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Old Feb 14, 2005, 10:49 PM
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What's next after FB Commander?

Don't know what happened to my first post-hope this doesn't get posted twice.

O.K.-here's the deal. I was given a Firebird Commander as a retirement gift to occupy my spare time. I really never had any experience rc flying but have been having a great time teaching myself to fly. Boy, is this plane forgiving! I realize it is really just a toy but it is fun. I'm very comfortable flying it now, to the point where it's becoming a bit boring. What would be the next step to take into a plane that would be a bit more challenging?

My criteria:

1) I like the idea of a RTF or ARTF plane. I don't want to get into model building.

2) Would like to stay with the electric glider concept. I live on the Northern California coast so wind is always a factor.

3) Want to keep costs down somewhat - however, realize that I will have to replace my transmitter, etc. Was thinking about the Aerobird Xtreme - though I know I'd just be moving up within the "toy" catagory.


Input?

Thanks
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 10:51 PM
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Wait for the new Multiplex/Hitec Easy Glider or its powered version. You w could go with the Easy Star now if you have no patience.
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 12:29 AM
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Check out either Parkzone's J-3 cub or the Decathlon which are both RTF.


J-3 Cub - http://www.wholesaletrains.com/Detail.asp?ID=200402492

Decathlon - http://www.wholesaletrains.com/Detail.asp?ID=200406876
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumsrus
O.K.-here's the deal. I was given a Firebird Commander as a retirement gift to occupy my spare time.

What would be the next step to take into a plane that would be a bit more challenging?

My criteria:

1) I like the idea of a RTF or ARTF plane. I don't want to get into model building.

2) Would like to stay with the electric glider concept. I live on the Northern California coast so wind is always a factor.

3) Want to keep costs down somewhat - however, realize that I will have to replace my transmitter, etc. Was thinking about the Aerobird Xtreme - though I know I'd just be moving up within the "toy" catagory.


Input?

Thanks
My friend, unless you are making money with the plane, or are a serious competitor, they are all toys, so get over that concern. I have small electrics and sailplanes with 12 foor wing spans. They are all toys, my toys and I love to play with them.

Below I list electric planes, parkflyers and e-gliders for beginners. Some
come ready to fly, some are almost ready to fly (add your own radio gear) and
some are kits. All of them are electric. You should find something
here to peak your interest.

These would be your next step.

Since you are still pretty new to RC Flying, these articles may be helpful in
understanding how these planes fly

RC Planes Are not like RC Cars
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=17

Stall
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=31

Launch into the wind
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=43

Parts of the plane and how they work
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=54

The RC Pilots Cockpit
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=59

Flying the Plane
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=64


READY TO FLY 3 Channel planes - Parkflyers
No building - they practically fly right out of the box

Aerobird Challenger - RTF Electric
I started on an Aerobird RTF. I love it and recommend it highly I have
over 250 flights on mine. It is a ready to fly package which includes the
radio, charger, batteries, and all. $150
Uses the same batteries, charger and can take the same X-port options as the commander. Can even use the commander wing, though the Aerobird's wing is longer.
http://horizon.hobbyshopnow.com/prod...p?prod=HBZ3500
Review
http://www.hobbyzonesports.com/Disco...ID=1289#Page01
Discussion Thread
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=147621


Slow-V from Parkzone
Best flown in still to under 5 mph breeze
Can also be flown indoors in a gym or similar space.
http://h1071118.hobbyshopnow.com/pro...p?prod=PKZ1300
Discussion Thread
http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_20...tm.htm#2089493
Video
http://users.cwnet.com/dhsc19/Slo_V_Aerobatics.wmv
Night fly module on a Slo-V
http://rc-galaxy.com/messageboard/mb...ViewMsg&num=-8


T-Hawk - RTF
http://www.toytx.com/thawk3chrtf.html
T-Hawk - Without Radio - add your radio and receiver
http://www.readytoflyfun.com/wittran.html
T-Hawk Discussion Thread
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ighlight=THawk


Easy Star - RTF
http://www.hobbypeople.net/gallery/240025.asp
Easy Star - ARF - Add you own radio gear
http://www.hobbypeople.net/gallery/240009.asp
Discussion Thread on Easy Star
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=258656


ALMOST READY TO FLY and EASY TO BUILD KITS - STARTER PLANES

Some of the planes in the previous group are available ARF as indicated.
Below are ARF and kit planes. You will need to buy a radio if you don't have
one, so you might want to read these articles on radios. Radios. The
articles are written for sailplane beginners, but all the info applies to
electrics too.

