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Beginner questions

Old 07-18-2020, 03:58 AM
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12Harris12
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Hello,

I Want to build my first model airplane and have some questions:

1) Should I build my first model from scratch or should I buy a construction Kit?

2) What material is easier for beginners to work with: foam board or Wood?

Thanks in advance
Old 07-18-2020, 11:24 AM
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That really depends on your experience with working with wood and if you've built anything in the past. My thought is this:
  • IF you can understand the plans and what they are telling you AND you have the tools and know how to use them, you could probably build from plans
  • If you are unsure about reading plans or don't have the tools needed to make the parts, go with a kit
As far an foam or wood, I would go with wood. While foam is a viable option, it requires glues that are compatible with it. Building from wood allows you to use readily available wood glues, epoxies and CA(otherwise known as super glue). There are a few things you do need to be aware of when it comes to building a plane:
1) Plans generally don't have any instructions so you will need to be able to figure things out as you go while most kits do have instructions included. Sig kits have very detailed instructions included so that you don't have to figure things out, just follow the instructions and you will end up with a flyable plane
2) Since this is your first plane, you will want to build one that is fairly simple. A trainer would be a good option for this as they are generally easier to build
3) Do you have a flying site available and if so, how large is it? A smaller site would make a smaller plane a better choice as they need less room while, on the other hand, a very large open area will be more suited to a larger plane since you will tend to fly it further away and being able to see it can become an issue
4) Do you have any experience flying an R/C aircraft? If you do, you have more options available but, if not, I would recommend sticking to a high wing trainer.

I hope all of this helps
Old 07-19-2020, 02:29 AM
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12Harris12
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Hi,
thanks for all the infos. I think I will get a construction kit. Is there a sig kit you would recommend for me?

Old 07-19-2020, 03:32 AM
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I would look at one of three kits:
1) The Kadet MKII This one is the smallest of the series and the easiest to build due to having a full box fuselage. The sides are balsa sheets with all the part locations laid out for you, The top and bottom are also sheeted, after the sides are completed and glued together
2) The Kadet Senior This one has a stick framework fuselage behind the cockpit area and clear plastic windows. It is the largest of the Kadet series and the hardest to build
3) The Kadet Seniorita This one has the Senior's construction with a smaller size, closer to the MKII.
All of these can be built as a tricycle geared or tail dragger so you can configure it as desired. For more information on these, the links are below:
https://sigmfg.com/collections/sig-k...et-mark-ii-kit
https://sigmfg.com/collections/sig-k...det-senior-kit
https://sigmfg.com/collections/sig-k...-seniorita-kit
Old 07-19-2020, 11:29 AM
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speedracerntrixie
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No doubt that the Kadet is a very popular trainer, thousands of guys have learned to fly them and some long time R/C pilots like to keep them around for just a fun to fly airplane. Hydro is correct that Sig build instructions are quite good, the kit quality is OK. Some of them also have a plastic engine cowling that you would need to paint. The rub on that is spray cans that will withstand exposure to fuel are pretty much nonexistent these days. You really can't go wrong with a Kadet however let me throw some food for thought at you.

I personally like a trainer with a bit more capability. The Kadet series all have a flat bottomed wing that limits it's flight performance. Not really a big deal as nobody just getting started needs a trainer that is capable of some aerobatics. However what that flat bottomed wing does is give the airplane lots of positive stability. Sounds great right? What this means is that if you get into a shallow dive the airplane will pick up speed and self recover. That also sounds great right? However nothing is for free, this also means that everytime the airplane has a change of airspeed it will either climb or dive slightly. Some guys do prefer this type of setup as most full scale airplanes " trim " in the same manner. With a trainer with a symmetrical wing ( same curvature top and bottom ) you can initially set it up to have this same positive stability by placing the center of gravity slightly forward then as you progress you can move the center of gravity back a little to expand the airplanes capabilities and use the same airplane to learn some basic aerobatics.


