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-   -   After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird? (https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc-warbirds-warplanes-200/8714162-after-your-trainer-how-long-did-take-you-fly-war-bird.html)

hnflyer 04-25-2009 10:42 AM

After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
I’ve been flying for short time and I’m still on a trainer. I was wondering how long it would take me to have enough skill to fly a War Bird. I know that some people develop the skill to fly difficult planes very quickly so I’m looking for an average time; anyway I guess my question is:
After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?

Warbird Joe 04-25-2009 11:31 AM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
Hello HNFLYER, I started flying mine the second season. However, it depends of what type of Warbird you are talking about. I have a T-28 which is a low wing with a trike, some are taildraggers and etc. So to be honest it depends on what you have flown and your experience. A tail dragger requires you to be on the elevator to keep it from going nose in while taxing down the runway. While in the air now the warbirds drop a lot quicker out of the sky. You really don't have that trainer high wing dihedral there to help your plane float. They are a lot more work on the ground and in the air.

I think it's going to be pretty much on how you feel about your skills and if you aren't sure ask the people who you fly with what they think about your skills and if you could handle a warbird. Just MHO.

FallDownGoBoom 04-25-2009 11:38 AM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
I think the answer to your question depends on your definition of "warbird". At the risk of getting flamed, the H9 PTS Mustang might be considered a warbird (it's got invasion stripes, right?). I've seen guys use those as trainers, or second planes.

Some folks have flown a World Models T34 or the H9 T34 as a second/third plane. If you're flying two/three times a week, and can reliably handle your trainer in 15mph winds, you're probably capable of flying something like this. Flying a warbird isn't overly hard, you have to keep in mind that it won't self-correct to level flight, and you don't have large control surfaces. It's landing a warbird that is tougher. They generally fly faster due to higher wing loading, and have a tendency to tip stall if airspeed gets too low, which is why you have to fly them all the way onto (not into!) the ground.

But if we're talking an out-and-out scale fighter (P40/p47/P51/FW190/BF109) or even further up the difficulty scale, a twin (P38/B25/A26), I'd wait until you've mastered some kind of low wing tail dragger aerobatic/3d airframe that's one step beyond something like a Goldberg Tiger2. Which is probably one or two years of serious flying for most folks.

foodstick 04-25-2009 12:58 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
Many of the Zero kits fly very well. I know the byron zero was a real baby, as are many of the big arf zero's out there now.

hnflyer 04-25-2009 07:28 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
Thanks so much for the replies. My dream is to fly a P-40, but I guess in time I'll get there. Again Thanks

aerowoof 04-25-2009 07:36 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
there are warbirds that are close to true scale and have a high wing loading and really require alot of experience to fly,then there are the arf warbirds that are more of a sport scale warbird with a medium wingloading that an average pilot can fly.the problem with warbirds is not the flying part so much as it is the landing or takeoff where snaprolls from a stall can ruin your day.there are things you can do to make things easier for you and that is to put a gyro on the rudder.this will help in ground handling during takeoff and with the dreaded drooping wing during a stall during landing or takeoff.worst thing to do is to use airleron to correct for a sudden drop of a wing tip.

P-40 DRIVER 04-25-2009 08:43 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
The Hanger nine P-40 (no longer made) was a sport plane and could be managed by an average pilot with some hot tail wheel time under his belt. The Top Flite P-40 takes a very experienced pilot to handle it. It is heavy, has a vicious stall and bad ground handling, all of which can be typical of a scale warbird.

mgrande11 04-26-2009 05:34 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
My second plane was a electrifly hellcat foamie. It taught me a valueable lesson keep the speed up to prevent the dreaded tip stall and use the rudder to pull out of it. I moved on to a PTS Mustang and my goal is to move up to a .60 or .90 size corsair. Take your time and enjoy flying what you got and soon enough you'll be buzzing the field with a 40s fighter.

at-6 texan 04-26-2009 06:01 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
my first aereoplane is an P-51 arf to Hangar9...now the my second craft is an Ready MK2.......

