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Beginner??? Probably!

Old 07-06-2009, 10:15 PM
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Kennelmaster
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Default Beginner??? Probably!



Well ladies and gents, I did it! Today I went to LHS and bout a Hanger9 Alpha (40) Trainer. I have always been interested in the hobby and made furtive attempts, and some spectacular figure nines!

Tonite the plane is charging and I will build tomorrow. Then, in the evening, when the wind is down, my son will maiden the bird.

I am going against convention here. I will not have an instructor or buddy box system. I own acerage and have plenty of large fields to fly on. In fact, before a windstorm destroyed my previous (full-scale) bird, I used to fly out of my farm around the countryside. Two things will happen tomorrow. We will end up with toothpicks, or, we will gently fly the Alpha and build the skills we need to progress. Hopefully it is door #2.

Being a retired old coot, I am in no rush. I am, however, fully committed to spend the $ needed to put me in a correct trainer. No offense to the electric advocates but the small two channel foamies just dont give a newbie much of a chance. Something a bit larger and heavier shall be more steady, IMHO.

So, thanks to all who regularly post here. It's your (fault) that I am taki ng the plunge. I love building and have grandious ideas of designing and building my own, as my skills of flying improve. I will continue to scour the pages of this forum since it seems most of you have forgotten more than I will ever know. Thanks for being willing to share your knowledge and encouragement to all us newbies! You guys (and gals) are great!

I'll let you know how Tuesday nite goes!


Paul

Old 07-06-2009, 10:37 PM
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ro347
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

Talk about fast.... ummmm...may the force be with you!
Old 07-06-2009, 10:47 PM
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sportrider_fz6
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

good luck!!! make sure to give it a good once over before you fly. check the CG, make sure control surfaces are moving in the correct direction. take off and land into the wind. and don't over correct. let us know how it goes!!!
Old 07-06-2009, 11:40 PM
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ORIGINAL: sportrider_fz6

good luck!!! make sure to give it a good once over before you fly. check the CG, make sure control surfaces are moving in the correct direction. take off and land into the wind. and don't over correct. let us know how it goes!!!

I've got to repeat, CHECKTHECG. I've got a home built, a Ruperts Dad from plans in RCModel World Magazind from about four years back. Ibuilt it from plans, and the first flight by an club member was great. A couple years later, after I got my wings, I put it up again and then I had a problem, battery failure I think and i plunked it into the pond behind our field. Ipulled it out and there was just some damage to the lower sheeting on the wing. Ipatched that up and flew it for a few weeks and then that battery really died, mid flight and Ireally crunched the wing this time. I built a new wing and gave it a snazzy covering and after two full system checkouts, the third maiden of the plane was about as white knuckle as you can get. Turns out that I was almost 8 oz light on the nose. I don't know what changed during the rebuilds, and I even added wheel pants this time, but it was way tail heavy. I got it down with out damage, but I never want to fly a plane like that again. CHECKthe CG.

Don

PS, welcome to the addiction.

Old 07-07-2009, 12:14 AM
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Kennelmaster
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

thanks guys,

I just completed about 90% of the construction tonite. Tomorrow will "nut and bolt" ever thing again with my son as an extra pair of eyes.

Don, do you think I should bother to check CG???

I plan to to CG and lateral axis check with son. Then, with that completed, adjust all the throws.

Guess I'm kinda lucky with a "workshop". I own and operate a boarding kennel on the property so I have LOTS of space that is heated/AC'd to do all this work in. Then a few hundred yard walk to any of my fields...

I am excited for the maiden flight but not too excited to overlook thorough pre-flight or, if there is wiund, to "push the envelope" and try to make a flight in conditions that will equal $$$$.

Thanks for all the advice, it is heard and acknowledged.

Tomorrow nite I'll be back with another installment entitled, "TOOTHPICKS" !
Old 07-07-2009, 07:35 AM
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

Is your son a RC pilot?????? if he is not don't forget the trash bag...for the toothpicks......
flying full scale is not the same as RC...full scale the controls are never reversed...but they are in RC....everything in RC is by sight...no seat of the pants flying...
Please don't be one of those I'm a full scale pilot...I can handle this.....flyers......usually the airplane goes down the runway lifts off begins a gentle roll one way or the other, never recovers impacts inverted.....the amount of land to fly over would not have mattered...it didn't last that long....
Don't get me wrong I truely wish you the best....but an instructor is the way to go......
Old 07-07-2009, 07:51 AM
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jester_s1
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

I second the instructor advice. You'll spend many times in broken equipment and time what it would have cost you to join a club and get an instructor.
Old 07-07-2009, 07:51 AM
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MinnFlyer
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

At the very least, spend some time on a cheap simulator first!
Old 07-07-2009, 08:00 AM
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

Can you learn by yourself? Yes, and you might not crash at all, but even Chuck Yeager had a flight instructor. It is mostly about muscle memory just like full scale, so you are having to teach yourself to move your thumbs when you want to move your arms and feet. I have seen many try this and some got it for a few flights but the muscle memory is not there and it costs $400.
Old 07-07-2009, 08:26 AM
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

Good luck Kennel - I truly hope all goes well. I do however have to agree with the others - at the least get a simulator, just to get the controls down (especially when the plane is coming towards you). If your son is an rc pilot - then get a buddy cable and hook it up - it's worth it just as a precautionary method.

