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Old Jul 09, 2015, 12:01 PM
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Question
Should I Buy Spare Parts Before I Need Them?

I've recently begun my RC hobby and bought several fixed wing aircraft. I also bought the RealFlight simulator program and have crashed in the sim hundreds of times. So... I'm sure I'll crash most or all of these planes more than once. I don't want to have aircraft that cannot be repaired in the near future.

I've researched body repairs and know that most can be made with glue and/or with commonly available parts. However, I'm sure there are times when glue won't fully cure the problem. Also, I know that RC aircraft are often discontinued so repair parts specific to those models become unavailable. These are all EPO construction.

QUESTIONS:
(1) Is it advisable to buy spare parts for my aircraft while they're still available?
(2) If so then what are the most common parts damaged in crashes?
(3) Or should I buy complete bodies without any of the electronics?
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Last edited by ignernt_dweeb; Jul 09, 2015 at 12:10 PM.
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Old Jul 10, 2015, 03:29 PM
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Anyone have an opinion? Is this the wrong forum for this topic?
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Old Jul 10, 2015, 03:56 PM
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I wouldn't buy before you need. You don't know what you'll need. As long as you've got the simulator and are good with preflight checks you'll be fine.

PD
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Old Jul 10, 2015, 04:03 PM
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Basically I like to keep replacements for parts that I can quickly and fairly easily replace at the field. A few props, a spare battery, maybe some foam safe CA and kicker... Those sorts of things. If there's screws that I have to remove and replace to install the wing, the battery cover, etc... I might keep those on hand as well. Much easier to go to the parts bin for a replacement than it is to find it on some surfaces like grass, dry lake bed, etc... If it falls off or you drop it.

Other parts like the servos, esc, motor, etc... aren't as likely to break (though you might bend a prop shaft) so I don't often keep spares of these parts. For warbirds with spinners or removable cowls I'll sometimes keep spares of these parts. For other planes I'll keep a spare in the box because I can't imagine the idea of not having one.

For everything else if they crash and need more than moderate repairs I strip the electronics and junk the rest.
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Old Jul 10, 2015, 04:09 PM
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Thanks, folks.

I'm mostly wondering about parts specific to a given aircraft such as wheel assemblies, wheel pants, cowls, canopies, vertical stabilizers, wings, etc.
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Old Jul 10, 2015, 05:15 PM
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Quick question, is it possible to buy spare parts after you need them? Because, then they're not spares. OK, just trying to be funny. Thanks for asking the question because I'm in that same position. I liked ronin's answer.
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Old Jul 10, 2015, 05:37 PM
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Me too. I'll have spares of some things like batteries but that's mainly to extend flying time. I won't have spares of things like servos, servo arms, linkages and other common parts... at least not in the beginning... because those things will always be available for any aircraft I might have and can be bought at any time. The parts I'm a little worried about are those specific to a given aircraft... body parts that will become unavailable in the future.
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Old Jul 13, 2015, 08:34 AM
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In reading RCGroups for a few months, it seems the one part people have trouble finding or fabricating is cowls. If any of your planes have thin plastic cowls I think you ought to consider putting some in stock. Although lining a cowl with fiber reinforced packing tape seems to help them survive, um, unscheduled landings.
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Old Jul 13, 2015, 09:47 AM
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Okay... cowls are #1 on my list.
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