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Old Jan 02, 2013, 03:21 PM
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los36's Avatar
United States, TX, The Colony
Joined Nov 2012
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What to work on now?

Here's my background: when I was 11 or 12 years old, I learned to fly. First on a foamy then with a Goldberg Freedom 20. Once I was soloing, I bought some kind of Airtronics sport plane. It was way too fast for me and didn't last long. Then I got into racing motorcycles and eventually chasing girls.
Flash forward 23 years... I take my son to an airshow and my awe-of-flight juices start flowing again. I buy RealFlight and soon after, stumble across an unflown Nexstar that someone wants out of their garage for cheap.
I've had that plane in the air for about 4 hours of flight time. I never used the AFS and have flown most of the time without the speed brakes and airfoil extensions. I'm doing loops, rolls, immelman turns, split-s and stall turns. Of course, they are all pretty ugly with this particular plane (especially the rolls). Landings have been surprisingly good once I finally grasped the concept of elevator = speed, throttle = altitude when landing. Just yesterday, I flew in a 15 mph 45* crosswind. There were some sketchy moments but all landings ended up on the runway with engine running. The only damage that was done was a minor prop strike while taxiing when a gust of wind got under a wing tip.
I'm not claiming to have "mastered" anything, but is there anything or any technique that a pilot should know before moving beyond a trainer? I've got my eyes on a Great Planes Cherokee.
Thanks.
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Old Jan 02, 2013, 07:21 PM
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United States, FL, Tampa
Joined Jan 2007
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You should be fine. The only thing is the more advanced Planes you get as you move on is they become less forgiving, react different, more snappy, Some Planes land different than others. The Cherokee won't be hard to land but it won't float like a trainer. I've been flying for years. But I'm use to flying 3D from electrics to 50cc gas Planes. For the first time, I have taken a interest in Big Warbirds. It's amazing what I can do with a all out aerobatic Plane but I myself am working on Precision landing because A Warbird has no give. That's all. You'll be fine.
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Old Jan 02, 2013, 10:19 PM
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United States, WA, Port Angeles
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the GP cherokee is a great first low winger! if you can handle a aileron plane, then you should have no problems with the cherokee!
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Old Jan 02, 2013, 10:50 PM
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United States, FL, Tampa
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I just graduated to a Hangar 9 J3 Cub 40 (80" ws) after flying a Hangar 9 Alpha 40 Trainer for a year. I would recommend taxiing your new plane around for a bit and do some runs down the runway without getting it air born while deflecting the rudder a little bit to see how it reacts. When you first takeoff be sure to gain your altitude so you can do some good maneuvers and have a good amount of recovery time I you were to make a mistake. Good luck!
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Old Jan 03, 2013, 07:24 AM
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United States, MA, Charlton
Joined Sep 2008
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I think the GP cherokee would be a good first low wing trainer. A friend of mine had one and it flew great. The cherokee is tri-gear like a trainer, which is good, and a bit easier on takeoffs, etc.

My friend had an OS55ax with pitts muffler installed. Flew really fast, and slowed to a crawl with flaps when landing.
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Old Jan 03, 2013, 11:01 AM
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United States, TX, The Colony
Joined Nov 2012
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Thanks for the input, guys. This certainly helps give me confidence that I'm heading the right direction.
In RealFlight, I think I have the most fun flying the SuperSportster, but it is really fast and I know that I'd get myself into trouble. I also love the look and flight of the AT-6. It may be my next plane after the Cherokee. @Dale, I really enjoy the challenge of landing the AT-6 in a scale fashion ... mains first, without bouncing.
I've been collecting bits and pieces for the Cherokee over the past month. Most notably a Saito 62. I think that should provide enough power to make it fun without turning it into a rocketship.
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Old Jan 03, 2013, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by los36 View Post
.. that should provide enough power to make it fun without turning it into a rocketship.
Don't knock rocketships until you've flown one. LOL

You are a wise person to know your limits and not to exceed them.
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Old Jan 03, 2013, 04:14 PM
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My Great Planes Cherokee 40 flies fine with an ASP .61 four-stroke and 12x6 prop, so a Saito 62 should be great. With seven servos (I have working flaps), it's heavy, but has a lot of wing so approaches are not much faster than a trainer. The weight makes it a good flyer in a decent amount of wind. It's a better flyer in gusty wind than a high-wing trainer.

If you set up working flaps, you will find that you will make the approaches with the nose down more, and not pull the nose up as far in the landing flare. The main use of flaps is to allow a steeper descent without increasing airspeed, and they're great for that on this plane. If you do use flaps, remember to cut power on downwind, then allow the plane to slow without losing altitude (hold the nose level), then deploy flaps. This reduces ballooning.

I really enjoy trimming for level flight at about half throttle and doing a pass 20-30 ft. above the runway. It looks (and with the four-stroke, sounds!) very much like a Cherokee at a full-scale airport!
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Old Jan 03, 2013, 07:48 PM
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Landings are nessasary to get perfect to be a great pilot. Keep practicing touch n goes untill you can land it excataly where you want it, then keep practicing more.
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 12:33 AM
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USA, AZ, Phoenix
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Los36, can you fly that trainer upside down while doing a figure 8 (from both directions)?
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tailskid2 View Post
Los36, can you fly that trainer upside down while doing a figure 8 (from both directions)?
I suppose that I should be able to fly the masters pattern before I even think about my second plane.
I can fly inverted at a constant altitude although the plane doesn't like it. I suppose that I could learn the figure 8 and probably will (from both directions...), but i don't feel that its a "need to know" skill.
I realize that I'm the one asking for advice here but I think it was pretty clear that my question was about basic piloting skills required for a "2nd" plane.
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 03:20 PM
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United States, TX, The Colony
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Originally Posted by kylerdinger View Post
Landings are nessasary to get perfect to be a great pilot. Keep practicing touch n goes untill you can land it excataly where you want it, then keep practicing more.
Flew touch and goes for over an hour yesterday. The unofficial field i fly at looks like it wont be around too much longer. Anti-erosion fencing had been installed along the road i use for takeoff and landing only 2 feet off the road. The margin for error was substantially reduced.
It was great practice, though. 10ish mph cross wind. I had a lot of really smooth landings as well as some ugly ones. I find that the ugliness shows up when I start overflying the plane instead of just letting it do its thing. Perhaps a bit of lost concentration as well ... I had one flight that lasted over 30 minutes since I was using so little fuel.
Thanks for the advice. Landings don't have to be feared!
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 03:24 PM
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It sounds to me like you are more than ready......but take some Tums before you test fly that second plane
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by tailskid2 View Post
It sounds to me like you are more than ready......but take some Tums before you test fly that second plane
Heh, thanks.
Having learned to "fly" (every flight was an adventure) almost 25 years ago, makes me appreciate RealFlight even more. The countless flights on a buddy box with the plane at a "safe altitude" [read: I couldn't really see how it was responding to my input], multiple crashes and limited flying time really made learning to fly rough. Although I solo'd back then, I didn't really have much to fall back on when I picked up the radio again. A good simulator is worth every penny, IMO.
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Old Jan 07, 2013, 01:04 AM
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Just remember los36, Once you learn to fall off a bicycle, you can ALWAYS fall off a bicycle
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