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Best beginner aircraft...

Old 02-07-2009, 01:08 AM
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997Porsche
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Default Best beginner aircraft...

I'm sure this has been covered here numerous times..but I'm somewhat in the dark on R/C aviation..

I'm a commercial pilot by trade, but I'm thinking of getting into R/C airplanes as another hobby.

I've been told (even in pilot training) flying R/C is harder than flying a real airplane... and with all of the automatic pilot equipment we have I'm sure they're right.

I am thinking learing to fly R/C is almost the same as learning to fly the real deal...starting with a high wing, slower speed airplane to get a feel for the controls and flight in general..

Any input is helpful.

thanks

CN
Old 02-07-2009, 01:12 AM
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RCKen
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

I've put together a list of planes that make good trainers and second planes. All of them on the list are proven planes that are well suited for successfully letting students learn to fly, or advance to a second plane. Check out the list here
[link=http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_4537845/tm.htm] Looking for a trainer- what's available. (Updated 01-03-2009) [/link]

Hope this helps

Ken
Old 02-07-2009, 01:20 AM
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997Porsche
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

That's what I was hoping to find.. thanks for sharing.
Old 02-07-2009, 07:29 AM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

Its best to also find a local club, see what the guys are using there. Also some clubs have a club trainer plane for you to try. just make sure you work with a good instructor. Being a real pilot, the only advantage is you know about aerodynamics. Flying RC is much different, because your not up there. Its a great hobby and I wish you well
Old 02-07-2009, 07:45 AM
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xcfds65
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

First things first. Over the last 5 years of flying RC planes i have found that most ppl that fly real planes have a harder time learning to fly RC plane then someone that has never been in a real plane. First off forget all you know about flying a 747 it will not help you in anyway to learn to fly RC. In the past i have helped a number of new comers learn to fly and the hardest ones to teach is the ones that fly real planes and i am not trying to be ugly about this in anyway but most of them want lesion to what you are telling them because they think they know more then the guy trying to help them. I welcome all new ppl to the hobbie and love to help someone learn but when you stand there and tell me i don't know what i am talking about then you crash your plane guess who don't know what they are talking about. What i am trying to say is lesion to the guy trying to help ya out he is the one that has 10.000 good landings with a RC plane not the new guy. So with that said welcome to the great hobby of RC flying i hope you have the best time of your life flying and good luck.
Old 02-07-2009, 08:50 AM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

997Porsche, I think your knowledge about flying full sized is only a help to you and you seem to have the correct attitude about R/C to make the conversion quickly. When I started flying lessons, after 4 years of flying R/C airplanes, my instructor felt I had a leg up, compaired to other students which had no knowledge about flying. What makes an airplane fly and how it is controlled is known to you. Certainly R/C is a different aviation venue. The major differences are: R/C flying is 100% by visual ques and you have to be able to fly the airplane coming towards you, something absolutly foreign to full scale.

I do agree with Draftman1; Find a local club and determine who the club feels their best instructors are. Get to know them and chose one who you think you'll get along with, then allow him to teach you how. If this instructor has flown full scale, so much the better, as he will be able to relate to your situation better.

RCKen has a ton of information on starting out and there is really great help available here, too. Just remember: Pay closer attention to what your instructor tells you, than the people here! Myself included!
Old 02-07-2009, 08:52 AM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

I'm not a licencsed pilot, but I was working on my license and had several hours flying a real Cessna 182 before I got into Rc. I would agree with xcdf65, its a lot different standing on the ground and flying with your thumbs than it is being inside the plane. Ken's list is a great place to start, and you will probably get a lot of recommendations here, but I'll give you two of mine while I'm at it. You need to decide if you want to start out with glow engine planes or electric and your budget is also a consideration. There are some great inexpensive electrics like the Hobbyzone Super Cub that are cheap and excellent to learn with, but are more limited when it comes time to uprgrade or learn more advanced manuevers. If you want to start out with a glow engine trainer, I'd reccomend the Hobbicco Avistar, it is cheaper and due to the semi-semetrical wing it will stay interesting longer than most other trainers. Just something to consider. Welcome to the Rc world!
Old 02-07-2009, 11:08 AM
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Nathan King
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

Welcome 997Porsche!!

