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Questions from a newb.

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Questions from a newb.

Old 06-10-2024, 01:37 AM
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Default Questions from a newb.

A few questions, I learned to build and fly RC planes as a kid. Lately I have been wanting to renter the hobby.
There are a lot of changes I have seen and I wonder about them. Cynoacrylic glue seems to be all the rage. Is it better than wood glue? I want to build the aircraft like a brick to take hard landings and such. Is the use of a instant bonding spray a good idea? It seems like it would make the glue more brittle?
Electric vs gas? I only flew nitro. It seems like there are many new options. Is it better to run fuel or battery?
Prior to all the follow up, my first build is going to be a tail dragger, high wing, simple build. I am looking for a kit that uses rubber bands on the wing.
also, my town is in the middle of nowhere population 800. No nearby clubs or fields but a boatload of farm fields. So I appreciate any guidance more experienced people have. And thank you!
Old 06-10-2024, 08:22 AM
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I fly nitro, largely because I have a lifetimes worth of accumulated nitro stuff. Unless you have already have a bunch of nitro stuff on hand I would recommend electric. Most of the stuff available now days is geared toward the electric fliers. You can always jump back in to nitro ,or gas even, if the notion suits you later. I would suggest grabbing an ARF like an Apprentice just for the sake of getting back into the air. That can get you flying while you decide what you want to build.
As for glues. Cyano glues are pretty much the go to for most wood construction. The are strong and set up quickly. You do have to be careful not to glue yourself to the model though. I build a lot and only occasionally use accelerator. Usually I am tacking something in place and coming back with more glue later. CA glues are not usually foam friendly, so if you are working with foam of mixed foam wood construction. Titebond II is a popular wood glue and there are still the epoxies. Some people still even go with the Ambroid type glues. That stuff is harder to find but it is still around. The old school, high wing, rubber band attach models are largely a thing of the past. Balsa USA has a couple but mostly you will be looking at auction sites and the marketplace threads on the forums like this one for old kits. There are also a few vendors who are reproducing some of the old kits. I've built a couple of banded on wings in the last year and honestly, bolt on wings are much more convenient and will widen the field of available kits considerably. I don't know what your budget is, but one of the flight simulators that will run on the computer is also a big help when you are trying to operate solo.
Old 06-10-2024, 11:04 AM
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Oh, the r/c world sure has changed. Amazing, the changes I have seen being in this hobby around 40 years.

Good advice above. Both power sources have their advantages...and disadvantages. It cannot correctly be said that one is better than the other, as it is 100% subjective. I find engines vastly more enjoyable than motors, for general flying, but some of my specialized planes are better served with a motor than an engine. Side note: I am not one of those silly people who call an internal combustion engine a motor. A motor is powered by electricity.

Regarding glue, some people love CA (cyanoacrylate), some people hate it, and some people use it only when it is advantageous to them (like me). Most all general purpose gluing by me is done with aliphatic (Titebond, etc.). It is very strong, a tiny bit flexible and shock-resistant, it gives you a few minutes to get everything aligned before beginning to set up, and it can be sanded (not fun or real well, but possible). Plus, it becomes lighter as it dries (physical reaction). CA and epoxy don't change their weight when they cure (chemical reaction). I never use CA to glue a structure together, but I do use thin CA to soak in and harden wood at threads and mounting point, and medium or thin CA to tack things together, usually to hold things in place while another glue sets up. I presume the "instant bonding spray" that you mention is accelerator for CA glue. It can come in handy sometimes, for causing medium or thick CA glue to cure in seconds, instead of minutes.

Kit manufactures have become few and far between, for several reasons (long story). As mentioned, there is Balsa USA. Also Old School Modelworks. They both make very good kits. I suggest using real caution if you choose to buy directly from SIG Manufacturing, but no worries about buying their products from vendors who actually have their product on hand.