StingRayZ09 04-26-2009 08:30 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
1 Attachment(s)
Hello, I flow my trainer for almost one year, My frist warbird was a Mustang for me it was too fast and didn't last. Now I fly a low wing trainer I do own a P40 and another Mustang and a bipe, I don't fly them I have my Pilot fly them for me just so I can see them fly and take Pictures. All Planes are different to fly, Here is some of my fleet.

G-Pete 04-27-2009 09:34 AM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
...my trainer was a warbird...:):D

prop wash 04-27-2009 10:56 AM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
HN take your time!! Get a low wing trainer from Goldburg or someone.Take your time. The more time you have on the stick the better off you will be.Practice take offs and landings,very important as everybody will tell you.Take long approaches with throttle control and elevator.If you jump into the war birds too soon you will spend a lot of time in repairs or buying new birds.Start with a tail dragger.Good luck.Tom

transatlanticflight 04-27-2009 12:57 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
My trainer (a Hobbico NextStar) looked like it had been through a war when I was done with it. lol

I call it my trainer because it's the first plane that stayed in the air more than 10 seconds...and the first one that landed on it's wheels, in one piece. The first 5 planes (don't remind me) were high wing, so called, foam "trainers" (mostly foamie Cessna's)...and some cool looking small balsa warbirds I thought I could crash just as well as the cessna's. Yeah, I could have used some direction from experienced flyers...but the owner of my local hobby store seemed more concerned about selling what he had in stock, and emptying my wallet, than giving me any good advice. Of course, I buy nothing there anymore.

So like you, "hnflyer", and like many, it was warbirds like the P40 Warhawk that made me want to get into flying. I will say this: having purchased, built, and flown over a dozen warbirds from small foam RTF's to giant scale Yellow aircraft P40 and Spitfire Mk14, whether you choose gas or electric, as a transition from a trainer to a warbird or any low winged plane - RTF IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO. Here's why: No matter what, you're gonna crash eventually. RTF's minimize your investment, of time and money...and the right ones will give you a satisfying learning experience.


You're best bet for a gas plane is the Hangar 9 PTS Mustang. Here's my list of reasons why this plane is better than anything else on the market for your purpose.

1. Total Cost - Last I checked $399 for the whole rig - airframe, engine, servos, radio...all installed ready to go. You can literally unpack it at the airfield and be flying in 45 minutes. No effort sourcing anything no additional build time to lament when you stuff it...and it looks good (considering) in the air. When I first showed up with it the guys at my field who fly expensive large scale planes were remarking how good it looked...and seemed to envy the fact that there was little at stake if I crashed.

2. The general design/construction and PTS system - The wing loading is light. The engine is run in...ready to fly. The landing gear are rugged hardened steel, have solid attachment blocks, and are raked far forward to make landings really easy (easier than my trike trainer). The wheels are 3" low bounce rubber and oversized for the model, they'll roll nice on just about anything...even gopher holes. The tailwheel is steerable, fixed to the rudder, and gives very positive ground handling...and it will survive a tough landing. The plane has flaps installed! A lot of more expensive planes don't come with flaps. Add an extra standard servo and you've got flaps to play with...all the linkage is supplied. The clear plastic removable wing nacelles tame the tip stall considerably as well as the general handling...the 3 blade prop slows down the landing and overall top speed. Best of all...tear off the nacelles (5 minutes work) and put on a two blade prop...and it's a whole new plane. 3 succesful flights and you'll be ready to hop up and start flying aerobatics. And that is not just hype.

3. Survivability - Yes, I crashed...a LOT! Not because I couldn't fly the plane but, rather, because I could fly it so well...so quickly. I was doing aerobatics loops, rolls, the first day...pushing the limits of my flying skill. Unlike a foam plane, even my worst crash left me with a radio, set of servos, and a repairable airframe...yeah I buried the engine at full throttle 6 inches into the mud...it was a goner. The only problem is that at $399 you might rather get on the phone and order another rather than fix what you just crashed. I crashed a total of three...all pushing the limits...not because of any bad habit attributable to the plane.

