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Old Oct 12, 2013, 01:43 PM
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Joined Oct 2013
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Looking to get into the RC plane hobby

So after many years of always wanting to get an RC plane I finally decided I'm going to do it. I grew up with RC cars and trucks but planes always fascinated me. After some googling and searching online I found a couple that I think might fit my needs but I'd like some opinions and advice. Here are some models I looked at:

http://www.nitroplanes.com/95a283-bl...e-rtf-24g.html

http://www.bananahobby.com/4-ch-fms-...plane-rtf.html

Basically I want something I won't get tired of in a few months but at the same time I can enjoy from the start and won't be to0 hard to get flying for a beginner. I'm open to other suggestions as well. I'm looking to keep my purchase under $200 and have it be RTF. Thanks all.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 08:43 AM
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United States, NY, Queens
Joined Oct 2005
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Hi MrRaccoon,

Welcome to RC flying.

The two suppliers that you selected, Nitroplanes and Bananahobby, have very poor reputations. If you buy from them, you need to be prepared that you might need to do a lot of tinkering to get your plane to fly properly, your Ready To Fly plane might not be ready to fly and might be missing some components, and spare parts might not be available. An experienced flyer will know how to trouble shoot the plane, swap out necessary components, etc. to make the plane flyable. As a beginner in this hobby, you won't have such knowledge and could be setting yourself up for a very disappointing experience.

While there are many different planes that are decent for a beginner, Horizon Hobby with their HobbyZone brand is the gold standard for beginners. Take a look at the planes listed below:
- HobbyZone Delta Ray
- HobbyZone Champ
- HobbyZone SuperCub
- HobbyZone Duet
- HobbyZone Firebird Stratos
- E-flite Apprentice

Go to the Horizon Hobby website and check out these planes. Do a search on this forum and look at the various threads devoted to these planes. Go to your local hobby shop and talk to them about good beginner planes. If there is a flying field near you, go and talk to the people flying planes there.

After you have done the research, come back here and let us know:
1) how big is the field where you plane to fly
2) will you be doing hand launces or using landing gear
3) do you have a vision for your future flying (warbirds, gliders, 3-D, etc.)
4) the results of your searches
5) will you be learning on your own or with an instructor

We will then work with you to narrow the prospects and get you in the air and enjoying this hobby. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 08:55 AM
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United States, NY, Queens
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The Nitroplanes model that you selected looks like a knock-off of the E-flite Apprentice. I don't have any experience with that particular model, but I would bet that it is nowhere as good as the Apprentice, in either its flying capabilities or its ruggedness.

The Bananahobby plane that you selected is manufactured by Sky Art-tech. The plane has been around for a long time. IT IS NOT A BEGINNER'S PLANE. It is absolutely beautiful, which is why so many people buy it. It is also extremely fragile. All of the electronics used to be terrible. They have done some upgrades, but their quality control is still terrible. If you buy the plane, flip a coin. If it lands on heads you will have a plane that you will enjoy (as long as you don't crash it, cartwheel it, etc.) If it lands on tails, you won't be able to get it to fly without spending more money than the initial cost of the plane.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 09:03 AM
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Concord, MA
Joined Jun 2002
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I have bought a couple of things from Nitroplanes and wouldn't describe them so poorly.

You have chosen a high wing trainer with a brushless motor and 2.4 radio. This is a good choice. EPO construction is also good, as it can be glued together more easily than EPS (expanded polystyrene or beer cooler foam= junk).

Tower also makes and sells a balsa electric trainer.

You should be sure to get someone who has some experience with planes to help you get airborne, teach you how to fly essentially. It is harder than a car or boat.

Your past experience with RC will help you figure out little problems that will occur with whatever you buy. You will need to fix it after it crashes, which it certainly will. Smaller planes hit the ground with less force and also fly slowly, allowing you more places to fly once you get the hang of it in a bigger (club) field.

I would go to a flying club for help, except sometimes the instructor forgets the student is supposed to do most of the flying!
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 09:21 AM
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United States, MN, Perham
Joined Jan 2012
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i'v been looking to take the plunge into RC planes myself. i have been an rc heli guy for a few years, and have loved it, but the thought of flying a plane really interests me. i was looking at a HobbyZone Duet, i see you had this one on your list as a good plane for beginners. (Leo L), for the price would this be a good starting plane? i have a large open area to fly behind my house, how does this plane handle wind? it looks like it would blow away in a slight breeze? thanks for you help !
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 09:45 AM
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If you have enough flying room, I would suggest getting the Delta Ray.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 10:44 AM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
4,165 Posts
MrRaccoon, I'd strongly suggest that you avoid throw-away planes that have no spare parts availability. All the Horizon Hobby planes, both Hobby Zone and eFlite have complete inventories of spare parts. Even if they weren't vastly superior to the planes you have picked (and they are if you use Leo's list) the fact that they have complete inventories of replacement parts with good availability will keep you flying long after you abandon ship on the Bananahobby or Nitro Planes wannabes.

You're paying premium prices with those two companies and getting junk. You can save money later, but now a future in a great hobby is at stake. Spend what you have to for a plane that can teach you to fly. I strongly endorse Leo's list and post.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 10:56 AM
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Yucca Valley, California
Joined Aug 2005
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I agree with the above.

