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"Almost Ready to Fly"

Old 01-17-2006, 08:58 PM
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damien1
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Default "Almost Ready to Fly"

Are ARTF models trustable and built properly? My Father is concerned about this and wants to know before he buys a prebuilt Eagle 2
Old 01-17-2006, 09:10 PM
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RCKen
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Default RE: "Almost Ready to Fly"

Most of the RTF's on the market from reputable manfacturers are going to be just fine to learn on. The Eagle 2 is going to be just fine for you. I have learned on a Tower Trainer ARF 10 years ago and I still have it to this day. Somewhere in the vicinity of 600 flights on it now.

Hope this helps

Ken
Old 01-17-2006, 09:25 PM
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donkey doctor
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Default RE: "Almost Ready to Fly"

Hello; I haven't seen an ARF Eagle 11, but the built kit makes a pretty good durable and long lasting plane. I started on a "Slyward 40" in '91, it endured many repairs as I taught myself how to fly. Most of the trainer ARF's I see nowadays are pretty good, if you have a look inside before you plunk down the money.
Old 01-17-2006, 10:13 PM
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Iturnright
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Default RE: "Almost Ready to Fly"

Most ARFs seem to be quite well made, all the ones I have built/assembled so far have been very well made and saved me a huge time building. I have heard many say that with building you know that you did everything right, but really, most structural elements can be determined in ARF models, unless there is truly a bad defect in the wing or something of that kind, you can see where there might be a problem. So, if you ask me, an almost ready to fly airplane can very well be just as high quality as a kit built plane.
Old 01-17-2006, 10:37 PM
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Default RE: "Almost Ready to Fly"

An ARF or Kit that is already constructed is only going to be as good as the person who built it, but overall it should be pretty trustworthy. Two easy things to check:

1) Is the horizontal tail stabilizer installed straight? Check this to make sure that the distance from the right wingtip to the right stabilizer tip is exactly the same as the left side. The further apart the two measurements are, the more poorly built the model is.

2) Check the two wing halves to make sure that the glue joint is still strong between the two halves. Check the wings also for damaged ribs.

If the plane is holding up well, was built straight to begin with, and hasn't been crashed then repaired in any obvious way, it's probably a good buy. I'd honestly rather get a well-built older model successfully flown by an experienced pilot than buying a new ARF and hoping the assembly line didn't short any glue on one of the critical spots of the model.
Old 01-17-2006, 11:15 PM
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Default RE: "Almost Ready to Fly"

I've seen the Eagle 2 ARF and it was okay. You should be okay with it. Be sure to have a very experienced builder look it over before you fly it.

Most ARFs are assembly line built in other countries. I've seen them use hot glue, no glue, and other idiotic things. A lot of ARFs are cheaply built and some come apart in the air. Seen that too on a U Can Do. Some have the wings snap off. Some have the firewall crack from being too thin, not being fuel proofed, etc. Some use sticky shelf paper for covering. I'm not kidding.

You just about have to be a builder to spot the crappy work and know how to fix it.
Old 01-18-2006, 09:26 AM
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Default RE: "Almost Ready to Fly"

Assuming you're a new flyer, as an instructor, most new flyers that show up at our field with ARF planes they've assembled are mostly well finished, but do need some additional work. Always have an experienced flyer/instructor go over your plane with you pre-flight. You'll learn new things. Examples of things we've had to fix are center of gravity, control surface angles, loose torque rods in ailerons (very common), reversed controls, fuel lines reversed, batteries not secured, loose wheel collars, etc. These were all easily repaired at the field prior to flight. Only had one case where we wouldn't fly the plane because the owner had not fixed the battery in place, and we didn't have materials available to properly install it. (Now I carry double sided foam tape in my field box).

Good Luck!
Brad
Old 01-18-2006, 01:16 PM
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Default RE: "Almost Ready to Fly"

The Eagle 2 is one of the better trainers available.