Well, good luck once again and perhaps it will end up being a brilliant day.
Old 07-07-2009, 08:46 AM
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TruBlu02
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

Good luck! While I am in agreement with everyone here about the instructor or sim I know it can be done without either. A buddy of mine did it and he has quickly caught up to me in flying skills. I have dedicated hours on my sim at home just to keep one step ahead of him! : )
Old 07-07-2009, 08:59 AM
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

well you could get a buddly box and have your kid teach you to fly, seriously most kids have a least a marginally better chance at teaching themselves, kids aren't thinking analytically about it or over thinking it at all, just react. As an rc instructor and a real pilot I can say real pilots are the hardest to train to fly rc, thing are ok until it comes back at ya.
remember when it comes at you to move the stick to the low wing.
Old 07-07-2009, 10:21 AM
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WestCoastFlyer
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

This is one of those times I've got a little angel on one shoulder whispering, "Tell him it's not worth the risk of losing the plane and injury to his son, himself or their property," and on the other shoulder a little devil is whispering, "Don't say anything and see what happens."

When I was learning to fly, flying alone, I actually dive bombed at myself full speed, not once, but twice in the same flight with a wildly out of trim airplane. Both dive bombings I was within a second of hitting the dirt to save myself lol. I saved the plane. What are the odds of dive bombing straight at yourself twice when there are a million other directions a plane can go? LOL, that would've been pathetic if I'd hit myself with my own airplane.

Anyway, my advice is go find a club to learn to fly.
Old 07-07-2009, 11:07 AM
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Kennelmaster
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ok guys, I hear you all....   Son is an RC pilot...   Tomorrow you can come back and say I told you so.  But as for myself, I have taught myself nearly every skill I have, and that is limited, but out of necessity.

Throughout my life, when I have wanted to learn a skill, I have looked to others to assist.  I have gone to the "pros" and paid $$$ and dues for learning.   I can't remember if I have ever had any luck with that.   "I can't today"  "I'm busy"  "go buy this go buy that".
It seems that everyone that wants to be a "teacher" or a docent, doesn't commit.

I have adopted the philosophy of learning skills by myself.  I do not disagree with any of your advice but it is just not for me.

But, on the otherhand, thanks for all the advice and encouragement.

Will I crash and destroy the plane.  Yep, I'm planning on it.  Who amoung you hasn't?   But, I also plan on learning something from each and every flight.



Again, thanks for the advice, come back tomorrow and say, "I told you so" or, with any luck, concentration, and aptitude, I'll report that the maiden flight was a success....





Paul

Old 07-07-2009, 11:14 AM
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BalsaBrkr
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

Another vote for an instructor - except you said you wouldn't so....

Time on a cheap simulator will materially improve your chances of success. Success would include minor damage IMO..

You will also need something that hasn't been mentioned - a plan.

You should have an image of the entire flight in your head. This includes what you should be doing and how your intend to accomplish it.

My suggestion would be to break the flight into 7 phases

Phase 0 - Pre-flight

- Controls move in proper direction
- CG is correct
- Batteries charged
- Fuel full
- All control surfaces secure
- Push rods and keepers in place
- Wind is light
- Sun is not in flight area (you'll fly through it, blind yourself, and crash if not careful)
- etc.

Phase 1 - Ground Handling

- Plane "drives" straight
- Rudder control results in useful steering (instead of over control or no control)
- Runway is smooth enough for flight
- etc.

Phase 2 - Takeoff

- Into the wind
- Light controls
- Prepared for trim issues requiring you to hold some stick to keep level
- Full power
- Altitude altitude altitude
- Wings level with ground
- Altitude altitude altitude (to about 120 feet or more)

Phase 3 - Trim and Turn

- Once upstairs *reduce power* - you'll forget this one, but try not to - 60 - 70% power should work fine - no need to chase a speed demon
- The airplane may be very out of trim in which case you'll be controlling it a lot
- A helper to move trims might be helpful
- Often trimming elevator first is easier
- Then aileron trim
- If rudder is straight on the ground you can probably forget about trimming it on this flight - you'll have enough to do...
- Objective is a plane that flies straight and level at 65% power and no control inputs
- You'll need to be turning so remember to turn away from you to make an oval
- if you take off headed to your right then it'll be all left turns
- otherwise all right turns
- if you find yourself in a "fire fight" an airplane gaining altitude usually is an aircraft buying you some time - translation if your in a panic and the plane is headed up don't stop it until its nice and high

