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Arfs vs Kits

Old 06-19-2003, 03:11 AM
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flyathome
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Default Arfs vs Kits

In the latest RCM Jim Pearson makes the observation that most people are building ARFs because of a lack of time to build a kit. I would contend that there is more to it than that. I think it is also a matter of impatience. We have been taught by our instant society that everything should be quick and easy. I am very busy with job, family, etc. However, I very rarely assemble an ARF. (three in the last eleven years) It may take me six months, but I would still rather build a kit or from plans. The pay off is that when I get to the field I don't see several other planes just like mine. Beside that I have the satisfaction of creating something that actually flys. Just some of my thoughts.

Steve
Old 06-19-2003, 08:18 AM
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Dream_Flyer
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Default Hey Steve

This subject has been gone over so much it was beat on the head with a shovel and burried lol.

But I do agree with you that I myself would rather build then get an ARF but then again with the ease of the ARF it has helped and get more attention of new moddlers to get into flying and they May become more interested in building (Hope) . Some just would rather fly than build or to take the time to learn to build or purchase everything that is needed to do so.

While others find it fun and very rewarding to build something of there own design or of someone elses that would look unlike everyone elses planes.

It is really up to the individual as to what he likes. Some like to build and fly while others would just fly if they could and do not like to build or feel they have the ability to do so.

What it all boils down to me is. No matter how people get into RC flying let them enjoy the hobby how they wish. And with more people getting into the hobby it may keep more local hobby stores stay open and keep the costs a little lower do to more buying power of the flying public. So this will help the hobby in the long run .

As the one comic says this is my opinion and I could be wrong.
Old 06-19-2003, 12:11 PM
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Paul Hazelwood
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Default Arfs vs Kits



Who cares?


Go fly and build what you want and quit whining that people don't enjoy a hobby like you do.
Old 06-19-2003, 12:41 PM
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CRFlyer
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Default Arfs vs Kits

I have been in this hobby now for better than 5 years, and have never even considered an ARF. It takes me a long time to build a kit as I work full time as well as having a family, but I get a lot of joy in creating "my" plane.

When I first started out in this hobby, my building skills were poor. Simple things took a long time and building was not fun, but over the years I have gotten a lot better. The building skills also have helped me in other areas such as home improvements and the like.
Old 06-19-2003, 01:19 PM
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Sprink
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Default Arfs vs Kits

I have just completed my first ARTF. All my other planes have been from kits or plans. (excluding a couple of small electric foamies)

It is good looking, and was quite easy to put together, and I plan never to buy another ARTF ever again.

All it has done is prove what I really already knew. I enjoy the building as much as the flying, so for me I get more value out of a kit, even if it is more expensive.

Because I like building, I need to have something on the building board all the time. If I just did ARTFs, I would probably get through 2 a month. That would then get very expensive.

So kits and plans for me from now on. Currently thinking about building a small fun fly from scratch.
Old 06-19-2003, 01:50 PM
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BingoFlyer
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Default Arfs vs Kits

I build from plans for the same reason as Poncaflyer. I have been building models since 1949 and R/C since '53 and have built only one ARF.

I have design and but four planes all of which flew very well, another reason for building is that you are able to repair most any crash (one of the best flying planes I had I sold it) was picked out of the trash and rebuilt without the plans).

I agree that ARFs have brought a lot of fliers into the hobby and that is a good thing.
Old 06-19-2003, 02:41 PM
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Old Mill
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Default Arfs vs Kits

How much time and money do you guys have, and are any of you retired?

A semi-young cash strapped guy here, kits are alot mroe expensive than ARF's, and alot of time i don't have, I want to build, but when?

