FIREBIRD XL?? GOOD FIRST PLANE TO LEARN ON??

hi there...just starting to get into the hobby and have been to a few hobby shops. any ideas or suggestions for my first plane to purchase??
this is all new to me so i want a plane to learn on and one that will keep my interest for at least a little while?? any suggestions? thanks. rich.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NO, the Firebird XL is not a good plane to learn on. It doesn't teach you anything. Go to a local club and find out what they recommend, they will help you get what you need if you really want to learn how to fly. However if you still want a small electric plane, look at the Aerobird, at least it has elevator control.
--
Normen Strobel
snipped-for-privacy@zoominternet.nospam.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't totally discount the Firebird. Yes, it's quite limited in what it can do, but it is a lot of fun in and of itself, and easy enough that a beginner with a big open field can be self-sufficient.
If you do go to a club, please be aware that they are going to recommend what they are most familiar and comfortable with. Most likely, a .40-size glow trainer, especially when posed with a wide-open question of, "What do I need to learn how to fly?" They're not insulting you or trying to "force" you into anything, as some people would have you believe. If you don't want to fly glow, then don't.
You have to identify what your interests are and pursue them. Other people can't do that for you. If you're looking for direction with electric planes, and the local club is lacking in electric experience, then you need to go elsewhere for your advice and expertise. This newsgroup, ezonemag.com, and rcuniverse.com are all resources you can use.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I would disagree that it doesn't teach anything. These slow electric's do teach orientation and the basics of the controls being reversed when coming towards you etc.
I use one when teaching a newby, I can let them fly and simply point out things as they fly a pattern. They leave with a feeling of success. It is also great when the casual observer walks up and says "I have always wanted to try that". Out comes the firebird and I hand them the box.
Your mileage may vary.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I wonder how many people currently enjoying RC flight woulda never gotten into it except for the 'Firebird' genre of 2-channel V-tailed doodlebugs. Anybody gotten into it this way who wouldn't have otherwise? Might be an interesting poll.
Bill (oc)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bill Sheppard wrote:

I strated wioth a 3 chanel electric glider, after reailsing that I would never be able to afford the time to get instruction on a 40 powered trainer.
If someone had handed me a firebird, I think I would have had more success sooner and got bored quicker.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rich, the Firebird 2 is a good beginner plane. It is cheap and can withstand many crashes. It has 2 channels so it is easier to learn. 1 channel for rudder and 1 channel for throttle/climb. At the beginning, be PATIENT. Fly only on a day with no wind and in a VERY large field with no obstacles.
Forget what they say about getting a 3 or 4 channel plane. They are hard to learn and you must have a trainer to teach you. If you like me, who has time waiting for a trainer to teach you? I bought a cheap 1 channel from walmart and flew with it. Only 1 crash and it was boring after a week. I then bought the Firebird Commander (bigger version of the Firebird 2) to learn 2 channels (2 crashes). After a month of regular practice and I got bored. Then I bought the Aerobird to learn 3 channels. Now I fly 4 channels regularly. Learned it all by myself.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
@-@,

No, start with the Aerobird Challenger instead. It supersedes the original Aerobird that's now discontinued. The Aerobird Challenger has 2 flight modes; Sport Mode for smooth & stable flight, or Pro Mode for advanced maneuvers.
http://horizon.hobbyshopnow.com/products/description.asp?prod=HBZ3500
Also;
Get several of the optional 7-cell 900mah battery packs, they really make flying these more enjoyable.
Do the motor mount fix & boom fix before your first major crash! <Http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid 2187#post 922187>
Also; images posted here in this newsgroup that show the motor mount fix.....