In the end, it was the best money I ever spent in this hobby. All the electronics from my PTS squadron ended up in 60 size H9 birds, an AT6, Spitfire, and Sopwith Camel...plus a 50 size CMP P40...when I felt like dedicating time to build. And of the 4 PTS Mustangs I purchased over the last three years, I probably have parts for 2 airworthy planes, if I felt like doing a little recovering.

Heck...I just talked myself into ordering one. I miss flying without fear. [:o]

My only CAUTION to the PTS Mustang...check the firewall for shipping damage and send it back if there is any evidence of such. The weight of the pre-installed engine can snap the firewall if the box takes a beating through shipping. (Maybe they've improved the packing since then) If it looks good...you should be OK to fly out of the box. Then, at your convenience, add a little epoxy inside the nose to reinforce the joint where the firewall attaches to the fuse...it's the plane's only weakness...light glue from the factory.

While the P40 is a romantic plane and one of the first arf's (the CMP) I ever purchased, both of the P40's I own are challenging to fly but for different reasons. Look around for p40 threads and I think you will see it is the widely held sentiment of most RC pilots that the P40 is not a good first warbird.


As for foamies or small built up balsa...take the same approach. The Parkzone RTF Spitfire ($179 radio included) will have you in the air in the same amount of time as the PTS Mustang but half the money. Of course it's three channel only - throttle, elevator and ailerons but this is plenty to get you going...rudder on a warbird, though it improves the overall flight envelope... is only critical for takeoffs and landings (with taildraggers) or crosswind landings (for all) A parkflyer is just that...land anywhere into the wind wherever it's coming from. The Spitfire particularly is an electric plane that models (flies) well at small scale. The Parkzone Spitfire flies very well indeed - better than the PZ Mustang or BF 109.

Granted there are other foam planes with better scale looks, (Alfa, Flying Styro)...but all will take more build time and be more expensive to get in the air, which means more to lose when you crash...

The PZ Spitfire is no frills, warbird flying, decent scale looks - certainly looks good in the air. Decent flight time off the stock, geared, brushed motor and nicad battery. The plane has such easy battery hatch access that you can fly almost constantly...to the limit of your spare battery supply and charger time. It is comparable to most foam planes in a crash...maybe a little better. It is a belly lander, though, like most foam planes so landings are really ditches. But unlike the alfa, flying styro, or small balsa planes, ready availability of replacement parts means you don't have to struggle with the LHS to get what you need to get back in the air after a crash. And you can always hop it up with a brushless/ lipo set-up later if you want.

The PZ Spitfire can handle light wind remarkably well (unlike a lot of smaller foamies) but as with all small planes the less wind the better...especially while you are learning. The Spitfire is a notorious floater on landing due to the big elliptical wing, so make sure you come in low and allow for a long glide in.

The plane's only real weakness is the tail plane attachment to the fuse. Unfortunately, any rough belly landing that tweeks the tail plane will probably snap the fuse in that area. In fact, if the rest of the plane wasn't so serviceable, this defect would make me give it a thumbs down. But there is a fairly easy remedy that takes less time than the building gymnastics of other foamies. While it can be repaired after the fact, my suggestion is to take apart the tail plane and reinforce it before you fly.

Simply, remove the plastic stabilizer attachment point (three screws), cut the fuselage along the seam and reinforce the inside of the tail section with glass strand packing tape or carbon fiber tape and glue the seam back together with foam safe CA. Start about an inch forward of the stabilizer, taping both fuse halves, right across the stabilizer slot, cutting out the openings for the stabilizer with a razor knife afterward. Keep the tape trimmed about an 1/8" away from the seam so as not to interfere with regluing the fuse halves. Use rubber bands, clothespins or miniclamps to hold the fuse together till cured. Then re-attach the hard plastic piece and tape the horizontal stabilizer in place per the directions. Check the CG...should balance OK with the battery forward if you use just one layer of tape. Otherwise, add nose weight...the plane can handle it. At max, it's a 1 hour project that can be completed while the battery is charging and makes the plane just about bullet proof. If you are really rough on planes...take minute and add the same tape to the dihedral area of the main wing under (or over) the edge of the plastic belly pan. This area also gets stressed in a bad landing. I wish Parkzone did this at the factory...but then they wouldn't sell so many replacement parts. ;)

