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Old Nov 09, 2009, 02:26 PM
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First plane considerations

OK, so it looks like I'll have a bit of extra cash available this month, and I'm thinking of buying an RC plane. I've never flown anything before, so obviously I ought to be looking at simple, easy to fly, inexpensive (as opposed to "cheap") planes.

I should mention that I'm not intending to get too deep into the hobby: probably whatever I buy will be what I fly for quite some time. I've got too many other expensive hobbies to sink much money in, but this looks like a fun thing to try (and dovetails nicely with another hobby, photography). My price range at the moment is in the $100 range... less would be better, a little more is acceptable if necessary.

It looks like the most reasonable options within my price range are:

1) GWS Slow Stick. Pros: Slow, easy-to-fly, cheap, and I could probably run it in my back yard once I figured out what I was doing. (I've got a big yard, but there are a couple of trees in the middle -- seems like an issue while learning.) Cons: Not RTF, and I think it's ugly. That'll reduce how much I want to fly it later, but it's cheap enough that that might not matter. Having to buy all the parts separately isn't a huge deal, but it does mean that before I can learn to fly, I have to learn to build a plane.

2) Slope Diver/Accipiter Badius or something like it. Pros: I like the look, it's apparently pretty easy to fly and nearly indestructible. Parts are easily available. Cons: The stock transmitter is completely non-standard, so buying a new transmitter/receiver set would probably be a really good idea.

For either of the first two, I'd probably consider the Exceed-RC FS-CT6X tranmitter/reciever set: from the reviews I've read, they're not top end, but they're acceptable quality inexpensive 2.4GHz radios.

3) Super Cub. Pros: I like the look, it's a recommended trainer on just about every forum I've read, and I could probably add on to it as I get to be a better pilot -- skis for warmer days with snow (not unusual here in New England), floats for days at the lake, and so on. Cons: Way outside my intended price range.

4) Some other model of slow-stick type plane: the Parkzone Slo-V seems like an option, for instance. Pros: same as the GWS, except it's ready to fly. Indoor flight seems unlikely, but could be entertaining if it ever happens. Cons: I still think it's ugly.


If anyone has any thoughts or recommendations, I'd be interested to hear them!
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Old Nov 09, 2009, 02:56 PM
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Ken Myers's Avatar
Commerce Township, MI
Joined Aug 2001
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Your price range is a bit limited, and it sounds like your time and other interests may limit your participation in the hobby.

I would recommend that you read this:

http://homepage.mac.com/kmyersefo/ev...ng-e-power.pdf

Save up your money for a Hobby Zone Super Cub or Multiplex Easy Star. Both are highly recommended planes for beginners.

If there is a local AMA club around, you might want to contact them for some lessons to see if this is a hobby you want to take on in more than a casual way. Most clubs have a trainer available for new students.
You can find a local club at the Academy of Model Aeronautics site
http://www.modelaircraft.org
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Old Nov 09, 2009, 04:04 PM
raz
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USA, CA, Eureka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Myers View Post



Save up your money for a Hobby Zone Super Cub or Multiplex Easy Star. Both are highly recommended planes for beginners.

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I agree, both are excellent trainers, it just depends on your flying area as to which one to get. If you have grass fields get the Easy star for hand launching. If you have pavement or hard dirt or really short grass get the Super Cub for scale take off's and landings.
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Old Nov 09, 2009, 04:32 PM
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Joined Mar 2007
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I was building models more complex than a Slow Stick when I was 10. In other words it's pretty cake to build. It's pretty tough, it's fun to fly, it's upgradable, (my brother has the fastest SS on the planet) parts are super cheap (you'll need em) and it's easy to learn the basics on.

My LHS refused to sell me any other plane until I learned to fly the SS. He was right!
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Old Nov 09, 2009, 09:23 PM
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USA, MI, Hastings
Joined Jan 2007
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I second the GWS Slow Stick. There is a little lost in translation on the text of the instructions but the pictures are good enough. A great first flier. I took a little over 10 years off from this hobby my first flight was on the slow stick
with no instructor. I was very rusty but my stick was rock solid and tough. It took some hard licks and still is flying today. Buy some extra prop shafts and propellers and you will be in business. I would have loved to get into this hobby so cheap when I was a kid back in the late 80's.

