Need advice on buying model plane for xmas present

Greetings,
I would like to buy a plane for my finance as a xmas gift but have no idea what to look for. He used to build them and fly them around when
he was younger (pre-teen) but he told me that they were the basic models. I guess he would need something not too elementary but nothing too advanced.
I don't want to spend a lot of money but would like buy something that he could use that would be fun and challenging but the plane would have to be able to endure some beatings since he has not flown in 15+ years.
Any suggestions?
Thank you!
Jessica
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| I would like to buy a plane for my finance as a xmas gift but have no | idea what to look for. He used to build them and fly them around when | he was younger (pre-teen) but he told me that they were the basic | models. I guess he would need something not too elementary but nothing | too advanced.
Do you know if he flew R/C back then or were they free flight (no control at all) or control line (fly in circles) ?
What's your budget?
Most of the < $100 planes barely fly. You've got to spend around $200 to get something reasonably decent. I've never had one myself, but I'm pretty fond of the Aerobird Extreme --
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=HBZ6500
Whatever you get, you'll probably want to make sure it's electric (so he doesn't have to join a club and such for a place to fly it) and has three or more channels (the two channel electrics typically don't fly well at all.)
| I don't want to spend a lot of money but would like buy something that | he could use that would be fun and challenging but the plane would have | to be able to endure some beatings since he has not flown in 15+ years.
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John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had
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Welcome, Jessica!

This is a great time in world history to go shopping for a nice starter plane.
You ought to look for a Hobbytown or some other RC shop in your area where you can see what the planes and prices look like.
There is also Tower Hobbies on the internet, which may give you some ideas of what's available:
http://www.towerhobbies.com /
Here's two nice electric park flyers (no radio):
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXHCE8&P=0
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXHCE9&P=0
With the necessary (minimal) accessories, either one would be in the $220-$250 range.
You can spend less and get less. Some people have had success with simpler systems:
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXKLV7&P=0
It's a $100 package that just needs extra batteries.
Gasoline powered trainer kits are fabulous, but they require a lot more support equipment, make more noise, and take more room. The NexStar is a nice package:
http://www.hobbiconexstar.com /
They have a dealer locator button--click on "Where to Buy."
There are other similar packages that give you almost everything he'd need to go flying. I would budget $300-$400 for a package like that.
                Marty -- The Big-8 hierarchies (comp, humanities, misc, news, rec, sci, soc, talk) are under new management. See http://www.big-8.org for details.
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Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:

You will most likely want an electric plane for your price range. The majority of plane setups under $200 are not really for beginners to RC.
The MAJORITY of park flyers aimed at beginners have one big problem - they do not like wind over 3 mph. The light weight of the plane has the wind knocking them all over the sky.
There are a couple of exceptions, however, they do need an area much larger than your local park or baseball field. At a MINIMUM, you should have at least a football field in size and more area is preferred.
The Easy Star is one of the easiest to learn to fly on and the plane can handle wind up to about 10 mph. The whole setup (everything except 8 AA batteries) costs $180 plus shipping. http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXFXV0&P=ML
Hope this is of some help.
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You are prepared for days of not seeing him as he goies out flying?
'Couse some people see that as a benefit...
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Wow! Thank you for the wonderful help! It's my fiance not my finance. Ha ha.
Ok, he definitely will want a RC. Do you recommend any models within the 200-250 range for intermediate flyers? He has experience (i've seen him fly) yet I know he's a little rusty.
Thank you for the suggestions! Have a wonderful holiday!
Jessica
Jess wrote:

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You did mention durable, try this: http://www.superflyrc.com I have the super flea and super fly. Love 'em mk

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It would be difficult to pick a plane for someone who already flies. My only suggestion is to expand his flying options with a flat foam electric. They are lightweight, weighing not much more than a kite and therefore not at all objectionable in public parks. They are stable and easy to fly in light winds, while remaining fully aerobatic. The planes themselves are under $50. The servos, batteries, charger, and brushless motor upgrade will make good use of the remainder of your budget.
See the Great Planes Flatout series on their website. Tower Hobbies can help with the full list of support equipment, even if you end up not buying from them. Your local hobby shop might be a better place to buy if you prefer face to face help.
I fly an E-flite Tribute in the little league field when it's not otherwise in use. The neighbors for the most part are more entertained and curious rather than dismayed. The only objection voiced in two years was from one passer-by who fancied himself a "real" RC flyer. He too was satisfied after inspecting the plane for himself. (I also fly r/c helicopters, one a big gasser; maybe he was satisfied with the apparent credentials, then.)
Another suggestion is a good simulator for his PC. RealFlight G3.5 is my recommendation, although others might have their own favorites. He'll need a pretty good gamer's video card to support the graphics. About $200.

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Aw, fer cryin' out loud. My old lady is on the same page.
TP
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