Mill
Old 06-19-2003, 02:47 PM
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CRFlyer
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Default Arfs vs Kits

I don't have much time either, but I set up a small work area in the corner of my garage. This way I can go build as time allows without having to take time to move everything as you would if you used the kitchen table (Been there, done that.). I will step in my building area whenever I get a few minutes. As I mentioned earlier, it takes me a long time to build a plane, and I am on a very tight budget, but I would rather build a kit than assemble an ARF.
Old 06-19-2003, 02:51 PM
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bearmech
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Default Arfs vs Kits

Retired, Don't I Wish!! I build a little at a time, 20-30 min. an evening and more on weekends when I can't fly! It's tough to balance family, work and hobbies. My son and I are just finishing an Avistar, our first arf. I prefer to build but when I need to get some thing in the air fast I think the arf may be the way to go. I can't believe I just said that!! LOL
Old 06-19-2003, 02:54 PM
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Default Arfs vs Kits

I have to dissagree about ARFs being cheaper than kits. I find ARFs to be poorley built as well. I have 2 right now out of 55 planes I have. I have had to go through and modify them a ton. A person who has not built a kit would not know what needs to be streangthened and would have things coming apart in no time. Read on Jims firewall coming off and his engine trying to eat his hand. People can build and fly what they like. I have no problem either way. I just hope the one who just do ARFs are going through them and beefing up things like firewalls so they don't have engines ripping off. I think the ARF market will bring better planes down the road, but right now, they are not there.
Old 06-19-2003, 03:18 PM
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Paul Hazelwood
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Default Arfs vs Kits

Originally posted by FLYBOY
I A person who has not built a kit would not know what needs to be streangthened and would have things coming apart in no time.


Really? Is it true that thousands of arfs are infiltrating the flying fields? If this is true certainly you should be able to document 100's of ARF crashes directly related to ARF manufacturing defects.


I hear you guys whining about ARFS but have yet to see any real world documentation that they are falling out of the sky at any rate to say they are inherantly more dangerous than some guy who didn't glue his firewall or wing joint correctly when he built his kit.


Funny how when kit built planes get driven into into the ground every excuse is given except that he might have built it poorly.
Old 06-19-2003, 03:58 PM
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nbcguy
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Default Arfs vs Kits

Here we go on this topic again... Build a KIT, Build an ARF, who cares. Just come out to the field and FLY. Between flights, we'll shoot the breeze about this fine hobby we all share right?

Sure, some ARFs may be junk just like anything else. The ARFs from Yellow Aircraft make me drool just looking at the web site! I sure don't think they're any worse than a kit "veteran" could produce.

I build planes because I enjoy building, I fly planes because I enjoy flying. ARF... BIY whatever, do what you want and enjoy it. Life it way too short to worry about what everyone else is doing/thinking/ or flying.

I'll get off my soapbox now, anyone wanna go flying?
Old 06-19-2003, 03:59 PM
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pinball-RCU
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Default Re: Arfs vs Kits

I think it is also a matter of impatience. We have been taught by our instant society that everything should be quick and easy.
I'm always amused when anything is blamed on "society", like it's some external force working on us. In my view, society is US. (In the famous words of Walt Kelly, "We have met the enemy and they are us".) Society doesn't teach us anything. What you are seeing is simply a reflection of the fact that most humans like "quick and easy" and they always have (except for the activities where they like slow and easy ). I guess you happen to like slow and tough for building planes, others don't. Is doesn't follow that you are morally superior, which is what your comment about "impatience" implies.
Old 06-19-2003, 04:53 PM
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nbcguy
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Default Arfs vs Kits

SLAM!!!

What's the little happy face icon thinghy for a piano falling on someone's head?
Old 06-19-2003, 05:22 PM
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Patrick Underwo
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Default Arfs vs Kits

For the guy who's young and strapped for cash, there is an alternative to buying an ARF that looks like everybody else's: repaint it. There is a nice article on doing that in a recent Model Airplane News.

I like building kits--I recently flew my first scratchbuilt--and I want to design my own obscure warbirds. But I am also about to buy a KMP Corsair ARF. Corsairs usually look pretty much the same, ARF or scratchbuilt, because almost all of them were blue!! (except for the racers, which don't interest me) I plan to repaint this ARF in a rare non-blue scheme so it won't look like everybody else's.

I've also ready many very favorable comments on the quality of KMP's planes, so I'm not especially worried about it falling apart.

