Yes, go to www.rcuniverse.com and look at the beginners forum. You will
see lots of threads asking the same question. If you are going glow
(they use an alcohol based fuel commononly called glow fuel), the
typical recommendation is a .40 size trainer and a 4 or 6 channel radio.
There are many brands and models that do well. I'm less familiar with
electric trainers, although I know the GWS Slow Stick is highly
recommended. Before you decide, check with your local hobby shop to see
what clubs are in your area and then pay the clubs a visit. While some
people have learned on their own, it you get help from an instructor you
will learn faster and with less crashes.
Choices are huge and so will be the recommendations. As someone who has only
been flying for under a year I will try to offer advice based on my personal
Find a club and ask around. You'll hear all sorts of recommendations. Weigh
them up and make a choice. Bias your choice towards whatever your future
Radio gear and engine choice is something to think about carefully. Do you
want something just to get you through training, something through a few
basic models, or something that will last for a heck of a long time? A good
"first few planes" setup would be a 5 channel radio and a decent 46 sized
engine. However if budget is tight you can do well with a "lesser" engine.
My first radio is a Hitec Flash 5, while I'm about to swicth to an Eclipse 7
I really have no need to upgrade other than I wanted to. So, whatever brand
you choose I would suggest looking at a minimum of 5 channels with a few
model memories (most brands will do this).
Engine choice is going to be something in the 40-46sizes. You could buy
something like an OS 46AX but that's typically overkill for a trainer.
However, it will see you into any 46sized aircraft you will ever buy. If you
want cheap and reliable go for an OS LA engine. Ignore the negative comments
you read about them, I've never met anyone who's had one that didn't like
them. The engines aren't powerhouses but do deliver more power than many
credit them with. They are easy to start, easy to tune, and will run all day
without a single problem. My own LA engine is approaching the 40litres of
fuel consumed mark. Runs like a clock, which is not something I can say for
some other more expensive non-OS engines.
For your plane, I won't recommend any particular one as every part of the
world seems to have a favorite. However, you're after: a 40ish sized
trainer, tricycle undercarriage, high wing, semi-symetrical, 4 channel.
You may want electric but it's going to be harder to learn on. Many
instructors don't train on electics, flight times are generally shorter
(which means shorter lessons). If the trainer is a hand launch variety, you
miss out on learning ground handling and engine starting. While that may
sound trivial, it's important safety stuff to learn should you every go to
Hope this helps. I know I rambled but forgive me, I've been bedridden with
the flu for the last few days and this is the first time I've felt human
enough to get online.... ;-)
Mt Great Planes PT Electric ( 56" span, 500 sq wing area ) large
electric with outrunner and lipo upgrade will stay in the air for over
20 min. OBTW it taxis on the ground darn good. Instructors DO train on
electrics. Check out this club at www.lvrcs.com and look in there
photo gallery for the most recent Electric Fly in event. Some very nice
planes....all types...small to large electric
Small electric/gas ( aka parkflyers ) handle on the groundnd just
as well as the larger gas/electric planes. Small planes need a smoother
surface ( hard dirt or asphalt ). My Great Planes E-Cub ( parkflyer
)can rog. My GWS Slow Stick rog's in about 10 feet on asphalt.
Safety????.........Electric's are a bit safer then glow.
1 You do not have to have your fingers close to the prop to
2 Less vibration/ wear and tear on gear.
3 Queit and clean.
Bottom Line: If the club refuses to train you on any size electric. DO
NOT JOIN THAT CLUB
Could you answer a few more questions for us, RiverMan?
Do you live in a city or a rural area/small town?
Is there a flying club in your area that you can join?
Do you have a local hobby store near by (if so, what do they
Do you want a starter plane to "try out" r/c flying, or a dedicated trainer
so you can really learn how to fly solo with advanced airplanes?
Do you have any experience with other R/C craft, like cars, boats, or
Have you seen a plane that you like, but you're not sure if you should start
out with it?
Will you have any help learning how to fly, or will you be figuring it out
on your own?
