Need Recommendations for ARF RC Model Airplane

After attending the TopGun RC plane meet in Lakeland, Florida last month I've got to buy an ARF RC plane trainer. When I was a kid I did pretty good with U control model planes. Remember them? My brother sent me a link for a trainer but I want to get the best, ideally one that'll grow beyond a trainer. I'm willing to spend several hundred bucks maybe more.

link to trainer recommended by my brother

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Link to Top Gun Meet

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Here is the correct link for the trainer suggested by my brother.

Reply to


If you have average hand/eye coordination and correctable vision, go buy the GP Big Stick in the .40 size. This plane will take you past basic training and well into advanced aerobatics. Power it with any of the popular .46 to .52 sized available engines from OS, Thunder Tiger or Magnum. Buy a radio system on 2.4 GHz with at least eight channels and ball bearing standard servos. May as well pick up a flight simulator program while you are at it.

The most difficult thing to find is an instructor that is competent with a model that does NOT have a flat bottomed wing. Those models are intended for folks who have poor vision and atrocious hand/eye coordination. Most of the intended target audience for this type of model will never get past the flat bottomed wing stage.

If you are "normal", you'll get past that stage in ten flights or less.

Finding an instructor thusly qualified will be rough. It appears that not having the "flying gene" is a marker for attracting those folks to wanting to be full time instructors.

Make a deal that if your instructor crashes your plane, they have to replace it with a brand new plane, radio and engine. If they refuse to comply, find someone else to teach you to fly. Or, better yet. Teach yourself how to fly using the computer simulator. Then all you'll need is a check-out flight when you get to your flying field.

Ed Cregger

Reply to
Ed Cregger

Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:

The Nexstar is a nice trainer, however, my personal opinion is that it is overpriced for what you get.

  1. Do not try to teach yourself how to fly. The normal 1st flight of someone trying to teach themselves how to fly is typically less than 30 seconds and usually results in damage to the plane (about 1/2 the time the plane is a total). Get an instructor. Clubs provide members an instructor at no charge.
  2. Find a local club. Your local hobby shop can help you find one.

  1. Talk to the people at the club AND talk to an instructor. See what the instructor suggests for a trainer.

  2. Join the AMA and your local club.

Back to the plane.

You can D/L FMS for free and you can either make a cord that goes from your transmitter to the computer or buy one off of Ebay for around $20 - $25. FMS is a decent sim. It doesn't have the "bells and whistles" of G4 or Aerofly, but it will allow you to practice what your instructor teaches you.

The AFS on the Nexstar is, in my opinion, useless since it teaches you the wrong things. MOST instructors have the student turn it off and learn the CORRECT way.

The wing droops are nice, however many students remove them by the 3rd lesson (or sooner).

The Nexstar comes with a 4 channel radio. There is nothing wrong with a

4 channel radio, however most students will be wanting/needing more channels by their 3rd plane.

I suggest the following:

Since most trainers fly pretty much the same, get a basic ARF trainer such as the Hobbico SuperStar or Avistar. With an ARF you do not have the emotional involvment that normally comes if you build the plane from a kit. Remember, a trainer is to learn on. Expect it to get dings, tears and some damage. It goes along with learning.

Get a BALL BEARING 46 engine. OS, Thunder Tiger and Evolution are 3 brands I can recommend. They are "user friendly" engines. By user friendly I mean that 99%+ are going to run decently right out of the box. They will require minimal break in, have good power and not require a lot of "fiddling with" to run properly and keep running properly.

For a radio I suggest a 6 channel (or more ) COMPUTER radio. Initially, you will not be using the additional channels, however many students want flaps and/or retractable landing gear by their 3rd plane. Getting the 6 channel (or more) radio initially saves you from buying another radio later. I also suggest getting the radio in 2.4 mhz rather than 72 mhz.

With some careful shopping you can NORMALLY beat the price of a Nexstar. If you happen to catch some sales, you can beat the price by a substantial amount.

Remember, do not try to teach yourself how to fly. Get an instructor.

Hope this is of some help.

