Cessna good for beginner model?

Hi there, I am seriously considering getting into flying an RC aircraft and have looked at a couple of "trainer" models, like the
Camato Trainer 40 for example, but having looked at the Cessna scale models, they don't look so different - wings above fuselage for example. Do Cessna's make good trainers? I would like the extend the longevity of my first plane as much as possible.
Thanks for any advise, Andy
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trojanfoe wrote:

-------------
Over all weight (wing loading) is actually more important than whether one is a scale replica and the other is just a slapped together "trainer" type of model.
I'm not familiar with the Camato Trainer 40, so I can't comment specifically regarding that model.
The next most important aspect of training is your instructor. If your instructor is experienced and flight savvy, he will be able to trim out your model and present it to you for flight in an easy to handle configuration. Find a good instructor. Enthusiasm, while cheerful and exciting, doesn't count nearly as much as having a broad background in model instructing and aerodynamics. I know, sometimes you just have to use who is available, so obtain a simulator and perhaps talk several flying buddies (you'll find some) into coming over to your place and do the initial instruction on the computer. You'll get to know your instructor candidates better and you may also learn some of their failings. Lots of folks talk good flight instruction, but few actually provide it without becoming overly emotional. The last thing that you need is someone screaming at you. Yes, I've seen it many times.
Ed Cregger
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Ed Cregger wrote:

And if there is no one available to train you, follow - without exception! - the basic rules:
* Choose a large area, preferably grassy, that has no trees to begin flying. Trees attract planes. So do fences, power lines, and just about any other obstacle.
* Do *not* fly in any but the lightest breeze. It you notice which way it's blowing, it's too much for a beginner. No breeze at all is usually best.
* Don't fly low! It may seem easier and safer, but you have too little time to correct mistakes before the plane hits the ground. get that plane up to at least 50', but no more than 100', to practice basic maneuvers.
* Give yourself twice as much distance to land as you think you need, and if there's a breeze, try to land into it.
Those basics are probably more important than which trainer you use.
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wrote:

Thanks guys. I am planning on joining my local model aircraft club (Winchester, Hampshire, UK) and they have several members who are dedicated to instructing beginners. There are even two national-level certification levels to be achieved and they recommend you don't fly alone until you've achieved the first, so it all seems quite well organised.
I also have access to RealFlight, and although I can easily see how it would help with basic stuff, I find it difficult to see the plane over a certain distance (running resolution 1280x1024x32) and is something I don't think it's able to simulate very well - in real life I expect to be able to see the plane much further away. I am persevering though - I am finding the hardest thing is orienting myself to the plane - it's easy to control the plane when it's going away from you, but can be confusing when it turns towards you as the roll direction is reversed.
Bottom line though; can a beginner learn to fly using a Cessna?
Cheers, Andy
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Working with instructors will help you tremendously.

Learn to turn and keep the plane up close to you in the sim.
The sim will teach you good or bad habits. It's up to you to decide which you come away with. :o)

1. Every time YOU initiate a turn, you know that the way back to level is in the opposite direction. To level the wings, you have to go back past neutral in the opposite direction--just a quick, but definite pinch.
After YOU turn the plane left, you have to push the stick to the right to get the wings level. After a right turn, you need a nudge of left.
This means that you don't have to think about orientation at all if YOU initiated the turn. Get into the habit of making a turn and then levelling the wings. Practice flying a rectangle in both directions--four turns at the corners, leveling the plane after each one. It's exactly the same turn at each corner. Roll the plane a bit, pull the stick back a bit so you don't lose altitude, roll the plane back the other way when the plane is pointing in the direction you want it to go.
Now let's suppose that either the wind has rocked your wings for you or that (for some mysterious reason) you have forgotten which way YOU turned the plane. It is coming toward you in a bank--one wing lower than the other. Push the aileron stick toward the low wing--"prop up the low wing." Don't think in terms of whether it is the left wing or the right wing that is low. As you look at the image of the aircraft the wing that is down is telling you which way to move the stick.
\ \ \ \ \ \ X \ \ \ \ \ \
Imagine, if you will, for the sake of argument, that this is your plane coming toward you in a bank.
Push your aileron stick in this direction --------->.
(It is the left wing that is hanging down and the right wing that is way high. You need right aileron to lift the low wing and bring the high wing down. I say this just to prove to you that the mnemonic works. Do NOT try to think about this when flying. Just push the stupid stick in the direction that the low wing is pointing and get yourself level!)
/ / / / / / X / / / / / /
Push your aileron stick in this direction <----------.