Patrick
Old 06-19-2003, 05:34 PM
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pikebishop
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Default Arfs vs Kits

I like kit building but own several arfs also. when you come across a really cool plane and say wow that is great quality and I don't think I could build it for that I cave and buy it. however I wouldn't trade the theraputic effect building has on me when I can't stop thinking about work I go and build for a while, usually just before bedtime and next thing you know I am sleeping soundly all work issues buried until morning. I do think you can build some kits cheaper than arfs. sig kits come to mind.
Old 06-19-2003, 05:51 PM
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Old Mill
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Default Arfs vs Kits

Oh, believe me, it isn't for lack of desire I am not hardcore building yet, really just time and money. I have probably put 300 dollars or close to it in to my cub so far, it isn't done yet.

Takes me 2 hours minimum to get anything worthwhile done, perhaps just to being a newbie builder, but nothing ever seems to go right, or I need one more tool here, one there. I ran out of money buying new tools. Now I need bar sanders, tried just a flat sanding block but not big enough, oh fun.

Ultimately I wanted to build minimum TF warbirds, and someday a Ziroli, but I am just a bad builder now. Covering and soldering are the banes of my building, because of them I cant get motivated to continue.

Just my rambling story, sorry.

Mill
Old 06-19-2003, 05:53 PM
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Default Arfs vs Kits

Paul, I am no saying they will all fall apart. I said they are not built as well and that things like firewalls should be checked. A new person will not know to do this. The same stands true for a new person building a kit. He will hopefully get the needed help to make sure he is doing it right.

I have a Magic and a Great planes shoestring. If I would have taken them out of the box and put them together as the plans stated, then flew them the way I do, which is very hard, very agressive 3D, they would have started sheading parts long ago. If I flew them easy, they would probably be ok, other than the gear on the shoestring. They are not crap by any means, both are fun to fly. Both needed triangle stock on the firewalls, wing mount blocks and landing gear among other things.

ARFs are popular, as are kits. Both will be around for a long time. I don't care how many times it is argued, neither is better than the other. Anyone that thinks they can take one out of the box, throw an oversized engine on and not make some structural changes to streangthen it should go look for the thread on Jims 1/4 scale ARF where the engine pulled the firewall off and it ate his hand. If he would have beefed it up, it probably wouldn't have happend. Not pointing blame, just stating that people need to look at them. To not is simply wreckless and dangerous. Doesn't matter if it is a kit or an ARF.
Old 06-19-2003, 07:06 PM
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MinnFlyer
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Default Arfs vs Kits

Keep hacking away at it OldMill, Experience is the best teacher.

To me, Building is a hobby of itself. I would rather fly than build, but I would rather build than sit around doing nothing (which you do a lot of during Minnesota winters if you're not into snowmobiling!).

As far as money goes, (Ok, this is going to sound like one of those "When I was a kid" stories, but I swear it's true) Many years ago when I was raising a family and had very little money (and a wife who insisted on spending what little we had on stupid things like food and rent), I went to the LHS and bought a few sheets of balsa. Each week, I'd scrape a few more buck together to get more wood, and I built a 2-meter, polyhedral sailplane on my kitchen table with no plans, and only Elmer's glue, a (1) razor blade, a kitchen knife, a piece of sandpaper, and some drill bits (Note: No drill, just bits. Imagine chain drilling a piece of 3/16 ply for an engine pod, and then hand sanding the drill holes smooth!).

And, I might add that the results were as good as you'd see on any box in the LHS.

Point is, Some people ENJOY building. Some don't. This doesn't make them any better or worse than the next guy. Maybe they can do something better than me, like, maybe they can draw... no wait,... I CAN draw, ok, maybe they can sing... no, I can do that too,.. Well, maybe they can act... Hmmm, I once appeared in an Off Broadway show.

All right, maybe they can play golf, ... Shoot, I'm a pretty good golfer too!

Damn! I'm Incredible!!!!

Old 06-19-2003, 07:09 PM
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Roby
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Default Arfs vs Kits

There are many reasons why people go for the ARF's
But whatever the reason, the choice is up to the
particular individual who wants or needs an aircraft.

The supplier of an ARF is only providing a service to those
people who want it .

I am not a fan of ARF's by any means ,and I prefer to build
my stuff, so , for the most part I don't use the service available.

I do however have 2 ARF's that I acquired through private
"killer " deals. (too good to pass up ).

