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Old Aug 22, 2014, 04:02 PM
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Joined Aug 2014
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Question
Are these planes good?

I have decided that I want a 4ch trainer as my second plane. I have a very limited budget being only in high school and don't want to spend a whole lot of money. I have been looking at the E-flite Apprentice S. It looks great, except for the price. I would really prefer to get something cheaper, such as the Star Trainer (http://www.bananahobby.com/4-ch-blit...plane-rtf.html) but it has been out of stock for a long time and it isn't nearly as popular, which means it just may be not very good! On certain websites they are just filled with 4ch trainers that sell in the $150 range, which is half the cost of the Apprentice S. I am confused, and I am not sure if I should trust that these are actually good planes, as many of them have little to no reviews and barely come up under google searches. Should I buy one of these?
There are several Aerosky 4ch trainers, here is one of them (only $140)
http://www.nitroplanes.com/07a001-sk...e-rtf-24g.html
AirField Sky Trainer (only $140)
http://www.nitroplanes.com/93a182-sk...g-v3-blue.html
Dynam Cessena ($160)
http://www.nitroplanes.com/60a-dy893...w-rtf-24g.html
4 CH BlitzRCWorks Flight Trainer RC Trainer Airplane ($190, barely even seems to exist as there is only one review and I could find no videos or other posts about it)
http://www.bananahobby.com/4-ch-blit...plane-rtf.html

Why wouldn't I get one of these planes instead of the $300 Apprentice (other than the fact that they all are out of stock)? Is the main reason the Apprentice is so expensive is just because of SAFE (I feel like I would only use beginner mode when landing, and although the panic button is nice, I don't think its worth another $150.)
There is one thing that the Apprentice has that the other planes might not be able to support: range. I don't know what the range of these other planes are, but the Apprentice S goes nearly 900m stock (youtube video) and the Star Trainer ($220) claims to have a range of 1000m (not sure). One of the things I would want to do is before I spend all my money on upgrading to FPV I would just like to mount a camera on my plane and fly around, but if it only goes 300m it wouldn't really be worth it. As a final question, can these planes other than the Apprentice S (I know it can because there is a YouTube video where a guy flies over 5 miles away) even go full FPV?
Sorry to make this so long, I just need help.
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Old Aug 22, 2014, 04:27 PM
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cmdl's Avatar
United States, CA, Rosemead
Joined Jan 2012
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range depends on the receiver. i will bet the range of any Horizon plane is at least as good (if not better) than that of a Banana plane.

i would not recommend those as trainers (not saying they are not trainers but i couldn't even spot dihedral in those).

try the Hobbyking Bixler, Ares Gamma, Hobbyzone Delta Ray if you want cheaper planes.

if you're in the USA you may want to reconsider your FPV goal.
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Old Aug 22, 2014, 04:30 PM
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Rampage's Avatar
Yucca Valley, California
Joined Aug 2005
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Remember that just because something's high-wing, it's not necessarily a trainer. Banana Hobby would market a composite turbine jet as a "beginners" plane if they thought it'd sell...

Since you're already looking at planes in the $140-$190 range, I'd second cmdl's recommendation of the Delta Ray. It's a fantastic trainer, it's a ton of fun even when you no longer need a trainer, and it looks awesome. It falls right in the middle of that price range.
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Old Aug 22, 2014, 04:33 PM
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United States, CA, Oceanside
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The one thing the Apprentice S has that no other plane you mentioned has is fantastic support from Horizon Hobby. NitroPlanes, Banana Hobby, and HobbyKing have mediocre to very poor product support; although they are getting better. Also, BEFORE you even attempt to try FPV, you must learn to fly whichever plane you choose for the platform. I have seen too many newbies try aerial photography and worry too much about the video/photos they are taking and simply forget that flying the plane is the most important thing. Learn to walk before you run. Don't worry about range either, as a newbie, you need to keep the plane close and in sight. You are basically putting the cart before the horse here. I would recommend the Apprentice S as a good first plane and it will also serve as an adequate FPV platform when the time comes.
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Old Aug 22, 2014, 04:39 PM
yank and bank!!
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I would strongly suggest learning to fly before trying anything special including fpv.