Phase 4 - Flight in Oval pattern

- if you've made it this far then it's time to let the heart slow a little
- keep it high (120 feet or more) and make turns to fly an oval
- keep it simple - all left or all right turns

Phase 5 - Slowing down, learning stall behavior, and practicing decent

- Be high - 120 feet or more
- Reduce power and keep the plane level (constant altitude) w/ elevator until it stalls
- It should fall forward with neither wing dropping
- Increase throttle and climb back to original altitude
- Stay in oval
- Do this several times
- You now know the absolute slowest it can fly
- Now reduce throttle and use elevator to slow decent from 120 ft to 80 ft - don't stall
- Repeat several times
- Now try the 120 -> 80 foot decent as you round the last leg of your oval and are lined up with the runway
- Don't land yet
- Repeat as necessary

Phase 6 - Landing

- Fly downwind and turn to final at about 50 ft high and a good distance out
- Reduce throttle to 5 - 10%
- Control decent speed with elevator - don't stall
- As airplane gets lower focus
- Is it going to fly past the runway? Don't force it - power up and go around
- Is it going to land short of the runway? Don't force it - power up and go around
- Is your decent too fast? Don't force it - power up and go around
- Is your decent too slow? Don't force it - power up and go around

- When your on a good glide path wait until low over runway (4 feet) and cut to 0 throttle
- Continue decent, as airplane gets close to runway use elevator to keep right above surface (i.e. fly level)
- If plane blooms (i.e. nose points up and it starts to climb) ADD Power and go around - it'll stall and crash quickly - use less elevator next time
- Otherwise plane will slow and land.... Ideally on rear gear - even better softly...
- If plane hits hard and bounces you'll have a choice - add power and go around or continue landing - often going around is better, but you'll have the airplane close to earth and your nerves may be shot so use your instincts


Knowing in advance how your plan to handle that various phases of flight is critical. I would suggest mentally rehearsing the plan several times...

I would also suggest a helper who has the plan printed out to remind you of the steps.

If the maiden pilot is your son and you're the helper you both should have an identical flight plan in mind and be prepared to work as a team...

Good luck
Old 07-07-2009, 11:14 AM
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!


ORIGINAL: WestCoastFlyer
the other shoulder a little devil is whispering, ''Don't say anything and see what happens.''
I just let the devil say "Please bring a camera, a picture is worth 1000 words." The little angel on my shoulder gave up after about 100 of these threads. Nowadays, I'm pretty sure even he gets a laugh when things go south!
Old 07-07-2009, 11:15 AM
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

OK, you don't want to buddy box it. That's fine, but at least let your son take it off and trim it out. Passing the Tx back and forth seems like something you should consider - why waste your money?

Good luck, and have fun! I'm sure your heart will be pounding, it'll be a memorable experience - an experience everyone here relates to.
Old 07-07-2009, 11:16 AM
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WestCoastFlyer
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!


ORIGINAL: smithcreek


ORIGINAL: WestCoastFlyer
the other shoulder a little devil is whispering, ''Don't say anything and see what happens.''
I just let the devil say ''Please bring a camera, a picture is worth 1000 words.'' The little angel on my shoulder gave up after about 100 of these threads. Nowadays, I'm pretty sure even he gets a laugh when things go south!
Great post!
Old 07-07-2009, 12:01 PM
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rlipsett
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

If your son is an rc pilot get the buddy cord! in essence when you learn to fly you are teaching yourself with a little coaching from the instructor. The great part about the instructor is that he can prevent you from burying the plane in the first 30 seconds then give it back too you so you can try again. It takes a long time to learn to fly in 30 second bursts once a day. A simulator will allow you to learn some stick control on electronic models that can be rebuilt by hitting the space bar. IF you consider learning all by yourself when you have a son who is a pilot then I think you are either a little crazy or that you are intentionally trying to startr a flame war on this heated topic and therefore some kind of troll
Old 07-07-2009, 12:57 PM
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

Good luck, any chance of video?
Old 07-07-2009, 01:33 PM
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

You know what Kennel...You have come on here and posted that's ok...you disagree, that's ok as well......
But to come on this forum and in a round about way blast those that teach others when you have had no expierence with an RC instructor is not a good way to start a hobby that is as social as RC flying is......instructors don't commit??????? I have never once charged for instruction, most instructors don't.....I have given my time and flown with a student instead of flying for me...alot......I give common hardware like nuts bolts and screws because a student hasn't learned what to carry yet....I have my own buddy boxes and cords, because I don't trust the clubs.......I have gone to the field and stood because a student didn't show and didn't call......not just me...every instructor has stories like this.....
You never learned a skill that you didn't teach yourself...perhaps the problem lies within the mirror, instead of the instructor......sure we all crash you are correct...but I didn't crash my airplane learning to fly...my instructor saw to it......
Good Luck on your flight.
Old 07-07-2009, 02:33 PM
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

