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Old Nov 20, 2012, 04:18 AM
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Start flying with a 3ch one or a 4ch one?

Hello guys,

Do you think it's good to start flying with a 3ch plane or 4 ch one?
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:12 AM
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Letchworth, Great Britain (UK)
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Personally I think it's good to start with a 4-channel model, because that's probably what you're eventually going to be flying. A well-designed and setup 4-channel trainer need be no more difficult to fly than a 3-channel one, the most significant factor from a stability point of view being the amount of dihedral in the wing.

A 3-channel model may be cheaper because it saves the cost of one servo and, talking about some of the very cheap rtf foamies, may use a more basic receiver and transmitter. But you may also want to factor in the fact that, if you get a 4-channel (or more) radio system, you'll be able to move it over to future models.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:14 AM
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United States, MI, Monroe
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Me, started with 3 till I was good and comfortable, then went to four channel, it was the right choice for me having no rc or sim experience. To each your own. If you do not have a sim go to a hobby store that has one on the floor and try both to see how you do. It will give y a pretty good idea of your success rate.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:15 AM
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United States, MI, Macomb
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+1 on the 4 channel

Don't waste your money on a 3 channel.

Even the glider type planes like the Bixler and the EZstar now sell their plane with ailerons. There must be a reason for it.

Also, if you have read many of the threads. Many people who buy a 3 channel are asking how to add ailerons to their planes. Why do you think that is??
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 08:19 AM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
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There is one important difference between a 4-channel plane and a 3-channel beginner model. That 4-channel plane will not have enough dihedral to be self-stabilizing. When you bank it, it will remain in that bank until YOU take it out.

Even the Apprentice box is covered with warnings that it is not suitable for the uninstructed newbie. Why is that? Because it is not suitable for the unaided newbie, that's why! And it is the best of the 4-channel learner planes.

People who talk about "don't waste your time" with a 3-channel plane are just parading their ignorance. They think somehow that you have to learn to fly all over again when you switch from a 3-channel to a 4-channel plane. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your primary roll control for a mode 2 radio always goes on the right stick. The plane really doesn't care, and YOU don't care whether that control is hooked to a rudder or a pair of ailerons. They both bank the plane in the exact same way. This can be proved by hooking up a 3-channel trainer with ailerons, but flying it 3-channel. Aileron/elevator/throttle will fly almost EXACTLY the same way as rudder/elevator/throttle. As a pilot you probably couldn't tell me the difference.

The "don't waste your time" people also don't appreciate WHY a three channel plane is much better for learning. Get yourself in trouble in an attitude you can't recover from in a 3-channel and what's the correct reaction? Throttle back to 1/3 throttle and put the transmitter on the ground. Get a Coke out of the cooler. The plane is flying again and you can pick up the transmitter to resume flight. You must fly a 4-channel. A 3-channel learner plane can take care of itself, letting you fly long enough to learn something. I have video, don't take this bait 4-channel junkies. You'll go down in flames.

The "don't waste your time" parrots don't understand the extreme capabilities of 3-channel planes. They can do just about any maneuver in the book, inverted flight, rolls, rolls on a vertical line, rolling circles, loops, immelmans, inverted flat spins (I do those with my micro Vapor!), you WON'T get bored with a 3-channel learner plane.

Two videos to make my point. The first is of some knuckleheads that don't know how boring a 3-channel plane is. They are going to take a lame 3-channel boring sailplane and do some rolling circles. Then Lee from CrashTestHobby will take his Albatross to show you some tumbles, inverted flight, loops and rolls with a super-stable learner plane that our 4-channel "enthusiasts" would keep you from having fun with. Success comes from successfully flying, not from crashing. Any learning you do comes in the interval between takeoff and the crash. The crash itself teaches you nothing. You MUST stay airborne long enough to learn or learning won't happen.

Knuckleheads - Parkzone Radian EP R/C Sailplane (3 min 24 sec)


Albatross-Pelican Tumbling and Spins (6 min 19 sec)


Here's the WHOLE story. The only possible argument against an unaided newbie starting with a 3-channel learner plane is that it won't be any fun and you'll be bored to death. Watch the videos and form your own educated conclusion. Don't be a victim of some else's completely unsupported wrong opinion. Demand EVIDENCE.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 08:38 AM
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Wrong Opinion? That's only a matter of Opinion !! LOL

So, badbrother, I quess you should start with the 3 channel, cause Rockin Robbins has the correct OPINION. LOL.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 08:58 AM
buyer of the farm
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THIS is not a matter of opinion. Neither is my other evidence. You'll notice that the 4-channel people have no evidence that their opinion is correct. I present facts backed by evidence. YOU form your own conclusion as a result.