https://hangaronekits.com/collection...12235272519768
Old 07-19-2020, 01:28 PM
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Speed, he's looking for a "first build", not a second or third. If he want's more capability, just lower the wingtips and add ailerons and now it can do some basic aerobatics. IF he was looking for a plane that is aerobatic capable right out of the box, I would have suggested the Astro Hog or Kobra, not a Kadet. He hasn't even said if he's flown before or not so the Kadet was a given as a first plane either way. How about we leave it up to him and let him see if my suggestions are what he wants and not try to have him reinvent the wheel
Old 07-19-2020, 01:51 PM
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speedracerntrixie
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How about we give him enough information to make an informed decision? Exploring options is not reinventing the wheel. I actually did my solo and a lot of follow on learning on my Bridi Trainer like the one I linked back in 1978. Because it was a trainer that was able to grow with me as I learned as opposed to one I grew out of I was able to move straight to Q500 racing after loosing it in a midair.

Last edited by speedracerntrixie; 07-19-2020 at 02:15 PM.
Old 07-19-2020, 07:06 PM
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jester_s1
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Number 1 beginner mistake: Focusing too much on the plane.
True, you can't do this hobby without a plane, but the point is the doing.
Do you plan to join a club or know a few people who are already into RC flying and will help you? The Sig kits listed above are all very well proven designs, but you'll need piloting skills to be able to fly them. I don't say that to discourage you, just to help you be successful.
So, if you want to fly the larger planes like those above (and have the budget for it), look into joining a club first. Most offer training, so you can work with an instructor even while building usually.
Old 07-19-2020, 08:11 PM
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Jester, I did bring up the piloting experience issue under #4 back in post 2. It was also why I disagreed with Speed over looking at a more advance and aerobatic trainer. The questions are very simple at this point:
1) Does he want to build the plane to learn how to just build one?
2) Does he want to build the plane to learn how so he can also learn how to fly it?
He has said nothing about learning to fly, but does want to learn how to build. That has been the basis of my posts so far so, until he tells me otherwise, that's the path I'm taking
Old 07-19-2020, 08:42 PM
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J330
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If you don't want to go postal in your neighborhood, or hurt yourself and your family, never build a Kadet Senior. It's for people with dementia, or medicated for dementia perhaps, that can tolerate such a convoluted build and not notice. It's for the insane, designed by the insane. If you have one ready to fly, that's a different story, they fly great, if you can transport it in a mini van or truck. Huge wingspan and long fuselage, not easy to store either. The Kadet Senior is the most started and most abandoned kit ever made.

Get a smaller plane, without all the wooden match sticks for a bird cage style of construction and you'll thank me later. Senorita is a similar bird cage design, but somewhat smaller in size. Beautiful flying characteristic (I have one) but to build, no. I bought mine ready to fly for $125, sold the engine off it for $90 and threw a used Magnum 52 4 stroke on it, still cutting the dowels off it and upgrading to nylon bolts for the wing, because I don't do rubber bands since my last crash was in 2009, I don't need them or want them in any case.

The Kadet MKII gets my vote and the LT-40 that wasn't mentioned. Easy to build, fast to build, you won't lose your mind building it, and they also fly well, are both durable trainers to some degree, but certainly not the most durable.

If you abandon SIG and want something else, the STICK 40 PLUS from BALSA USA is a fast easy build, and an excellent trainer for little money. I learned to fly on it, had a FP 40 for power that had a ton of castor stains on it. This plane was given to me free, after it trained 6 other people at the field and looked like grandma's quilt of monokote patches. I stripped it down to the wood and covered it in one color, and then after I was ready for a low wing trainer, I passed it on to the 8th beginner at the field. Another words, that plane survived more crashes than any other plane on the planet, and kept on going. Something to consider, when the bird cage designs SIG puts out, can't hardly lay any claims to that sort of durability when you auger one in hard.

