Just curious, arising out of 'but most modlleres cannot solder and do
not want to learn' comments, what do YOU think are
(a) normal reasonable skills that you have and expect to have to get a
model in the air.
====================================================I'm very new and recently started building my first kit [Great Planes
PT-60]. I'm learning to fly an ARF trainer assembled by my brother, so this
kit is my first time actually working on a balsa model of any kind.
I'm not a skilled builder and I'm deliberately going slow on my project.
Lots of folks could probably build this plane in a weekend or two; I am not
one of those folks.
Not on your list:
I'm trying to be good at following the instructions for my PT-60.
From your list:
I have done some cutting and shaping to make the sport wing joiners and
dihedral braces. We'll see how accurate I was when I finish sanding them
and actually try to join the wings.
I've been using pins to hold things in position for cutting, sanding, and
gluing. Even though my plane has a lot of interlocking parts, I've used pins
quite a bit.
I'm learning about adhesives as I go. It took me a while to learn to control
the flow of thin CA. The GP manual tells what glue to use for the various
steps; it should be a good resource for future projects.
No obscure materials for me at this point. Possibly in the future.
Sanding this thing will be a chore.
The type of planes I'm currently interested in will get iron on covering; no
reason to learn the other stuff at this time.
No computer generated decals for me at this time; I'll stick with store
I can solder a little, but soldering is not needed on the planes I want
Basic electrical theory - my knowledge is extremely basic. I know how to
plug the radio components together [if I have the manual]. I know how to
test for continuity in a circuit and a few other troubleshooting techniques.
Basic aerodynamic theory - I have little experience with this. I know the
right people in the club to talk to about trimming a plane and know they'll
point me in the right direction.
Also small clamps, clothespins, rubber bands, binder clips, books (wrapped
in waxed paper) and anything else you can find.
How to sandpaper effectively, since this is the most commonly used shaping
tool. I have a large collection of purchased bar sanders and homemade
blocks of various shapes and sizes.
Basic metalworking so that you can drill out the hole in a tailwheel to fit
the gear without the wheel wobbling (much).
Advanced metalworking helps, if you need a strange washer, bracket, etc.
It's also useful for drilling and tapping holes in crankcases for pressure
Isn't it neat? I am not anywhere close to learning everything the hobby can
teach. Maybe next year I will learn to cover with fiberglass and automotive
paints. I will probably learn some new swear words doing this.
-- Mike Norton
A cheque book and a T-shirt with 'ignorance is bliss' on the front 'one
born every minute that I call brother' on the back and a baseball cap on
sideways that says 'second hand brain for sale, marvellous condition,
never been used'?
In the beginning, the only skills necessary are having an interest in the
hobby in the first place, the willingness to learn, the patience to stick
with it, and the perseverance to continue on through the failures.
If you've got all that, you've got all you're going to need. Kind'a like
This is a good point. My father fits this description perfectly. He built
CL as a boy (50's), and builds beautiful RC models today, but can't fly
them. He blames it on his vision, although the problem may also be that
he'll only let me try to teach him. A son teaching his father stuff doesn't
really seem to work well...
One day a few years ago, we were flying his PT 60 (he's a firm believer in
bigger is better) on a trainer cord, and he had forbid me from regaining
control until he said to. He put it in the trees. Not deterred, he then
wanted to fly his Easy Sport 60 tail dragger, which was (note past tense
usage) a fast ac that was much more responsive than the trainer. I advised
him against it, at which point he said "I built it, and I want to fly it.
Now get it in the air."
I did, under the same admonishment as before to not take it back over unless
he said so. When he had it flying towards us and the flight line, I told
him I was going to take it, he said don't, and then at the last second began
yelling "Take it! Take it!" It was too late and it augered in between the
flight line and where everyone had their cars parked, narrowly missing a
retired pastor and his truck.
My father still wants to fly and still insists that I help him, but I only
do so now well away from others (on his acreage), and with much lighter foam
electrics. The shame of it all is that since I've moved a good distance
away and he can't fly, he's really lost interest in building, which he's
extremely good at.
When one is instructing, the instructor is ALWAYS the pilot in command. The
instructor takes control when the instructor wants to. End of story.
Student who don't beleive this when I teach them gt a new instructor!
Oh, I agree completely; but my father has a different view of his son
telling him what to do, even in an instructional setting. As I said, it
doesn't work very well.
When I was working taking full size flight training, I never hesistated to
ask my instructor questions, but wouldn't have thought of arguing with him
or not doing what he said. Same thing applied when I was learning to fly
Undoubtedly so, and for this and many other reasons, I'm blessed to have
such a good man as a my father. Aside from the occasional balsa-splintering
incidents : ), some of the best times a few of my brothers and I ever had
with my Dad has been spent flying. I think he enjoys seeing his boys fly
his creations as much as he would enjoy flying them himself.
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