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Just getting started, and could sure use some advice

Old 02-07-2003, 05:15 AM
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Default Just getting started, and could sure use some advice

Hello, and greetings from western North Dakota, coldest spot in the U.S. this morning. What a distinction!

As my userid indicates, I'm just getting into this, as a new hobby. I have purchased, and started flying with, the G2 simulator, but I'm early in the process, and that part about "landings are mandatory" is something I'm still struggling with. But that's another story.

I've been reading with great interest the discussion threads on which planes to start with, ready to start with an ARF, RTF, or kit, etc. My modeling experience extends only as far as building a few Estes rockets in past years, watching them blast off with rapid acceleration, then returning to earth equally quickly, usually in the projectile mode. Some of them go pretty deep, too. As a result of that hobby, I have a few Exacto knives, but not much more, in terms of tools and supplies.

I've noticed many, many people recommend learning on a sim, while a few others have stated emphatically that flying a sim is a different world than flying the real thing. I hope that purchasing the sim was a wise move, and I'll continue working with it. Anyway, I'm leaning toward purchasing the Great Planes PT-40, as I want to stick with something that's as similar to the RealFlight simulator as I can find.

Is my best bet to purchase the ARF version, given the relatively short flying season in this part of the world, and the relatively short time frame (two months) until flying season starts? Also, any recommendations on an engine would be MOST appreciated, as I really don't know which brand/size would be most appropriate. And finally, any clues on a radio to purchase?

One other question: is it better for me to buy these items individually, or am I better off buying something like one of the Tower Hobbies "Ultimate Combos" which have all the supplies included?

Thanks so much in advance for any and all advice. I do appreciate it.

Mitchell Schaff
Williston, ND
Old 02-07-2003, 05:24 AM
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Default Just getting started, and could sure use some advice

Take a look at the alpha trainer. Plane, radio, and engine all in one box. Not a bad system for the money. Loren
Old 02-07-2003, 05:52 AM
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Default Just getting started, and could sure use some advice

I am a newbie too..as of last summer...

Spend all the time you can on the simulator while it is cold out. While it is not "exactly" like flying a real model, it does help you get your brain around the whole airplane position/attitude thing. Also, I found that there are some things (landing) that are HARDER on the sim than they are in "real life".

Whatever you do, make sure you get in touch with a local club. You will get all the help that you could ever need from a real live human being or two. Your club mates will be able to provide you with flight training using a "buddy-box" and advice as to which trainer aircraft you should be looking at. I've never been involved in a hobby where so many people were willing to share so much time and wisdom - make good use of it!

There are tons of great trainer planes out there, both kit and ARF. I am building my first kit right now, and the instructions are very clear and the parts are designed to all but eliminate mistakes, so I think the difference betweek a kti and an ARF is really how much time you are willing to invest. Building a kit will teach you the all-importand repair skills that you will need though.

Finally, welcome to the hobby!
Old 02-07-2003, 06:41 AM
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Default Just getting started, and could sure use some advice

A flight sim is fine to help you learn how to fly more automatically when the plane is coming towards you. This is one of the hardest things to learn. There is no substitute for actual flying. I agree that it is harder to land the sim than for real because you don't have the peripheral vision with the sim that you do for real.

I strongly recommend an ARF for your first trainer. It has just enough building for you to learn some things, but not too much. My advice is never fall in love with your trainer. you will fly it fine with an instructor. When you solo and start flying yourself, then you will start to ding it up. When that happens, get some help from some club members to help you learn how to repair the plane.

My trainer was a Hobbico Superstar 40 ARF. I had just soloed and was flying by myself at the field. I got the plane somewhat crosswise to the runway and did not realize that it was actually heading for the far end of the pit. It was on the ground but moving right toward a 4x4 post that holds one of our flight tables up. I just froze and watched the plane impat the post. I tore a big gash in one wing. I asked one of the club members for advice. he gave me just enough to get started and it took me a week to fix the plane, but boy did I learn alot about repairs. Now I just fix dings without hardly thinking about it.

The last thing I would say is when you start to get dings in your trainer, like rips in the covering, just tape them over with clear tape used to ship packages. You will eventually get a crash severe enough to replace the covering and at the same time get rid of all the rips. If you are fortunate enough to not crash, then you can eventually repair the rips.

I have flown for about a year and a half. If you have flown Real Flight simulator and have flown at the Corvallis air field, you will recognize the trees that I flew my first low wing plane into catastrophically. The downside to flying with the Corvallis Club is learning to fly with all those trees and a short runway. the upside is that by learning to fly here, I can fly almost anyplace else that does not have the obstructions.

Enjoy RC. it has been more fun than I could have imagined. I have found that as much as the flying is fun, the social side of flying and getting to know all the great club members is fun too. Finding a group of guys that you like to be around is really important. I feel very fortunate to fly with the Benton County RC Club.

Best Wishes,

Old 02-07-2003, 12:23 PM
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Default My choice........???