It depends on the beginner, the design of the Cessna, and the quality of construction. Scale ailerons, empennage, and airfoils may make a model that is difficult for an expert to fly well; enlarging those three aspects may create a good trainer. Heavy planes with high wing loading are, as a general rule, harder to fly than more lightly built planes.
                Marty
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Thanks Martin - that's just the kind of advise I need to remember.
It's looking more and more like I'd better stick the model that is designed for training and forget about the Cessna until I am competent.
Cheers, Andy
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trojanfoe wrote:

-------------
The reason that no one has answered your question about "The Cessna", is because there are many, many kits/arfs available of Cessna models. No two are like, the same size, using the same amount of trueness to scale. In other words, it is an impossible question to answer without more information.
Scale models are generally NOT good training aircraft. Generally. A scale model of a Fournier RF-4 would be an excellent trainer if built conventionally and not over weight. However, this isn't the way that the world works, as you most certainly know. One version may be delightfully light, while another may be a grossly overweight pig.
In the final analysis, I agree that you should initially fly a trainer, but not just any model that has trainer in the name or the advertising literature. Ask your instructor(s) to recommend a trainer for you. It will be good to fly a model that the instructor is familiar with. It is also good for resale if your ex instructors aren't making faces when you are trying to sell it to another beginner. Good luck. <G>
Ed Cregger
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I can understand that; this is the retailer I am looking at; there are three 182's on this page that caught my eye:
http://www.sussex-model-centre.co.uk/shopdisplayproducts.asp?page=2
Cheers, Andy
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Ok Andy, think of it this way instead:
1 You WILL crash your first plane at some point
2 All planes are expendable
3 The engine, r/c equipment and associated gear is transferable from one airframe to another
Given that; do you not think it a better investment to go for a cheaper purpose made trainer that you don't mind ploughing into the deck a couple of times? Or have a nice looking plane that you are too afraid of crashing because you want to keep it pristine? All these ARTF's look good the first time out of the box, but if you have never had to build it or had any prior building experience you want something easy to repair at first.
Go for a cheap basic trainer (foam wing and all sheet fuselage), get a good engine, radio and anciliary equipment (not forgetting a few tubes of superglue and epoxy for field repairs!) and get the basics sorted i.e. takeoff, circuits and landing.
Then think about a semi scale aircraft that you can put your gear into once you have put a few hours on the trainer and learnt some repair techniques. Just bide your time for a while and get a plane that you don't mind pranging a couple of times at first before moving onto the better looking/more fragile stuff.
Please don't become one of the hundreds of people who buy something that looks good, try to fly it and crash then leave the hobby without trying again.
Try it the way we are suggesting first and take small steps, even if they are ugly looking ones they will teach you the basics that you will need to keep that nice scale looking plane in the air for longer :-)
Chris
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Wow Chris, pretty inspirational stuff! You are right of course, and I will take it easy. I have already mailed the local aircraft contact and will go down there and talk to people. I won't even get it until Christmas, but I will go for the Camato Trainer unless the instructor can convince me otherwise. Cheers all for your help; rc aircraft nuts seems like a pretty friendly and knowledgable bunch.
Take care, Andy
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Any of the electrics could probably be used as a trainer (in light winds).
The Great Planes ARF is a beauty.
I haven't seen one fly or flown one myself, so I don't know how trainerish it is. As a general rule, I would recommend an uglier trainer so that you don't feel too bad if you ding it up while climbing the learning curve.
                Marty
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trojanfoe wrote:

-------------
The reason that no one has answered your question about "The Cessna", is because there are many, many kits/arfs available of Cessna models. No two are like, the same size, using the same amount of trueness to scale. In other words, it is an impossible question to answer without more information.
Scale models are generally NOT good training aircraft. Generally. A scale model of a Fournier RF-4 would be an excellent trainer if built conventionally and not over weight. However, this isn't the way that the world works, as you most certainly know. One version may be delightfully light, while another may be a grossly overweight pig.
In the final analysis, I agree that you should initially fly a trainer, but not just any model that has trainer in the name or the advertising literature. Ask your instructor(s) to recommend a trainer for you. It will be good to fly a model that the instructor is familiar with. It is also good for resale if your ex instructors aren't making faces when you are trying to sell it to another beginner. Good luck. <G>
Ed Cregger
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You have gotten a lot of good advise from some of the respected members of this newsgroup, and appears you have come to a conclusion that I support.
Even if you have a good instructor, eventually you will be on your own, and you WILL have a few incidents that will result in damage to your plane.
Trainers usually are built to be durable and easily repaired. You can patch up your mishap and get flying again.
A scale model of a trainer will have looks as the priority, and not easy repair. Probably a fiberglass body, and when broken, will require replacement, not repair. It will also probably be heavy when compared to a trainer, and that means faster, and that means you will have less time to react to the plane's movements and correct it before it "Lands" in a manner you were not expecting. <g>
So yes, I would say your decision to get a real RC trainer is a good one. .40 is a good size, and big is better, so if you want to go up to .60 size and have the money to do that, it won't hurt. (but not necessary)
After the trainer, usually people get something that has a symmetrical airfoil and much more maneuverable. They you will be practicing on becoming a skilled flyer, and once that is mastered, then it is time for an expensive scale plane.
Hold on; you are about to get hooked, and if you can stand the crashes and repairs, you will be flying RC for a long time.
Good luck, and have fun.
--
Jim in NC



