say we start them off using the SAFE and then encourage them to learn without, or have them try with SAFE disabled for a few flights, and then get them familiar with the SAFE? If we start with the SAFE I'm afraid they will get used to that and then end up just flying in parks and such. Hopefully newcomers to the hobby will want to continue with advanced models, and try building their own, and will need to learn the low-tech way.
Old 08-28-2019, 01:17 PM
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My opinion on safe is that it hinders your ability to grow in the hobby. I feel these plane with safe and gps are only 3 rotors (or less) away from a drone. I want to be able to fly my plane not have it fly for me. After my first flight on my carbon cub I took out the gps completely, and am now wanting to change the rx to one without safe. I feel you learn so much more when your on the sticks controlling the plane. I still think safe enabled plane should be available because maybe people aren't as comfortable pushing their limits as i am, but i feel that that is when you learn the most is when you push your limits. I feel this way about safe and I've only flown 10 batteries at most. I do also think that purchasing a simulator is a good idea because it give a similar feeling to flying even when you can't get to the field
Old 08-28-2019, 07:57 PM
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I'd say on the training issue that proper goal setting is the key. Establish that the goal is to be able to fly without it, and also to do not only circuits but basic aerobatics as well. A loop, roll, and hammerhead done under full control is not too much to ask.
Old 08-29-2019, 06:16 AM
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My opinion only but to me flying with Safe is nothing more than letting someone else fly your model.

Like Jester said, "proper goal setting is the key."
Establish your goals and pursue them with practice, practice and more practice. Under the eyes and hands of an instructor if you still need one. And being able to fly more than just a circuit is important. Full size require cross country flights for their tickets. Our equivalent is to fly different directions and handling basic maneuvers like loops, rolls and stalls. "Nice landing! Can you do it from the other direction?"
Old 08-30-2019, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
I agree with init4fun. I call the systems electronic training wheels. I didn't use one as a beginner, but I imagine after a while the SAFE system starts to become annoying just like training wheels do. Yes, absolutely a plane needs more space with SAFE than without since you can't do a hard bank and yank turn. Of course, I always recommend to beginners that if they can see a tree they can hit it, so try to get as much open space as possible. Sure, an instructor is better. But SAFE makes it possible for people to go it alone that wouldn't have been able to before. I'm a fan.
Electronic training wheels , Jester , you nailed it ! What a perfect description of what SAFE is and how it should be used !

Just as a student with a human instructor is expected to , the hopeful presumption would be that once the student of the electronic teacher develops skills beyond needing the electronic mentor , the real push would then be on themselves to want to fully learn to fly . Although I guess there may be some who would want the plane to fly itself for their entertainment , I'd like to think far more would choose to entertain themselves by skillfully flying the plane , pushing themselves beyond beginner status up to doing the loops , rolls , and hammerheads that you mention (which I also agree with , anyone above beginner had best be able to do at least those three)
Old 08-30-2019, 06:35 PM
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And if they don't, who cares? They are still buying models, having a good time, and enjoying the hobby. There is way too much purism among us. Let people have a good time as long as they are safe.
Old 08-31-2019, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
And if they don't, who cares? They are still buying models, having a good time, and enjoying the hobby. There is way too much purism among us. Let people have a good time as long as they are safe.
Yep , it don't affect how I enjoy the hobby one bit whether people want to be participants by flying their models VS being spectators to it flying itself . I do believe most who are into such a technical hobby will be of a mind to want to do the flying , but like I said in my first post to the thread I will not denigrate anybody's motives in any way as to how they enjoy the hobby .

No purism here ....
Old 09-01-2019, 03:32 PM
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Carbon cub flyer here. I am in a club, AMA member ya da ya da ya da.

i cannot deny SAFE is like having training wheels on. I flew for a couple weeks with it on and then turned it off. If I haven’t been able to fly in a couple weeks I might revert back for one battery before switching it back off.

What exasperated me was was the special GPS technology with autoland and airspace limits. Did not at all like having the computer take over when it wasn’t necessary. The safety no fly zone (pits) zone mysterious jumping to block landing on the field. I pulled the Gps box and called horizon. They sent me a new gps but I am not going to put it in.