This forum doesn't show where you live, but if in the USA, one issue you will face, if not flying at an official flying field recognized by the AMA and FAA, is that you are now legally required to have a remote ID module in your plane, and register it and you with our wonderful government (Big Brother IS watching). Without an RFID, I can no longer legally fly my little electric helicopter or drone in my subdivision front yard, and have to take them to my club field. Long story on these RFID's, and I don't own any, so maybe someone can fill you in on the details about those.
Old 06-10-2024, 02:40 PM
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The above two post are great advice.
Overall cost for a trainer sized plane, electric or glow is in the same range. With glow fuel around $30-$35 per gallon, it can get expensive, but a .40 size trainer generally is easy on fuel anyway, so it doesn't hurt too much. Assume 10-15 min. flights on a glow trainer.
Electric means no cleaning at the end of the day. Flight times tend to be less at 8-12 min. Support equipment needed is less than glow, but glow items are cheaper - a battery/ni-starter for starting the engine, perhaps a handheld starter, small 12v battery for the starter, fuel pump to fill the tank. For electric, a suitable charger for the batteries, a couple spare batteries, and after the first time your car won't start due to charging batteries too many times off the engine battery, a separate large 12v battery to use instead (plus a charger for that). But no ongoing costs for fuel.
The Apprentice is a great plane to learn on. It does push you into buying Spektrum radio gear, however. (Yeah, there are other options - but the learning curve can be steep to use them). But then you can spend time on building the kit of the plane you really want.

CA? - it is pretty much all I use anymore. It depends on near perfect joints - very poor at gap filling. Extremely strong. Not great for items that have to be carefully positioned, that you may want to tweak a bit. Nor is it good for large areas, like fuselage doublers (sets too fast). For that I turn to the older glues mentioned. The spray just speeds the hardening, but doesn't add or subtract from strength.

And the note about needing the remote module in the USA is right on. Your choice as to how legal you want to be. Kind of "Is it OK to speed if no troopers are on the highway?" situation.
Old 06-10-2024, 07:30 PM
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The three responses above are all valid and worthwhile, to which I will add a few additional comments.

CA has its uses, but it is not water proof, nor is it particularly fuel proof for years. It can be stronger than the balsa wood pieces being joined if the joints are tight, and especially if a little bit of baking soda is applied to make a small fillet before applying the CA. I normally use it for smaller joints such rib/spar, stringer/bulkhead, or cap strips joints. I prefer aliphatic resin glue (Titebond) when laminating large surfaces, and I use epoxy on highly stressed plywood components like firewalls.

If there are no clubs near by with a Federally Recognized Identification Area (FRIA), then (per the FAA) you must have remote identification capability on your model if it weighs over 250 grams fueled and ready to fly. A Remote ID module will set you back about $100. Spektrum is advertising one that just plugs into your receiver.

Power: Nitro, electric or gasoline power, I like and fly them all. Electric is the only viable power source for ducted fan (jet) models. Electric is is great for smaller models, but the batteries start getting heavy and quite expensive for the larger models. I like engines, both glow and gasoline. I grew up on glow engines, but I prefer gasoline engines for my bigger models (over 12 pounds flying weight) because it is much cleaner than glow and the gas mix is so much cheaper than the $30/gallon glow fuel, especially when running 16 to 20 ounce tanks. For my smaller models, I usually go electric because they are simply stone cold reliable. Electrics always start instantly, are essentially vibration free and with a little care, will last until crashed. The down side is the cost of multiple batteries and chargers and learning the proper care and handling precautions needed to keep lithium polymer batteries from catching fire, either from improper charging or from (crash) damage.

Radio equipment: You did not say if you still have viable radio equipment. If it is on 72mhz, then it is old, but may still be legal if it is narrow band. I would suggest new equipment on 2.4 ghz because it will be much lighter than the stuff from 20 or 30 years ago. The two largest selling radio brands in America are Spektrum and Futaba, but each brand uses their own different spread spectrum technology and the two brands are not compatible/interchangeable. Both are good, but personally I find Spektrum transmitters are easier to program than Futaba.

