Questions from a novice

Hello all. After building scale models for more years than I care to remember, I finally decided that it was time to take the plunge and get into RC flying
where my planes do more than just sit and look pretty. I am at the reading and information gathering stage, with this being my first visit to this group. In view of that, I was wondering if some of you out there could provide me with some information.
First, I understand the concept of a 3 and 4 channel unit where the rudder, elevator and throttle are controlled, and in the case of a 4 channel, the ailerons as well. But what exactly gets contolled on a 2 channel unit?
Do different transmitters, assuming the same number of channels, have different layout configurations as far as controls go. For instance, do some units combine rudder and elevator into one stick and others split them among the two sticks or are they pretty much the same?
Finally, and here's the loaded question, I am looking for my first 3 channel trainer. There are so many out there that it becomes overwhelming. I've had a few recommendations (no two the same) but I surely can use a greater number of opinions. I should say that I would prefer a unit that doesn't require an enormous amount of air space. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance. Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| First, I understand the concept of a 3 and 4 channel unit where the rudder, | elevator and throttle are controlled, and in the case of a 4 channel, the | ailerons as well.
Often you control ailerons and not rudder. It just depends on the plane.
| But what exactly gets contolled on a 2 channel unit?
Depends on the plane. Some of the cheap planes have throttle and rudder, many gliders have rudder or aileron and elevator. Either way, two channels is very limiting on a powered plane. You really do need three channels if one of those channels is throttle. | Do different transmitters, assuming the same number of channels, | have different layout configurations as far as controls go. For | instance, do some units combine rudder and elevator into one stick | and others split them among the two sticks or are they pretty much | the same?
Some do, though you can generally put whatever control you want on whatever axis. Most 4+ channel transmitters have two axis on the left stick and two on the right, and you can assign them to whatever you want. Mode 2, most popular in the US, has rudder and throttle on the left and elevator and aileron on the right. For a three channel plane, you generally put throttle on the left and elevator and rudder or aileron, whichever is used, on the right.
| Finally, and here's the loaded question, I am looking for my first 3 | channel trainer. There are so many out there that it becomes | overwhelming. I've had a few recommendations (no two the same) but | I surely can use a greater number of opinions. I should say that I | would prefer a unit that doesn't require an enormous amount of air | space. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
You probably want an electric park flier of some sort then.
The cheapest decent possiblity is probably the Aerobird Extreme. It flies very well and you get everything under $200.
If you have more to spend, you can get standard R/C equipment and get something like a Sky Scooter, or a Slow Stick, or any of a large variety of other planes.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzy.com
Even in his last years, Grandpa had a mind like a steel trap, only one
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
For a powered aircraft, a 2 channel unit usually will be throttle and rudder. The higher the throttle setting the faster the airplane will fly causing it to climb. To fly level or descend you lower the throttle setting. The rudder will effectively steer the plane by yawing the plane and inducing some roll. In some cases like the 1/2A type aircraft the engine runs at one setting the 2 channels will control elevator and rudder. For a glider or other non-powered aircraft the 2 channels will usually be elevator and rudder or aileron. A basic intro radio will not offer many ways to configure the controls. More advanced/expensive radios will offer varying levels of customization. If you think you'd like to stay in the hobby it is not a bad idea to buy a good radio from the outset but is not essential. Many RTF Ready To Fly packages will come with a radio but don't expect too much from them. They will range from being useable only with the aircraft you've just purchased to very decent quality basic entry level radios. Shop on some of the manufacturer's sites out there and compare functionality between different styles but check with an experienced pilot who files what you want to fly before you buy anything. Another point worth noting here is that everyone in this group will recommend visiting a local flying club and talking to the members about what they fly and what equipment they recommend. It is also strongly recommended that you join a local club and learn to fly with their instructor. Believe me this will save you a lot of frustration of trying to learn on your own and will keep you more engaged in the hobby probably creating a life long addiction. I brought this up because learning to fly "your plane" with an instructor will partly necessitate that you have a radio which can be "buddy boxed" with his. Again talk to the guys at your local club. As far as a 3 channel trainer I can't help you there. I started with a 2 channel RTF electric and was disappointed and moved quickly to a 4 channel .40 size trainer. But checkout http://planes.rcuniverse.com/home.cfm for tons of reviews and feedback from other pilots. Once again, your local club may offer some great advice. If you feel like shopping, here are 2 of the common sites people shop but I'd say buy local if you can. It will help support the hobby in your area and give you somewhere to go for parts and supplies. www.towerhobbies.com www.horizonhobby.com

