Most "painless" way to get started with radio-controlled flight.

Hello, all. Recently I've been considering the idea of making my entrance into the field of radio-controlled flight as painless as possible, and here is what I have come up with:

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I hope that this link will work. I tried posting a more direct link, but that didn't work. Anyway, this is from the RCM online plans catalog, under "miscellaneous", and it is the Fred Reese air car.

What I have in mind is to build the car first, and then, using the same engine, build a plane later on. Mostly I would be curious to know if anyone else has already gone this route, and, beyond that, I would be interested in hearing any comments regarding this approach.


Mike Mandaville Austin, Texas

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Sounds like fun!

Technically, you shouldn't use an air radio for a car, but if you're careful and don't shoot anyone down by turning it on near a flying field, you should be OK.

Personally, I'd turn the engine around so that you can use normal props and get used to starting the engine from the front, but that's a matter of taste. I imagine the car is a little safer in the pusher configuration.

I started with an LT-40 and a buddy who trained me on a buddy box. It was pretty effective and relatively painless.

The car will teach you a little bit about reversing your point of view as it comes toward you. But airplanes also deal with up/down and yaw in addition to right and left. You will still have a lot to learn about flying when you're tired of playing with the car.


Reply to
Martin X. Moleski, SJ

Electric park flyers is one way to get started:

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Interesting link but I wonder what the benefit of building this will be? You'll learn how to setup a fuel system and engine and run it but that's about it. Personally, and as a beginner myself, I'd pass on it.

Through a good friend I managed to obtain an electric "old-timer" which is relatively easy to fly (says he who crashed it yesterday). With guidance from an experienced pilot you will be flying much faster with one of these than anything else (lesson two: don't try to fly solo, unless your instructor is there - despite him saying you should be fine).

As far as painless goes, just accept the fact you'll eventually crash (no matter how hard you try to avoid it). If you can accept the inevitible you should be OK. From yesterdays experience (crash) I was bitterly disappointed but, realised I had told myself it would happen sooner or later so, I assessed the damage and am now repairing.

One thing to watch is the cost of your trainer aircraft, don't invest too much money/blood/sweat/tears into it. If I was starting again, I'd go straight for an ARF (electric/glo whatever). Learn to fly, crash, repair that before you get carried away building a masterpiece. The better the aircraft you start with, the worse the pain when you crash it.

PS. Any experts on keyhole surgery to repair split rib and spar? Split in spar is localised to around the rib itself.

Reply to
The Raven

Hello again, fellows. When I get the radio, I'll make sure that I get one which can be used with a buddy box. The car itself only requires two channels, but I'll get a four channel system, so I won't need to purchase a second radio. I have a special interest in miniature internal combustion engines, and so I would be inclined to pass on electric flight. In fact, I am tooling up to build my own engines.


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Good thinking.

As I said before, be careful not to shoot down airplanes by playing with your car too near an RC airfield.


Let us know how the car turns out.

Another idea: get an RC simulator. They are excellent self-teaching tools.


Reply to
Martin X. Moleski, SJ

The most painless way is to get GOOD equipment that won't dollar you to death and will last past your first few planes/crashes. Get with a local club. They usually have instructors who are glad to help you learn to fly. I'd go with one of the beginner combos in the Tower catalog or web site. You can get a full setup + some spare parts for under $400. Electric/park flyers? Sure, if you want toy planes that will give you a lot of heartache. The may fly easily, but not in any wind over 5 mph. They crash easily, too. They may also teach bad piloting habits that you'll have to unlearn later. Like the old ad on TV with the mechanic standing there with a part off of your car, "You can pay me now or you can pay me later." Dr.1 Driver "There's a Hun in the sun!"

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| Hello, all. Recently I've been considering the idea of making my | entrance into the field of radio-controlled flight as painless as | possible

Well, what part of it is paining you?

Buying a radio, engine and servos for this car, and the extra stuff needed to make it go, you've already spent most of the money that a plane will cost. So it can't be the cost that's paining you.

This also doesn't even sound like a fun car. It won't really do anything well -- the acceleration would be poor, handling would be poor. With a big prop right there, it'll be noisier than any other R/C car and there's the danger of prop strikes that normal R/C cars don't have.

Also, others have suggested that if you use radio gear using plane frequencies to be careful not to shoot anybody down -- good advice, but it's still illegal to do so. And you may shoot down a park flier nearby that you don't even know about.

The skills you gain from driving this car will help a little bit in flying a plane, but only a very little bit. Cars can stop, and they don't stall. :)

I've talked to you before a few years ago -- you live west of Austin, a bit far from a local club so an instructor is hard to come by? Most built up glow planes really do need an instructor if you're new to R/C (because they fly too fast and are too fragile), but some gliders and electrics do pretty well with newbies. I do a lot of slope flying at Mansfield Dam, and the planes I fly are pretty much indestructible. (Out there, the danger is losing the plane rather than damaging it.) You could give that a try -- it may even be not that far from you. Or planes like the Aerobird Extreme fly very well and yet are pretty easy for a beginner to fly. I know you'd prefer to go glow than electric, but the electric planes are pretty good.

The Aerobird Extreme is $190, and I believe it comes with everything you need. It's got a big foam nose to cushion crashes. It's also quite aerobatic if you want it to be. The downside is that the equipment in it won't transfer to your next plane ...

Reply to
Doug McLaren

Get realflight G2.

The simulator. If after that you still want to fly, go for it.

Reply to
The Natural Philosopher

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