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Old May 06, 2012, 04:56 PM
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CLEVELAND,OHIO
Joined Feb 2003
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Good RTF plane for beginner?

My son was interested in a plane,we did the truck thing and that kind of wore out and I know with his lack of wanting to work on or build we will be looking for a RTF.
We went up to our local hobbytown but they were closing and only had 15 mins so we didnt get anything but I seen the one plane called the firebird stratos. Any thoughts on that for a beginner? It looked decent and had the props on top but I wasnt sure?
If not what would you recommend that is RTF will take a good beating and is pretty cheap,under $150 "or in the ball park of that. Thanks!
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Old May 06, 2012, 07:43 PM
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United States, NJ, Lodi
Joined Jan 2012
968 Posts
Here
http://www.horizonhobby.com/products/champ-rtf-HBZ4900

A little bigger
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001IF...817250-0594735

When you are ready for a large trainer
http://www.headsuprc.com/servlet/the...FUN-CUB/Detail
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Old May 06, 2012, 07:52 PM
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United States, IL, Washington
Joined Feb 2005
40 Posts
Definitely 2nd the suggestion on the Champ. Personally I would strongly recommend a flight sim first. I think the flight sim was the best investment I made starting out. Really nice to be able to fly even when the weather is bad outside.
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Old May 06, 2012, 08:21 PM
Earth Mover
United States, VA, Moneta
Joined Jan 2007
231 Posts
Cannot go wrong with the Champ.
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Old May 06, 2012, 08:30 PM
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CLEVELAND,OHIO
Joined Feb 2003
472 Posts
He is 11 and never flown,I have some experience "only with the 4ch gws park flyers"
Do you think to a newbie that starting out with a 3ch that he will catch on to quickly and be bored? Or do you think it's better because they basically fly themselves and he would have more fun keeping it in the air with less chance of a crash?
The big multiplex plane looks to be around $250.00 once you buy all the parts is there anything else in this price range that I should look at?
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Old May 06, 2012, 08:45 PM
"Landing" in a tree somewhere
Rochester, NY
Joined Sep 2009
946 Posts
The Hobbyzone Champ is a good cheap plane to get started on. The only weakness is it doesn't handle wind very well (which you shouldn't be flying in anyway if you're just starting out but just thought I'd mention it for down the road).

The Hobbyzone Mini Super Cub was my first plane. It's a great trainer but if I had to pick one again it'd probably be either the champ or regular size super cub because they use spektrum 2.4Ghz receivers whereas the mini sc uses 27Mhz (same frequency as r/c toys).

The firebird stratos looks like a good trainer, the only thing I see wrong with it is they use a proprietary radio system. This means if you get further into the hobby and get a more advanced radio, you won't be able to use it with the firebird. When I made the maiden flight of my second plane (a parkzone wildcat) the biggest obstacle was getting used to my big new DX8 radio. Coming from a smaller radio that the mini sc uses it was a little awkward at first. If my first plane used a spektrum receiver I could have practiced using the radio on that first and gotten comfortable flying with it. By the way my first flight went fine (the wildcat is great flying plane) but my point is it would have been nice to be able to transition.

Another plane not mentioned you may like is the Hobbyzone Super Cub (the DSM2 version, not the older 27Mhz version). The DSM2 one comes in two versions RTF (comes with everything you need) and BNF (comes with everything but a radio, you'll need a Spektrum or JR radio that uses DSMX/DSM2). The nice thing about the super cub is once you get comfortable flying it you can modify the wing, adding ailerons to it and learn to fly four channels. Also if you get the RTF version with the DX4e and later on get a more advanced radio, you can buddy box them and teach your son to fly with it. Buddy box means you have two radios connected together, one held by the instructor and one held by the student. If the student makes a mistake the instructor can push a button, taking over control and save the plane from crashing. You can't buddy box with the mini super cub or firebird stratos. Also the champ can buddy box but you'll need to buy 2 Spektrum/JR radios to do it as the stock radio doesn't have a trainer port.
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Old May 06, 2012, 11:51 PM
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Chile, Araucanía, Angol
Joined Jan 2012
402 Posts
Get RF sim and then go with the champ or um j3.