This is an outstanding community of R/C enthusiasts from around the globe. We're always looking to help a new guy, so don't hesitate to ask questions.

As for this....

ORIGINAL: 997Porsche

I've been told (even in pilot training) flying R/C is harder than flying a real airplane... and with all of the automatic pilot equipment we have I'm sure they're right.
Unfortunately, flying full scale aircraft is much more difficult than flying a model.
Old 02-07-2009, 11:45 AM
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carrellh
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

Welcome to RCU.

A couple of replies said, "Find the local club and talk to the members and instructors."

You may be thinking, "Great idea! How do I find them?"

The AMA is an organization that charters clubs and provides benefits such as liability insurance to its members. The AMA web site has a club finder
http://www.modelaircraft.org/clubsearch.aspx
Enter your zip code and you can see what is in your area. It might also be useful to you to find places to fly in other cities.
Old 02-07-2009, 12:00 PM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...


ORIGINAL: Nathan King

Welcome 997Porsche!!

This is an outstanding community of R/C enthusiasts from around the globe. We're always looking to help a new guy, so don't hesitate to ask questions.

As for this....

ORIGINAL: 997Porsche

I've been told (even in pilot training) flying R/C is harder than flying a real airplane... and with all of the automatic pilot equipment we have I'm sure they're right.
Unfortunately, flying full scale aircraft is much more difficult than flying a model.

Not true, I have 399 hours in full size aircraft and Ultralights... flying R/C Aircraft and flying full size is about the same. The only difference is when we fly the R/C aircraft we are not in the Cockpit.

My Ultralight instructor told me most of his students are R/C pilots... and to him it was exactly the same principle. The only other differences are is if you crash a full size aircraft you can kill yourself or find yourself in the hospital with the FAA on your back... with a R/C plane you crash you just go home with a lumber yard in your bag, and a big heart ache to go along with it.

Also I find flying R/C airplanes way more affordable. I guess that's why they call it the " Poor mans Aviation?"

Although I must admit, some R/C aircraft are way over priced for what you get. JMHO
Old 02-07-2009, 01:24 PM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

First off, welcome to this fantastic hobby/addiction/disease.
Here's my 2 cents.....
If you want to build a kit, I'd recommend the SIG LT-40. RCKen has a great build thread on the LT-40 here http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_34..._1/key_/tm.htm. If you prefer an ARF, I'd go for the SIG LT-40 or the SIG Kadet Senior. One note, the Kadet Senior is fairly sensitive to wind so if you're in an area that is generally windy I'd stick with the LT-40. There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained here on RCU so don't hesitate to ask questions. Good luck and have fun!
Old 02-10-2009, 01:02 AM
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997Porsche
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

Thanks for the welcomes! No, I don't fly 747s..lol Fortunately, my R/C boat might help slightly.. There is a local club in the area which I've seen from time to time..some nice Giant scale planes..

Flying a real plane is a lot different, heck, flying different types of planes is night and day. I rented a 150 for two years..then I bought a used Mooney, and I actually had to go to their training class to learn to fly it..

I honestly got tired of recreational flying...after spending sometimes 3 straight weeks away from home, the last thing I wanted to do is fly.

Ultimately, I'd like to build an R/C seawind... I live on the water and that would be perfect...I could use it all the time.

However, that is after I learn to fly a Hobbico trainer..

Thanks again,

Chris
Old 02-10-2009, 01:19 AM
  #13  
997Porsche
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...



Not true, I have 399 hours in full size aircraft and Ultralights... flying R/C Aircraft and flying full size is about the same. The only difference is when we fly the R/C aircraft we are not in the Cockpit.

My Ultralight instructor told me most of his students are R/C pilots... and to him it was exactly the same principle. The only other differences are is if you crash a full size aircraft you can kill yourself or find yourself in the hospital with the FAA on your back... with a R/C plane you crash you just go home with a lumber yard in your bag, and a big heart ache to go along with it.
When I say full size, I should have said commercial airliner...lol Which brings me to the subject of learning R/C... the maneuverability compared to some of the jets I've flown...