Reply to
Ted Campanelli

Get the Nextstar but don't use the gyro! It comes with a computer simulator where you can 'learn' to fly the airplane before ever going to the flying field. This helps tremendously. the engine and radio comes already installed.

The Nextstar is not a bad flying airplane beyond the trainer stage because you can remove the air dams/spoilers, etc. JUST DON"T USE THE GYRO!

Reply to


Radio control models started out/began using converted free flight models. Models that used flat bottomed wings. As long as everyone was using the radio control to merely interrupt the flight of the free flight model, flat bottomed wings worked fine.

When more control channels became available, things changed significantly. You can see this by looking at deBolt and Goldberg models of the early sixties. They began using semi-symmetrical airfoils. It wasn't long until the deBolt Jenny and the Goldberg Falcon 56 became the defacto trainers of the era. Neither possessed a flat-bottomed wing.

So what IS wrong with a flat-bottomed wing? They "zoom". That is, the model can be trimmed to fly straight and level at one speed, but if you point the nose downward, the model will build up speed and will end up in a zoom (climb). If severe enough, the model will then stall, drop the nose and proceed to build up speed again, only to zoom and stall again. This can be very disconcerting for the new pilot, who has enough to learn without trying to figure out why the model is doing what it is doing.

To further add insult to injury, most of the trainers designed and sold as ARFs today have been designed by folks with little flying experience. Trimming is as much of a mystery to them as it is to the new student pilot that bought one of their ARF models. Not only do these models come with wings that are guaranteed to zoom, but the design many times sees fit to add a couple of degrees of positive incidence, further dooming the model to zoom.

Models that have odd trim arrangements are more affected by winds and gusts. Models that are set up to be symmetrical wing equipped trainers generally fly with little or no positive incidence, making them less prone to changing course when encountering a crosswind or turbulence. One's advancement in flying skill is directly related to how many flights one obtains in as short of an amount as possible. Windy days occur much more often than perfectly calm days. The student pilot needs a model that can fly well even on windy days.

In the early Seventies, most designers of training aircraft had moved away from using flat-bottomed airfoil equipped trainers for just the reasons that I have stated. The emphasis was placed upon accumulating as much flying time as possible with a model that did not fly itself. What can you learn when the model flies itself? Not much. Besides, most of what you can learn with a model that flies itself can be learned while flying a computer simulator.

If money is precious, don't tie it up in a flat-bottomed wing trainer that can only fly satisfactorily on calm days. Get that Big Stik or Avistar and get out there as often as you can. These models are not difficult to fly when set up properly. The difficulty is in finding an "instructor" that is skilled enough to set it up for you.

To me, flat-bottomed winged aircraft fall into the same class as cheap Asian engines. Both can be a hoot to own and fly. Neither should be bought and used by a rank beginner. Buy OS for your first engine and do buy a .46 ball bearing, non ring equipped engine.

Asian engines (Chinese mostly) are not plug-n-play for the most part, at least not yet, and the beginner lacks the skills needed to break them in and operate them successfully.

I've been flying R/C since 1966 and control line long before 1966. Not a single day goes by that I don't learn at least one new thing about model airplanes.

Good luck with yours.

Ed Cregger

Reply to
Ed Cregger

There's nothing wrong with a flat bottom wing. I've been flying since

1990, and I still enjoy flat bottom wings along with planes that are supposedly more "advanced". I like three channel planes, too. It's too bad some guys think of flat bottom wings as something that you grow out of. They're missing a lot of fun. Try putting a Kadet through the contest pattern some time, and then tell me how good of a pilot you are. Come to think of it, lots of people enjoy the Telemaster, even if they've been flying for years.

The question was how to get started for "several hundred dollars", which I take to mean significantly less than $500. Most of the ARF trainers from the major vendors are good enough for you to learn with. Isn't the Nexstar the one with fancy gyro driven autopilot crap in it? If so, just get a regular plane instead and learn to fly it. About the radio, just get a regular 4 channel 72MHz radio for less than $150. These will be around for a long time to come, and if you stick with the hobby you'll always find a use for a basic 4 channel radio. I have 4 or 5 of them, plus a 6 and a 7 channel that I use for specialty projects, although not very often. Most guys go for decades without ever flying anything with more than 4 channels. I can count on one hand the number of planes I've built with bomb doors, flaps, or other accessories. (I always wanted to build a glider tug with a tow release....) At any rate, any 4 channel unit from JR, Airtronics, Futaba, or Hitec will do just fine. Your main concern will be that if somebody is nice enough to teach you to fly, you may want to get the same brand they have and hook up with a trainer cord. There's a lot of good stuff on the market today. You can't go too far wrong.