Delta Ray, Apprentice or Super Cub.

Three of the best trainers you can buy.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 01:53 PM
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i like the looks of the delta ray, think i might go with that one ! thanks for the info !
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 04:45 PM
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Thanks guys. I did do some more researching after I posted this topic and decided against the planes I posted. My researching did in fact lead me to HobbyZone planes and I decided to go for the HZ Mini Super Cub.

As for the questions Leo L posted:

1) how big is the field where you plane to fly

There's a pretty big park down the street from me rough estimate is about the size of 2-2.5 football fields. There's actually an outdoor hockey rink that no one uses anymore because the walls were all knocked down during Hurricane Sandy so I thought that would be the perfect area to take off and land.

2) will you be doing hand launces or using landing gear

This was a concern for me. I would like to use landing gear and take off and land but I'm not sure how difficult that would be at first.

3) do you have a vision for your future flying (warbirds, gliders, 3-D, etc.)

Right now I'm not really sure. I've been watching so many videos of different types of RC planes and they all appeal to me in someway. I do like planes that are like the Super Cub and The HZ Archer. I just like the look of those planes I guess.

4) the results of your searches

Like I said I did order a Mini Super Cub but other planes I looked at was the Champ, the Super Cub(I see that model is discontinued?) and the HobbyKing J3 Cub. I did look at the HawkSky as well but I liked the look of the Super Cubs more.

5) will you be learning on your own or with an instructor

As of now I will be learning on my own. There's a hobby shop near me that I will pop into now and again though if I do run into some trouble or need help with repairs.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 04:58 PM
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Yucca Valley, California
Joined Aug 2005
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Remember that, by general rule of thumb, the bigger a plane is, the better it flies under most conditions.

If you're looking at a Super Cub, I really would go for the full-sized HZ Super Cub. It's an extremely durable, fantastic-flying airplane.

The Delta Ray is becoming a fast-favorite because of it's flexibility. It's extremely stable, but you turn up the rates in "expert" mode and you can really wring it out too. The flight envelope is ridiculously big and it really can grow with you. Add to that the SAFE technology (which you will outgrow) and the AS3X stabilization (which is awesome even on advanced models) and you've got a package that really is hard to beat. And it's probably the coolest looking primary trainer ever made...
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Old Oct 16, 2013, 09:19 AM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
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I'd really hesitate on the Mini Super Cub. It does not have the reputation for teaching people to fly that its big brother does. Its electronics are all integrated, and that means that either it all works, or it doesn't. Expensive to maintain compared to discrete radio, electronic speed control and servos.

And the clincher is that it doesn't fly as well as the big Super Cub. It's quicker for the size, mui twitchy and just lacking in pure flying joy. Reliability is also much worse than the big Super Cub.
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Old Oct 16, 2013, 09:50 AM
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United States, CA, Oceanside
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I agree with RR on your choice of the Mini Super Cub. The technology in that plane is VERY outdated. I'm not sure, but I think it still uses NiCad or Nimh batteries too. Any of the planes mentioned by Leo are excellent trainers. I would go with the Delta Ray my self if I were in your shoes. SAFE technology, while relatively new, is genuinely impressive.
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Old Oct 16, 2013, 09:59 AM
Wingman
United States, FL, Fort Myers
Joined Aug 2013
221 Posts
While all of the other people here have some really good points.

Before you decide on an aircraft, a little more information is really needed.

How good is your eyesight? Smaller aircraft need good eyes to keep orientation. How much do you know about flight? Do you know and understand the 4 forces of flight? Do you understand what control surfaces are and how they should/will effect an aircraft when used? How much time and money do you want to invest into this hobby? How are your model building skills? How much do you know about electronics?

These are just some of the questions a new pilot should answer. There are no wrong answers, but your answers will help others guide you on your path to becoming a rc pilot. There are many paths you can follow. For example, If your good at building and want to learn on a budget, try scratch building. It will take alot of pressure off if you can just make another plane when you crash.

You will Crash, EVERYONE does. I see guys at our field who have been flying for many years crash. It could be anything from a faulty part to pilot error, but sooner or later it WILL happen to all of us.

I am not trying to discourage you in any way. Its a great hobby and very rewarding and fun. My first suggestion to anyone is to Join the AMA and check out any local RC Flying Clubs. You will meet some great people and eventually you will find a club that fits you. If you must go it alone, get a simulator and practice,practice,practice. It will not be the same as the real world, but it will help!

Best of luck, You have come to the right place, these people here will help get you started correctly and are very helpful as you advance in the hobby as well!
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Old Oct 16, 2013, 10:37 AM
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Okay, you chose a plane. Now, be prepared to repair it. Box tape and foam safe glue. It doesn't matter which plane you chose... beginners crash them all.

Try to get over the learning curve with the mini-cub. Then, purchase a Super Cub. If you can't get over the learning curve with the mini-cub.... purchase the Super Cub anyways.

Crashing is part of this hobby. Especially in the beginner stages. Be patient with your progress. And, if you're like me, you'll enjoy the repairs as much as the flying. Although, nothing makes me happier than taking my plane home from the field ready to fly again.
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