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Just got my first ever RC plane

Old 01-04-2009, 10:05 PM
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billd76
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Default Just got my first ever RC plane

It's a hanger 9 Xtra easy 2, came with a 5 channel XF421EX controller. Other than line fliers
I had when I was a kid, I have absolutley no RC experience. The plane and controller was flown only twice, and has been sitting for 2 years. It was given to me free for all of it. The fuel that came with it is @ 2 years old. Figure that the fuel is no good. All I need to get going is fuel, glow plug starter. I would appreciate any and all tips on starting, flying, maintaining etc... I live in south eastern PA, are there any limits to running the engine in the cold? How long do I need to charge the revceiver and transmitter? I'm sure I'll have lots of questions. Luckily, there is an awesome hobby shop near by. I'm sure they will be a huge help.
looking forward to flying the plane, and looking forward to sharing my experiences with everyone.
Thanks in advance,
Bill
Old 01-04-2009, 10:22 PM
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DavidAgar
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

The first thing that you need to do is to find a local club and get some help from an instructor. If you try it by yourself, it will most likely lead to a crash. as for your 2 year old fuel, most likely there is nothing wrong with it. Good Luck, Dave
Old 01-04-2009, 10:36 PM
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

billd76,
Welcome to RC flying. Go to the "sticky" at the top of this forum for REALLY good starting advice. Charge you batteries for 16 hours with the wall charger that came with it. If the guy that had the set up charged the batteries every other month or so they MIGHT be ok. I would charge them up then run the transmitter and plane untill the servos slow down the recharge 16 hours. This is a cycle. Sometimes cycling the batteries four or five times will revive them. You REALLY want to get with an instructer. Good luck! P
Personally I would buy new batteries because bad batteries cause toothpicks
Old 01-04-2009, 11:34 PM
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ChuckW
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

If your fuel was sealed from air & humidity and kept in a dark place, it could be fine. if in doubt though, toss it.

Same goes for the batteries in the airplane and transmitter. They could be OK but for the relatively low cost for new ones and the piece of mind they'll provide I'd replace them.

I know there are a few clubs in SE Pennsylvania. My wife is from the Philly area and I've researched cubs hoping to check them out when we are visiting. Go here and enter your zip code: http://www.modelaircraft.org/clubsearch.aspx
Old 01-06-2009, 06:14 AM
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speedair
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

Join a club learn to fly would be a good start. I would try the fuel even though it is 2 years old. There is no harm in trying. As for the batteries i would definetly replace them
Old 01-06-2009, 08:26 AM
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

A good hobby shop close by is a good start, their gonna know who to recommend to you....batteries are too cheap to bother with not replacing,go to the bay and see ,,I doubt that they can be cycled....in fact its more likely that the fuel is still good, I used some that sat in my basement for 10 years,,it was a shocker, but it ran...welcome to the addiction...now go make some new freinds at the field...Rog
Old 01-06-2009, 12:24 PM
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billd76
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

Thanks for the replies. hopefully will make it to the hobby shop this evening. Agree with replacing the batteries. Need to get a glow plug heater and fuel pump as well. any recommendations? Will join AMA later today. The shop has a flying field, but not sure that there is a actual club, or at least it doesn't mention it on their website. Did also find a couple of clubs nearby as well. Really looking foward to all this RC flying stuff.
Old 01-06-2009, 12:35 PM
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

I prefer the hand crank fuel pumps to electric, just because I like to be able to count how many cranks it takes to fuel and de-fuel, to help me track my flight times. I use one of the Hangar 9 manual pumps.

I started out with a really cheap glow charger that used D cells and was big, fat, and red. It cost about $6. I would still be using it, but I won a gift certificate once and the only thing I could find to buy with it was a rechargeable glow driver. It's also a Hangar 9 product, with the charge indicator on the end. It works too.

You don't mention a starter. Although it is certainly possible to flip start your engine, it can be pretty frustrating to rely on it as a beginner.

Good luck
Old 01-07-2009, 12:19 PM
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billd76
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

Picked up a prop cone nut last night. My plane orginally had a three blade prop. The guy that had it before me switched it to a two blade. He just installed a hex nut to instead of a cone. Do I remove the nex nut and use the cone nut to replace it, or just tighten up the cone against the hex nut?
He also had a super nice "fly Box" setup that came withe electric starter, fuel pump, 12 volt battery, onsite recharge capability, glow plug ignitor, all in a nice carry box that has the place in the handles to rest your place while starting working on etc... the shop is asking 120.00 for the setup. Seems cheaper than piece mealing everything to get to that point. But do I really need an electric starter? Is starting the plane with a chicken stick really a pain in the butt? Would purchasing the "fly Box" be a good investment? Starting the plane tommorrow evening for the first time since I've owned it. If it seems to start easy and all looks good, then I think I would rather spend 120 on my next plane than on the fly box.
Old 01-07-2009, 01:41 PM
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TedMo
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

I would spend the $120. for the box you will need all of it. I guess what you refer to as a cone is a spinner?? If so you must tighten the prop nut securely against the prop. Spinners do vary some in respect to how they attach to plane. Your LHS dealer should be able to help you with that. Also find someone to pre flight and fly plane for you. Hopefully you can find an instructor and a buddy box system to get successful flying. What you have is not a beginners plane.
Old 01-08-2009, 10:00 AM
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billd76
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

Okay, the spinner, it is aluminum and has a hole through the spinner for inserting a small rod or screw driver for tightening. I assume one should also use Blue locite when adding most anything (metal) that screws or bolts to the aircraft? Going over to a friends tonight and get the plane fired up for the first time since I've had it. If the plane starts and runs descent and all is well with it, I will keep the Tote box and accessories. If not, I'll take the box back and exchange it for a new trainer.
Old 01-08-2009, 10:30 AM
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

I've never used locktite for a propnut or spinner nut. Just make sure you torque it on pretty tight. Why would you take the flightbox back?
Old 01-08-2009, 01:59 PM
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

Loctite is normally NOT a good idea on PROP nuts.

