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Old Nov 27, 2011, 02:02 PM
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I'm not sure of why there is a controversy. I learned with a 4 channel trainer with a fair amount of dihedral. So you get the self-leveling and learn to fly with ailerons also. I'm sure there is a learning process going from rudder turns to aileron turns that can just be avoided by going 4 channel to start with.
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Old Nov 27, 2011, 08:55 PM
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I don't understand the logic that you should start out with a plane with no ailerons, only using the rudder to make turns, when as soon as you move up to an intermediate plane you will abandon the rudder entirely and fly only with the right stick. Better to start with aileron turns then learn to incorporate the rudder later, as it's use is much more subtle and situational.
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Old Nov 27, 2011, 10:34 PM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
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I don't understand the logic that you should start out with a plane with no ailerons, only using the rudder to make turns, when as soon as you move up to an intermediate plane you will abandon the rudder entirely
Folks of ignorance: the right stick is used for primary roll control. On a learner 3 channel plane, that is the rudder. On a four-channel it gets the ailerons. Then the rudder, being a yaw control because you lack dihedral, moves to the left stick.

The point is that there is NO learning curve moving to a four channel plane. Your primary roll control is still on your, YOU GUESSED IT, right stick and the plane does the same thing when you twitch the stick that it did before. You're only sowing confusion when anyone with experience knows you have no point to make.

The fact is, that the four channel plane is less stable, yes, there are some 4-channel planes with SOME dihedral, but I'll bet you can come up with just as many stupid posts that claim that a 4-channel plane with dihedral is a turkey as you can find stupid posts recommending that a completely unassisted newbie flier start with a four channel plane.

That's plain foolishness. Yes, you can find a person or two who did it and had pockets deep enough to survive the mistake, or who were darned lucky to be naturally over-talented and survived, but the landscape is littered with the dead bodies of the overwhelming majority who tried your idea and suffered defeat.

Why would you recommend abandoning a course almost guaranteed to bring success for one almost sure to bring failure. You like to help people fail? You're trolling, hoping for carnage?

The Hobby Zone Super Cub thread has 6492 posts, a good many of them by self-taught fliers helping each other. That is a testimony to the success of a great airplane. The Champ has a similar thread, proving its success rate in the same endeavor. Where are all the threads by newbies who successfully learned on four-channel planes? There aren't any! There won't be any! The truth is obvious and clear.

Hobby Zone Super Cub, Hobby Zone Champ, Multiplex Easy Star. That's just about the complete list (leaving out the Parkzone Radian) of unassisted newbie planes that you can succeed with. There might be one or two others we can talk about. All other planes need not apply.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 02:30 AM
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I'm just going by my personal experience, which was buying a Parkzone P51 as my first flyer and finding out that the basics of flying an RC plane are not nearly as difficult as you make them out to be. Yes my plane has been bashed around a bit, but replacement props are $6 and most everything else can be glued back together. A few hours on Phoenix made a huge impact on keeping orientation and setting up landings, the rest is just getting out to the field and flying.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 08:36 AM
buyer of the farm
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Originally Posted by Prone8 View Post
I'm just going by my personal experience...
I'll accept that. There are a few who have done that and due to having some previous building and repairing experience (we all used to start out with free flight airplanes) or just severe over-skill, make it work. You deserve a lot of credit for that.

But you make a serious mistake to think your experience extends to recommending the course you luckily survived to any randomly selected unassisted newbie. You're the guy who crossed an 8-lane super-highway blindfolded, somehow lived and are now recommending blindfolds as the standard method of crossing difficult roadways. I commend your skill, but caution others to avoid your method.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Prone8 View Post
I don't understand the logic that you should start out with a plane with no ailerons, only using the rudder to make turns, when as soon as you move up to an intermediate plane you will abandon the rudder entirely and fly only with the right stick. Better to start with aileron turns then learn to incorporate the rudder later, as it's use is much more subtle and situational.
Yes you don't and the hardest part of any learning curve is knowing what it is that you do NOT know and you obviously don't know the difference between a 3ch & a 4ch plane as it relates to going into out out of a turn...
Hint: it has nothing to do with which stick the rudder is on!!
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
Folks of ignorance: the right stick is used for primary roll control. On a learner 3 channel plane, that is the rudder. On a four-channel it gets the ailerons. Then the rudder, being a yaw control because you lack dihedral, moves to the left stick.

The point is that there is NO learning curve moving to a four channel plane. Your primary roll control is still on your, YOU GUESSED IT, right stick and the plane does the same thing when you twitch the stick that it did before. You're only sowing confusion when anyone with experience knows you have no point to make.

The fact is, that the four channel plane is less stable, yes, there are some 4-channel planes with SOME dihedral, but I'll bet you can come up with just as many stupid posts that claim that a 4-channel plane with dihedral is a turkey as you can find stupid posts recommending that a completely unassisted newbie flier start with a four channel plane.

That's plain foolishness. Yes, you can find a person or two who did it and had pockets deep enough to survive the mistake, or who were darned lucky to be naturally over-talented and survived, but the landscape is littered with the dead bodies of the overwhelming majority who tried your idea and suffered defeat.