remember,
flying
reading and

In
with
rudder,
different
two
channel
had a

number of

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MGlantzMN wrote:

Not much. Probably throttle and rudder, which is enough to make the plane climb and glide, and go round corners. If trimmed in the first place.
Mostly used a s transition for kids who drive RC cars. The experience is not too dissimilar.

Pretty much the same. 90% of people fly throttle and rudder on the left stick, with aileron and elevator on the right.
Nothing to stop you using different channels for them but why reinvent the wheel?

An awful lot depends on where you want to end up.
IF you have a good club nearby, and want to end up flying big IC scale etc., then a 4 channel glo trainer with instruction is a good way to go.
Its not my way, so I'll let others sing its praises.
OTOH, if you prefer the thought of nice clean reliable electric stuff, then its possible to teach yourself to fly with something like a nice GWS E-starter. Or a slow stick. These lead naturally into GWS 'scale' planes, and then you can reassert your modelling skills and build something to your liking.
You will find heaps of info on this stuff on the e-zone - www.ezonemag.com - under discussions/newbies or something.
I'm flying electric scale stuff and loving it at the moment. Well when time and weather permits. OK its not the same as a giant scale plane on a gas 4 stroke, but with the limited time and budget I have, the ability to construct an airframe for $50 that looks good in the air and performs as well as the full size is enough for me.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MGlantzMN wrote:

First, all of the previous suggenstions are right on. Second, are you looking to build your first trainer or go the ARF route? If you are planning on building, I would recommend the Sig Kadet Senior. It is somewhat large but it flies slow and allows you time to make your control inputs. It flies well on a standard .40 sized engine and uses 3 channels. (Elevator, Rudder, Throttle).
If you are looking at the ARF route, there are many planes to choose from. I would recommend the Hangar 9 Alpha. The RTF version comes with a n entry level JR radio (good quality), the engine, and everything else you need to get in the air. It will take you about an hour to assemble and you are ready to fly after the 24hr battery charge. Again I would emphasize joinging a local club and using their instructor(s). It is harder than it looks and you will save much pain and anguish by learning with an instructor.
Which ever way you choose. good luck, and enjoy.
Jim W
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

remember,
flying
reading and

In
with
rudder,
different
two
channel
had a

number of

What type of scale planes do you build......I am making an assumption that you build the balsa models??? If you do then you already have an edge. Try manufactures like Sig, Herr, and House of Balsa just to name a few ,they have balsa R/C models. Since you mentioned " doesn't require an enormous amount of air space, I suggest electric "parkflyers". The manufactures that I mentioned all have shake the box Build it Yourself kits and ARF's parkflyers. If you are going to solo yourself I would suggest a Firebird Outlaw or Firebird SS 2.......both under the $75.00 dollar range, are ready to fly (plane, radio, and charger ), 2ch and are good beginner planes.
Mike R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
everything else has been answered satisfactorily, so i'll add this to your research folder: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t '3180

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Generally rudder and elevator.

Mode II is most popular: aileron-elevator on right stick, rudder-throttle on left stick. Mode I is different, but I'm not sure what goes where. You specify, when you buy new.

I like the Sig Kadet. You will get opinions in favor of every model on the market, and there are many good ones. John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.