I am building a trainer now and will soon be beating it up learning. My
ultimate interest lies in an aerobatic plane and a Bipe. (I think Bipes
are way cool).
So I would like to start building my next kit as soon as I finish my
I'm asking for the collective wisdom of the newsgroup, not trolling, on
the plane for my next project.
I want to stay in the 40s, I think, since that is what my trainer is?
I will NOT be flying competitive
I've been told that both the Venus and the Something Extra are the
planes to buy.
Which of the two are the best kits/ flyers? I'm not loaded, so I can't
have em all. Or is there another plane I should consider?
Perhaps you should start flying your trainer before you start on your second
project. The Venus and SE are both great planes, but they can be a bit
touchy. Whether you're successful flying them depends on how well you can
handle your trainer. If you master your trainer quickly, go for it. If
not, maybe get something like a Big Stik as your second plane before you get
a Venus or SE. Both of these planes are pretty high performance. As for
preferences between the two, the SE will probably be a bit slower but more
aerobatic than the Venus, although I think the Venus is prettier.
The Venus is a pattern type plane. The Somethin Extra is a funfly type
plane. Both may be a little more than you want for a second plane depending
on how well you progress. I would recommend a Sig 4*40 or 4*60 or similar.
They are a little more forgiving and are quite aerobatic as well.
Consider the Sig 4-Star and the GP Super Sportster. Both are good kits
that build straight and true, and both are excellent flyers but not
touchy or squirrelly. Good value for the money. Also consider: bigger
flies better (just something to think about).
Listen to what the other guys have said about a second kit. My
suggestion along these lines would be a Goldberg Tiger II 40.
Very honest and capable flier.
And consider this as a second plane ONLY if you are very comfortable
with your trainer. Fly the snot out of your trainer ;-)
A very good first 40 size biplane is the Great Planes Ultimate 40.
It's a nice project, and looks good close up, or in the air. Put an
OS 46FX on the nose and it will perform all basic/intermediate IMAC
maneuvers. It will have limited vertical at this power level, (quite
scale like actually) but is still an ball to fly. Prop the 46 for
thrust, not speed. You can up the power later if you feel the need. I
It will also land easier than many so called trainers, and even some
of the best. Before anyone coughs at that; I fly an LT-40 also which
is one of the very best, but is more comfortable to land with a bit of
head wind, because it loves to float. The Ultimate slows relatively
fast and has a very predictable and stable sink rate. Very easy to
3point consistently in any reasonable condition. I've dead sticked
this Bipe several times and all but once made a 3 point on the field
any way. That one time the engine quit right over the center of the
field at about 50ft. They key to landing this plane is holding a
little power to control the sink rate. Just as it should be. Just
don't try to turn it too much without power.
The manuals low and high rates, while they seem low, are correct.
This Bipe has a large elevator and short tail moment, as do most. If
you stick to the recommended settings, it is quite stable and won't
bite you unless you insist on asking for it.
BTW, mine has the glass cowl, and the Goldberg sized glass pants.
They don't look out of place, and with 3" mains, handle grass very
Please read paragraph 1 again and then the first part of 2.
Not to rain on your parade, but you won't know where your ultimate
interest lies until after you've actually experienced R/C flight and
achieved a basic level of proficiency.
If you introspectively review your enthusiasm right now, you'll
discover it is fired up with what you perceive as the "way cool" image
you would like to project. This isn't uncommon. What you should do is
wait until you have been exposed to R/C flight which will then give
you an more meaningful perspective and appreciation of the importance
of suitable performance characteristics over "way cool" appearance.
Not suggesting you are one, but the "I know better. It'll be no
problem for someone of _MY_ talents" newbie who wouldn't listen
walking out of the shop with the PC-9 ARF or Mustang kit (substitute
Venus ARF or Something Extra kit if you like) under his arm is the
stuff of R/C legend.