Why would you recommend abandoning a course almost guaranteed to bring success for one almost sure to bring failure. You like to help people fail? You're trolling, hoping for carnage?

The Hobby Zone Super Cub thread has 6492 posts, a good many of them by self-taught fliers helping each other. That is a testimony to the success of a great airplane. The Champ has a similar thread, proving its success rate in the same endeavor. Where are all the threads by newbies who successfully learned on four-channel planes? There aren't any! There won't be any! The truth is obvious and clear.

Hobby Zone Super Cub, Hobby Zone Champ, Multiplex Easy Star. That's just about the complete list (leaving out the Parkzone Radian) of unassisted newbie planes that you can succeed with. There might be one or two others we can talk about. All other planes need not apply.
I'm curious if you've ever actually flown an airplane? I'm self taught on a 4 ch balsa high wing trainer. There is absolutely no reason to ever buy a 3CH trainer....period. An airplane is controlled by manipulation of it's lift vector. The Wright brothers perfected the 3 axis flight control methodology in use world wide today. While it has been surplanted by computer controlled FBW and thrust vector technology in military and other high end applications the traditional 3 axis control system still drives 99% of the worlds aircraft.

Yaw is not and never will be the correct way to manipulate lift vector in an aircraft specific to roll. There is nothing a champ can do with regard to "self correction" that an equivalent 4 CH trainer can't do equally well.

This does not imply that the champ is a bad aircraft, it's not. However it pales in comparison to a Sky Surfer (which can be flown as 3 CH BTW) or similar 4CH setup as a 1st plane
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TxToast View Post
I'm curious if you've ever actually flown an airplane? I'm self taught on a 4 ch balsa high wing trainer. There is absolutely no reason to ever buy a 3CH trainer....period. An airplane is controlled by manipulation of it's lift vector. The Wright brothers perfected the 3 axis flight control methodology in use world wide today. While it has been surplanted by computer controlled FBW and thrust vector technology in military and other high end applications the traditional 3 axis control system still drives 99% of the worlds aircraft.

Yaw is not and never will be the correct way to manipulate lift vector in an aircraft specific to roll. There is nothing a champ can do with regard to "self correction" that an equivalent 4 CH trainer can't do equally well.

This does not imply that the champ is a bad aircraft, it's not. However it pales in comparison to a Sky Surfer (which can be flown as 3 CH BTW) or similar 4CH setup as a 1st plane
There is so much wrong with what you say that I can't figure out where to start. Let's start with the Wright Brothers. The Wright Brothers purposely built a highly unstable aircraft that MUST be controlled every second, as the planes sole goal in life is to kill its pilot. That is why planes designed like the Wrights' pusher, reverse dihedral, so short coupled as to be nearly unflyable, unable to carry either many passengers or cargo, was abandoned on the dust heap of inadequate designs. The Wright Brothers' plane was suitable ONLY as a proof of concept that flying was possible.

Much as I admire the Wright Brothers for being the first to bring the scientific method to bear on how to fly and coming up with the three axis concept, their airplane with its wing warping stategy was a dead end, much like the dodo bird. When the Europeans began building self stabilizing tractor airplanes with fuselages we recognize as prototypical airplanes, THEN planes could actually be useful. A plane designed along the Wright Brothers planform was never seen again. Good riddance.

Rudder, by the way, and you know it, is the primary ROLL control in a three channel plane. Of course your statement above is correct, and totally irrelevant. Congrats.

If a four channel plane is a superior method of learning then it must have successfully taught hundreds of fliers who started mondo threads on RC Groups helping each other and showing how superior the four channel method is. All YOU have to do is link us! That will prove that you are right and I am wrong.

Otherwise all you have is "I blindfolded myself and crossed I-75 in Atlanta at 5:30 pm and survived." And then you are recommending blindfolds as a superior method of crossing busy Interstate Highways. We are not supposed to laugh at you.

Since 1979 I have built and flown an Airtronics Square Soar, flown Parkzone Vapor, Parkzone Radian, UM T-28 and built and fly a GWS Slow Stick NPS. However what I say is not based on my experience but on the collective experience of thousands of posts in threads written about appropriate aircraft to learn from, posts by people much more knowledgeable than I am (aeajr, for just one example), and attested by over 12,000 posts in Champ, Super Cub, Easy Star and Radian threads on multiple Internet RC forums.

Unlike your contention, my experience is not a factor in what is right or wrong. I am only concerned with what works and what doesn't for the unassisted non-building experienced newbie. The evidence says start with a learner three channel RTF. There is no evidence that the four channel planes are going to change that, ever.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by TxToast View Post
I'm curious if you've ever actually flown an airplane? I'm self taught on a 4 ch balsa high wing trainer. There is absolutely no reason to ever buy a 3CH trainer....period. An airplane is controlled by manipulation of it's lift vector. The Wright brothers perfected the 3 axis flight control methodology in use world wide today. While it has been surplanted by computer controlled FBW and thrust vector technology in military and other high end applications the traditional 3 axis control system still drives 99% of the worlds aircraft.