You merely tighten that sucker down as much as possible.

A longer wrench helps a lot... I use at least a 10" wrench for prop nuts...
Old 01-08-2009, 05:05 PM
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billd76
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

Dont get me wrong the box is great, but not sure that I really need all the bells and whistles that come with it. couuld use the funding saved for a second plane. And keep the Sgt Major (AKA wife) happy too! HA! Heading over to my friends to try and get this puppy fired up. Will let you knoe how it goes. One other ?? what should voltage read on my radio. I've had it charging since early this morning and it is reading 10.8 volts. Charged the plane as well.
Thanks again.
Old 01-08-2009, 05:15 PM
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

I've had it charging since early this morning and it is reading 10.8 volts. Charged the plane as well.
If you are using the "Wall wart" charger that comes with the controller, it usually takes about 15 hours.

Old 01-08-2009, 10:07 PM
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billd76
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

Plane Started!!!! we removed the old fuel from the tank, also had to put one of my friends, John Spinner on. The one I installed was too small for his starter (wouldn't grip good), once we did that it took about 5 seconds and it fired right up. SO!! I'm super psyhced about getting her flying, will fill out the AMA form tomorrow. Yep and keeping the flight box!!
Old 01-09-2009, 12:56 AM
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

Twenty years ago I bought my first trainer...I then proceeded to stuff it into the ground 5 times before learning to land..I did not have a trainer cord or good instructor pilot helping me. If you would like to fly more than rebuild then I hope you take the time to go to your nearest flying field, introduce yourself as a new beginner (everyone was at some point), find out who is the instructor pilot, how to get ahold of him, ask him to check your airplane out, ask if he has a trainer cord and purchase one if necessary and you will enter the world of anxiously waiting to get back to the field with a ready plane and getting more flight time in.
I really entered RC flying all wrong, you can avoid the frustration of massive rebuild time and there are many people in the hobby who are willing and waiting to help you out.
ENJOY!!


Old 01-09-2009, 02:50 AM
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

Billd76, congats on the "new" plane. Hope you get an experienced pilot to help you get started, and be sure to check out the "glow engine" and begginers forums here. Lots of good info, especially about tuning and maintaining that engine!
Old 01-09-2009, 08:07 AM
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billd76
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

I'm definately going to join and club and get hooked up with an instructor. It is amazing how much I learned last night, just starting the plane for the first time. John is a good pilot, probably has 20 different planes. These forums have been a huge help!!! I really appreciate all of the friendly advice. Looking forward to getting started.
Thanks again,
Old 01-09-2009, 08:39 AM
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

You have the basics down, that is, join a club and get help! That's important, of course. The next thing I would suggest is to make real sure that your batteries are ok, and fully charged. The best way to do that is to cycle them, both the TX and the RX battery packs. Unfortunately, the only way to do that is to run them through a cycler type charger, and, most likely, you don't have one.

For the TX, you may have a battery level indicator, either a meter or some sort of digital display that shows the level of the battery, perhaps with a "gas gauge" sort of display. For the RX, unfortunately, that may not be the case. You just can't hang a voltmeter on it, for instance, and see what condition it is in. That will require something called an Expanded Scale Voltmeter or ESV. When using this, it puts a load on the battery pack that simulates the load that the RX and servos put on the pack so you get a good indication of the charge level in the battery pack.

This is a very useful gizmo for all your future RC'ing activities, so getting one won't be a waste of money. They are available at your local hobby store that has RC equipment. As I said, do not use a standard voltmeter because it will not load down the battery at all and the indication you get will not reflect the actual condition of the pack.

One more thing you can get that is also helpful to monitor your battery pack is something called Voltwatch. It plugs into a vacant receiver channel so that when the power is applied to the receiver, it shows the current state of the battery pack and will give you a warm-fuzzy feeling that everything is ok OR will warn you that the pack needs to be charged. Unfortunately no such device exists for the TX battery pack, so if it does not have a meter or an indication of charge, well, you will have to be creative with that and check it to make sure the TX pack is ok before flying. the only thing I can suggest is leaving the TX on for several hours to drain the battery pack then hang the wall-wart charger on the thing for at least 12 to 16 hours.

Best of luck.

CGr.
Old 01-09-2009, 08:41 AM
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

I take it back. I just found that the new Hobbico Digital Voltmeter does load TX batteries. The cost from Tower is $24.99.

I will try to upload an image so you can see what it looks like.

CGr.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:02 AM
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billd76
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Default RE: Just got my first ever RC plane

Thanks for the info all. I will join and club and get properly trained. My friend john did have a volt watch. Will get one of those soon enough. There is some minor leading edge damage on the wing, going to repair that before flying it too. It's not bad enough to not fly it (no wing rib damage). But figure it will be a good learning experience to repair it.
This is going to be a great hobby!![8D]

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