If that's the case, a SIG Four Star 40 *or similar* is the perfect
second model for the average to better flyer. If you end up falling
into the less confident or below average group of which there are
plenty albeit usually reluctant to admit to same, then something more
stable is undoubtedly a wiser choice. However you won't actually know
into which category you fall until _after_ you've received instruction
and flown solo for a short while. Therein lies the conundrum. Dream
away to your hearts content, but keep your money in your pocket for
For your second airplane? Good luck. You're going to need it to keep
either of them in one piece for long. :)
They're both good flyers, but fall into different categories. Great
Planes Venus is a pattern ship. The Something Extra is a sport hot
dogger. Either might be acceptable choices as a third model, ie:
survive longer than a month, _if_ you turn out to be an above average
R/C pilot with above average flight discipline.
Then buy what you skill level demands, not what your ego desires.
We al have to learn our ABC before grammar and syntax, just like
addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are required before
we can tackle algebra.
Suggest you read and heed the suggested SIG learning curve. Start with
a basic trainer. You can then skip their suggested mid-wing if you're
confident, average or better and disciplined. If any of those three
qualities are missing, your second model will be shortlived if you go
to something less inherently stable than suggested. Your first low
wing should be user friendly though, not a slippery overpowered ship
where your brain is a manoeuvre and 100 metres behind the model
instead of 3 manoeuvres and 300m in front of it's projected flight
path. Nor should it be a dynamic approach stalling unstable mother,
but which looks "way cool". I think you should be getting the picture
by now. Four Star 40 or similar is a good choice. You'll find this
handful enough with rates and a hot engine. Neither Venus or Something
Extra are smart choices for a second model. Save the slick looking
ships until your can match them with equally slick stick skills.
PS: Another solid choice for a second model, and even for
consideration as a first is The World Models Super Stunts 40. With a
semi-symetrical wing and assistance of a little dihedral, this
versatile ship is not only very affordable, but with low rates
selected it flies very much like a trainer. Once trimmed it's
sufficiently stable, takes off easily and lands slowly, has no quirky
handling characteristics or vices, and is big and highly visible. With
a good schnuerled TBR .40 or better aboard and with high rates
selected it's nimble enough to you can fly the sportsman pattern, fun
fly and hot dog with it. Highly recommended.
After talking to some guys at the local RC store plus another private
email from a user here. I now understand that my choices were a bit much
for a 2cd plane..
I will look at both of these you mentioned plus the one mentioned by my
email from another here. Both you and he made suggestions that were more
user friendly for a novice than the ones I was originally steered to.
What about size? Should I stay with a 40 or move up to a 60 etc....
Thankss for your thoughts
Your local hobby store/club can sometimes be a good place to gather
info and advice and sometimes not. Depends upon *their* motivation and
the experience/maturity of the person you speak with. Good hobby
shops, like good bike shops will try to guide you towards what is best
for the intended task that will still retain sufficient interest and
enthusiasm. They want to (a) retain you in the hobby, and (b) get your
repeat business. By (c) ensuring they sell you a suitable model and
engine for now, the will stand a good chance of getting your future
The alternative strapped for cashflow store just wants your business
now, any business now, and will tell you whatever whopper you want to
hear to get it NOW. The more buyer excitement such a shop can generate
within your imagination with those glossy box top pictures and lots of
flattery means increasing the probability of you both buying NOW and
being susceptible to being milked to the max in the process. He
doesn't give a toss whether you darken his doorway ever again.
Of course, the third option is the etail store which is the bane of
both the above. Not really the best source for a beginner, but
workable if armed with sound advice. The good local hobby store is
still the best source when starting out, and in my opinion, worth the
initial premium outlay aka money well spent if you consider how much
you'll outlay during a lifetime in this hobby. Those early stages can
make or break both your progress and enthusiasm.