Reply to
Robert Reynolds

Most trainers are capable of far more than people ever use them for. My Seagull Boomerang 40 has 300hours of flying and is looking really sad, yet it will still do things most pilots would never think it capable of surviving.

I've overpowered it, dived it well beyond flutter, pulled massive 'wing breaking' G, landed it inverted, flown through trees, discovered it's absolute maximum speed (just won't go faster no matter how big an engine), hovered it etc etc.

You're wasting money and getting no benefit for it. Try a cheap trainer, assemble it well, and (once you get used to it) flog the death out of it.

About the only thing they don't like is knife edges, which some judicious modifications will solve.

Don't get cocky or push it too quick. Seen plenty of 'Top Gun' learners who simply rush things too much and end up getting nowhere but frustrated and/or broke.

Reply to
The Raven

I fully agree with you! I have a GP Big Stick with a 4 stroke and love it. I've commented to many instructors at our club how forgiving it is YET you can wring it out for aerobatics. Far better low speed behaviour which is ideal for students.

I'd suggest a four stroke instead. Two strokes aren't good for low speed learning. Dead sticks resulting from extended low speed running, dead sticks from emergency recoveries (throw the throttle open and it dies....or wait a few seconds for it to catch up).

A four stroke instantly responds, has plenty of torque for recovery maneouvers, and will happily run for extended periods at low throttle. This is what a student needs, not the latest 'race' ported 2 stroke that fuels up and dies during low rpm trainer flying.

Frequency is your choice. Don't be fooled into 2.4Ghz as being the saviour of all glitches and lock outs. Many 2.4Ghz pilots are discovering it's not the panacea for radio issues, with some worrying trends that defy the marketing.

You don't need 8 channels, very few planes require more than 5 or 6. Go to a club and take a look at the planes there, 90%+ will be no more than 5 channels.

Ball bearings, not necessary until you move up to significantly advanced aircraft (speed, power, size etc). It's like fitting 200mph tires to a VW beetle.

Get FMS, it's free off the web. Buy a suitable trainer cord. If you want to splash out on the better sims go for it but they won't teach you the basics any better.

I'd recommend semi-symetrical as well BUT most students wouldn't be able to tell the difference, nor would a experienced instructor who'd unconciously deal with anything a flat bottom wing throws at you.

Some pilots will get their solo in a few flights spread over maybe two months of Sunday flying, others may take years. Once solo'd and with some experience, you'd be hard picked to tell who took longer with the majority of pilots.

Yep, most instructors take on the job reluctantly. However, in some parts of the world instructors are awarded recognised certifications. It doesn't mean they are a excellent instructor but it means they are competent.

We find most students will try several of the club instructors and then find one that best suits them. Matching an instructor to the student is very important.

Sorry, but I totally disagree. An instructor will do everything he can to prevent a students plane from crashing but expecting them to take full responsibility is arrogant. The same thing applies for those who'll happily ask someone to test fly their plane and then expect the pilot to take responsibility if it crashes.

If you can't trust the instructor, then find another. If you can't find one, you know who's got the unrealistic expectations.

If you believe that you're one of the 0.02 percent that magically teach themselves how to fly without crashing one (or a dozen) planes. Teaching yourself to fly without insurance, as highly recommended or required in most parts of the world, is fraught with risk.

Reply to
The Raven

IMNSHO this is horrible advice.

Do not expect an instructor, doing it for free--and with the added burden of being susceptible to lawsuits--to replace your plane should it crash. And don't expect to completely learn to fly on a sim, and then run down to your local field for a quick "check-out" flight (izzat guy supposed to replace the plane if it crashes too? LOL). Sims are great but cannot replace actual air time.