Hello, and welcome Mitchel !!! My vote is for the Hobbico SuperStar 40 in the RTF version. I had almost 150 flights on mine before the last crash was too much to fix. I had even converted it to a tail dragger it's final 50 flights. I reallt don't care for the 40 LA ..BUT ... some of the "weak engine" problems was really me trying to give too much elevator, or too soon before ground speed was up. I have moved on to 4 strokes, my new one being a 4*120 with a Saito 150....BUT... I am also building a Sig LT-25, into which I will be installing that same "weak" .40 LA. This tread will probably get very long with all kinds of favorites...... and most ALL of them will be good.
If you get an ARF.....somehow get in behind the firewall and put some epoxy and maybe some small triangle stock around the inside perimeter of the firewall AND it would not hurt to beef up the landing gear block too. I really beleive that some guys worry about a little extra glue /weight too much. I know the saying..... "you build them to fly.. not to crash!!" But I would suggest any glue point that you can reach... add a dab of epoxy there. I will catch a lot of flak over this suggestion..... but my planes, (only had 4 ARFs and 2 kits), all fly and handle just great. As far as the "ultimate combos" go.......I don't really see anything wrong with that. If you don't like, for instance, the .40LA, you might want to purchase seperately. The OS .46FX is quite an engine, although overpriced I feel. Thunder Tiger.46 (bearing engine), is a good choice and it is cheaper.
As far as matching the sim.... I think any trainer will handle basically the same as the sim.
Bottom line...... If you really feel you are going to like and STAY in this hobby, I would step up a notch from the .40 LA, maybe a radio system a step up from the lowest price, etc. IF you are good at computers and electronic.... I guess a computer radio would be OK. (I am an old goat, and stick to the old style.) You just don't want to worry about the radio and it's set up right now. You need to concentrate on the flying part etc.
Again... good luck and welcome to the forum...lownslo
Old 02-07-2003, 03:55 PM
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Default Just getting started, and could sure use some advice

The PT-40 is a great trainer, but be sure to build it with the lesser of the two wind dihedral options. As far as building vs ARF, You have all winter to build, and a kit will teach you valuable building/repairing skills. Here in the frozen tundra of the Upper-Mid-US Winter building is what keeps us from going insane during the cold months.
Old 02-07-2003, 04:07 PM
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Default Realflight G2

This is the sim I started on and it propelled me by leaps and bounds over the guys that started with me. It was the best money ive spent so far. Sometimes ill get an idea about a maneuver and all I have to do is jump on the simulator and practice it. And YES, it is very similar to flying at a field.If someone says it isnt, they havent flown G2!!
Old 02-07-2003, 04:27 PM
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Default Trainer/sims/

Just starting myself .1 yr elect( junk) 1 1/2 yr glo( better)
Most of the .40 size trainers are OK I think.
I Suggest an ARF At your level of experence It will take some time to assemble /set up an ARF & run in the engine a little. That 12 hr time in the ads is for a team of experenced guys. Look for a radio set up u can use for a while--I finally got a Hitec flash 5 -- comes
with a transmitter -reciever- switch harness -battery charger & a set of servos seems like good stuff so far. the computer in it is
a learning experence but is and will be worth every dime it cost.

Good Luck Have fun

Old 02-07-2003, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Just getting started, and could sure use some advice

Originally posted by ND_newbie
I've noticed many, many people recommend learning on a sim, while a few others have stated emphatically that flying a sim is a different world than flying the real thing.
Both are true. However, being different doesn't mean that it's terrible. It's a much easier start with the real plane after some hours on the simulator.

The Hobbico Superstar or Avistar RTF package is a GREAT starter package. You'll need to also get a field kit with box, battery, starter, fuel, etc. You'll need to decide on the trainer type: flat-bottom or semi-symmetrical airfoil. The flat-bottom floats more and is generally recommended more often. I found the semi-symmetrical to be easier to fly because the plane didn't try to "do it's own thing" as much, plus it's more aerobatic so you won't get bored so quickly. The Avistar is semi-symmetrical. I see a lot of them at the field.

Start with an ARF or RTF so you don't have much emotional attachment to the plane.

If you decide on an Avistar, download the skin and plane from the G2 downloads page. Edit the plane and remove the engine downthrust. The downthrust in the sim's trainer causes the sim to fly very unlike the real plane - BAD training to have a sim unlike the plane!
Old 02-07-2003, 11:43 PM
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Default Just getting started, and could sure use some advice

A small trainer is nice if your only flying twenty feet off the ground, but the higher it gets the harder it is to see. Get a big trainer, I recommend the SIG Senior Kadet ARF. It has an 80" wing span (easier to see) and not as much dihedral as the smaller trainers. It's a better flying and better looking plane too. I would also go with the TT Pro .61 engine instead of the smaller .46 -.53. You'll need the extra weight in the nose anyway and you can always run it between 1/4 and 1/2 throttle. The extra power is there if you need it, say for float flying, but you don't have to use it. Don't get loaded down on choosing a radio either, you don't need a computer radio. The Hitec Laser 4 or 6 will do quite nicely for this plane. I use the Hitec Laser 4 and my plane flies just as high and nice as any other.

This plane flies beautiful, it's very graceful. It can also perform some very nice acrobatic maneuvers. I can even make mine hover. With the large wing loading you can also easily mount a still or video camera on it.

Here's a pic of my SIG Kadet Senior ARF, converted to a tail-dragger with TT Pro .61 engine.
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