As for the individual salesman, go with the (usually older) bloke who
you sense wants to show and sell you what *you* need rather than the
young hot dog who wants to sell you the latest hot stuff he desires
for himself. You sound as if you've enough savvy to discern the
"Or similar" being the operative words. Our advice is well meaning.
Nothing quite as destructive of enthusiasm, confidence or wallet as
repeatedly destroying models during the early to mid post initio
stages. You sound pretty sensible, so with the right choice of model,
you will succeed and importantly enjoy the journey.
Whilst it's true that larger models are less affected by Reynolds
effect, what Fred didn't point out is that 60 class (2st) planes cost
more in terms of capital outlay and operating costs. Neither may seem
like much at the moment, but if you fly a lot, the fuel cost becomes
significant if you're on a restricted budget. Larger models are also a
pain in the arse both to store and to transport around. Don't
misunderstand. I do like .60's from a flying perspective, but 40's
offer a better compromise of capital outlay and operational cost
combined with having sufficient physical size to still fly well and be
highly visible in the sky plus convenient to transport and store at
When you're older and your eyes need max. script corrective glasses, a
.60 may be semi-obligatory. But until then, I'd start with a 40 sized
model and decide where I wanted to go after gaining a little
experience. Who knows? You may end up within 12 months deciding
pattern is for you and going with the full YZ140 kit out.
All the best.
I would recommend the 60 size. They are easier too see, as long as you
don't fly them further away because they are larger. They fly better,
especially in breezy conditions. If you have the room to store and
transport them, I would go for a 60 size. The only downside is that there
are many more 40 size choices. However, the Sig 4*60 or a Venture 60 are
great choices. The only other difference is that you may have to spend a
little more for an engine.
I would second this suggestion - I a currently learning on a SS 40 (with OS46fx)
and it is a
great plane to learn on - tho you do need to reduce the rates to tame it down a
little, and not
be a full throttle-all-the-time sort of guy.
It takes of neatly and easily, and floats in for landings at a very low speed.
I use the Super Stunts for learning in preference to my Thunder Tiger 60 Trainer
flies and lands slower and is more visible. It is also a lot less money to lose
if (should that
be when?) I do stack it.
David - who tried his first solo last week, with mixed results but the plane is
Iguana Bwana wrote:
I don't recommend staying with .40 sized models because the .60 or 1.2
sized models fly better, i.e. they are a good bit more stable and less
'skittish' in windy conditions/gusts.
I also don't ever recommend a bipe to folks just coming off their
first basic trainer.
I prefer to recommend a mid or low-wing sport model to follow the
basic trainer, and when you've got that down pat try the bipe.
the dash plumber at mindspring dot com
I have the SE as my second plane (I flew my trainer for three months and got
bored with it) and although the first flights with the SE were quite
exciting (including a bad takeoff with too little speed in side wind -> snap
to right wing side that resulted in broken frame behind the cockpit) I
wouldn't say it's too much for a second plane, at least when you keep the
control rates low. And it's an easy plane to fix :) For sure this depends
really much on the pilot in question, some people may succeed well and for
some people it could be appropriate as a third or fourth plane.
If you want to build a kit, try the 4 star 40. It's an excellent
plane. It will challenge you, but it is on your level.
If you like biplanes, you can't go wrong with an aeromaster, but I don't
know if it's available as a kit any more. There is a plan in the RCM
catalog called the Airmeister that is a simplified version of the
Aeromaster. I let several inexperienced guys fly mine and it looked to
me like it could almost be a trainer. But it will also do any stunt
that you want it to.
I'm actually hard pressed to recommend a biplane kit, because I can't
think of any right off the top of my head except the pattern/aerobatic
crap like the Ultimate, which is as ugly as a modern athletic shoe.
Anybody know of a good old fashioned bipe kit that's still on the
market? The only ones I could recommend are in the RCM plans catalog.
There's the Rodeo, the Wayfarer, and the Sporty Ace, all of which I
would wholeheartedly recommend if you want to do some real building! If
you ever want to try a 90 size, build the Big John. What a plane!
