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Totally new, need help in deciding

Old 05-24-2003, 04:42 AM
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csisfun
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

I'm gonna buy a RC plane tomorrow, but i really have a lot of problems deciding. I am very new to this hobby, I've read a little about RC planes and stuff.
After much research, I've decided I want an electric plane, because gas planes are too fast for me.
I'm also going for a high winged plane.
I'm still having a problem deciding on my radio, but I'm leaning towards the Futaba range.
What do you think?
What was your first plane like?
Old 05-24-2003, 12:34 PM
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ballgunner
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

If you are going to go electric I suggest the Sig Rascal. The ony thing you will have to decide is color. It comes with the motor and speed control installed. Futaba makes good radios as does Hitec. I suggest you install Hitec HS81 servos. Get the battery recommended by Sig or if possible one with higher mAh rating as long as you stay within the weight range. This is a very nice flying aircraft and if you get a Futaba or Hitec 4 channel they will both have provisions for a buddy cord. This is a nice feature for learning to fly with an instructor which you should do by all means. If you just want a park flyer and don't want to spend a lot try the GWS Slow Stick. My last one cost $188 ready to fly. It too is a good trainer type.
Welcome to the world of RC, the most fun you can have while standing on the ground.
Old 05-24-2003, 12:38 PM
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ballgunner
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

P.S. My first model plane was a Bunch Super Scorpion with a Baby Cyclone. Free flight needless to say. This was in the thirties. I hope you have as much fun as I've had over the years. I'll be 79 in June and I'm still active in RC.
Old 05-24-2003, 01:15 PM
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airmark
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

Been in RC for about 7 years however I've only built one electric. It was a Sig Mirage 550, a nice building kit but as practically all my experience was with gassies, I felt it was underpowered, especially when it came to taxiing on a grass runway. Modern electrics (I understand) have plenty of power though.

When it comes to radios I’d strongly encourage you to go w/ Futaba. They may be a few bucks more than a Hitec but I think they “store” better over the long winter. This is probably a function of the Tx battery and the fact that they are hard wired to the radio rather than attached w/ a detachable plug (be advised that this is just my guess, I’ve no technical data to support this observation).

Let me join w/ ballgunner in welcoming you to the RC hobby!
Old 05-24-2003, 09:26 PM
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csisfun
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

Thanks for the advice.
I've seen the Sig Rascal, it looks OK, hope it flies good. It comes with an engine, includes MAXX Speed 400 motor and gear box, SIG's state-of-the-art 20 amp electronic speed control. Are these good stuff?
And which futaba should I go for?
Old 05-24-2003, 10:17 PM
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airmark
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

SIG is a top manufacturer and you can be confident of getting good stuff from them.

I like the Futaba 4-channel FM. Any aircraft channel (frequency) UNLESS there is some serious RF interference where you plan to fly. The best way to find out about radio glitches particular to a channel is to ask other RC hobbyists in your area.
Old 05-24-2003, 10:55 PM
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

Many Futaba radios have the batteries plug in with the same type plug as used on the RX swith harness. (Current...6DA and the old Super 7 for sure, and I know I've seen otheres but can't remember the model numbers) The low end 4 ch Futaba radios have a different plug on the TX battery, and you have to remove screws from the case to access the plug. I don't know of ANY Futaba TX equipped with NiCds where you can't unplug the battery.

Same goes for Hitech...

Since both use Sanyo cells, there should be no difference in their batteries. (except the plugs, maybe...) There's one theory shot down.
*******

Electric planes are not necessarilly slower than glow powered planes. This should not be the reason for choosing one over the other. You will be VERY hard pressed to find an electric plane that flies as slowly as the Dynaflite Butterfly. (99 inch span, just under 1000 sq in wing, stalls about 13 mph, top speed appx 30 mph.) I know of some electric planes that fly in excess of 90 mph too...
If you REALLY want a slow flying trainer... get the Butterfly, or a 2 meter sailplane with a .074 engine added. (Sig riser, Goldberg Gentle Lady... many others. Plans for most sailplanes show how to add an engine.) You could even electric power the Butterfly... it can handle a 5 lb payload with a .15 to .25 glow engine, so 1 lb of batteries and an Astro 25 electric drive would be fine.
Old 05-25-2003, 01:06 AM
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csisfun
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

i really dont want such a slow one, and i dont think i can get that here. the rascal looks good, i think i'll be going for that. i want a plane which i wont outgrow in a few months.
then im sold for a futaba.
what are glow engines?
what engine should i get? is OS engine 25FX a gas engine? if so, wot electric engine should i get, which will last me through the years?
Old 05-25-2003, 01:20 AM
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csisfun
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

I just found another plane, called Happy Fly, from World Models. It's real cheap, and I'm thinking of buying it over the Sig.
What do you think?
Old 05-25-2003, 02:16 AM
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

a glow engine use a mix of nitromethane, methanol and oil for fuel, they operate on a variation of the diesel prnciple where combustion from one power stroke provides the heat needed for igniting the fuel-air mix for the next power stroke. (true diesels need just the compression and adequate ambient temperature to get the fuel-air mix to ignite) The glow plug (while connected to a battery) provides heat for the initial ignition, and acts to retain heat long enough for the subsequent ignitions.