I think the "sportiest" aircraft I've flown is the 727....probably my all time favorite.


Old 02-10-2009, 01:20 AM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...


ORIGINAL: 997Porsche

I've been told (even in pilot training) flying R/C is harder than flying a real airplane... and with all of the automatic pilot equipment we have I'm sure they're right.

I am thinking learing to fly R/C is almost the same as learning to fly the real deal...starting with a high wing, slower speed airplane to get a feel for the controls and flight in general..

Any input is helpful.

thanks

CN
Not harder, just different. As a former Navy pilot and Landing Signal Officer I have found the knowledge of aerodynamics and what to expect in different attitudes is valuable. My observation of tens of thousands of carrier landings helps me to anticipate landing performance but other than that, IMHO there is little cross-over. I have never experienced the same "pucker factor" in RC as I did flying full-scale.

Like any continuous motion activity, the old adage "First good, THEN Fast" applies.

Old 02-10-2009, 01:37 AM
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997Porsche
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

Absolutely... I'm thinking that getting use to descent rates are going to be slightly thrown out of proportion..lol

From what I've seen (mainly in pictures) is that slowing to land is almost a zero throttle, all glide scenario... No power needed.

In looking for a trainer, I'm leaning towards a model with a slightly longer landing gear configuration. Are pretty much all of the trainer planes tricycle gear?
Old 02-10-2009, 06:14 AM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

Are you going to be self taught or are you going to join a club - this in itself will make a diffrence as to what planes might be suitable for you and do you want electric or IC.

Whichever way you go though get yourself a Simulator even a budget one like the E-Sky FMS Simulator will make a huge difference with orientation and the "feel" for what it's like.
Old 02-10-2009, 08:31 AM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

This comment, made in my post above, is not meant to disparage anyone here at RCU: "Just remember: Pay closer attention to what your instructor tells you, than the people here"!

What I mean by this, is: It is always best for a beginner to have one instructor. As can be seen here at RCU, if you have two people, you WILL have two opinions. This only adds confusion to the process of learning to fly! Once the beginner is flying alone, no longer needing the guidance of his instructor, then fine, you are no-longer undermining the expertise of the instructor.

Does anyone here, disagree with the merits of this philosophy?
Old 02-10-2009, 08:48 AM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

The big difference is that in RC, you fly an airplane around.

In full size aviation, you move the earth around.
Old 02-10-2009, 09:19 AM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

Get the simulator. It really helps for stick feel and muscle memory. Plus you get to crash as much as you want while learning and it costs you nothing. Fly all types of airplanes including your Seawind.

As for trike gear trainers. That is primarily all there are with an exception here and there. They are easy enough to make a tail dragger if you so wish. Just grab a tail wheel assembly and move the main gear forward. I built my trainer this way. If the gear isn't quite tall enough for you, put some 3 1/2 inch wheels on it and make it look like a super cub! Tundra tires!

Good Luck,
Old 02-10-2009, 11:09 AM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

I aslo agree, a Simulator is excellent!! The G-4.5 Real Flight Simulator has the Seawind airplane you are interested in. You will find that the red buttom is your friend!
Old 02-10-2009, 11:29 AM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

The hardest thing to learn when flying RC aircraft is the control perspective. Flying away from you, all the controls are as expected, up/down, left/right. Flying towards you, left/right is reversed, up/down is the same, etc. Flying overhead, well that's yet another story (not usually a safe thing to do, but will probably happen to you sometime while you are learning).

The good news is, an RC flight simulator will do an excellent job of teaching you this. Get yourself a sim, RealFlight, FSone, etc., or even the free sim called FMS is better than nothing. Once you learn to fly comfortably towards you, away from you, overhead, inverted, etc., you will learn much faster when flying the real RC planes with your instructor.
Old 02-10-2009, 12:27 PM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

Pilots of full size planes can have a more difficult time learning the orientation of the RC plane with respect to control input. This is because they want to continue to sit in the plane and fly it. Most non pilot beginners in RC want to do the same thing. In fact most are taught to pretend that they are inside the plane flying it.