Quote:
1) GWS Slow Stick. Pros: Slow, easy-to-fly, cheap, and I could probably run it in my back yard once I figured out what I was doing. (I've got a big yard, but there are a couple of trees in the middle -- seems like an issue while learning.) Cons: Not RTF, and I think it's ugly. That'll reduce how much I want to fly it later, but it's cheap enough that that might not matter. Having to buy all the parts separately isn't a huge deal, but it does mean that before I can learn to fly, I have to learn to build a plane.
You can get the stick with the power system for around $40.00 at the LHS maybe cheaper online somewhere. You can find a good lipo's for reasonable prices on line. Brushed speed controllers are available for under $25. The smaller servo's are cheap as well $13.00 a piece all you need is two .The next big ticket items are a radio and charger. My LHS has a ton of used stuff. I found a good Hitec FM 4 channel with 4 servo's for $10.00. So do some checking. That will get you flying. You can always upgrade the radio as you get into it.

I like the FM radio for my park flier because the receivers are pretty cheap. The charger could be the thing that breaks the budget. I have over $100 in mine and am looking for a bigger one I don't know how good the cheap ones work but there is enough info on this board for you to find out.

Yes the GWS stick is a bit ugly but it flies beautiful and like any good fighter it can take a punch. I have about $125 in my plane that is everything. That is with a brushed motor and 900mAh lipo battery and my used FM radio and 2 servo's. I get 15 min lazy slow flights around the ball park in no wind. Like I said the charger could be a bit pricey.
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Old Nov 09, 2009, 09:30 PM
HammerHands
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Joined Mar 2009
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If you really want to spend a 100 bucks go out to dinner or a concert If this NitroPlanes Slope Diver/Accipiter Badius even works it wont last a day if you don't know how to fly. Go to your local hobby shop and see when the club flies. Just don't tell them you budget is a $100
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Old Nov 09, 2009, 11:26 PM
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GWS SS is ugly?

Well, for such an ugly plane, it's such an awesomely fun plane to fly

It'll cruise well with the stock brushed 400 motor on stock prop and an 8 cell NiMH 1200 mah pack. OR prop down to a GWS 9x5 prop, and go UP to a 3 cell 11.1v 1300 mah lipo, and grab 25-30 minute flight times, as well as having nearly tripple the power while staying at the same amp draw

However, if you're looking for RTF, then for sure, go with either a Hobby Zone Super Cub LP RTF or a Multiplex Easy Star RTF. They're the perfect beginners planes, and will last you a long time.

WARNING!

This hobby is highly addicting. Side-effects may include:

-Additional bank accounts opened
-Extra rooms being filled with aircraft
-Flying whenever time available
-Excessive ammounts of fun

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Old Nov 10, 2009, 02:37 AM
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Joined Dec 2007
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Keep reminding your wife it is educational, keeps you out of trouble and keeps you young. And don't forget to skim the grocery money. Icky
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Old Nov 10, 2009, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amckenzie4 View Post
OK, so it looks like I'll have a bit of extra cash available this month, and I'm thinking of buying an RC plane. I've never flown anything before, so obviously I ought to be looking at simple, easy to fly, inexpensive (as opposed to "cheap") planes.

I should mention that I'm not intending to get too deep into the hobby: probably whatever I buy will be what I fly for quite some time. I've got too
.
.
.
them!
Find the area You want to fly in first. I flew in my back garden
therefore I bought a indestructible RTF toy plane and flew it
for a while. Silverlit (Aero Ace) Trainer very simple and extremely
rugged. Then moved on to a Silverlit Acrobat but had to move
out of my garden (too fast). Tried a Sapac Pitts 4ch before the
Acrobat but it was far too advanced for my skills. Then I
bought a E-sky Nemo. The Nemo was pretty indestructible
appart from the mechanics (gearbox / prop) which had to be
repaired/replaced frequently. After that I started building my
own planes (not very succesfully first). After some mistakes
5-6 planes my modified Gloster Gladiator profile (see my blog)
flew excelent. I then started to realy learn flying and built
more planes like my Miles Magister and latest DH-2. For the
time being I've little time for repair/flying so it's a bit limited.

H.
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Old Nov 10, 2009, 07:31 AM
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New Bern, North Carolina, United States
Joined Oct 2004
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I could never get my SS to fly correctly...not even now with 5 years of flying under my belt and over 50 planes in my hanger!! I vote for the Super Cub.