Entry Level Radios - If you have to go cheap
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=44

Computer Radios - The recommended path for almost everyone
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=65


ARF typically means you are not gluing balsa pieces together, then covering
with Monocote or some other shrink film. Below are ARFs and some are very
easy to build kits. In each case you must add your own radio, receiver,
servos, speed control, batteries and battery charger. They all come with a
motor.

Slow stick
Best flown in still to under 5 mph breeze
Can also be flown indoors in a gym or similar space.
http://horizon.hobbyshopnow.com/prod...p?prod=GWS1040
Discussion Thread
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...hreadid=122951

Tiger Moth
Best flown in still to under 5 mph breeze
Can also be flown indoors in a gym or similar space.
http://horizon.hobbyshopnow.com/prod...p?prod=GWS1020
Review
http://www.backyardflyer.com/BY/articles/tiger_moth.asp

Tipsey
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/tipsy.htm
Review
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/pdf/gr6232.pdf
http://rcgroups.com/links/index.php?...at=198&id=3871

Balsa Wood Kits - If you like to build, these are highly recommended.

Dandy
http://www.mountainmodels.com/dandy.php

Dust Stick
http://www.mountainmodels.com/duskstik.php


ELECTRIC GLIDERS

If you would like to try soaring with the birds, then an electric glider might
be a good choice. These planes are launched with an electric motor. They can
be flown around using the motor, like a parkflyer, or they can be flown to
height, then the motor is turned off and you hunt for thermals, just like the
birds.

They can do loops and simple aerobatics, but are really optomized for thermal
soaring. The Aerobird and the T-Hawk, which are often mentioned as first
parkflyers, glide and thermal pretty well, but they come with fixed props.
These planes include folding props which make the plane more streamlined and
so it can glide better than a fixed propeller plane.

Some are RTF which are fully built, include all the radio gear with everything
installed. Battery and charger are included with the RTF planes. Some are
ARFs where you assemble the simple package, then add your own radio equipment.
Some are available either way.

With these planes you get a good first plane, a good first electric and a good
electric glider. It may not have been what you were thinking, but it may be
exactly what you were looking for.

Easy Star - RTF - also listed above
This is a Park Glider - can be flown as parkflyer or glider
http://www.hobbypeople.net/gallery/240025.asp
Easy Star - ARF - Add you own radio gear
http://www.hobbypeople.net/gallery/240009.asp
Discussion Thread on Easy Star
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=258656

Ascent - this is a park glider ARF
It can be flown as a parkflyer or a glider
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Shop/ByC...ProdID=EFL1075
Review
http://rcgroups.com/links/index.php?...at=237&id=4233

Spectra - 2M - RTF
78" wing span - perhaps too large for a parkflyer, but a good first e-glider
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...=LXVJ51**&P=ML
Spectra ARF -
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXADK2&P=7

Electra - 2M ARF
78" wing span - perhaps too large for a parkflyer, but a good first e-glider
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXDJB2&P=7

If you are not familiar with soaring, it is a lot of fun. Flights can be as
short as parkflyer flights, or can last for hours, if you find lift.

This article may be helpful in understanding lift and the fun that e-gliders
offer to the electric flyer.

Finding Lift
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=57

I hope you find these interesting. Congratulations on your successful mastery of the Commander. If you get the Aerobird, you can get combat modules for both planes. Teach a friend to fly the commander, then fly air to air combat!
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 12:01 PM
I'm flying ! (run for cover)
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Greece, South Aegean, Thira
Joined Nov 2004
727 Posts
By the way, isnt the FB Commander the HobbyZone V-tail bird,
also known as the Fighter Bird ? Thats not an electric glider.

Anyway could you please describe this airplane a bit, Im currently
building a scratch build foam profile version of it and Im wondering
how it will fly (flies great in a computer simulator).