Stop pretending that you are inside the RC plane
. This is absolutely the wrong approach to learning to fly RC planes.

To learn orientation you do the following:

Concentrate on the side of the plane closet to you. If you move the stick toward the nose of the plane, the plane comes toward you. If you move the stick toward the tail of the plane it goes away from you. This always works. It is an absolute truth. Do not think right or left. Think stick toward the nose and the plane comes toward me or stick toward the tail and the plane goes away from me.

When the plane is flying straight toward you and you need to level the wings, push the stick toward the low wing. Don't even begin to think about reversed control input when the plane is flying toward you.

The two above orientation techniques will help greatly in learning to fly RC planes.

Also if you are flying a 4 channel trainer limit the use of the rudder to controlling the plane of the ground. Turning in the air with the ailerons only is best for a beginner.

Remember forget right and left when turning. Concentrate on the side of the plane closet to you and think nose/ tail.

It always works. And there is no pretending. Nose/tail is a process solution for determining orientation.

As to the best trainer in my opinion the best glow trainer is the LT40 with an OS .46 AX. And for an electric trainer my vote is the HobbyZone Super Cub.

Todd
Old 02-10-2009, 01:11 PM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

ORIGINAL: sawdust
...If you move the stick toward the nose of the plane, the plane comes toward you. If you move the stick toward the tail of the plane it goes away from you. This always works. It is an absolute truth...
Rules of thumb like this are oversimplified and are NOT always true.

If the plane is directly in front of you, and flying straight at you, then what??? Moving the stick towards the tail (forward) makes it dive into the ground, and moving it towards the nose (backward) makes it climb. If you end up underneath the airplane, then what?? IMO, these "rules of thumb" are just a crutch that some beginners use, but they don't do them much good in the situations described above.

The idea behind picturing yourself in the cockpit of the plane is to get you to change your control perspective as the plane's orientation changes, it is NOT intended to make you think the control perspective never changes. It is a complicated thing to learn, and the best way to learn it is lot's of practice. Again, a sim is the perfect tool to learn it.
Old 02-10-2009, 01:58 PM
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

ORIGINAL: -pkh-

ORIGINAL: sawdust
...If you move the stick toward the nose of the plane, the plane comes toward you. If you move the stick toward the tail of the plane it goes away from you. This always works. It is an absolute truth...
Rules of thumb like this are oversimplified and are NOT always true.

If the plane is directly in front of you, and flying straight at you, then what??? Moving the stick towards the tail (forward) makes it dive into the ground, and moving it towards the nose (backward) makes it climb. If you end up underneath the airplane, then what?? IMO, these "rules of thumb" are just a crutch that some beginners use, but they don't do them much good in the situations described above.

The idea behind picturing yourself in the cockpit of the plane is to get you to change your control perspective as the plane's orientation changes, it is NOT intended to make you think the control perspective never changes. It is a complicated thing to learn, and the best way to learn it is lot's of practice. Again, a sim is the perfect tool to learn it.
When flying right side up the method of nose/tail is not an over simplification. It is a fact - a truth. Applying nose/ tail method when flying upside down is just slightly different. But we are talking about getting beginner RC pilots orientated with turning.

But there is a lot more to flying than turning right and left. And I agree that practice is the most important aspect in learning to fly. But nose/tail can help learn orientation.

One other point is that a plane is almost never flying exactly directly toward you. If it is coming toward you it is usually either flying to the right or left of you. If by chance it is flying straight toward you, choose a side and apply the rule. Think about it. When a plane is coming toward you the rule is easy to apply.

But I agree stick time in the air is the key to learning to fly - Practice, practice, practice. Simulators are also useful. Thank you for the comment.


Todd
Old 02-10-2009, 04:59 PM
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blaughn
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Default RE: Best beginner aircraft...

For what it is worth, I learned on the Sig Kadet. I built two of them (Don't skimp on the rubber bands if you are flying in the mist. The fuselage without a wing has the aerodynamics of a 500 pound bomb )

Both my son and I learned to fly with this trainer. It is forgiving and repairable after "re-kitting". .....within reason, that is.

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