I would suggest going to a field that has a few club planes that can be used to give demo flights, via a buddy box. They will take the plane up to 2 or 3 mistakes high and then let you take over. If you find it easy to fly you can go for a more advanced trainer. But if you find it difficult or nearly overwhelming you can start with something easier to fly, such as an LT-40 (which isn't bad in the wind, at least compared to the smaller/lighter NextStar).

Also look for a used setup at local clubs. Many people outgrow their trainers and then sell them. You should be able to pickup a complete RTF (ready to fly) plane, with transmitter, for a few hundred dollars easily. Ask around.

Reply to

I think the Hobbico Avistar ARF looks like a great way to start. I see nothing wrong with flat bottom wings, I learned on a Tower Hobbies "TOWER" trainer with an Evolution engine.

I do think investing in a 2.4GHz radio is the right way to go and as mentioned, 5-6 channels is plenty unless you plan to move on to scale models where the extra channels will handle bomb drops, etc.

And the best advice is find a club with a trainer you can start on. That's both a human trainer or instructor and a training plane that's set up for just that purpose.

Lot's of luck Tom, I'm sure you'll have a blast!


Reply to

"The Raven" wrote

***Two-strokes do not die during low rpm trainer flying, when the instructors knows how to tune the engine. There is nothing wrong with using a four-stroke engine for training, if the student pilot can stand the financial hit of it being destroyed.
***What some folks are discovering is that even a very modern 2.4 GHz SS radio has some quirks to learn and avoid, such as unshielded spark ignition systems, etc. 2.4 GHz SS is vastly superior to the old technologies we used to use. If you must buy 72 MHz gear, buy it used at ridiculously low prices. I prefer fresh new gear, myself.
***His original post said that he was into scale flying. He will need at least eight channels, if not more. Why waste money on an el cheapo radio when buying what he needs right up front will save him hundreds of dollars later on?
***Yes, ball bearings are necessary. The training phase will not last more than a few weeks, but the ball bearing servos can last for decades.
***FMS is garbage. It's not worth what you pay for it and it is free.
***I wouldn't have any problem telling who was a natural and who wasn't. In this hobby, you get out of it what you put into it regarding work and serious training. If one is happy making divets in the flying field while yucking it up with the club's other yokels, well, then maybe your approach is acceptable. In my paradigm, those that take longer than several months to qualify to fly solo will never be what I call a pilot. We have Type A and Type B personalities in this world. Guess which group I fall into.
***You missed my point entirely. Perhaps that was my fault for not writing it as clearly as I should have. The vast majority of times (in my experience), the fellows strutting around the field with their chests puffed out and with various labels and stickers on their clothes proclaiming that they are instructors - are not. Normally, these are the guys to avoid. Take a survey and see who packs up their planes in one piece at the end of the day. These are the guys that you want to instruct you.
***Anyone worth his salt will give the student pilot's model a thorough inspection and range check. Both powered and unpowered. Of course the instructor shouldn't be held responsible if the student pilot used inadequate glue in the wing center joint, or forgot to glue the hinges in place. But other than that, they should be held responsible if they screw up and fly a perfectly good airplane into the ground. After all, they took on the job for the sole reason of avoiding crashing/ruining the student pilot's aircraft. It's real easy to be cavalier about wiping out a beginner's set up when you are not held financially responsible. I've seen it happen too many times in my life.
***I've never met a beginner that needed help to trash his training set up. Have you?
***In fact, I did teach myself how to fly by myself without crashing. It just proves that if you are really interested in the hobby and do your homework, you can accomplish nearly anything - but only if you're willing to work.

Ed Cregger

Reply to
Ed Cregger

Come on, a student with a barely run in sports 46 engine (eg. 46AX) will invariably run into numerous engine stalls on the runway and dead sticks when trying to fly at a moderate pace. Sure, good tuning will help with that but it won't go away. The student doesn't need to be worrying that the engine can stall, he needs to focus on flying.

Not sure what your local engine prices are like but the difference between a decent 46 2 stroke and a 52 4 stroke are less than $50. Less than the cost of the trainer.