All of these things will affect what shoud be recommended for you. Also, if
you had any kind of budget anticipated, it would be helpful. You can buy a
complete ready-to-fly electric plane for $29.99, or you can spend over $500
buying a ready-to-fly nitro trainer package and field equipment.
i live in small town Pendleton Oregon. I will be mostly trying to
figure this out on my own. there is a flying club about 40 min away in
walla walla wa but i cant drive or anything so im stuck here unless i
can get my dad to take me. there arent really in hobby stores nearby
because i live in a small place. i just decided one day that i wanted
one but had no idea what would be good for me!!!!
OK, that helps a lot as far as being able to make some specific
With no flying club nearby and no sanctioned flying field in your area,
nitro powered planes are not a good idea. They are quite good to learn with
IF you have an experienced flyer to train you and an approved place to fly
You're going to want an electric plane of some kind. You're going to need
to purchase it from a good online retailer. I'd recommend shopping at:
These are major radio control hobby distributors with a wide selection of
You still have a few choices to make, though:
1) How much do you want to spend?
2) Will you be flying indoors (school gymnasium), in a small outdoor area
(baseball field), or a larger outdoor area (soccer/football field or
3) Is it worth it to you to spend extra for a larger, heavier plane that you
can fly outside when the wind isn't calm?
4) Is this a hobby you want to "try out," or are you pretty sure you'll
enjoy flying enough that investing in a high quality plane at the very
beginning makes sense?
Answer a few more of these questions, and recommending specific planes for
you should become easy.
ill be flying outside. im dont really want to join a club or anything
but just want a good plane for me to use and not just fall apart. i
will be mostly flying it in a pretty good size field but dont want to
spend too much on it.
You don't have to spend a lot to get a good plane, but like everything else
in life there is always something a little bit better available for a little
bit more money.
-You're flying alone
-You haven't indicated previous r/c experience
-You don't want to spend a lot of money if you don't have to
-You don't want to join a club
-You will be flying outdoors
-You have a reasonably good sized area to fly in outside
-You don't have a hobby store nearby and you will need to order parts online
I can make a couple of good recommendations:
Hobbyzone Firebird IIST
Hobbico Flyzone Mini Ventura
The Firebird IIST is $85, the Mini Ventura is $90
Horizon Hobby carries a full line of replacement parts for the Firebird IIST
while Tower Hobbies carries a full line of replacement parts for the Mini
While neither of these planes will be able to fly in wind much over 5 to 7
mph, both will be good fliers in nearly calm outdoor conditions. The Mini
Ventura is a slightly more sophisticated 3-channel design (seperate elevator
and rudder) versus the Firebird IIST's 2-channel (elevon v-tail) design, but
for all practical purposes they should fly very similarly to one another.
These plastic-and-foam planes are rugged enough to be crashed repeatedly
without permanently wrecking them. You may want to consider ordering an
extra wing, tail assembly, and prop when you order your plane. These are
the three items most likely to break while you're learning to toss around
Both planes come with an instructional video disc to walk you through
initial setup and basic flight instruction.
If either of these choices in the $85 to $90 range is a bit too expensive
for what you had in mind, I'd recommend Hobby Zone's Firebird Scout plane at
$50 to $55. It's basically just a smaller version of the Firebird IIST (but
even more sensitive to slightly windy conditions) that should be suitable
for the lowest of budgets. Hobbico makes some less expensive FlyZone
models, but I haven't heard much about them.
Good luck, and let us know what you picked out and how things are going!
i chose the 55 dollar plane because i didnt want to spend the 100 until
later.i ordered an extra wing and two propellers to come with it. i
really appreciate you guys helping and THANKYOU again!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm pretty comfortable declaring the Hobby Zone Firebird Scout the best $55
Ready-to-Fly airplane package available on the market. RC Universe reviewed
the plane pretty thoroughly recently, I thought you might like to read about
it while you await your shipment:
There is video of the plane flying, too.
Be sure to tell us how you're doing and how you like the plane. You'll
likely end up putting it into the ground a few times, that's quite normal
while you're figuring things out. Hopefully you'll figure your Scout out
faster than I figured out my Aerobird Challenger and that extra wing and
those extra propellers will last you a good long time!
yes i ordered those extra because you guys told me. to tell you the
truth when i found that plane before you guys told me to get it i
thought it would brake easily because of the skinny tail on it but
thats what im gonna get if you recomend it.
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