That kind of technology and all the motions you you need to make it work is overwhelming to a tyro. Like getting a drink from a fire house, quite counterproductive.
Old 09-01-2019, 06:06 PM
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Yes, that GPS fence is pretty ridiculous on a plane. It makes sense on an FPV drone since people love to take those out as far as they can, but not on a plane. I personally think the SAFE system is overdone/overfeatured, but it works. I'd rather suggest something cheaper with the stability feature and the self-righting stuff.
Old 09-03-2019, 06:22 AM
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Agreed. Nothing worse for a nervous beginner to make a long landing approach and on the descent you get below the 50 foot lower limit in the computer and it hits max throttle and swoops up on its own.

I tried their autolanding feature too. I didnít like it and it nearly every time flipped the plane over on the rollout. Busted my rudder tip too. That is when I decided my own landings were better than theirs. The program takes over the throttle and you are supposed to leave it at 100%, it will use the throttle it needs up to the position of the stick so if you leave it at 25% all it can use is 25%, that will set you up to land short of the runway as I found out. You can adjust your approach throttle a bit......with the elevator control. Yes that is right, when you activate the autoland your ability to adjust the approach is with throttle but itís on your elevator stick now. The landing technique with throttle is quite valid but I donít like it jumping over to the elevator stick. Bad training in my opinion.

as3x fine, I like it, iíll Take it.
a bit of wing leveling, ok sometimes.

taking over total control, no thank you.

edit, ok that panic button is nice. I used it a lot in the beginning.

Last edited by SteelonSteel; 09-03-2019 at 06:26 AM.
Old 11-13-2019, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
And if they don't, who cares? They are still buying models, having a good time, and enjoying the hobby. There is way too much purism among us. Let people have a good time as long as they are safe.
A little late but one of the best answers i heard in a long time.
Iím too a safe beginner and turn it off when iím up high in the air
Sometimes even land without safe
Old 11-18-2019, 09:24 PM
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I don't know, but I get a kick out of my ParkZone Butch O'Hara's F4F Wildcat with safe. I'm an intermediate flyer, and sometimes it's just fun to have a plane I go out to the field and throw it and it stays level on its own and also on landing. I usually switch it off when I'm just flying it around because with "Safe" it is just too limiting. Also I was once out with it on a pretty breezy day and kind of lost it, then just switched the Safe on, she leveled out and I (she) was fine. So I wouldn't want to be stuck on the "Safe" mode for most of the flight, but it is fun to have it. She pretty much basically lands by herself.
Old 11-20-2019, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
Yes, that GPS fence is pretty ridiculous on a plane. It makes sense on an FPV drone since people love to take those out as far as they can, but not on a plane. I personally think the SAFE system is overdone/overfeatured, but it works. I'd rather suggest something cheaper with the stability feature and the self-righting stuff.
Interesting thread. How does the fence work as in how does it know the confines? Also, how does the SAFE system know where to land?
Old 11-21-2019, 06:37 AM
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For me with my ParkZone Wildcat, it doesn't have GPS. So for the landing I fly it to a location that I believe is a good spot to start the descent to landing. Turn on Safe, throttle all the way down and she will stay level and will land unassisted. Takeoffs with safe on, 3/4 throttle and as level a toss forward and she'll just climb out level. At the 1:50 minute mark illustrates how it works on the Wilcat.
I already have a Spektrum radio and batteries, so for $150, it's a bargain. Great grab and go plane, flew it yesterday in chilly/breezy Chicagoland weather. Fun. If you're a rank beginner, go with the Appentice.
Old 02-17-2020, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by AllModesR/C View Post
Interesting thread. How does the fence work as in how does it know the confines? Also, how does the SAFE system know where to land?

it has GPS. When you start up it goes through a gps find me mode. You taxi or place it on the runway and hit the bind button until it wags. That lets it know the airfield location and the preferred landing direction.

As as far as the fence that is part of the boot up, in the manual there are steps where you hold the sticks in a certain manner to set the mode, one small ring which is annoyingly small, a larger ring. Then there is the mode where the field is blocked to the side of the flierís positions.


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