P.S.
No offense to anyone suffering dementia, it's my twisted sense of humor. I presume no one here has such a disease.

Last edited by J330; 07-19-2020 at 08:46 PM.
Old 07-19-2020, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by J330 View Post
If you don't want to go postal in your neighborhood, or hurt yourself and your family, never build a Kadet Senior. It's for people with dementia, or medicated for dementia perhaps, that can tolerate such a convoluted build and not notice. It's for the insane, designed by the insane. If you have one ready to fly, that's a different story, they fly great, if you can transport it in a mini van or truck. Huge wingspan and long fuselage, not easy to store either. The Kadet Senior is the most started and most abandoned kit ever made.

Get a smaller plane, without all the wooden match sticks for a bird cage style of construction and you'll thank me later. Senorita is a similar bird cage design, but somewhat smaller in size. Beautiful flying characteristic (I have one) but to build, no. I bought mine ready to fly for $125, sold the engine off it for $90 and threw a used Magnum 52 4 stroke on it, still cutting the dowels off it and upgrading to nylon bolts for the wing, because I don't do rubber bands since my last crash was in 2009, I don't need them or want them in any case.

The Kadet MKII gets my vote and the LT-40 that wasn't mentioned. Easy to build, fast to build, you won't lose your mind building it, and they also fly well, are both durable trainers to some degree, but certainly not the most durable.

If you abandon SIG and want something else, the STICK 40 PLUS from BALSA USA is a fast easy build, and an excellent trainer for little money. I learned to fly on it, had a FP 40 for power that had a ton of castor stains on it. This plane was given to me free, after it trained 6 other people at the field and looked like grandma's quilt of monokote patches. I stripped it down to the wood and covered it in one color, and then after I was ready for a low wing trainer, I passed it on to the 8th beginner at the field. Another words, that plane survived more crashes than any other plane on the planet, and kept on going. Something to consider, when the bird cage designs SIG puts out, can't hardly lay any claims to that sort of durability when you auger one in hard.

P.S.
No offense to anyone suffering dementia, it's my twisted sense of humor. I presume no one here has such a disease.
And that is why I threw in the MKII. I've built a Jr, the MKII's smaller sibling and know it's a fairly easy build. That said, there have been probably thousands of Seniors and Senioritas built over the years and, if build properly, they are not only good flyers but also good to learn with. I'm seriously considering a Senior as a project plane though, as I normally do, I'll be doing some serious modifying to the wings and maybe the fuse as well
Old 07-20-2020, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
And that is why I threw in the MKII. I've built a Jr, the MKII's smaller sibling and know it's a fairly easy build. That said, there have been probably thousands of Seniors and Senioritas built over the years and, if build properly, they are not only good flyers but also good to learn with. I'm seriously considering a Senior as a project plane though, as I normally do, I'll be doing some serious modifying to the wings and maybe the fuse as well
So you are assuming that the Op wants to build a trainer but may have no intention of flying? How is it you can scoff at my suggestion based on flying characteristics then? And didn't you state just earlier in the weekend that under current circumstances that building a model airplane is a waste of money?
Old 07-20-2020, 10:52 AM
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I said I'm not going to finish mine right now, not that I'd discourage someone else.
I also said I am basing my posts on his wanting to learn to build, not whether he knows how to fly or not.
Old 07-21-2020, 07:00 AM
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I didn't mean to rain on anyone's parade earlier. But we do see these kinds of threads enough on RCU to generally know what's going on. Most beginners see getting the plane as the only step in starting the hobby. Then they get frustrated and quit when the ratio of flying time to repair gets up around 3 seconds / 2 weeks. If the OP does just want to build a plane, he can build whatever he wants. But if he wants to get started in the hobby without much frustration, he needs to think beyond the airplane and get with some experienced pilots who will teach him.
Old 07-21-2020, 10:02 AM
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Not raining on my parade, considering I agree with you. I'm almost thinking we have someone that's flown something and wants to step up to the next level.

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