Regards!
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Old May 07, 2012, 11:12 AM
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United States, CA, Oceanside
Joined Apr 2011
4,886 Posts
I have the Firebird Stratos and was able to fly it the first time with almost no airplane experience. I have a lot of experience with helicopters but the only similarity is the nose orientation, controls are backwards when the nose is pointed at you, etc. I was even able to execute a nice landing on my third flight. The first two landings were more controlled crashes. However, flying it once it is up in the air is a breeze. It hand launches excellently. Yes, the transmitter is propietary, but that is because of the "virtual pilot" features that are probrammed into the TX. Once you are adept at flying all you would need to do is to get a $99.00 Spektrum DX5e tX/RX combo and install the RX in the Stratos. I already have the DX5e and that is what I am planning to do. I highly recommend the Hobby Zone Firebird Stratos as a first airplane for a beginner (like me). Oh, and I also recommend a flight sim as well. It has really helped me to learn to fly a CCP Heli.
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Old May 07, 2012, 03:59 PM
"Landing" in a tree somewhere
Rochester, NY
Joined Sep 2009
946 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by chucksolo69 View Post
Once you are adept at flying all you would need to do is to get a $99.00 Spektrum DX5e tX/RX combo and install the RX in the Stratos. I already have the DX5e and that is what I am planning to do.
The stratos like some other hobbyzone planes uses an all-in-one receiver/esc/servo brick. In order to use a spektrum receiver you'll need to replace the esc and servos as well. Most people who do this end up going the whole nine yards and upgrading to brushless as well (although I don't know of anyone who's done this with the stratos as it's fairly new). You'll lose the mixing the "virtual instructor" offers when you switch and you won't be able to do any programming with a DX5e. It's probably best to stick with the stock radio system and use your simulator to practice with your new radio when you get it. I also suggest getting a DX6i or better for your next radio, the DX5e would be more or a lateral move than an upgrade.
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Old May 08, 2012, 12:26 AM
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CLEVELAND,OHIO
Joined Feb 2003
472 Posts
I ordered a cheap sim,It worked for me long ago,hopefully it would help him.
So I'll let him practice for a week or so while I hunt down the plane for him.
I had a question about material,some say made from elapor and I seen some said Z-foam and something else. Whats the tuffest and easiest to repair?
I only had experience with GWS planes and Im pretty sure that was just plain styrofoam,they might take a rough landing or two but not at all super tough,but I repair it many time with tape before it was ready for the trash can
So what would be the best to take a bad landing?
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Old May 08, 2012, 12:51 AM
in the beginning...
bm2thirsty's Avatar
United States, MO, De Soto
Joined Mar 2012
475 Posts
As a newbie i can say the Champ is great to learn on. i have no clue about those others but ill give mine a thumbs up.


As far as taking a beating...i was an idiot and sheared the wing off mine, hot glued it with a little tape and it flies like its new. landings are no problem either, but i have read that tail draggers have a chance of ripping off the rear wheel and rudder if not careful.
boats
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Old May 08, 2012, 01:36 AM
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CLEVELAND,OHIO
Joined Feb 2003
472 Posts
The champ looks fun,but are yard isnt that big and I live right near the lake so we always tend to have a wind. So I was looking into something larger, The super cub looks more to my liking as far as size. When you say it can be made into 4ch with ailerons,is this just a homemade option or is there actual instruction that comes with it on how to do it?
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Old May 08, 2012, 01:44 AM
"Landing" in a tree somewhere
Rochester, NY
Joined Sep 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfitOfDoom View Post
When you say it can be made into 4ch with ailerons,is this just a homemade option or is there actual instruction that comes with it on how to do it?

Here you go
, this link is taken straight from hobbyzone's super cub product page. The brushless upgrade is optional and not required for the aileron upgrade. There's also plenty of info and tips from many who have done this mod over in the giant super cub thread. Just use "search this thread" for whatever you're looking for.
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Old May 08, 2012, 06:03 AM
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United States, OR, The Dalles
Joined Apr 2011
1,309 Posts
I have a Champ, and although it is a nice flying plane, it didn't take very long for me to get a bit bored with it.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Apprentice by E-Flite. It really flies nice, is tough, parts are readily abailabe and reasonably priced, and it flies inverted and does basic aerobatics well for a plane of its type (high wing trainer). It also make a nice float plane.
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Old May 08, 2012, 12:05 PM
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Chile, Araucanía, Angol
Joined Jan 2012
402 Posts
The best plane for learn is the Champ, others you will waste a lot of money.
The micro planes can resist a lot more, they have very Low weight.
If you use a cheap sim, you dont improve skills, use RF, you can learn to fly and the money spend is nothing compared with crash a big plane.

Regards!
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