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Old Mar 09, 2003, 12:52 PM
Doug McLaren
Doug McLaren
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Re: Need ideas for first RC plane

In article <3E6B7C7E.348A4534@pacbell.net>, Dave <catx@pacbell.net> wrote:

| It wasn't
| very responsive and we spent most of our time retrieving the plane out
| of trees and making repairs!

These are valuable skills in R/C plane flying, even once you get the
hang of things!

| I know that joining a club and getting the help and training from
| other members is the way to go.

Yes, absolutely.

| But, I don't mind getting started by myself (trial and error). This
| way I won't spend more money on an RC plane(s) until I see if I like
| the hobby.

If `getting started' means flying the plane you're talking about by
yourself, that's a very bad idea.

Note that the plane you're talking about will cost about $400 with the
stuff you need to fly it. Joining the AMA is like $60, and many clubs
are like $50 or so. The club expenses are a good deal less than the
cost of the plane itself.

| I think that a liquid fuel powered plane would be more fun than an
| electric plane.

Electric planes can be a lot of of fun, just as much fun as the glow
planes (perhaps more because the're often fewer hassles.) You just
didn't have a very good one at first.

| I found the following RC plane that might work for my
| starter plane:
|
| U.S. AirCore 40 Trainer Kit 40-50, 64" (rugged, inexpensive, high-wing)
|
| http://www.usaircore.com/airplanes/usaa2030.html

That is a fine beginner plane.

However, I don't suggest flying it by yourself. You're *guaranteed*
to crash it, and it's not as rugged as you think -- the first crash
may very well destroy the plane and your engine and radio as well.

They do make some more rugged planes, but they usually fly like crap
(like the Duraplanes.) You don't want them.

Also, unlike your first plane, this plane can easily kill somebody, or
do thousands of dollars of damage to whatever it crashes into.

I *strongly* suggest getting some more experienced help, even if it's
a long drive, at least at first.

If you must do it yourself, get a better electric plane. Many park
fliers are small and slow enough not to be very dangerous, and are
easy to fly. And being slow, they're usually easier to fix when they
do crash.

Get one with at least three channels -- the two channel planes like
the Firebird XL are ok, but they're just a little better than what
you've already got.

| Would it be better to buy a radio with more channels than required so
| that it can be used for future planes requiring more channels?

That's rarely a bad plan. However, you can go a long way on four
channels -- yes, having more channels for flaps, retracts, crow,
cameras etc. is nice, but it's not like you'll need all this stuff
once you go from `beginner' to `intermediate' or even `advanced'.

It all depends on how much money you want to spend. If you plan on
staying in the hobby, a better radio now isn't a bad plan.

Of course, you can get a decent 4 channel radio and servos for only a
little more than $100.


| Thanks for any feedback on this.
| Dave
| Sacramento, CA
|
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--
Doug McLaren, dougmc@frenzy.com
Inside every large program is a small program struggling to get out.