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Old Aug 03, 2012, 02:35 PM
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Wow, I didn't realize the E-Flite AT-6 Texan was so difficult to fly since it is rated a "10." I wonder what makes it so tough?

BTW, can I rate the Weasel a 3?

Frank
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Old Aug 03, 2012, 04:11 PM
Arrowhead
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Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
Wow, I didn't realize the E-Flite AT-6 Texan was so difficult to fly since it is rated a "10." I wonder what makes it so tough?

BTW, can I rate the Weasel a 3?

Frank
Wondered that too. The rating scared me away, in fact. Would love a Harvard/Texan, but certainly don't feel I'm ready for a "10" yet. Just hazarding a guess, but tail-dragger & low wing, 4CH? If it has a castering tailwheel (like the E-Flite Super Cub), it would be a handful on the ground.
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Old Aug 03, 2012, 08:34 PM
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Wondered that too. The rating scared me away, in fact. Would love a Harvard/Texan, but certainly don't feel I'm ready for a "10" yet. Just hazarding a guess, but tail-dragger & low wing, 4CH? If it has a castering tailwheel (like the E-Flite Super Cub), it would be a handful on the ground.
The tail dragger isn't the most difficult aspect. Tricycle LGs, *must* not land it on the nosewheel or it will generally fold/snap. Dragger is a little more difficultgruond handling, but that has little or nothing to do with flying difficulty. Also draggers are usually more grass-friendly where tricycles prefer pavement (the weak nosewheel thing.)

Looking at the model picks closely, it -seems- that the tailwheel is attached directly to the rudder.

Other flight-difficulty design aspects are the short fuse, minimal tail surface area, and most importantly the tapered wings both LE and TE. Probably very aerobatic and agile with finesse and accurate sticks.
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Old Aug 04, 2012, 12:55 PM
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Wondered that too. The rating scared me away, in fact. Would love a Harvard/Texan, but certainly don't feel I'm ready for a "10" yet. Just hazarding a guess, but tail-dragger & low wing, 4CH? If it has a castering tailwheel (like the E-Flite Super Cub), it would be a handful on the ground.
I'm not sure any of that would make it a "10" though. Shoot, the real plane was built as a trainer plane. How hard could a model of it be to fly?

A 10 rating to me means that plane is extremely difficult to fly and I don't think I'd buy one to fly if it rates a 10. Now if it was someone else's, that would be a different story.

Frank
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Old Aug 04, 2012, 11:31 PM
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Another weird one is the "3 Parkzone UM J-3 Cub". I personally haven't flown one, but the youtube videos, and the fact that it's only a 3ch ultra micro indoor flyer ((micros being good for starters like the mini helicopters)(ofcourse not the 4ch UMX sbach or Beast)).

Not sure how it can be a 3 when there's:

2 Hobbyzone Super Mini Cub
and
2.25 Hobbyzone Super Cub

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... I don't think I'd buy one to fly if it rates a 10. Now if it was someone else's, that would be a different story.

Frank
Pree sure I'd rather crash my own plane than someone else's.

Ian
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Old Aug 05, 2012, 10:38 AM
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I'm not sure any of that would make it a "10" though. Shoot, the real plane was built as a trainer plane. How hard could a model of it be to fly?
AT = Advanced Trainer. Meaning in RL not a 'first flight' trainer. Low wing = high CG, tapered wings, all as mentioned make it more advanced.

Further, models aren't exact copies of FS. They're tweaked and adjusted slightly to make them fly as similar to the FS, (capabilities, in this case very highly aerobatic,) yet (hopefully!) not introduce more or worse limitations such as bad low speed tip stalls. Because of that even different models of the same FS plane might behave differently.

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A 10 rating to me means that plane is extremely difficult to fly and I don't think I'd buy one to fly if it rates a 10.
The ratings should be better described not as much as 'what difficulty is this plane' and more as 'what pilot skill is required to fly this plane cleanly, smoothly and comfortably.' A brand-new-virgin-pilot first-first flight should be terrifying. LOL!! That means they *respect* the time and effort that went into building a plane and the skills that they don't have required to fly. Later flights are not 'easier' as such, but I think of it as a 'comfort level.' For example when I was first learning I would *NOT* go up when anyone else was flying. Others were comfortable with a bunch of planes in the air and eventually we'd all take turns. Later when I got more comfortable with *myself* in the air it was quite a thrill to be up there with 4 or 5 other planes. The oddest thing was that except for hearing the IC engines and the occasional plane passing through my field of view - I almost never knew they were there. Later-later than that when I was very comfortable with *myself* flying I found I could widen my field of view and actually -watch- the other planes even as -I- was flying my own.

Knowing -my- comfort and skill level, the other day I did a maiden and didn't need to ask someone else to try it. -I- knew that I -knew- enough to set it up on the ground, how it was going to behave rolling, what to do (and how fast to react if something went wrong with -that-,) and how it was going to behave in those first few critical seconds as it left the ground. (I did have a bunch of other very experienced people looking at to triple check and that helped a lot.) This was a big deal for me though because even though it was an electric Sig Senior, just a high wing trainer, it *weighed* *more* than *ALL* my other planes put together!! LOL! It was the sheer horsepower behind that 18" prop that made it all a big deal. Not the damage it would suffer if I messed up but the damage I could *cause* if *I* messed up. Ultimately it was an awesome 99% perfect flight.