Yaw is not and never will be the correct way to manipulate lift vector in an aircraft specific to roll. There is nothing a champ can do with regard to "self correction" that an equivalent 4 CH trainer can't do equally well.

This does not imply that the champ is a bad aircraft, it's not. However it pales in comparison to a Sky Surfer (which can be flown as 3 CH BTW) or similar 4CH setup as a 1st plane
Your problem is that you don't fully understand things. Turning with rudder is a perfectly legitimate method of turning a 3ch RC plane.

You need to put you PPL away and listen to what people are telling you.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 06:15 PM
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As a medically retired private pilot I am suprised to read what an above poster said about the rudder being history. "You will never use it to turn again". I wonder if he has ever flown an airplane or taken 1 lesson. When you turn, your feet use the rudder pedals to keep your wings level. Not in all cases. Flying a ultra-lite with no ailerons will teach you the importance of the study and correct use of a rudder. Trust me! Just like flying a Cub, throttle, rudder and elevator. Tricky when you are in the plane, "flying go-kart". Dave
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 06:32 PM
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No one is mentioning the dihedral in the typical 3ch wing. That, as I understand it, is the reason the rudder induces the roll for turning. When you look at a typical 4ch wing there is much less, or no dihedral. I am of the opinion that a 3ch is THE way to learn. A S Cub is a great trainer, especially for those that are determined to go it alone. You/they can, later, flatten the wing and add ailerons to make it a decent 4ch plane. If someone has started on a, less than basic, plane with 4ch and have done well .... that is the odd duck. It just does not work that way for us Joe average guys!
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
Where are all the threads by newbies who successfully learned on four-channel planes? There aren't any! There won't be any! The truth is obvious and clear.
A bit of an overstatement in my opinion. I taught myself to fly with a 4CH Cessna 182 with no dihedral. Sure, if I could do it again, that's not the path I would take, but it worked.

While I agree with you that starting with a 3CH with plenty of dihedral might be the best way to go, I know for a fact it's not the only way to go.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 07:01 PM
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A 3ch plane is mind numbingly boring and will drive you mad. I highly doubt you are going to fly by yourself, if you are well good luck. Get a 4ch plane, a buddy lead and someone who can fly.

They take off, fly to a high altitude and pass the controls to you. The easiest way to learn is to make mistakes and correct them. At a high altitude you can't do anything wrong that will put the plane in danger. When it does going wrong the other pilot takes over puts it back level in high altitude and then back to you. Then they land when the battery is low or you need to rest.

You will be flying solo on a calm day in a few months to half a year doing this a few times a week. Going from a 3ch to 4ch is just as bad as starting to fly for the first time and will take you even longer to fly solo.
Here's two planes, both of them 3 channel.

Nothing boring about these planes at all.

Hobbyzone Champ crazy flying (5 min 6 sec)


Parkzone Radian Hover and Slow-flight (3 min 19 sec)
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 07:35 PM
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This is obviously a very touchy subject, and people seem to have a lot of emotional responses to it. I'm sorry if any of my replies have seemed flip. All I really have to go on is my own experience, I am in my late 30s and played with a lot of remote control cars & video games growing up, so the act of controlling a moving object with my thumbs wasn't that different from my other experiences. I had also played a fair amount of flight sim games, going back to good old F15 Strike Eagle in the late 80s to Falcon 3.0 in the 90s, along with countless space based video games. In pretty much every instance, the method of turning was to bank with your ailerons and hit the elevators.

So a few months back, when I decided to try out this RC plane thing, I bought a copy of my favorite WW2 fighter, the Mustang, and went down to the park. The first flight, I will be honest, was five minutes of sheer terror. The mechanics of flying the plane weren't all that difficult, but I hadn't counted on it moving so fast. In less than half a minute it was a speck on the horizon and I couldn't tell if it was coming back to me or still flying away. Eventually I got it back over my head and turned a few lazy circles with it before cutting the power, belly landing for the first time wasn't graceful but there was no damage done.
The next day I went out and bought Phoenix simulator, practiced a few hours, and my next flights were so much better. Funny enough, the very next time I went to the park, there was a guy flying a Super Cub 3 channel. I watched him fly for a few minutes before launching my own, and was immediately aware of two things: One, I was right in my initial appraisal that I'd get bored with the 3 channel too fast and have to buy another plane, and two, that the guy flying his Super Cub saw me flying my Mustang and wished he'd bought that instead.

So if the prevailing logic is that a 3 channel high wing is the best place to start, I won't argue. I just think that RTF foam planes are cheap enough that if you feel like pushing the envelope a little out of the gate, you can probably fudge your way through and still have a great time.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 07:43 PM
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There are those few that push for a plane that is above most of the newbies capabilities. Most of us need that 'boring" time to get into it and be comfortable. If you are "gifted", good for you, but so many try to get in over their head and quit. It is just a few bucks more to go at it in the "normal" way. Ya gotta pay to play.
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