For what it's worth....happy flying "hnflyer."


jmohn 04-27-2009 01:52 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
Don't jump in too fast. Get a Cub or something like that and make sure you can land and do everything possible in that plane before you jump into a warbird. A P40 would not be the best plane to start with as it has a higher wing loading than others. An AT-6 or Hellcat are good ones to start with. Hanger 9 makes some great planes that fly well.


mgrande11 05-09-2009 05:58 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
I would like to add that on the PTS Mustang you should fuelproof the firewall by mixing 50/50 rubbing alcohol and epoxy then brush on, it will only take 10 min and go along way toward keeping the stang in tip top shape. Also use thread lock on the motor mounts and muffler. I didn't even bother with the 3 blade prop and ran a 2 blader with a 2 3/4 inch spinner. I ran three tanks thru the evo engine before taking it up and had to fine tune the needles, it's better as a beginner to due that on the ground than a flame out in the air. I have already moved up to a hanger 9 p-47 .60 size it flys just like the PTS except that you have to land it a little faster. Good luck and enjoy if you have any questions pm me I was in your shoes earlier this year and got lots of great tips from the guys here and at the field.

Edwin 05-09-2009 08:43 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
Mostly good advice here. The only thing I can add, learn to use your rudder. That is a must. When I taught, I told my students to do figure 8's using the rudder. And using the ailerons to keep the plane at shallow banks.

kahloq 05-10-2009 03:27 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
I agree with what most are saying here. I also had the PTS Mustang...and this was my primary 1st plane. I never owned a trainer and had only 3-4 flights on a "club trainer" before starting to do buddy-box flights on my PTS P-51. After 3 buddy-box flights, I was soloing the plane and landing it.

If you can fly a regular trainer, then you can fly the PTS P-51, but it will take a little more effort on takeoffs as it might want to vear left due to motor torque(this is a normal issue with almost all tail dragger planes and expecially with warbirds). This is where you learn to sue rudder. One way to help counter that is to put the wheels in a toe-ed in positon(meaning the leading edge of the wheels are pointed slighty towards the fuselage).

I also agree that the PZ Spitfire is an excellent "first" warbird, but it does float forever and really wont teach you much. Instead, Id recommend the Parkzone Corsair. Same size as the Spit, its also made of foam, but this one has landing gear(removable) as well as a working rudder and tail wheel. This plane will allow you to get the hang of taking off with a tail dragger and landing a warbird without the risk of a higher value plane. This Corsair is also already equipped with a brushless motor and if you get the RTF version, it has a 5 channel 2.4 spread spektrum radio, Spare parts are everywhere. I've got one(built from spare parts from the hobby store as I elected to hop mine up). Ive been flying for several years and Ive got more warbirds then most ppl have planes in general, but I still have a ball flying the PZ Corsair.

As for P-40's yes there is a wide range of skill level required depending on the brand and scale of the plane(as would be the case with any type of warbird). TF P-40's and Skyshark P-40's are pretty high up there with needing experience to fly cuz they are close to scale. CMP has two P-40(50 and 140 size) and they are not the most scale looking things and are very heavy for their size.
However, there are good looking P-40's that LOOK mostly scale, but have a few minor tweaks to make them fly easier. The Hangar 9 one is a good example of that as is the BHmodels P-40. Both dont look all that scale, but they do fly well. The new Kyosho P-40 looks decent for a P-40(much better then the hangar 9), but is just about as pilot friendly. It is very light relatively speaking.
Now....a VQwarbirds P40 looks pretty scale, but its not as hard to fly as a TF, but needs more attention then a Hangar 9 type plane. I have one and its heavy for its size...its a 60 size plane and weighs 10 pounds.