Challenge: to find ANY 4-channel plane designed and marketed as a plane suitable for an unassisted newbie. Find ANY 4-channel plane marketed as self-stabilizing.

Finally, find ANY 4-channel plane that will do THIS. These guys have a 4-part series teaching you to fly your 3-channel learner plane, using a Hobby Zone Champ, the first choice learner plane of the moment. There are others, like the Ares Gamma and the others in the post I referenced above that are as good. Again, the challenge to the 4-channel loonies is to show me any 4-channel plane that a beginner can buy and fly that will do this:
RC Flight lesson 1 part 4 Hobbyzone Champ final lesson (12 min 47 sec)


Flight after flight in all kinds of attitudes where they pull back throttle and put the controller on the ground. The Champ recovers instantly, then lands itself. THAT's confidence that you CAN learn to fly without destroying your plane. There is no RTF, ARF or BNF 4-channel plane that you can buy that will do this. This video makes it crystal clear why a 3-channel plane is appropriate in a learner situation. There is no opposing evidence, nor can there be. This is a fact, not an unsupported opinion. Which is it wise to follow?
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 09:05 AM
buyer of the farm
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A little gravestone for the 4-channel position:
Storm Chaser without a pilot (3 min 58 sec)


EVIDENCE makes opinion unnecessary.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 09:46 AM
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Hmmmm.............sounds like another "3 channel planes" aren't cool comment. Telling a rank unassisted noobie that a 4 channel plane is great to start with is not doing the noob any good and is a recipe for a 30 second flight and crash. A 4 channel trainer is great if you have a qualified instructor and buddy box at your disposal. If you plan on going it alone, igonore the "don't waste your money on a 3 channel plane" and get a suitable 3 channel trainer like a HZ Champ, Super Cub, or Ares Gamma 370. There are a lot of experienced pilots I know of that still fly their unaltered HZ Super Cubs. Why? Because they are fun to fly and make for a relaxing flight. Remember, it isn't the plane that makes for a boring flight, it is the pilot.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 10:28 AM
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The 6th plane I owned was a scratch built 3ch. foamie I built. It was tough to go back step but it flew really well. Better in wind than my best windy day plane.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
There is one important difference between a 4-channel plane and a 3-channel beginner model. That 4-channel plane will not have enough dihedral to be self-stabilizing. When you bank it, it will remain in that bank until YOU take it out. ....
There is no technical reason why that should be the case. At our club, every trainer model I've seen in the past 25 years, bar one, has been 4-channel with dihedral.

More-advanced "sports" 4-channel models are likely to have much less, or no, dihedral. But every scale 4-channel model I've built has some dihedral.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 01:56 PM
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i agree with a 3 ch as a total newb i tried to start with a 4 ch granted it wasnt a trainer but i was very hard to fly and wasn't forgiving at all so when it wouldnt fly any more because of all the epoxy haha i got a slow stick and let me tell you best choice it is extremely easy to fly does amazing as long as its not to windy has multiple aftermarket upgrades and is super cheap all together for my i spent 70 bucks and thats shipped to afghanistan
But in the 4 ch defense i should have started with a trainer instead of the one i got might have turned out different but as of right now im super happy with my stick and this is coming from less than a week of flying it and already doing inverted flight and loops its really fun and slow and easy
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 04:22 PM
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abenn, yes, but you are talking about a club environment where instructors and buddy boxing are the norm. The OP is thinking of "going it alone" and a high wing 3 channel plane with tons of dihedral are a noobies greatest chance at success.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 04:31 PM
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This could get spicy.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badbrother View Post
Hello guys,

Do you think it's good to start flying with a 3ch plane or 4 ch one?
Depends on your RC background, attitude towards learning (as in starts flying simulators at least) and your aptitude for RC flying.

Having said that, many have done it either way and were successful. Every individual is different.

I learned with a high dihedral design, 4 channel aileron Aristocat (Midwest kit) with a .50 OSMax engine. I had a little previous stick time (a few minutes) Top Flight Tauri experience, which was my father's trainer.

My father was beside me when I flew the Aristocat, giving instructions. After a few flights, soloed on it. I did have a lot of control line experience. As well, I hung out a lot with my father at the RC club, so was actually flying RC "in my head" so transition to RC was relatively easy.

So having said that, you can decide for yourself. In today's world, I recommend you do at least 20-30 hours simulator time then buy an Apprentice.
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