Why not spend <$100 on a champ, learn to fly it really well on days it isn't very windy, then move on to something like a bixler for your future intentions?
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Old Aug 22, 2014, 08:09 PM
Micro and Beyond!
Joined Jul 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francismchenk View Post
I have decided that I want a 4ch trainer as my second plane.
Just curious, what is your 1st plane?
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Old Aug 22, 2014, 09:34 PM
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United States, TN, Murfreesboro
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Knowing what you have now and how much flying you done or doing. Would help people with what you need now. Where do you fly, do you have a lot of room.
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Old Aug 22, 2014, 09:57 PM
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Midvale, Utah, USA
Joined Mar 2005
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The biggest problem I have seen with bananahobby and nitro planes stuff is spare parts availability.... At times you can get parts, but many times not. You also run into the problem of what happens if they stop selling the plane? Where are you going to get parts? Another thing, I know there are at least three versions of the sky trainer, don't know how interchangeable the parts are between them....

I like to get the "name brand" stuff because I know I will be able to get parts from multiple sources, including most LHS's.... The Delta ray is a good recommendation.
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Old Aug 23, 2014, 02:16 AM
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United States, WA, St John
Joined Jun 2012
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Another vote for the Delta Ray. Those nitroplanes and banana hobby planes, I really don't see any trait that makes them a great trainer. No dihedral, emphasis on scale looks instead of sturdy construction...Nope, fail.

However if you can't afford the Delta, take a look at the AXN Floater Jet. It's one of the few cheap Chinese planes that works excellent, far better than it's price would indicate.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s..._epo_arf_.html
And then set it up like Bruce does with his.
AXN Clouds Fly Floater Jet RC plane build video (part 1 of 3) (20 min 20 sec)
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Old Aug 23, 2014, 01:27 PM
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To answer your questions, my first plane was a Firebird Phantom. I think it was far to sensitive for a trainer (it broke once but we got it replaced) but I ended up getting good with it. As for my flying area, I have over 22 acres of space, although in about 1/3 of the field there is some fences, stands, and low buildings.
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Old Aug 23, 2014, 08:52 PM
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United States, TN, Murfreesboro
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Planes now have lighter better battery power. Gives them better wing loading I have old firebird outlaw. Never even fly it, next to my new planes not a good flyer. Horizon Hobby has a lot of good trainer's with safe that works. 22 acres you can just pick one. It is nice to have a good landing and take off spot for the big planes. You well love the new power of rc planes now. No problem getting most trainers in the air now.
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Old Aug 24, 2014, 09:01 PM
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United States, OR, The Dalles
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The Apprentice is expensive, but it is an excellent trainer. It is also very tough, parts are reasonably priced and readily available. It also does basic aerobatics and inverted flight better than most trainers.

Some of the ready to fly or reciever ready planes I've seen from HK, bannana and nitro planes have had servo problems or other issues. For many of them you can't get replacement parts.

Anyway, if it's China direct plane or not being able to fly, I'd look at one of the Bixlers and orange tx or whatever.

The Delta ray would be a good option for something cheaper than the Apprentice, but with the advantage of customer support and good quality.


Post your location. Somebody in your area may invite you to fly.
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Old Aug 25, 2014, 07:04 AM
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Hi Francismchenk,

Welcome to RC Groups.

Wow, a Firebird Phantom. That takes me back quite a number of years, when my son learned to fly with one. Have you been flying your Phantom recently or was that a number of years ago and you took a break from flying? If I recall correctly, the Phantom was Horizon Hobby's first plane to feature ACT. It was a great idea on paper, but was horrible in the real world. Because of the ACT feature, HH advertised the Phantom as being a great beginner plane. It wasn't. It has a fairly high wing loading, so it is prone to stalls if you don't build up enough speed on take-off or slow it down too much on landing. It would have been fine if it was advertised as an intermediate level plane. ( I believe this is the only plane that HH produced where they messed up their recommendation for required skill level.)

If you are good at flying the Phantom, then you can definitely move up to a good 4-channel trainer. Be very cautious about manufacturer's claims that a plane is a good trainer. As a general rule, the fancier the plane and the more scale detail that it has, the less likely it will be a good trainer. Stay away from Banana Hobby, their service is terrible. The planes that you selected from Nitroplanes might be good fliers, but I would not recommend them as trainers.

The Delta Ray, which some have recommended, would certainly be a good choice for you. However, I strongly urge you to consider the ParkZone T-28: http://www.horizonhobby.com/products...an-bnf-PKZ4480

Ever since it was first introduced over 7 years ago it has been the most recommended aileron trainer that you can buy. But it has performance capability far beyond a trainer and I've seen people use it as an FPV platform. Since it comes BNF, you would need to buy a transmitter. You can go to the classifieds and get a used DX4e, DX5e or DX6i for just a few bucks.
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