As for a kit with rubber-band-on wings, the best bet is to search for an older kit on ebay. However, let me say that since you are getting back into the hobby, and assuming that you once were proficient enough to safely fly by yourself, then a club may not be totally necessary since you already have access to the necessary open space. IF this is the case, then I would like to suggest that you re-enter the hobby with a HobbyZone AeroScout S 2 1.1 meter span Ready to Fly trainer. It is currently on sale for Fathers Day from Horizon Hobby for $174.99 until June 16, 2024 ($199.99 after that). It comes with the receiver and 4 servos already installed and includes an entry level Spektrum DXS 7 channel transmitter. (You will want to upgrade to a better programable transmitter some time later, but the DXS transmitter makes a great buddy box for training and the price difference between the RTF combo with the transmitter and without it as a Bind 'n Fly is normally only $20, but with the sale price, it is essentially "free"). To complete the set you will need a remote ID module (since you are not flying at a club FRIA) , 2 or 3 lipo batteries (3S-2200 mah with an EC3 connector plug) and a suitable Lipo battery charger. A 3S-2200 mah battery will fly the Aeroscout for 8 minutes of reasonably hard flying, but I managed to get 26 minutes out of mine by flying at minimal throttle and finding a few decent thermals. The AeroScout has tricycle landing gear with large tires that will easily fly off any grass surface that is mowed to about 2" tall. It has a pusher propeller configuration that decreases the chance of breaking the prop or bending the motor shaft in case of a bad landing. Yes, it is butt-ugly and made of foam, but it flies exceedingly well and can easily handle windy/gusty conditions with its AS3X (Assisted Stability 3 Axis) gyro system that is part of the receiver. It's wide low slung gear allows it to taxi in winds that would tip over an Apprentice. The AeroScout can fly the entire novice sport pattern series of maneuvers on high control rates, including outside loops and climbing knife edge flight. I bought one to use at my club for a trainer, but I ended up flying it just for fun way more often than I ever anticipated. It would serve you well while you are building something else.
Old 06-11-2024, 06:28 AM
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I have been flying R/C and CL since 1975!
I prefer glow powered airplanes but I have some electric models too. The positive thing about glow engines is that you can fuel them up and fly more quickly than a comparable electric plane where you have to either charge the Lipo batteries or take with you spare batteries.
The airplane below is what I started flying with in 1975 when I was 21 years old,but that plane is no more (sold it). The below plane is called "Lill-Johanna" and was build by me two years ago of nostalgic reasons. "Lill-Johanna" was constructed by Bo Gårdstad, a famous constructor of airplane models here in Sweden in 1975 (Plans for it was published in the magazine "Allt om Hobby" (everything about hobby).
Plans for it are still available from "MBS models" here in Sweden.
"Lill-Johanna" is 1600cm in span and weigh around 1,5kg (1500g) and is powered by an OS FP .25 engine (The original in 1975 was powered by an OS MAX .25). Only three servos are needed as you control the plane with only elevator, side rudder and throttle. But you ,at least I ,use right stick to control both rudder and elevator and throttle is on the left stick on planes with just side rudder as stearing. On all other plane the right stick controls aileron/elevator and left stick throttle/side rudder, but as I am right handed I prefer to have the right stick controlling side rudder on planes with only rudder as stearing metod.

When It comes to what radios to use there are many brands to choose from , many Chinese but I use 2,4GHz Spektrum radios, but I still have my trusty old 35MHz (In Europe we use 35MHz radios for flying) JR radio left that I still use on some models.

Old 06-11-2024, 07:00 AM
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Caution: When using Cyanoacrylate glue do not hang your head above it and look down at it. The fumes will get in your eyes and literally destroy your eyes. I find it's handy to have a bottle of the accelerator spray on my hobby table. Sometimes I find using it to be beneficial.
Old 06-12-2024, 02:29 AM
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I have been using Ca glue since it came out in 1975 (Hot stuff) in all my models.

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