Decisions......

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 trainer.
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?
Tnx, Mark
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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.
-- Morris Lee snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net

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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.
John VB

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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).
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Mark:
First: 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.
Second: 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 haven't.
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 well.
Please read paragraph 1 again and then the first part of 2.
Shawn Millington
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On Thu, 07 Aug 2003 12:01:39 GMT, Mark Tetrault

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 now.

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.
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Not raining, cause I asked.....

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
Mark
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On Thu, 07 Aug 2003 23:23:57 GMT, Mark Tetrault

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 necessary business.
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 difference.

"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 home.
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.
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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.
John VB

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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 because it 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 undamaged thanks to Co-Pilot
Iguana Bwana wrote:

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On Thu, 07 Aug 2003 12:01:39 GMT, Mark Tetrault

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.
YMMV. Cheers, Fred McClellan the dash plumber at mindspring dot com
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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.
-JTS
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Mark Tetrault wrote:

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.
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Cunningham Lazy Ace Balsa USA Phaeton Bipe Sig Hog Bipe
John VB
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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...
We'll see...
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net says...

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 rudder throw.
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John Alt wrote:

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 chute. 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.
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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 lightest.
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.
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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. Bob Tomlinson Aussie RC'er and Rugby fanatic
snipped-for-privacy@iinet.net.au
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My second plane was a 3.5 lbs with a .61 installed and all the gear. Flew great :)
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