If you get a PZ Corsair and can master taking that off and landing consistantly, then you are probably ready for the Kyosho P-40 at that time. There are two versions....electric or glow. Although, its never a bad idea to have some good stick time on a low wing aerobatic type plane thats a tail dragger(such as an extra 300, an edge 540, etc) before trying to fly a non-foam type warbird.

shakeMcT 05-21-2011 04:52 AM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
I have the PTS Yellow Tail and am ready for a 2 blade prop. The 3 blade takes so much runway I barely clear the tall grass at the end of our field and twice haven't. My problem is that the spinner sits in front of a plate on the shaft and the spinner is completely flat. I purchased a spinner by Dubro that I thought would work but it didn't seat flush and correct due to the nuts embedded in the plate of the spinner. What 2-blade spinner works with this evolution motor?

Luftwaffe60 05-21-2011 05:19 AM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
Second season and started with the 50 size Kyosho Warbirds! I thought they were perfect for me! Good size and fairly easy to land with the exception of the P40. My first was the Spitfire then the ME109 and 3rd was the P40. Now I fly the ESM and KMP Warbirds. Good flying and good luck!

transatlanticflight 05-21-2011 06:19 AM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
On the question of spinners for the PTS Mustang...True-Turn has a mustang series that will fit the evo engine...but if i remember correctly you toss the big weighted washer and maybe have to move the engine forward a smidge on the mount? Someone else chime in here, it's been a while since I've even looked at these planes. I also forget the diameter...measure the red plastic backplate of the stock spinner. True-Turn makes a two blade in that diameter and it's close to the right shape. I know...this hasn't been THAT much help...asked more questions than I answered lol..

alanc 05-21-2011 02:29 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
once upon a time, we had a visit at the field from a guy, who announced had built a a Mick Reeves 80" span hurricane, and had fitted a webra 91 to it, he wanted to learn to fly on it, here we go, we all thought, well, i defferance to the guy, i went round, and looked at it,

it was stunning,, i could not fault, in ANY way, apart from ballast

I test flew it the week after, he bought another tranny, and a buddy box lead, and i proceeded to let him fly it round, it was a testamant to the model, that is behaved beutifully, eventually, about 2 months later, he took off, flew round, did a few safe rolls, loops, few low landing passes, and did a near perfect landing, then he turned to me, looking very pleased with hiself then he told me that his much older brother had been killed late in the war in a hurricane, and he had finished this one in his squadrons markings, he then thanks me, said he had done what he wanted to do, presented me with all the gear, and i never saw him again, true story, thought i would share,

point is, it depends how you want to learn to fly your warbird, bigger birds fly ever so much better than smaller birds, hangar 9 ones fly like sports low wingers, if you buddy with a good pilot, then there is no reason, if he wants to give you the time, that you should not transition to a more simple warbird as soon as you feel sure of yourself you have a duty of care to your fellow flyers, dont over cook it, or try it yourself until you are at ease with yourself, ok?

pimmnz 05-21-2011 06:40 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
If you really want to get there from here, in a good short time, then listen up...get yourself a nice 'classic' aerobatic model, something like the ARF Intruder or similar. Go find the pattern guys, get the sequences, and go practise them. Enter a few contests, doesn't matter where you place, what you are learning is to position a neutrally stable, highish loading model when and where it has to be, in a disciplined sequence of manovres. One shot at everthing, and in sequence. Make the first flight any time you are out with the model a full pattern. This will teach the sort of discipline you need to approach 'warbird' type scale flying. By the time you get over the buzz of pattern competition, 'warbirds' as such will be a pretty easy proposition and you will enjoy flying them for their differences and appearance, rather than flying around wishing you hadn't taken off and wondering what to do next, which is what you usually see down at the club field.
Evan, WB #12.

tmaucher 05-21-2011 07:54 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
The cheapest way to fly a warbird is to do it on a simulator, and then the next step would be the hanger nine warbirds. Look good and fly great. good luck

Roary m 05-22-2011 04:05 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
Ditto what PIMMNZ said; go with a Tower Kaos, Ultra Sport or like and practice recovery from adverse attitudes and perform well. The harder you push to get into a warbird of any decent scale caricature without practice and technique, the sooner you will be dissapointed.

Desertlakesflying 05-22-2011 04:55 PM

RE: After your trainer, how long did it take you to fly a war bird?
Hangar 9 Arrow, WM T-34, Hangar 9 Mustang 60.

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