Nitromethane (nitro) is actually an optional part of the fuel mix. Most glow engines would run without it. The nitro, in relatively low concentrations acts as an accelerant for burning the methanol, helping the engine produce more power. In high concentrations, the nitro becomes the primary fuel, with the methanol becoming a stabilizer, slowing combustion rate.

Glow engines are popular for model aircraft because of reliablility and the high power provided by these small engines. (the fuel is expensive... and if the glow engines didn't have these advantages, we'd be using gasoline engines) Also, with no intermitent spark ignition system, these engine don't produce significant interference with the radio systems.
********

The O.S. .25 is a Glow engine, Gas engines need a spark ignition system.

The electric drive system needed will depend on your final chioce of aircraft. Depending on size, weight, and desired performance (and your budget...), you have to select the motor, gearbox (if any) speed controller, battery, charger... The newer brushless motors will last longer and provide better power for the amount of electric current used, but they are somewhat expensive, and the speed controllers for them are much more expensive then a simple "ESC" which is appropriate for brush type motors.

Generally, a beginner should get an inexpensive brush type motor and ESC system. Less $$$$ destroyed if you dive straght into a concrete sidewalk. You'll find that the Rascal is available with a package deal including an appropriate motor. (probably one of the better choices you could make if going electric...)

Never heard of or seen the "Happy Fly"... Got a link to an ad for it? We KNOW the Rascal is a decent choice (either the electrc or the glow powered version.)
Old 05-25-2003, 08:22 AM
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csisfun
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

OK, like i said in previous posts, the rascal was packed with an engine.
the happy fly is featured on this website. try the product guide.
Old 05-25-2003, 11:51 AM
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csisfun
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

seems like everyone flies glow. if i go glow, im going for happy fly 20. do glow planes last for years? if i'm going glow, wot engine should i go for?
Old 05-25-2003, 02:06 PM
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

I've seen glow powered planes survive up to 25 years of regular flying. I've also seen poorly maintained, improperly fuel-proofed glow models destroyed by fuel soaking of the wood in less than 3 months.

I know of no ARF that is actually fuelproofed properly... All need more fuelproofing in the firewall area, and it never hurts to fuelproof the fuel tank area (plus provide a drain hole in case the tank leaks...) Kits from the 1970's and 1980's usually said to paint the fuel tank compartment for this reason. I'm not sure why this is no longer noted in modern kit instructions.

Best I've done is to have a plane survive just short of 2 years... I tend to get overconfident and try some manever too close to a tree or something. [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif[/img]
Old 05-25-2003, 02:10 PM
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csisfun
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

scary. OK then, i think i'll go for a glow engine. Gas prices are scary. So how do u clean a glow engine plane?
Old 05-25-2003, 07:57 PM
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Lots of people use Windex or similar spray cleaners. I mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a pint of water and put that in an old Windex bottle.

Be careful with some cleaners... "Green Gator" and some of the other green colored degreasers can affect the adhesive of Monokote, lifting the edge of the covering.
Old 05-25-2003, 10:16 PM
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I have used a bunch of different cleaners on planes over the years. One of the younger fliers at our field got me to try Baby Wipes (whichever is the cheapest brand you can find). This is the easiest way to clean up a plane that I have come across. The wipes pick up the oil/fuel residue very readily and leaves the finish looking like it was polished. And, the plane has a pleasant smell to it when you are done.
Old 05-26-2003, 05:51 AM
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csisfun
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

got a dilemma... should I get a 25FX or 40FX?
OK i'm gonna buy from 2 separate shops. I'm gonna buy the plane from one, the rest from the other shop. what should i from the other shop?
Old 05-26-2003, 11:04 AM
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If going with a .20 size aircraft, you'll be best off with the .25. The .40 would be heavy for the small plane, and would adversely affect performance. (more power is NOT always better)

You should note that there are a LOT more kits/ARFs/RTFs for .40 size than for the .25. The cost difference for a .40 size plane vs the .20 size plane... is not much.
Old 05-26-2003, 12:40 PM
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csisfun
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

OK, does that mean i should go for a .40 engine instead? if so, im going for a world models world star 40 or Super Frontier 40 . that is still a top-winged right?
OK, so I have to buy these 3 things:
Trainer, engine and radio.
are these all i need?