We've specifically noted at least 2 2.4Ghz radios interfering with each other, yet both tested fine with a technician. We've also seen radios go off the air for no reason plus, some possible intereference from electric setups. These aren't excuses for low batteries and other human factors but demonstrated failures with many people watching.

I don't doubt it's good but people are putting full faith in a technology because it's new. It's not perfect, better perhaps but not perfect.

I like new gear to, particularly when it comes to servos. However, a well checked out piece of equipment rarely causes a problem.

I'm into scale flying and not once have I used more than 6 channels. Sure, if he goes the whole hog with flaps, retracts, bomb releases etc he may get up there but I know I could do that all with less than 8 channels.

Because many beginners tend to spend extra to have something to grow into but then find it's not what they want 12 months later. Various reasons exist for this but it would be more cost effective to buy a decent 4-6 channel radio and then re-evaluate later on. The old radio will inevitably come in useful.

I know of non-ball bearing servos 25 years old that work fine. Hitec sell more 322 and 422 non-bearing servos than anything else yet, I've never heard of one failing except through a crash.

They aren't necessary, but a nicety! Very few pilots can tell the difference (in the air) between a BB and non-BB servo fitted to the average plane.

FMS teaches eye hand co-ordination and control familiarisation, two of the most important things to master during training. If you can't do that, you'll never fly. FMS is good for that.

Fully agree on that point. That's why it should be up to the club committee to determine who is not only a competent flyer but also capable of teaching. In our club no-one with the attitude you describe would be given instructor status.



OK. If an instructor makes a stuff up that crashes the plane then most should be open enough to admit their fault. This is different to an instructor trying to recover a plane the student has lost control of (noting buddy cords aren't commonly used in my area).

An instructor should avoid letting the student get into trouble but in some cases even the best will be hard pressed to recover the situation.

Sure, some can do it but they are the minority. Most begineers aren't that disciplined or co-ordinated to master that approach.

Reply to
The Raven

***"WHEN THE INSTRUCTOR KNOWS HOW TO TUNE THE ENGINE". My two-stroke engines seldom, if ever "die" in the air, unless I run out of fuel. Find an instructor worthy of the name and your two-strokes can run as well as your four-strokes.
***Any IC engine can stall, when improperly adjusted, two or four-stroke. Four-strokes can be more forgiving in this regard, but if the two-strokes are properly adjusted, fueled, propped and plugged, there is little difference once properly tuned. I flew pattern. Not once did I land without the prop turning over. Back then all we flew were piped two-strokes.
***Only someone without experience would think that a .52 two-stroke could be replaced by a .52 four-stroke. You'll need at least a .70, if not larger, four-stroke, to replace the .52 two-stroke powerwise. Now recalculate the difference in prices. Surprise!
***I said it was vastly superior, not perfect. Big difference.
***This is purely subjective. You are entitled to your opinion, as am I.
***Non ball bearing servos were "good enough" back when oilite bearings were cast into the servo case top. When they went to pure plastic they had to loosen the fit to the point where the average model could develop surface oscillation with the average installation. This is unacceptable. Buy the ball bearings up front and get a discount.
***I reiterate, FMS is garbage. Buy a decent simulator and you can eliminate most of the need for an instructor. Hell, I taught myself how to fly by reading lots and lots of full scale aviation material and then applying it to models. PCs did not exist back then (1969), much less computer flight simulators.
***If a club is around long enough, I promise you that it will go the way I have described. It will also evolve out of that into another pattern that may be worse or may be better. Having been flying model airplanes of one sort or another for over forty years, I've seen quite a lot of water pass under the bridge.

I organized and ran such a committee in my last NJ club. When one of the requirements for landing right to left was that you had to enter the landing from a right hand turn, half of the alleged instructors quit. I loved it. Now they would have to pay for their own crashes, instead of their student pilots. The club survived and prospered.

***The reason that I am dead set against having too many questionable instructors is that it makes it impossible for the club to ensure that each student is given proper "ground school". Familiarization with the club rules (no flying over the pits) and stuff will not happen if all we have are a bunch of unorganized yo-yo's whose ego demands that "they" be the student's instructor. I have seen this so many times in my years of flying models that it almost causes a gag response at the mere thought of it.