As noted above, this hobby is ADDICTIVE and will keep you young. On a side note, remind your wife there are worse things you could be spending your money on...like beer and "Gentlemens clubs".... the only danager in this hobby is to your wallet when you get near the LHS or a computer!!
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Old Nov 10, 2009, 09:41 AM
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Thanks all! While it's probably my least favorite of the set, at least in appearance, I am leaning towards the slow stick, or one of its clones. The Slo-V from parkzone, for instance, comes RTF for $100 -- as near as I can tell it's the same concept, just fully assembled. When the time comes that I give in and buy a second plane, I'll probably just pick up something else off my "possible first plane" list. The fact that I don't love the looks of the SS doesn't really seem to match up for the support it's getting on this and other forums: both here and on the rcuniverse forum I'm getting the same thing -- buy a slow stick or a super cub. If that's what the experts suggest, that's what I'll go with! The SS also ought to be flyable in my yard, once I learn what I'm doing... that's probably not the case with the others. The yard is about the size of two basketball courts, but with a couple of trees in it -- slow and maneuverable seems like a good option for flying at home.

Also, no wife; just a live-in-girlfriend. Fortunately, she's well used to my spending piles of money on my unpredictably random hobbies. As long as I can keep paying my share of the bills and have some left over, she doesn't much care what I spend my money on.


Anyway... for the slow stick, it sounds like the recommendation is to buy the SS with motor ($35 on Amazon, which isn't bad...). How do I figure out what ESC/transmitter/receiver to buy? To be honest, my inclination is to go with the 2.4GHz set I linked to in my original post -- The reviews I've read (including on on rcuniverse) seem to say it's a decent system, and going 2.4GHz from the beginning seems like a reasonably good choice. Any thoughts?
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Old Nov 10, 2009, 02:31 PM
HammerHands
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Joined Mar 2009
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If you buy the SS you will also need servos, battery and charger as well as esc, Tx and Rx. You most likely will need to solder your esc motor and battery connections. You will also need to install the servos, control horns and pushrods. If you buy the PZ Slo V you can charge the battery and fly. Horizon has a good guide for beginners with video. Read all seven pages and you should be able to decide what is best for you http://www.horizonhobby.com/Articles...ID=1647&Page=1
Read this review at RCUniverse it will explain what you will need to do to build the SS http://www.rcuniverse.com/magazine/a...?article_id=75
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Old Nov 10, 2009, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by HammerHands View Post
If you buy the SS you will also need servos, battery and charger as well as esc, Tx and Rx. You most likely will need to solder your esc motor and battery connections. You will also need to install the servos, control horns and pushrods. If you buy the PZ Slo V you can charge the battery and fly. Horizon has a good guide for beginners with video. Read all seven pages and you should be able to decide what is best for you http://www.horizonhobby.com/Articles...ID=1647&Page=1
Thanks for the link -- I'll take a look.

Servos don't worry me too much -- there are recommendations for size, and those seem fairly straight forward. The battery and charger similarly don't bother me as long as I stay with NiMH (which I'm used to), and the ESC seems to be just an issue of finding something that's rated for the battery and motor I'm planning to use. Soldering doesn't bother me... I've done a fair amount of it over the years. The Tx/Rx issue just confuses me because there are so many options and so little guidance.

That said, it turns out hobbypartz.com carries the 2.4GHz controller I was looking at, and spare receivers as well, so that seems like a reasonable option. The price isn't too excessive over a 72MHz set, and it looks like it'll cause less interference if other people in the neighborhood are flying.
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Old Nov 10, 2009, 04:42 PM
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Here's all the parts you'll need:

ESC:
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...idProduct=9090

Battery:
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s..._25C_Lipo_Pack

Charger:
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...idProduct=7028

Servos (x2):
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...?idProduct=662

Radio system:
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...idProduct=8338

Plane:
http://www.advantagehobby.com/produc...roductid=57525

Props (MUST USE THESE!!):
http://www.advantagehobby.com/produc...roductid=40952

Add all that up and you've got a grand total of $125, and with the standard shipping from Hobby City, it'll be about $135 total- still cheaper than a HZ Super Cub, and MUCH higher quality than the junk electronics that come with the Slo-V (and with the above setup, you can get around half an hour of flight time- just don't punch WOT the entire time and you'll be set ).
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Old Nov 10, 2009, 06:34 PM
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Xpress -- thanks for the list! That'll certainly make figuring out what to get easier. I suspect half the problem getting started in any new hobby is figuring out where to find all the parts.
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