That is great that you are getting into flying. If your son is a capable instructor then you should do fine. Take it slow and enjoy it. That is the point. I learned with an instructor and it worked great for me, probaly the reason I am still in the hobby and am progressing as fast as I am. A friend started same time as me bought the same plane but said, oh I will learn on my own. He crashed the plane first flight after barely getting it in the air. He was doing pretty much everything wrong, but he ended up quitting. His plane is now a pile of sticks and an air boat motor lol. Anyways if your son is a rc pilot then you should be alright. Let him take off, trim, and pass the sticks. Someone else said it but ALTITUDE ALTITUDE ALTITUDE especially if your passing the stick back and forth.

Enjoy!

Jetmech05 - I don't know if he was trying to flame instructors but there are good and bad out there. He just sounds stubborn to me, the guy not ready to let anyone help. Luckily of the 2 clubs near me 1 was willing to help. Not everyone has a great experience with instructors, I did. I do see your point I know how much instructors put into this hobby and i appreciate every second of it! Thank You.
Old 07-07-2009, 03:00 PM
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

ORIGINAL: Kennelmaster
Will I crash and destroy the plane. Yep, I'm planning on it. Who amoung you hasn't? But, I also plan on learning something from each and every flight.
Sorry, but I tend to agree with jetmech. I can safely say I did not crash and destroy a plane when I was learning to fly with an instructor. That same instructor is now my mentor/coach. I've learned so much from him that I would not have on my own. Now, that's not to say I haven't crashed. I have crashed when mechanical issues arise, or control of the plane is lost, or from pushing the limits in aerobatic flight. But I have never "planned" on crashing and destroying a plane to learn something new because I was too stubborn/proud/etc to ask for help.

Please don't take offense to this, as I really do wish you the best and hope you succeed. The more the merrier in this hobby! However, please don't generalize others.

Good luck, you've received a lot of good advice here! [8D]

PS: Dont forget to take pictures of the plane before its first flight, just in case something happens!
Old 07-07-2009, 03:56 PM
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Kennelmaster
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!



balsaBrkr,  Your advice is great.  Tonites flight will be just that.  AFTER thorough pre-flicght, taxi testing.  Then take off rolls, then take-offs....    BY MY SON....

We are taking baby steps in this.    Thank you.





JETMECH,  Wow, I am excited about rc flying.   But, having been down the path a few times IN OTHER ENDEAVORS, my reliance on others is limited.   Been there done that.   NEVER once did I say anything about RC instructors and you made that assumption.  I applaud you in your dedication to assisting others, but I haven't found that in other avocations I have enjoyed.

Example:  I started racing Outlaw Karts three years ago.  Was assured that I would get all the help I needed.  Didn't happen.  So I taught myself about a few things and have become the go to guy at the track for carburator troubles.  Before three years ago, I did not even own mechanic tools.  Now, I will miss a race in order to help someone else out at the track, especially competitors in my class.



I am not stubborn, just realistic the IN MY EXPERIENCE the best way is for ME to do it.   Ya want it done, ya got to do it yourself.  I believe that you misinterpreted my comments as a slam on the RC world and RC instructors.  Nothing could be further from the truth....   until now.  JETMECH, you don't know me.  You don't know my life experiences.  Yet you condemn my philosophy on life and learning.  You suggest that you experience RC Flying as a social setting.  Good!  I hope you enjoy it and have great social experiences.  But from the tone of YOUR post, it seems that to get along you have to go along.  Sorry, I don't live my life that way.
I march to my drummer.

So having said that,  I guess I'll just enjoy time and fun with my son.  Crash/no crash, who the h#ll cares.

To those who urged and offered sincere advice, thank you.  To those who know it all and "condemn"  my actions or attitude, thank you for reinforcing the fact that there is one in every avocation.

Soured by the reactions, I may not return to this forum.  I just will be an old retired guy having fun, the way I want to have it! 

Old 07-07-2009, 04:22 PM
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Default RE: Beginner??? Probably!

One thing that many miss about the hobby is that, most who are in it to stay treat it just as you would a real plane not the toy that the public is wanting to see. About 3-4 years ago, 2 people were killed by their models so it can happen. Another point, the government is now coming in to define what is hobby and what is not for us; they would like to shut us down because of defence contractors; right now they are watching closely. We want to help or we would not respond; we also want to protect a rite that can be taken away.

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