We can actually shorten the amount of time that a student pilot needs to commit to spending in order to become a competent R/C flyer by organizing the material. Offering study guides and actually teaching them how to start their engines by making them start their engines with instruction and explanation. I'm not such a grouchy old ogre. I just like it when things are done thoroughly and efficiently. After all, I joined the club to fly my models, not to inflate my ego by making dozens of folks dependent upon my knowledge in order to fly.

Ed Cregger

Reply to
Ed Cregger



Sorry Ed, but I disagree pretty strongly with several of your statements.

The instructors JOB is to teach all aspects of flying, from safety to different flight conditions. That means the very first thing *I* teach is where I do not want the student flying with an explanation of why and what is at risk concluded with a statement of what my actions will be should those parameters of the flight be violated. Hopefully the airframe will survive the students attempt at outfoxing the instructor, but they have been known to find new and different ways to plant balsa no matter how hard you watch them.

The second thing I teach new candidates is how to safely prepare the aircraft. CG checks, battery checks, control direction checks on the primary radio and buddy box and how to fix them as necessary. We also check the control neutral trims, wing centered and straight (for rubber banded wings), and control throws. It is difficult to teach someone how to fly if the CG is whacked up or the controls reversed on one box or the other, or the batteries don't have an adequate charge and generally that also means it is unsafe. During this phase we also address the issue of long idles and fuel feed at full throttle. As per many of conversations with George Aldrich, I aim for 5 minutes at idle and no stumbles when slammed to WOT. I teach them how that is accomplished so they can do it themselves on the second engine. There are adjustments to standards that can be made but those are determined on a case by case basis with the airframe/power plant presented.

The third thing I teach new pilots is how to trim an aircraft up so that it flies hands free straight and level at some selected airspeed. Part of that lesson is selecting the speed to trim the aircraft for which does vary according to the tasks they wish to accomplish with the given airframe (which have been known to change) When they are on their own and get their second or third plane SOMEONE has to do it and MY job as an instructor is to make them capable of that task. The hidden agenda here is that if the airplane is not trimmed at the speed we are going to be working at, they cannot learn what or who is making it go where it is going nor can they have an expectation of a definite result when they make specific changes to control or power settings.

The fourth thing I teach new pilots is how the aircraft responds to changes in the power setting. This is the one place where the flat bottomed wing demonstrates what I am trying to show better than the other wing types. The other thing the typical flat bottomed wing presents the new pilot that I like is a significantly higher tendency to allow them to effect unusual attitude recoveries without too much of my physical input. They learn more from instruction by doing and less from watching when I have control. Of course since I had a student with long arms dive a bird it, I only teach with buddy box so I get deeper into the realm of airframe breaking than box passers.

Ed none of this said a thing about the residual value of the airframe using a flat bottomed wing. Someone else already grazed on that subject but I will tell you that many of us enjoy playing with all sorts of aircraft and don't really have a snobbish approach to an airframe just because it has an XYZ airfoil. If flies and I like flying, and I promise you I can find a way to have fun with it. Ever try some serious touch and goes in a good cross wind with a flat bottomed three channel bird? Now THERE is a challenge to define what kind of a pilot you are. Oh, I forgot to add that to my 'lesson plans'. I fly students when I am there and the student is there with the ONLY stipulation being we don't buddy box in the rain. Wind is always with us so I teach in the wind.

Sorry sir, and no offense intended, but I think you took a look through the wrong end of that set of binoculars.

Jim Branaum AMA 1428

Reply to

"Six_O'Clock_High" also means it is unsafe. During this phase we also address the issue of


If you reread my post(s), you'll find that we do not disagree on a single, solitary point, Jim.

I made exception for flat bottomed airfoiled wings by stating that they are more suitable for experienced pilots than for rank beginners. I compared them to Asian engines in that they required more skill and thought to fully appreciate them. The student pilot is not ready for this kind of behavior (zooming) from a model yet.

If one flies a heavily wing loaded trainer with a flat bottom airfoiled wing, one will immediately notice the zooming that I have mentioned previously. Most bargain trainers fall into this category. Zooming is a PITA for the student pilot and the instructor.