I thank all of you a lot for helping me out. I'm so terribly indecisive because im young, and $500 is really a sum that needs serious consideration.
Once again, thank you.
[img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif[/img]
Old 05-28-2003, 10:03 AM
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csisfun
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WOAH! this is harder than i thought. the trainer's manual is crap!
Old 05-28-2003, 01:28 PM
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

If the thing you are having to decide is glow or electric You should do further research at the field where you intend to fly. Check with the pilots there. Is noise going to be a factor? Are they in danger of losing their field?
Glow aircraft will last as long as an electric but they do have their problems, as do electrics. Read the latest edition of Model Aviation about electrics. The article by Bob Aberle tells it like it is. Model Airplane News has good beginner articles on glow planes. Check it all out. The most important information you can get will be from your local pilots. As to radios you will probably find that you can flip a coin and get it right. I have both Futaba and Hitec. If you can spring for a little more try to get either a Futaba T6XA or a Hitec computer type. Cost will be comparable and either radio will serve you for years by just purchasing a flite-pak for each new airplane whether it is glow or electric.
Old 06-22-2003, 07:44 AM
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Default Totally new, need help in deciding

If you haven't purchased your first plane, let me share a review of my first plane, the Aerobird. I love it.

I was not interested in building. If I spent a month building and then
wrecked it, I would be crushed. I wanted a RTF that could take some
punishment.

Very inexpensive and rugged for a three channel starter - $140-$170
The plane comes complete and fully assembled. Charge the flight battery, put
on the wing, put the batteries in the transmitter and up you go! Even the
batteries for the transmitter are included.

New flyers like me are going to crash, so you don't want something costly to
start with. There is a full line of parts available at reasonable cost. You
can replace the whole main fuselage for $49 including the motor and all the
flight electronics. A wing is $15 and the tail is $9. So, if you crash badly
you can get everything for under $75 and you are back in the with a three
channel plane.

Batteries and charger:

The battery will run for a full 5-6 minutes at full throttle and 10-15
minutes+
at half throttle. Many planes in this class run 4-6
minutes. And unlike many of the 2 channel starters, it comes with a peak
charger that you can use in your car. If you pick up two spare batteries you
can stay in the air all day. A full charge takes about 40 minutes.

Another plane I liked was the Sky Scooter Pro, now the Pro II. You can get it
as a base plane and motor and add your own electronics or get it ready to fly
with a 72 MHZ Hittec 3 channel radio for about $150. This was my second
choice to the Aerobird. I like it a lot!

The Aerobird also has an X-Pak hop up kit available for $30. It includes a 7
cell battery (the basic is 6) and a larger tail. This makes the plane faster
and more maneuverable. So, once you get good you can soup it up! I bought the
X-Pak when I bought mine. I will use the 7 cell as my second battery and save
the tail for later.

WIND

All new flyers should start in winds under 5 MPH so that you are learning to
fly the plane rather than fighting the wind. I didn't do that and crashed a
lot because of the wind. However, now I am very comfortable flying this plane
in 10-12 MPH winds. Handles it very well.

27 MHZ vs 72 MHZ Radio

The Aerobird uses a 27 MHZ radio which is assigned to general use for planes,
cars and boats; mostly low end stuff. There are only 6 available channels. So,
if you have a kid with a RC car in the same area where you are flying, and he
is on the same channel you are on, and he is close enough, when he switches on
his transmitter, you will lose control of the plane and probably crash. Even
with 72 MHZ radio systems, this will happen if you get two flyers on the same
channel, but 72 MHZ is dedicated to airplanes. High end RC cars are on 75 MHZ
so they won't interfere.

The flight control is a single stick radio with rudder and elevator on the
stick. Throttle is on a slide on the left top. It is similar to a Futaba or
Hitec single stick arrangement. I find it very comfortable to use and other
flyers who have tried it say they find it easy as well.

If you are going to join a club, check with them. Some clubs will not admit 27
MHZ based planes because they can't be flown with a buddy box, a training
system, like a dual controlled car, that is used for pilot training. After
long consideration I bought the Aerobird, but these are things I took into
consideration. My club, www.lisf.org has many firebird pilots, so the
Aerobird was welcome The Sky Scooter Pro, mentioned above, is on the 72 MHZ
band set-up so you don't have any of these considerations.

Resources Aerobird, Sky Scooter Pro

Here is an internet site that sells the Aerobird. They also have a
link for a video of the plane flying:
http://www.parkflyers.com/html/aerobird.html

As I said, my alternative plane was the Sky Scooter Pro. It had been about
$260 RTF, but they recently released the Sky Scooter Pro 2 at about $160 so
you might want to give it serious consideration.
http://www.hitecrcd.com/Funtec/Pro2.htm

Videos
http://www.hitecrcd.com/Funtec/videos.htm

So, that's my evaluation of the Aerobird and why I purchased it. I fly as
often as I can. I have about 40 flights on my plane since the end of March.
I am fully self taught. At this point I am just loving it. My friend has a
Wingo and liked flying my Aerobird so much he bought one too.

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