Enjoy,

Jim
Old 01-18-2006, 02:28 PM
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Default RE: "Almost Ready to Fly"

I think the first plane should be built from a kit. The big disadvantage of buying an ARF as your first plane is that you don't gain the experience of seeing the plane go together and you don't know whats under the covering. You wouldn't have a clue as to how to repair the plane it if it hits say a fence post! Trainer planes have very good precut parts and step by step instructions as to how to build the plane. Just check off the numbered sequence as you go along and after a while the plane is finished and ready to fly! 2nd type planes assume that you learned some basic steps when you built your trainer so the instructions won't have as many details, if any. ie. for one step it might say, "assemble the fuel tank and install it in the fuselage" or it may say "next install the servo tray and mount the servos". < not much information if you don't know what a servo tray is or where it should be glued into place! Winters are for building, the rest of the year is for flying![8D]
Old 01-18-2006, 06:58 PM
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damien1
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Default RE: "Almost Ready to Fly"

I have built a kit before, so yeah I do know what I'm doing. And the plane that was built is pretty special to me so I don't entirely want to fly it. Worried about destroying it lol.
Old 01-18-2006, 07:47 PM
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Default RE: "Almost Ready to Fly"

There's nothing wrong with owning a ARF

enjoy,

Jim
Old 01-18-2006, 10:27 PM
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Default RE: "Almost Ready to Fly"

I'm not a big fan of ARFs in general, but there are some decent ones. I think that an ARF is probably the best bet for a first trainer though. Even though many are built too light, most can be beefed up easily enough by a friendly instructor. That's what mine did. It took some hard landings to find the weak areas during repairs, but the Xtra Easy 2 is basically a tank now with reinforcements all over the airframe.

You probably should think about building something after you start feeling at home with your trainer. There is no doubt that you learn a lot from building just one kit.

A guy at the field had the Eagle 2 and it was a pretty good trainer. It flew well and stood up to flying abuse. He crashed it nose first and it still looks repairable.


(editted for grammatical errors)
Old 01-19-2006, 07:56 AM
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da Rock
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Default RE: "Almost Ready to Fly"

It's good to start with a kit. It'll teach you stuff you're not going to learn from an ARF. And it's stuff that can bite you.

What happens when we build from a kit is that when we crash the suckers, we can look over what happened and learn. If we built it right but the wing failed in flight, we know the design was weak. And we can look at the pieces and tell where it was weak. Or if we look at the pieces and notice bad glue joints, we got a clue why.

With an ARF, you don't have the background you have if you started with kits. But what the heck........

With ARFs, you're going to learn almost the same things (if you pay attention to the crash damage), you're just going to learn them slower and at more cost and won't have the experience to make the ARF better as you assemble it. You also won't have the experience to choose an ARF at the LHS when you can look closely at it in the box. But what the heck....... You'll learn. It'll just be in a different order. No big deal.

Just remember, the ARF doesn't change into RtF (ready to fly) immediately after you've stuck it together and hung all the parts on like it looks on the box. If you're a newbie, it's still ALMOST ready to fly until you get an experienced flyer to check it over... thoroughly.
Old 01-19-2006, 08:50 AM
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elenasgrumpy
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Default RE: "Almost Ready to Fly"

While what has been said about learning more by building from a kit, is true, it can also be a long drawn out & sometimes frustrating ordeal for someone with little or no experience. Especially if you are not set up with all the tools & a proper building table. Personally I like ARFs, & there is still plenty of work left to be done with a good ARF as opposed to a RTF. There is enough set-up/installation work still to be done that you should be fairly well aquainted with the aircraft & all it's components by the time you're done. We can't all start out as Master-Builders like Ken! I believe that if you get a few ARFs under your belt first, then try a kit after you've learned some things from assembling the ARFs & accumulated the neccessary tools & set up a building table that your first build will be much easier & the end result will be a much nicer bird than if you just jump right in & build a kit for your very first plane. I have built from kits many years ago as a kid back in the control-line days, so yes I do know what's under the covering of an ARF. However, I've been doing ARFs since getting back into the hobby this last year & I learn a little more with each one, & each one comes out straighter, truer, & cleaner. So far they have all been good flyers with very little trim needed during maiden flight by more experienced flyers than myself. Assembling these ARFs are giving me the chance to learn & gain experience thru all the great tips I get from ppl in here, so that I will be able to build a fine kit. I now have a building station set-up, have aquired most of the tools needed and soon I will do a full build kit. It will be the BTE Venture 60 because I'm convinced it is the finest & probably the easiest kit for a rookie available, do to all the little extra time & work Bruce has put into these kits. So I say go ahead & get your ARF, take your time & put it together well, and it will serve you well. ARFs have come a long way from the early ones, there are actually some very well built ones available today. Even my Dad who was a scratch & kit builder for over 40 yrs was amazed at the quality of these ARFs I have now. Good Luck 7 happy ARFing.

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