recommend a beginner airplane

I'm looking for an rc airplane for a present. I would prefer to buy a 3-channel plane but nothing too expensive. I am considering the
firebird freedom; it has this "anti-crash" technology and I'm not sure how reliable it is. Any suggestions?
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I learned on an Eagle 2. It was called an Eagle 63 then. I had to build mine but you can get the Eagle 2 as an ARF ! I still have my tried and true Eagle from almost 20 years ago now : )
http://www.carlgoldbergproducts.com /
and the Eagle ARF is at...
http://www.carlgoldbergproducts.com/eagle2arf.htm
CJ

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Hobbyzone/Parkzone have never let me down. I can wholeheartedly vouch for the company, but I've never bought that plane.
If the person you're buying for has *no* flying experience, consider a two channel plane from hobbyzone instead, the idea being to learn on the two channel plane and later advance to three channels. There's nothing more depressing than nosing your new toy right in and watching all the pieces fly off.
I started with a Firebird Scout, two channels, very small plane. It's not a great flyer, but it will take some moderate abuse and it gets the pilot some practice steering, not as easy as you'd think for a beginner. It's also really cheap.
You know, the more I think about it... If it were for my kid, I'd get a firebird scout and a firebird freedom. Tell them, fly the scout until you can't repair it anymore, then open up the freedom.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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I think you need to be careful learning on 2 channel planes with just rudder and throttle and no elevator. My nephew learned on one, and programmed himself to think that "forward stick" means "go up". About two seconds after I handed him my transmitter, he put my 2 meter glider straight into the ground. Beware.


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To a lot of us two channels mean rudder and elevator. A throw back to earlier times when throttle was kind of an after thought. It goes back to the old competition - Class 1 was rudder only, Class 2 (aka two channel) was rudder and elevator, Class 3 was rudder, elevator and ailerons. Then three channel can mean rudder, elevator and throttle. We were not very consistent in our nomenclature but then everyone read the modeling magazines and we pretty well understood. Unlike today when you can shake a plane out of a box, rub it with money and be in the air sans any real background in modeling lore.
It's really too bad, like trying to enjoy ice cream without ever having been able to lick the paddle as a reward for turning the crank.
Red S.
eI'mlookingforanrcairplaneforapresent.Iwouldprefertobuya3-channel

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On Wed, 7 Dec 2005 18:15:22 -0800, "James McGowan"

hahaha.. too funny.. Half the enjoyment I get out of this hobby is in the building. I have 3 or 4 planes that are built, covered and ready to fly except for electronics. Never flew any of 'em.
My dad got me off plastic models when I was about 12 or 13 and I built I don't know how many dozen balsa and tissue models - usually peanut scale warbirds - over the next 6 or 7 years.
Still have a peanut scale P-51D I built 20+ years ago hanging in my office.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Somehow you forgot the more unimportant details :)
- is the person receiving the gift a total newbie? - would you prefer electric or internal combustion? - RTF or kit?
If it's a newbie to the hobby, get him/her a sim first. Even a free one like FMS with a nice dual analog stick will at least teach the basics like orientation, and which stick does what.
As for the plane... depends on what you want, and what you want to spend too. Electric planes tend to cost a bit more upfront i think, but internal combustion will obviously cost gas, or in the worst case gas with nitro mix.
Last general consideration is the availability of a flying field. Is there a club field somewhere nearby? Does whichever field you use has asphalt or gras? Asphalt means you could take a plane with landing gear, whereas gras means you either need a plane with reasonable size to land on gras, or the gras needs to be smooth and relatively short. If you predominantly want to fly in parks you need to check for local rules & regulations. Some places don't allow R/C airplanes period, others only electric planes.
Oh, and forget "anti-crash" technology. In the end it's always the pilots skill that keeps the plane in the air and, more importantly, gets it down safely. Some planes are easier in that regard, others are not. Flying is usually the easy part. Landing is where most newbies stuff it (at least on our local field here).
Jenni
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I have a Firebird Commander 2, and would strongly recommend it for beginners. The anti-crash is ONLY to prevent crashing from over-control. It basically cuts the engine and levels the controls if the plane gets to be at too severe of an angle. The down-side to that is that it may be that you're controling severely to avoid a tree. It is always better to hit the ground than stick your plan up in the branches.
That being said, the Commander 2 was probably the ideal plane for someone who had never flown. It's not trivial to fly, and after my first experience I almost called it a day, but in the end that was because I had tried to fly in too small of a space. The key to early flight success is PLENTY of room! A baseball field is often not enough, especially if it has lamp posts or trees ringing the outfield! Once you get more stick time in, smaller areas don't pose nearly as much problem.
My Commander 2 has taken a serious amount of abuse. When my receiver on the plane went bad, they replaced my plane entirely even though it wasn't under warrenty, so I can vouch for their customer service as top notch.
I haven't flown the Freedom, but my buddy is getting one for Christmas. The third channel is basically only for aerobatics; the throttle is still the main altitude control.
I would strongly the Commander 2. Hobbyzone makes good products, and this plane is an absolute blast to fly. I'm currently lamenting the windy and short days of winter and only get to fly once per month or so, but I can't wait until spring/summer.
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Hey, I did read something about a Headmaster model. I had one and it was the better trainer I really had. I'm looking for a plant of it. Do someone knows (or have) the plant? Thanks.
--
alamadeu
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The Headmaster was available from Top Flight as a kit quite a number of years ago. While the kit is long since out of production, the good news is plans for the Headmaster are still readily available.
AMA kit #31354, Ponds # 84C1
These plans are for the 50" wingspan version by Willard, they originally appeared in R/C Modeller in September, 1967.
The Plans Service can be contacted by telephone at (765) 287-1256, ext. 507, or E-mail snipped-for-privacy@modelaircraft.org.
Hope this helps, good luck!

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