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Old 07-25-2009, 07:50 PM   #1
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Anybody fly R/C airplanes?

Hey everybody.. my daughter is about to start her new high school "Aviation High School"... where aspects of flight as applied to science is studied. It was suggested that flight might make more sense (and be fun!) if she learned to fly a R/C plane.

I did build two electrics many years ago... the first ended in a tree (I TOLD my dad that the tree was too close!) on it's first flight... the other was too complex for my novice skills... so it sat.

I still have the servos, charger, and flight controller....

Anybody have some hints on where to find a ready to fly (or almost ready to fly) kit that would be fun for a first time daughter and Dad to experiment on?
Thanks!
Marc
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:05 PM   #2
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Marc,

Here's what I'm learning to fly with. Every piece of the airplane is replaceable. I know, cause I've replaced enough of them. It's pretty hardy and can take a beating.

HOBBY ZONE - HobbyZone Aerobird 3 RTF

The plane is very easy to fly and has settings that can be adjusted based upon your skill level.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:43 PM   #3
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I've flown some R/C, mostly sailplanes.

I will say you'll learn more about what actually makes a plane fly by messing with Free Flight. Flights are short, like an attention span, and happen close to the ground. Particularly chuck gliders. I had one set up for a left hander. I could heave it pretty hard and it would make a climbing left hand turn to about 30-40 ft up, then gently descend in right hand turns. If you threw it right handed (or didn't know just where to put the pressure), it would snap roll into the ground. Every. Single. Time. And that was due to the subtleties of the aerodynamics.

Rubber band is good too, but Guillows are notoriously heavy. Sig makes great kits - their "Tiger" is a staple. Easy to build & cover, pretty reliable 15-30 second flights. The guys who are good at FF are really, really good.

But my favorite has to be sailplanes. A high-start, a two meter glider, a field and a sunny day... sigh.
Sig makes a Riser 2m kit, which is pretty simple to build and tought me to fly. Lots of time on a slope in NM as well as my first thermals. Their plans are complete enough usually to build from, meaning replacement planes are available for the price of some wood and titebond.
It takes a little while to learn to work lift, but it's rewarding in many ways. I've had great flights scratching along at tree top height for 5 minutes or so to hour long sessions where the plane was high enough I didn't dare take my eyes from it. Without a motor and motor battery, they weigh less and stall slower, which also means they crash slower.

But ARF... No, I don't know much about them.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:24 PM   #4
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Marc,
I have not flown my R/C stuff in a few years. I would suggest contacting/visiting one of your local clubs. Take a look at:
Aircraft Clubs and Organizations
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:38 PM   #5
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I've been Flying RC for many years. I have recently started with electrics so that I could take one on the road with me when I go to some of the farflung places my Job takes me. If you are really serious you should contact one of the local RC Flying Clubs. Most have training and youth programs to get you started with some hands on before you invest in something that may or may not workout.

Kip
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:16 PM   #6
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Kip,
Some of the planes you fly around in are big enough to fly RC planes inside.
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:23 PM   #7
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My neighbor is starting to get into this. He goes to the hobby shop and hooks up with other guys.

What you want is what he did. He found someone with what the call a buddy box. So you fly the plane but if you get in trouble the other guy takes over so the plane doesn't get smashed up..

It has been really good for him and it might work for your daughter...
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:28 PM   #8
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Yes,
I used too then I started flying the full sized ones and I crashed my only working RC Plane. Then I moved and the rest is ......
Since I was grounded by the FAA due to medical reasons in Nov 07 I have been thinking about it more and more lately.

I logged on to Tower Hobbies a couple of nights ago and was looking at 1/4 scale Piper Cub models. Before I fly one of those I will need to brush up. I was thinking of building another Goldberg Eagle II. I still have a usable engine, servos, receiver and radio. The batteries are long since dead.

Building will be a winter project. I have so much going on right now that just don't have the time or space. I still have about a third of the moving boxes to un-pack.

See you in the sky next spring!
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:00 AM   #9
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I've flown R/C for many years, starting with airplanes in '79, and helicopters in '85. You've gotten some very good recommendations, but I would only add one, and that is get yourself a computer simulator. They are really good now days, and they will save you even more money learning than a good instructor with a buddy box, and you will learn faster. Check out Tower Hobbies, and Horizon Hobbies.
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:07 AM   #10
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Doorgunner, has flown his over rallies taking arial photographs of us. I guess he is 'traveling' as he probably would have been one of your first reply posts.
Neil
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:17 AM   #11
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I started with u-control in the '60's (still kinda dizzy from goin' round and round...), move up to some of the very early single channel pluse RC and then into the more modern stuff, even flew some 'choppers for a while. They are REALLY expensive when ya crash...
I gotta go with CrzyCorps on this one. The ARF Electrics have really moved into the realm of real aircraft. Consider one of these and try to hook up at the local club. Look for something that flys slow!
RedSHED is making me want to go to the hobby shop and replace my long gone hi-start 2m glider!
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:13 AM   #12
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Be careful where you fly...

I joined several friends at the local flying field near Bowling Green, Kentucky, where the flying field is next to the L&N mainline from Nashville to Louisville.
After about an hour of them flying their planes, one of them offered to let me fly his little trainer. It was pretty fun, until a train came along. I somehow managed to get the plane on the wrong side of the tracks just as the train made its appearance, and when I tried to get the plane back on "our" side, I flew so close to the cab of the locomotive, I'm not sure if the plane went in front of the windshield, or through the open windows of the cab. All I know is I heard a very high-pitched scream, and the sound of the engineer "dumping the air" to stop the train.
My friend took over the controls, landed the plane, and we were out of there before the train came to a stop.
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy View Post

Anybody have some hints on where to find a ready to fly (or almost ready to fly) kit that would be fun for a first time daughter and Dad to experiment on?
Thanks!
Marc
Marc,
Find a local flying club through Academy of Model Aeronautics. Academy of Model Aeronautics
Most have mowed runways some have paved ones.

I shop tower hobbies. have for years.
Airplane Categories

Big open spaces are good watch out for power lines. They are impossible to see when the airplane is moving.
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:54 AM   #14
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There are software simulators for RC, too. Also, there are programs like Microsoft Flight Simulator, FlightGear, and others that allow you to simulate flight, and they're quite good - even version 1 of MSFS was pretty good with the physics, and it has only gotten better.
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