Quote:
Now if it was someone else's, that would be a different story.
Only once have I flown someone else's plane, just for a minute, because -I- knew -I- could do it. Most of my other planes, first flights, I have handed to someone else *much* more experienced to try it out and trim it. With that, I knew for my first try the 'plane' was less a part of the equation, that it was set up to fly properly, and the only thing I needed to pay attention to to keep it flying was -my- skill.

The detailed levels of these ratings are partly technical (plane style) but also subjective. I have experience flying only about half a dozen, but many many more hours of watching dozens of pilots with widely varied skill levels flying dozens of different styles of planes. Then I look at the 'definitions' of each rating level, and they do make sense. For the ones I've flown I might disagree on a point or half point level but usually not much more.

For example I started with Slo-V, and quickly learned that it needed more horsepower and upgraded to brushless. That's what I club-field-soloed with. (Learned it by myself in local parks.) After that I've got most of my experience with Slow Stick, hopped up to 36oz, flat bottom zero-dihedral aileron KF wing, and 3s near-unlimited vertical brushless. Even GWS calls it 'intermediate.' It's beginner-soloable *ONLY* under zero(zero-zero)-wind conditions. But, without flight instruction, the beginner doesn't even -know- that. It is 'extremely minimal' flight instruction though. It takes only a couple of flights to learn how to -fly- it, meaning throttle management to control rise/descent, but without that the beginner will crash it at least half a dozen times before they learn how to gauge the glide slope to touch the ground at the right spot. Well, hit it within 50'. LOL! Again most importantly with that friggin hyper-undercamber it *requires* zero-wind to learn even that. Around here zero-wind is rarely an option so I went through my share of bad landings til I strengthened it enough to 'survive more often' I would rate stock SS as 3.5, or 4 in *any* breeze.
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Old Aug 06, 2012, 01:18 AM
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Pree sure I'd rather crash my own plane than someone else's.

Ian
When you are a club's instructor pilot you get to fly a lot of different planes. Many new pilots come to you and ask you to fly their planes for them to make sure they are trimmed out correctly so it would not be so much of a handful for them. They understand, and you do as well that planes crash. It is what it is. At least they know an experienced pilot might have a better chance to save a plane that was not set up correctly. Zero chance with an unexperienced pilot.

Frank
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 09:07 AM
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The HobbyZone Cub is in fact much easier to fly than the ParkZone J-3... I believe this is reasonably well documented in various places on RCG. I'd keep the ratings as is.

Muroc - I'd say the Weasel can indeed be a 3! Hows she fly - good thermaller/sloper?

As for the ratings... its a progressive thing. Thats part of the reason there are so many, otherwise there would be dramatically more capable / harder planes within one rating category and that would be confusing.

I am thinking of 'rewording' the ratings and having only a few descriptions rather than a whole heap of very progressive ones.

Cheers - boingk
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 08:58 PM
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Anyone have thoughts on any of the following?

- H9 Spitfire Mk II (ideally with the P60 electric motor)
- E-Flite P-51B
- H9 Corsair 50

I'm craving another warbird...
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 10:44 PM
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They all sound '8-ish', good third plane or later kind of things.

If you've got a warbird already then, unless its very tame or only 3ch semi-scale, I'd say you're probably right to go for it.

Cheers - boingk
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 07:59 PM
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That sounds reasonable. The P-51B might be a bit higher - even HH lists it for "advanced", although I've learned to take the manufacturer's ratings with a grain or 20 of salt

I've been jumping 2 ratings or so at a time so far. Getting reasonably comfortable with the E-Flite T-34 (which we've got listed at a 6 - and seems bang-on to me). By the time I get all the components and get the plane assembled, I should be ready for an "8".
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 10:38 PM
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Good stuff!

Part of understanding the ratings is how they are based - its not just how the thing flies that makes it a 2 instead of a 6, for example.

1: Toughness - Will it shrug off a nose over or stall, or will it need a greased landing?
2: Ease of control - 2ch, 3ch, 4ch? Parkflier or 3D? Start on easy, predictable rates & 2~3ch.
3: Speed - fast models get away quickly and require you to 'fly ahead' more than slow ones.
4: Size - small models get away quickly, too, and also tend to get thrown around by wind.

By following the TESS guide you'll easily be able to figure out (once familiar) if a model is within your (or somone else's) grasp. The 'speed' and 'size' are of particular importance as they will both affect orientation, and if you lose orientation in any way you are bound to lose control.

Thats why the Hangar 9 stuff tends to be rated at the top end - they're beautiful scale models that fly heavy and fast, are easily capable of aerobatics and will not tolerate typically 'beginnerish' landings.

Cheers - boingk
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 10:46 PM
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**********NOTICE:**********

The rating system has been changed!

Instead of 10 verbal ratings centred around sim experience and flight instruction there are now 5 verbal ratings amongst the 10 categories, each with a 'blank' rating inbetween.

I think this system is more intuitive and less confusing than the older one, and is more about what you feel you're up to than trying to slot you neatly into one category.

I have taken out all references to simulators and instead put some advice after the ratings, advising that all planes are best flown for the first time *on a simulator* if you can! This way you will get a 'feel' for them before you even order them. Turn the wind and other 'realism' settings up as far as you can if your simulator has them.

Any feedback on this change would be much appreciated.

Cheers! - boingk
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Old Aug 09, 2012, 05:41 PM
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I think "0" should be gliders of the cheap sort, and perhaps small rubber band powered planes. These are for kids right?
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Old Aug 10, 2012, 02:00 AM
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Yeah, they're also freeflight models and not radio controlled.

- boingk
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