If one flies a lightly wing loaded trainer with a flat bottom airfoiled wing, they are then at the mercy of the wind and they would be wise to wait for calm days to fly.

The symmetrically airfoiled wing, with a minimum of dihedral, does not have either problem and they can be set up to fly every bit as gently as a flat bottom airfoiled wing, but with a slightly faster, but far broader and gentler stall.

I have a garage full of Telemasters, R/C assist old timers, etc., with flat bottom airfoiled wings, so I'm not against this type of airfoil. I just don't think it is the best choice for trainers.

Ed Cregger

Reply to
Ed Cregger

That's your opinion but I disagree when it comes to low speed running.

Did I say that? I said 46 compared to 52.

Not true for the sizes I mentioned.

You don't need a 70 4 stroke to replace a 46 2 stroke on most aircraft.

Not disputing that but there is a trend to accept all the marketing hype, people are buying 2.4Ghz systems because they think they are bullet proof and will fix all their problem (the ones they often attribute to their radio rather than their piloting skills).

You can quantify it by surveying the planes at your local club. For scale and warbird type stuff (including upper end scratch build projects) most are surviving quite happily with less than 8 channels.

I repsect that you are entitled to your opinion but the advice you've given is misleading to a beginner.

I don't see any value in BB servos for those learning to fly, no matter how quickly they think they'll advance to the types of aircraft where they may show some real benefit.

I'll have to disagree with you on that.

What worked for you is not what works for most people. You'll notice the majority of pilots always advise beginners to use an instructor, often stating that most self-taught pilots start with 30 second crashes.

How long is that in your experience?

If an instructor can't land from any direction, within reason, they shouldn't be instructing.

I know the type of pilot you're alluding to, we have some 'left turn only' pilots who we are trying to break out of the habit.

Hence we limit the number of instructors in the club and encourage them to seek the 'instructor' certification offered by our state and federal bodies (Australia).

Not everyone who can fly, no matter how good, is capable of teaching. I'm a club instructor but recognise my limitations to the point I only act as an assistant instructor for students who are progressing well but need stick time (eg. instructor is busy with many students).

I don't proclaim to be anything special when it comes to flying but I will be taking the state run instructor course later this year, if only to improve my own skills in both flying and/or teaching.

In our club the executive committee decides who is an instructor, the student is recommended an instructor to begin with but welcome to try others. We find that some students progress better with certain instructors, it's just a case of finding the right match.

Any instructor who forces themselves on students is going to be a problem.

Agreed, and our club is slowly working towards a more consistent curriculum for students. Luckily we have some very skilled full size pilots who are able to transition some of their training experiences into scale instruction.

We're there to fly and enjoy the hobby. Safety is important, ego's aren't.

Reply to
The Raven

the answer is simple

1/. Go electric. 2/. Go 2.4Ghz 3/. Get a GOOD sim and practice like hell 4/. Find a place with either some sympathetic fliers, or just plain empty, get a slow stick, and fly it.

IF then you feel any need to migrate to IC engines, flying in a line with a safety officer telling you what for, then fine,

However you don't HAVE to START that way, and frankly its a bad way to start.

Reply to
The Natural Philosopher

What, don't play well with others? Kicked out of a club? A little jaded are 'ya?

In any event I doubt it was the whine of electrics at Top Gun 2008 that attracted the OP to the hobby.

Reply to

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

Kicked out of a club? A little jaded are

Nope. Never been kicked out. It was just a bit expensive to drive 15 miles and stand around and wait for a peg when I needed lots of stick time. An electric in the fields at the back + a sim got me that.

Plus when I broke it, I just walked back inside and fixed it.

Electrics may not be where you want to end up, but its a helluva simpler place to start..

I saw an EDF Hawk go straight up at 100mph plus last weekend.

Better than many a turbine can do.

And at considerably less money.

Now I am moving onto bigger stuff and can land properly, a grass strip and the club is more appealing: when I started 3 ft high crops and a cheap electric was a far better place and model to land ;-)

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The Natural Philosopher

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