--
Jim Lilly - Team Z http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/teamzBios.jsp https://sourceforge.net/projects/virtual-access / Using - Virtual Access(OLR), ZAP 4.0, & WinXP Pro w/SP1
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
No! Since it does'nt have any elevator I will not recomend it. I've had one myself, besides my trainer. I'ts fun for a while. Tried to learn my kid to fly it. (he's 7 yrs) But he enjoys flying a real plane on a simulator more. Positive about the Firebird: It can take a lot of craches. Negative 'bout the Firebird: The electronics are not packed good enough, so after a few craches or landings you can get sand an small fragments of rocks into the gears. And that's BAD for manuverability. And then there's the lack of elevator.
My advice is, consider a real trainer, 3 or 4 channel. It's more hard work learning to fly, but it's worth it. perhaps combine your training with a simulator. Something cheaper than a trainer, get a slowstick.
-jrn

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
To each his own. As a owner of a Firebird XL among my other birds, my opinion is as follows:
Pro's Promotes quick success for someone that wants a taste of flying. If you can control an R/C car where you want it then you can fly the Firebird XL.
Easy set-up out of the box and has a nice video that comes with it.
Keeps controls simplified for the person that wants to or has to learn to fly on their own.
Cheap price for a introduction into flying and the replacement parts are not that expensive.
Con's
Once mastered, there is not a lot you can do with it except fly horizontal circles. It does not assure immediate success on other birds with elevator as that will be a whole new learning experiance.
The radio gear will not go into your next bird. You have to invest in a true R/C radio gear system for your next bird.
Conclusion:
If you are trying to decide if you want to get into flying R/C and do not want to invest in 2 or 3 hundred dollars worth of equipment then the Firebird XL will give you a taste at a low price. If you decide to stay with the hobby the Firebird XL will be a nice toss in the back of the car plane for when you just want to putt around the sky, after you have moved on to more advanced birds.
My Firebird XL went together just fine out of the box and I have flown it off and on for well over a year with no problems. As a light weight back-up putt putt plane I have no complaints. I understand that others have had problems, so your milage may vary.
I give it a thumbs up.
Bob Ruth AMA 720565
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My brother was always into rc flying. He never found a model to fly for a beginner. He tried some trainer planes years ago but they were more like toys and not real flying. A couple of weeks ago when we got together he showed me his Firebird that he had found on the internet. As we drove off to find a suitable feild to fly it in he said that he crashed the firebird the first ten times he tried to fly it. When we got to a nice field he flew it round and around. Then he let me try it. I had never flown an rc plane before.....on my first flight with this bird I had no problems......probally it was his hints on what to and what not to do. After that I got very interested in a plane that had more power and control. He suggested that I might want to check out the Aerobird...saying that it was the next step up in learning to fly rc planes. I bought one here on the internet. The first time I flew it I was hooked. I did have some crashes of course and had to do some fixes to the plane...........am sure if you have been reading this newsgroup you know all about them......the boom tie strap ...the motor tie strap. All in all I have flown it many times........sometimes in winds they don`t recomend. That is one problem with this type of plane. It is hard to fly in windy conditions. Good luck flying.............Dan.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Brigg222,

{Consider the following as tips for those 'lurking' as you probably already know these}
Winds of around 15mph are the Aerobird & Aerobird Challenger's top range to fly in, as they only goes about 20mph tops. That's best attempted with the optional 7-cell 900mah battery pack.
The higher the wind, the less your flight time as they're struggling to remain airborne. On a really calm day I can easily get over 10 minutes on a 7-cell pack, but when very windy I come down around 5-6 minutes & still have a little power left.
Don't just buy the optional 7-cell battery pack by itself, instead get the Aerobird X-Pack, as it comes with a better tail wing. Together they make these birds come alive, increase response & flight time, not to mention the X-Pack cost the same as the battery alone.
Always launch into the wind, fly into the wind, land into the wind.
Do the boom tie strap, and the motor tie strap fixes BEFORE your first flight, and you'll be VERY glad you did.
Forget those 'wing-tip' streamers, as they could very possibly get hung up in the prop & cause your bird the crash. If you want to try those, cut them VERY short, where they can't reach the prop.
Some complain about these birds being very slow responding in turns. Easy cure; use more throttle when turning. Increases response time greatly.
Some find after a crash, that their canopy has sheared off &/or just won't stay shut. Fix; get some 3/16" wood dowel rod, punch out the little plastic retainer caps that hold the foam for the rear of the battery compartment, then slid a piece of dowel rod into place, leaving some to hang out each side. Put a rubber band from one side over the canopy to the other side.
I just noticed that Venom Racing is offering an 8.4v 1100mah 7-cell battery pack for $31.99. Comes with fittings for the Fighterbird, Firebird XL, and Aerobird/Aerobird Challenger. Anybody tried one yet?
http://www.venom-racing.com / --
Jim Lilly - Team Z http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/teamzBios.jsp https://sourceforge.net/projects/virtual-access / Using - Virtual Access(OLR), ZAP 4.0, & WinXP Pro w/SP1
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
@-@ @-@ wrote:

If you have no access to instructors, or a simulator, then I think a firebrd is the most likely thing for you to be able to fly without crashing.
Having said that, its not like a 'real' RC plane and will only get you at best half way there, and none of teh gar that comes with it is resuable in the next model.
However, if you want a fairly good chance of seeing a plane fly under your conmtrol that costs peanuts, and you just want to see if you like it, go for it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Dont go for the Firebird XL, it wont really teach you much about flying a "proper" R/C model.
The plane that i found to be most useful when i started flying was the "Sky Scooter", buy that and a "proper" transmitter ( you get a transmitter with it, but the sticks are set up differently) , and you wont go far wrong.
Make sure you get extra batteries though as you will struggle to get much more than 5 minutes flying time when learning.
http://www.hitecrcd.com/Funtec/Index.htm
http://www.servocity.com/ServoCity/Products/Sky_Scooter_R_C_Airplane/sky_sco oter_r_c_airplane.html
Are just two links you may wish to have a look at.
PS :- Once you have mastered the electric motor, try fitting a small (0.70) engine, it goes like stink.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Paul Collishaw wrote:

Indeed, but at how much extra cost, for something that may turn out to be a passing fancy?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thank You, That was one of my key points. Yes if you want to go over couple hundred bucks there are some great trainers out there. But if you don't want to shell out a bundle to get a taste of flight or know the person your giving it to will find a new interest next week the Firebird XL is just the ticket. For all the negative remarks against the Firebird and it's one off brothers there is no low end starter bird that can match the price or the success rate of these birds to put novices in the air. You have to get people in the air before they are going to get hooked and I have never before seen a R/C bird that came out of the box that flew right the first time like my Fire Bird XL. The last bird that did that was my COX U-Control PT Trainer when I was a kid. The COX PT got me started and the drive to get something more capable got me into building balsa u-control kits. I doubt that I would have gotten hooked if someone had told me to build the balsa kit first then fly. The Fire Bird XL is the COX U-Control of this generation. Any bird that can be priced within a kids saving range, make them feel good and inspire a few to greater things in the hobby has my support.
Insert flag waving and national anthem here.
Ok, I feel much better.
Stepping off the soap box.
Bob Ruth AMA 720565
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
BobAndVickey wrote:

Would that be the Chinese National Anthem then?
:-)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, it does. It is a Mode II transmitter, which is the most common. It also teaches you that throttle controls altitude, not elevator. It also teaches you left from right in the air without letting you get the plane too far out of whack.
Besides, maybe they just want to spend a few bucks and have some fun, and learning to fly a "proper" model isn't a priority.

Actually, the 3-channel transmitter that comes with the Sky Scooter Pro II is set up quite similarly to your "proper" transmitter. The only difference is the throttle slider vs. a throttle stick. However, your hand position to operate the slider is very similar to the hand position to operate the stick, if you fly with your thumbs.
Of course, all this goes out the window if you fly Mode I.

This I can agree with. The nice thing about the Scooter is that you can slug a big ol' 1650mAh NiMH AA pack in it and fly for 15 minutes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I fly mode 1, hence my post, most people here in the UK do.
I tried to keep my post non technical, for anyone wanting to find the difference between mode one and mode two, have a look at this link. http://webpages.charter.net/rcfu/HelpsHints/RadioOps.html
Price here for a firebird is about 100, a sky scooter can be got for an extra 50, well worth the extra 50 quid.

a
"Sky
with
much
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.