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Cheers Jim, I look forward to a long and happy time buzzing planes round the skies.
Andy
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trojanfoe wrote:

Mate. a word of caution.
If you can't land a plane on the simulator, don't bother getting a real one. Whilst being able to fly the sim doesn't guarantee you will be able to fly the real thing, not being able to fly the sim almost certainly guarantees you WILL crash the plane.
Several friends have spent many hours on my sim: Once they achieved a 70% succesful landing, they could fly my planes, and they did. No buddy box, nothing. Just a few hints from me, and then not much more than that.
Also, vis a vis a remark you made on electric planes They are not the wimpy little things you think they are. There are some pretty big and powerful ones out there, and these days its not that expensive, and unless you like unreliable tricky engines and have an affinity for them its a darned sight easier to plug in a pack, switch on and open the throttle than take a few lbs of fuel and batteries and starter motors up to the club and end up with a face full of nitro and an engine that won't run for you.
Theres nothing wrong with a nice cessna to train on. If its reasnoably low wing loading, but do make sure you can fly the sim first.
I flew a little indoor thing - Kyosho electric cessna. Span about 15" and it comes all in for around $150 with transmitter and everything. We flew it outside on a calm day. Ok it ran out of range at about 50 yards and flopped into the mud, but it was a pretty good way to learn. Did all the right things. Sure its not a Proper Plane, but its a way to learn...without trashing several hundred dollars of airframe.
forget all the fancy stuff: what you need is stick time, on the sim and on anything that isn't too fast for the reflexes you haven't got yet. I you hae buddies up teh club who will tutor you, go for it on whatever they let you use, or are happy helping you to fly. If not get something nasty, and cheap and elecric and plastic and fly the pants off it. Multplex easy star, or a GWS slow stick. THEN get a nice shiny OS60 in a` big 70" cessna.
And send me whats left of the electric. I'll turn it into something fun that flies..
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wrote:

Nothing like a face full of nitro exhaust from a hand launched glow powered plane.
Ahhhhhhh..........
--
David


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David Hopper wrote:

Been there done that. It was fun when there was nothing better on offer. Actually I prefer the smell of a diesel, but they are even harder to tune. I guess I like the way my 3 year old models still look NEW. .
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| I also have access to RealFlight, and although I can easily see how it | would help with basic stuff, I find it difficult to see the plane over | a certain distance (running resolution 1280x1024x32) and is something | I don't think it's able to simulate very well - in real life I expect | to be able to see the plane much further away.
And you probably can, but you probably won't fly that far away very often anyways. RF does have a `widget' that gives you a binocular-view of your plane in the corner so you can see it no matter how far away it is, but (in real life) most powered plane flying rarely goes over a few (six or so) hundred feet away, and so if you can't see it in RF, you probably won't fly that far away in real life very often, even if you can.
(Gliders tend to go a lot further out and up.)
| I am persevering though - I am finding the hardest thing is | orienting myself to the plane - it's easy to control the plane when | it's going away from you, but can be confusing when it turns towards | you as the roll direction is reversed.
Keep at that. The real thing is the same. Make sure the `Look at Ground' option is enabled -- it distorts the graphics somewhat (turns it into a fishbowl) but it makes RF more `like the real thing'.
| Bottom line though; can a beginner learn to fly using a Cessna?
If it's your basic high wing with some dihedral (stable), low wing loading (i.e. light, slow) Cessna, then it sounds fine. Ask your instructor -- the final decision is his, not ours.
(In fact, ask him before you spend any money. Somebody may even be selling their old trainer, and that can save lots of money.)
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzied.us
"Give me ambiguity, or give me something else!"
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Yes. mk
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Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:

A scale (or semi-scale ) model is not good to learn on. The wing loading is usually higher than a trainer. Wing loading determines how fast the plane is going to have to fly to stay in the air and how fast it is going to land. When you are learning slow is better.
The Calmato, Superstar, or for that matter most planes DESIGNATED as a trainer will be OK. The MAJORITY of trainers fly pretty much the same.
In the US the following trainers are very popular:
SIG LT-40
Hobbico Superstar and Avistar The Avistar is more aerobatic than most trainers because it has a semi-symetrical airfoil instead of a flat bottom airfoil. This also means the Avistar is going to fly AND land a little faster than the majority of trainers.
If you want a taildragger trainer I can highly recommend the Telemaster.
As others have said above, join a club and get an instructor. Without an instructor the average 1st flight is less than 30 seconds and normally ends up with damage to the plane.
A simulator will HELP you as far as control movement and orientation of controls, but IT WILL NOT TEACH YOU HOW TO FLY.
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