(you'll be building it for a while, though.)
And don't let anybody tell you that you shouldn't fly a biplane right
away. That's baloney. If you are ready to handle something that
doesn't save your bacon when you make a mistake (i.e. graduating from a
trainer), then you can fly a biplane. Remember, Orville flew a biplane
and he had no experience at all! I could teach anybody to fly using a
Big John as a trainer.
Thanks to all for your suggestions. I have purchased a 4 Star 40 and
will hope to make it my next plane after the trainer. Hope to fly the
trainer Sunday if I can find the time. The kit is complete and just
needs to be field checked and preflighted. Then................
As for a Bipe, I have found and purchased a Great Planes Super Skybolt,
a Great Planes Sportster Bipe 40, and a Lanier Rebel. That should keep
me busy building for a while. They were Ebay purchases that were
reasonable in cost as compared to new...
Oooooh, nice choices. Post back here for building tips as you get to
them, as all 3 of those fly better with a little tweaking. Well, the
Skybolt is pretty good as is, but the Sportster bipe needs some more
Doesn't everything need more rudder throw?
The Super Sportsters have symmetrical wings, so I would assume that the
Sportster Bipe does as well. If that's the case, then I would expect it
to drop like a rock when you cut the throttle. I had a Baby Bi (from
RCM plans) that had a fat fuselage and short, symmetrical wings.
Reducing throttle had about the same effect as deploying a drogue
I knew a guy who had a Skybolt with a monster engine on it. Wing
loading was halfway between outlandish and ridiculous. I would prefer
that plane with a reasonable engine on it, meaning a light engine.
That is most Definitely NOT the case with the Sportster Bipe. It has
very thin wings, and very low drag for a bipe. I started out with a Fox
40 in mine, and my flying buddy had a Midwest Mustang with the same
motor. We would pylon race with each other and do stuff like opposing
Hammerheads because the planes were very well matched in speed and
vertical. One thing the bipe did better was glide. I've had times where
I've been able to do several complete circles on a dead stick with it.
It will outglide many trainers. As it comes, if you set the rudder to
where it just grazes the elevator, it will not hold a knife edge unless
you rock the wings over about 15 degrees or so off vertical. Open up the
elevator a little to give it at least 3/8" more throw and you will be
very happy with it.
As for the Skybolt, I don't see a point in building a biplane unless you
are going to use those 2 wings you spent all that time building. It
flies very well with the recommended engine sizes. Personally, I'd go
with a Saito 4 stroke in it.
100 is 20.8 oz with muffler
150 is 30 ounces w/m
180 is 31 ounces w/m
OS 120 is 31.17 ounces with muffler, and that's the E model, the
Make of that what you will. The OS is $329, while the last prices I saw
on the Saito's were 389 for either the 100 or the 150. Go with the 100
if you want a very nimble bird, but remember it was designed to take up
to the weight of the 180.
Wow you were quick!
I would have gone for a Balsacraft 3D Extreme Light (or standard one
lightened, mine is 4lb 3 oz with .46 ST) for a 2nd plane.
Reasons: With a fairly good 45 and a big diameter / small pitch
lightweight prop, this plane will fly SLOW, has instantaneous stall
recovery, and will do all the novice aerobatics a 2nd plane needs to
at a very slow airspeed.
For the biplane, I would have gone for a really aerobatic biplane.
Pica make a 1/5 scale Bucker Jungmeister, plonk a .90 four stroke into
one and you have a really fun plane.
Just goes to show how different people have different tastes. My 2nd
plane was a fun fly. It was totally unsuitable and didn't last long. I
was always way behind the plane, a sure recipe for repairs. Four years
on I look back and wish I had built an Extreme then instead of the
funfly, my flying would have advanced much more smoothly.
Aussie RC'er and Rugby fanatic
You know what NOT to remove to email.
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