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 : )
and the Eagle ARF is at...
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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).
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
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
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope this helps, good luck!
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