Flight School - Choosing a Training Plane

Is the airplane at the URL
http://www.raidentech.com/susosmmireco1.html
suitable for training from the standpoint of
- size - complexity of control - extent of shock absorption for landing gear (there is a chance that the first landings will be rough)
What is the customer service quality level of that supplier ?
Thank you,
Eric
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Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
I feel that you will be very disappointed in this plane, especially as a trainer. It has no moveable control surfaces. To climb you speed the motors up, to dive you slow them down and to turn one motor runs faster than the other. This is not how a plane works in the real world. In addition, for outdoor flying you will need a perfectly calm day.
For a RTF (Ready To Fly ) trainer, I suggest a Sky Scooter PRO. It is a foam plane that is easy to fly and virtually indestructible. If you do go with this plane, I suggest getting an additional 7 cell AAA pack instead of the 6 cell AA pack that comes with the plane. You will want a second pack so you can fly while one pack is charging, and the 7th cell will provide some extra "oomph" while not risking the motor or ESC.

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EasyStar Review http://plawner.net/4/easystar/easystar.html
Hobby People http://www.hobbypeople.net/gallery/240025.asp
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Am I to assume from this recommendation that a novice should not try landing on wheels because of high likelihood of doing flips which would be catastrophic for the plane's integrity (break apart) ?
Thank you,
Eric
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On electric parkflyer-type first airplanes, landing gear is just one more item to get damaged. The reality is that your first "landings" may be in the top of a tree, or a cartwheel in the "rough". If the only nearby obstruction is a single fencepost, it usually attracts your model aircraft like a magnet.
Freeware Simulator http://beginnerparkflyers.nexuswebs.net/index1.html
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Thank you,
Eric
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I'll second the recommendation for the Easy Star. A friend of mine is breaking into the hobby, and he got that as his first plane. We've been using it as his trainer, and I must say that it's one of the smoothest planes I've ever flown.
And I've flown a *lot* of planes.
Power's good but not great with the stock motor. The plane's very rugged, although we haven't had a bad landing yet. Controls are positive without being twitchy. No bad habits - stalls are predictable, mild, and straight ahead, it doesn't pull up under power (well, not much, anyway), etc. It's also a surprisingly good glider when the power is off; we've certainly caught a few thermals with it. Of course, that means the landings take some planning.
Not wild about the glued-in motor & servos, and I put a real prop adapter on (never trusted press-on props) but overall, very good first plane for anyone who's planning to go electric.
--
"Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls would scarcely
get your feet wet."
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Anybody remember that DC10 in the US that lost all its control surfaces????
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abracadabra wrote:

...
When they were selling on eBay they had one of the worst ratings I ever saw. No responses to emails, phone never gets answered, etc. As a beginner you would be better off buying from a local hobby shop, or a well known mail order company.
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Thank you,
Eric
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Hey Eric, you seem to be in a similar boat to what I was when I started. I am an engineer by trade and had all the practical knowledge of why/what/how an aircraft flies. I was rather surprised at how long it took for that knowledge to translate into autonomous hand motions to make the plane do what I knew it needed to. It also took much longer than I thought it would to recognize the "proper" input when the plane's relative attitude was changed (coming at me, inverted, etc.)
I know that for guys like us, sometimes we want to jump right in with both feet and go. Believe me, resist the temptation. Get a decent trainer and/or a flight sim, and learn the basics. (I know you are listening to the good advise, just be patient with some of the posters who don't bother reading all the facts before they jump in with a idiot-o-gram.)
For my $$, I chose to buy an Avistar trainer. For one, a 40-size glow plane will be able to carry your camera gear that you were talking about installing. (The Goldberg Eagle would probably be the best choice from this side as it has a VERY large fuselage volume for a 40-size plane and LOTS of lift from its big wings.) The Avistar appealed to me because it has a semi-symmetric wing, (most trainers use a flat-bottom wing airfoil) which allowed more aerobatics as I got past the learning to fly stage.
If you plan to go it alone (no instructor or formal R/C club) then you need to stick with a small electric. (If you live WAAAAY out in the sticks, you can fly a 'greaser' without formal club facilities, but if you cut your hand on the prop, you are rather 'screwed'.) Please don't make the mistake of underestimating just how much space it takes to fly a model safely. Even for the small GWS "park flyer" aircraft, you really need an empty football stadium or baseball diamond size area when you are just starting out. You WILL get the orientation wrong on more than a few occasions and send the plane off in the wrong direction. (Make sure it isn't DOWN though!) :)
Also, please be aware that there are frequency restrictions on the RF frequencies used to fly model aircraft, in most of the world. If you buy a 'toy' airplane that comes with it's own transmitter, it may be on 27MHz, in which case there is no restriction other than "you're on your own if someone knocks you down." If you buy "real" R/C equipment, make sure you are buying the proper legal frequency. (For example, in the USA, the 72MHz frequencies are reserved for R/C AIRCRAFT only and SURFACE craft must use the 75MHz channels. 50MHz is also available for both, IF you have a HAM license.) Whatever frequency your country uses, please be sure to only turn on your transmitter if you are outside the area of an established club. (The guideline is 5 miles for the 72MHz units used in the USA.)
Finally, while I did not follow this advice, looking back I wish that I had loaded FMS to practice with. It is not a _great_ R/C simulator, but the price can't be beat (free) and it also isn't a BAD simulator. If you really get into the hobby, you can always upgrade to one of the (very good) $200 simulator packages later.
Steve
abracadabra wrote:

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Eric,
In an earlier post you mentioned all sorts of warbirds that you wante to fly eventually. At the risk of being flamed, generally the ones yo listed are better done with glow/gas. Now you are talking abou electrics, so I wanted to mention that you might first look into wher you want to fly. I say this because it will cost about the same to se yourself up with a proper electric as it will for glow/gas. If you ar going to try and fly yourself, maybe an electric might be better, bu don't do it because you think it will be easier. Nothing wrong i having both, I fly my electrics before work at a park sometimes, bu glow planes exclusively on the weekend at the local R/C field.
As for a glow trainer, any of the 40 sized flat bottom high winger i my recommendation. It will fly more slowly and is more forgiving. I've had my Avistar(s) for about 4 years, using it for instruction an demo flights. While it is a bit more aerobatically capable, and d like the plane, it is also too easy to exceed its flight envelope. I've flown the wings off of one and stripped a couple of servos
-- sfsjki ----------------------------------------------------------------------- sfsjkid's Profile: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?action=getinfo&userid870 View this thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid4053
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I guess I fell into the trap of an assumption (and it's a doozy) ...
If you have a gas-powered plane, does it EVER happen that a crash result in a real bonfire ? [ Moronic isn't it ! But I thought it happened. :)) I visualized planes literally going up in flames ... or is that down. ]

My interpretation:
- No landing gear, only plane belly ? - Wings mounted on top of fuselage, not bottom ?
...(snip)...

...(snip)...
Was this because they were held ONLY with rubber bands, or did a positive-lock actually snap loose under load ? Thank you,
Eric
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If you have a gas-powered plane, does it EVER happen that a

I've never seen it. Ive heard of it.

no, he is speaking with respect to the shape of ther wing(airfoil)

yes
I'm thinking he was using a figure of speach. He might have actually flown the wings off. I've lost a wing before. Eric, If you ever are in central Texas I will teach you to fly with my plane mk

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abracadabra wrote:

I've never heard of it happening, and in fact it would be very hard to achieve. While the flashpoint of Methanol is quite low (12C/54F) , glow engines have no spark system to initiate combustion. Glow engines run hot, but the auto-ignition temperature of Methanol is about 385C/725F, so even pouring fuel over a hot running engine won't initiate combustion ( glow engine runs at around 100C/210F). There is a possibility that sparks caused by short-circuiting in the radio system might ignite the fuel, but given the design, layout and cabling of R/C gear this is extremely unlikely.
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The following is not strictly to the point because it wasn't a crash :
I used to fly CL combat many years ago and once, when I wasn't present, the fuel line came loose from an engine and the pacifier tank squirted blazing fuel directly into the face of one of the modellers. A hospital job, obviously, and the guy gave up aeromodelling as a result. AIUI the glow plug was connected up and excess fuel in the exhaust port had ignited and heated the fuel tubing enough to loosen it so it came undone.
Those engines were open exhaust and it's much harder to see anything like it happening in an RC plane, but if you had an automatic glow igniter and if the crash took out the muffler and if fuel poured out from the tank pressure then just possibly ...
But I have also never heard of it happening to an RC plane.
--
Boo

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| If you have a gas-powered plane, does it EVER happen that a | crash result in a real bonfire ? | [ Moronic isn't it ! But I thought it happened. :)) | I visualized planes literally going up in flames | ... or is that down. ]
With glow power, almost never. It's possible, we may have heard of it, but very very few have ever seen it.
With gas power, it's possible, but still very rare. (You did say `gas-powered', but I suspect you really meant glow.)
The jet turbine planes seem to like to go up in flames when they crash, however. I've seen several movies of it, and invariably they seem to end up in a fireball. (Of course, the more spectacular the crash, the more likely it is to make it onto the Internet and the more likely it is that I'll see it, so this is hardly a scientific sampling.)
Electrics can crash and catch fire too. The crash damages the battery pack or the wiring and causes a short circuit, and things get hot enough to ignite the plane. Or a lipo pack is involved and it catches fire itself. Rare, but it happens.
I've never seen a glider catch fire :)
| ...(snip)... | > I've flown the wings off of one and stripped a couple of servos. | ...(snip)... | | Was this because they were held ONLY with rubber bands, | or did a positive-lock actually snap loose under load ?
With the appropriate number of rubber bands, the wing will not come off in any maneuver. In a crash, the wing will move but probably not come off either -- the rubber absorbs a lot of the impact, sparing the plane to some degree.
However, what sometimes happens is that somebody only puts on two rubber bands `just to hold the wing there' and forgets about it, and never puts more before flying. He takes off, does a turn and the plane and wing part company. It's neat to watch, as long as the plane isn't aimed at you -- the plane makes like a lawn dart, and the wing lazily flops down to Earth a while later.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzy.com
I call them as I see them. If I can't see them, I make them up.
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abracadaba, most of your questions to my earlier post seem to be mor
than adequately answered by everyone else, sorry for the confusion. A for Avistar, I literally did so. I did have 10 new rubber bands on th thing. I'm not sure if the dowels that hold the rubber bands, th fuselege holding the dowels or the rubber bands themselves broke, bu the wing did fly off literally.
Point I was trying to make was that a lot of people seem to want t skip a step and have room to grow by going with the slightly mor aerobatic Avistar. However, I've seen that this puts many total newbi at a disadvantage on the first few flights, yet when they are ready t grow, the plane can be easily stressed beyond its limits. Nothin wrong with the plane mind you, I usually recommend it as a intermediate trainer for those that need addtional training
-- sfsjki ----------------------------------------------------------------------- sfsjkid's Profile: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?action=getinfo&userid870 View this thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid4053
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IF I were to use a plane that holds the wing with rubber bands, while a novice, would you agree that using some fine-gauge copper wire (like for electronics) wrapped around a few times would do the trick for the more gutsy moves ?
Can I safely assume that the wing surface at the tie-down point is solid and therefore can take that kind of pressure, from the wire ?
Eric
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abracadabra wrote:

You could use wire, indeed you could use a number of materials. However, rubber bands have a number of benefits - they are self-tensioning, they are discrete, so that if one fails, there are plenty of others to hold the wing on. Furthermore, if you are concerned about strength, just add more rubber bands, or use thicker ones (there are special ones for model aeroplanes).
Sufficient bands will hold up to anything you're going to try, and in the case of a poor landing (or "arrival" as it's often called) the rubber bands tend to give way allowing the wing to separate rather than causing serious damage to the airframe.
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