Does it have 3 proportional channels: throttle and 2 mixed for V-tail ?
Speed ?
Flight time ?

Thanks,
Dimitris
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 12:14 PM
Cal
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I agree with Rutat.............Being that you live in a windy enviornment an electric glider may be the ticket.........and the new Multiplex powered EasyGlider, being that it is made from almost indestructable EPP foam sounds perfect. It's supposed to be available around mid March.

It is a step up from the EasyStar in that it has a longer wing span, a folding prop..........and.........it has dual servo ailerons that can also be set up for spoilerons to help slow you down on landing approaches.

I'm gonna get this one myself..........
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Last edited by Cal; Feb 15, 2005 at 12:17 PM.
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 01:23 PM
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Small correction - the Easystar is Elapor - an EPP/EPS mix. For full EPP you would want to get a Windrider Easy EPP Pro (ailerons on a high perf wing) with the motor kit.
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 01:26 PM
Cal
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Ooops......correct. The EasyGlider is Elapor.....not EPP, but as far as durability goes, Elapor is about as close as you can get to EPP.........

Sorry for the mis-information...........I stand corrected.
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 01:29 PM
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Just busting your chops here.. You are correct - there is precious little difference and the added EPS is likely better since it makes the plane a little more rigid.

I am certainly keen to get one of these new Easy power planes - a baby hotliner I guess.
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 01:32 PM
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Great information - thanks

Wow...all great information. Thanks to all - especially aeajr. I have enough reading to keep me busy for quite some time.
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtrip
By the way, isnt the FB Commander the HobbyZone V-tail bird,
also known as the Fighter Bird ? Thats not an electric glider.

Anyway could you please describe this airplane a bit, Im currently
building a scratch build foam profile version of it and Im wondering
how it will fly (flies great in a computer simulator).

Does it have 3 proportional channels: throttle and 2 mixed for V-tail ?
Speed ?
Flight time ?

Thanks,
Dimitris
No, the FB Commander and the Fighterbird are differnt planes though they are both 2 channel V tails from HobbyZone.

The HobbyZone three channel planes are the Aerobird, Aerobird Challenger and Aerobird Xtreme. All are R/E/T V tail planes

Firebird = 2 channel
Aerobird= 3 channel

As far as being an electric glider, I agree it is not marketed that way however it thermals pretty well and it slope soars wonderfully! All it lacks is a folding prop.
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 10:59 PM
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Joined Feb 2005
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Is a 2-channel radio controlling 3 things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeajr
No, the FB Commander and the Fighterbird are differnt planes though they are both 2 channel V tails from HobbyZone.

The HobbyZone three channel planes are the Aerobird, Aerobird Challenger and Aerobird Xtreme. All are R/E/T V tail planes

Firebird = 2 channel
Aerobird= 3 channel

As far as being an electric glider, I agree it is not marketed that way however it thermals pretty well and it slope soars wonderfully! All it lacks is a folding prop.
How does a 2-channel radio control the throttle and left and right v-tail flaps?
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumsrus
How does a 2-channel radio control the throttle and left and right v-tail flaps?
Left and right rudder, the V tail is your rudder, is on one channel.

Throttle is on one channel.

The motor is positioned so that, on full thrust, it causes the nose to come up and the plane to climb. However when you cut the motor, the plane glides level. Actually it glides very well.

So, you have left and right and you have throttle controlling speed which induces climb when the throttle is above 50%. If you hold the throttle at about 50%, the plane will fly about level. Below 50% it will start to lose altitude. These are all approximate.
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Old Feb 16, 2005, 01:56 AM
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Guess I was asking more of an electro/mechanical question. I really haven't seen a servo operate, but it seems to me that 1 servo can only pull 1 line. Can it pull a second line fastened to the other side by reversing?
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Old Feb 16, 2005, 03:12 AM
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Servos can have all kinds of attachment arms. One, two, three or four armed like the one in the photo.

If you attach a line to each side then it will pull one while it pushes the other. This is how ailerons are usually done using a single servo.

I the case of the Commander, you are using a string/line system instead of control rods.
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