IMO , ARF means "All Ready to Fix" (but that's just me)
Over the years ARF'S have come a long way but some
still have quite a ways to go.

regards
Roby
Old 06-19-2003, 07:47 PM
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RobStagis
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Default Arfs vs Kits

*grin* I'm trying to remember the quote, but it went like:

We don't 'waste' time - we 'spend' time on our hobby. Whatever you like to do is now available. There's more kits available than arf's and more plans available than kits...pick one and do it.
Old 06-19-2003, 08:21 PM
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Sprink
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Default Arfs vs Kits

Some people, like me, enjoy building, and find this as good a part of the hobby as the flying, hence my avoidance of ARFs (in fact at my club we have one member who only flys because we twisted his arm. He really likes building, and was happy with that, and very nice planes he builds to)

Some people don't like building, or feel they don't have time, so for them ARFs are the perfect solution.

Some people are happy with either, and buy what they want if they see a plane they like, arf or kit or plan.

And others go in for big scale projects which take a year or three, and they buy ARFs as sport flyers so that they have something to fly while the big project is being built.

Which ever bracket you fall into, the important thing is that you enjoy it.

For me, building kits is "cheaper" as it takes me two to six months to complete each one. If I just built ARFs I would probably get through at least one a month, making the cost go up.

The majority of my building is done in the evenings during the week. Tonight I have built the fin and rudder for the GP Cap 232 I'm currently building, and did the first bit of covering, on the elevators. I also build at the weekends if the weather prevents flying, and I'm not doing anything else.

Ultimately it is difficult to compare like with like. I can think of very few planes that are both a kit and ARF from the same manufacturer:

GP Extra 300s 40 size is one. $90 as a kit, $190 as an ARF. Any one had both?
Goldberg Ultimate is another. $170 as a kit, $330 as an ARF.

I have had the kits of both. I would not say that the extras I had to buy (mainly the covering) was not equal to the price difference, which makes sense as they have not been pre-assembled for free.

Fortunately, I'm having tomorrow off. I plan to fly in the morning, have some lunch, then build in the afternoon. A perfect day...
Old 06-20-2003, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Arfs vs Kits

Originally posted by Poncaflyer
In the latest RCM Jim Pearson makes the observation that most people are building ARFs because of a lack of time to build a kit. I would contend that there is more to it than that. I think it is also a matter of impatience. We have been taught by our instant society that everything should be quick and easy. I am very busy with job, family, etc. However, I very rarely assemble an ARF. (three in the last eleven years) It may take me six months, but I would still rather build a kit or from plans. The pay off is that when I get to the field I don't see several other planes just like mine. Beside that I have the satisfaction of creating something that actually flys. Just some of my thoughts.

Steve
I both assemble ARF's and build kits. For me, its not so much time or money it just depends on what the plane itself is. I just assembled a Sig Kadet Senior ARF. I wanted the plane for a wireless video system and in this instance I am more interested in the video aspect than the plane aspect. The plane is just the airborne platform I picked to carry the video system.
A while back I built a Tower Hobbies Kaos from a kit because I wanted to build a kit and liked the looks of the plane itself and in this case it was the plane itself I was interested in.
I built an Uproar 40 after that because I needed something to do while the wife was out of town and that particular airplane looked fun to fly, fun to build and was a perfect match for an engine I already had.
I have an Ultra Stick 60 ARF I plan to assemble next because its a plane I want to fly but have no desire to build from a kit.
In the meantime, I am assembling a collection of different kits to build in the future such as Super Sport 20's, an Utter Chaos, a Reflex, Lil Bubba, and a Gremlin.
I will also probably acquire a Hangar 9 P51 sometime in the future. I like the looks of the plane, I want a warbird, but while I believe my building "skills" would be up to par for a P-51, I know my covering skills are not. I would end up with something that would probably fly well, but look like crap. Good covering jobs are just something I cant seem to get the knack of.
To boild it down, ARFs vs Kits for me depends on what the plane is or what the plane is for, I guess.
Old 06-20-2003, 01:43 AM
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Default Love 'em both !

My ratio of arf to kit is 3:1 I know when to build a kit when I get that special "feeling" or when I can't get an arf for the model I want......
Old 06-20-2003, 06:38 PM
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Default Arfs vs Kits

I have an equal mix of plans built, kit built and ARF's.

I don't care what anyone brings to the field as long as it's safe.

Let's have fun!

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