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Old May 08, 2012, 02:02 PM
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What's the best RC TRAINER ????

Hi guys this is my first post and i was wondering what the best RC Trainer would be with a wingspan around 1.6m .

I like the design of an Alpha 40 and a Seagull boomerang.

It has to be Balsa Though

Here's my other question : When i get one should i go straight into flying with that or should i build a nice little foamie to start of with ???

here's an example of a little foamie i might build
How to build a RC plane for $10 (part 1) (10 min 4 sec)


I'd be grateful for any replies
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Old May 08, 2012, 02:56 PM
"Landing" in a tree somewhere
Rochester, NY
Joined Sep 2009
946 Posts
Hi there,
The planes you listed are all nice but they are all four-channel planes. Unless you have someone who is going to be teaching you in a buddy box setup I'd recommend starting with a 3-channel trainer. You can build your first plane but having no experience in flying you may find it a bit more challenging especially if you run into a problem. Some nice 3-channel trainers that come ready to fly out of the box are the Hobbyzone Champ and the Hobbyzone Super Cub DSM. These planes tend to fly well right from the get go. Later once you get comfortable with it you can modify the super cub's wing, adding ailerons to it and learn to fly four-channels. Neither are quite 1.6m but typically with planes, the bigger they are the harder they fall (i.e. more severe damage in a crash). The flip-side of course is they won't tolerate as much wind as the bigger heavier planes but as a beginner it's not a good idea to be flying in moderate to heavy winds anyway.

If you still want to go ahead and experiment with that $10 foamy then I suggest building the wing with a dihedral and no ailerons. You can build another wing or modify the current one with ailerons once you've gotten more experience. Also you may want to increase the size of the elevator and rudder slightly since you'll be relying on them. Also if you haven't already, give the foamy (scratchbuilt) section of the forum a look. Lots of great plans and tips on building to be had there.

Whatever you go with make sure to read the Six Keys to Success and find a good size field with plenty of room especially for your first few flights. Good luck.
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Old May 08, 2012, 03:04 PM
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Thanks for that link it was really helpful . I might go with 3ch but 4ch will allow me to easily step up to a second plane whereas using no rudder or ailerons would mean i have to learn to use them on another plane . I'm unsure at the moment but i would certainly consider 3ch (probably cheaper too).
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Old May 08, 2012, 03:16 PM
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United States, CA, Rosemead
Joined Jan 2012
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Flyzone Sensei or Eflite Apprentice. I've only flown the Sensei so I can vouch for it.
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Old May 08, 2012, 04:02 PM
"Landing" in a tree somewhere
Rochester, NY
Joined Sep 2009
946 Posts
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Originally Posted by Mr ABC Rc View Post
Thanks for that link it was really helpful . I might go with 3ch but 4ch will allow me to easily step up to a second plane whereas using no rudder or ailerons would mean i have to learn to use them on another plane . I'm unsure at the moment but i would certainly consider 3ch (probably cheaper too).
A 3-channel trainer uses throttle, rudder and elevator. You would only have to learn to use ailerons on your second plane. Yes you're not going to be learning as much but that's the point. Beginners have an unfortunate tendency to be overconfident of their abilities when they've never even flown an r/c plane before and don't understand how challenging r/c flying can be sometimes (I mean no offense). Many pick out planes that would require them to learn a great many things all at once in order to fly. Quite often their first flights don't go well. By starting off with a 3-channel trainer, taking the time to make sure it's set up properly, flying it in a big open field with no wind, you remove quite a lot of different aspects of flying from the equation making your first few flights much much easier. I know you want to jump right in and start working your way up to that dream plane you have in mind but I strongly urge you to have some patience and take your time. You want to start off with only a few aspects of flying then gradually introduce new ones one or two at a time. Yes it'll take longer but you'll very likely have more success with it, not to mention fun. When you try to take on too much at once the results usually aren't very good.
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Old May 08, 2012, 04:13 PM
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thank you for your very helpful comments taking your advice you've conviced me to go 3ch. Do you have any 3ch planes in mind ???
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Old May 08, 2012, 04:24 PM
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United States, AZ, Mesa
Joined Jul 2007
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Originally Posted by Rayne View Post
A 3-channel trainer uses throttle, rudder and elevator. You would only have to learn to use ailerons on your second plane.
This is sort of misleading. It makes it sound as if the addition of another control makes the plane harder to fly. This is not true - it makes the plane easier to fly. Most people don't use the rudder on 4-channel planes anyway - making it effectively a 3-channel plane, and making it the same control actions as the R-E plane. You learn to turn and burn with the right stick and control airspeed with the left one, and it doesn't matter if you're flying R-E only or full house. This is now my 4th year as a club instructor, and I can tell you from personal experience, there is no need to start with a 3-channel plane and it isn't any easier. We do all our training on 4-channel trainers, and it's a huge advantage because after the student learns basic orientation instinct, we can dive right into *correct* flying with all 4 controls.

That said - the Super Cub is a solid trainer plane for people working without an instructor. The control layout is not the reason for that though. What makes it a good trainer is its durability, tolerance of setup errors, good power level, reliable performance, Spektrum, and it is an attractive model.
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Old May 08, 2012, 04:37 PM
"Landing" in a tree somewhere
Rochester, NY
Joined Sep 2009
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Originally Posted by jasmine2501 View Post
This is sort of misleading. It makes it sound as if the addition of another control makes the plane harder to fly. This is not true - it makes the plane easier to fly. Most people don't use the rudder on 4-channel planes anyway - making it effectively a 3-channel plane, and making it the same control actions as the R-E plane. You learn to turn and burn with the right stick and control airspeed with the left one, and it doesn't matter if you're flying R-E only or full house. This is now my 4th year as a club instructor, and I can tell you from personal experience, there is no need to start with a 3-channel plane and it isn't any easier. We do all our training on 4-channel trainers, and it's a huge advantage because after the student learns basic orientation instinct, we can dive right into *correct* flying with all 4 controls.

That said - the Super Cub is a solid trainer plane for people working without an instructor. The control layout is not the reason for that though. What makes it a good trainer is its durability, tolerance of setup errors, good power level, reliable performance, Spektrum, and it is an attractive model.
Perhaps but you forget a good trainer also is self-correcting, has great slow flying characteristics and is very stable too, you can't just buy any 4-channel plane and expect to learn to fly on one, especially not on your own. I still think planes that let you bank very easily can sometimes get you into a bit of trouble. Not all beginner pilots have the advantage of a good instructor coaching them.
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Old May 08, 2012, 04:54 PM
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ok i think we're all in agreement here that the super cub is the way to go
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Old May 08, 2012, 07:22 PM
Hot glue held together by foam
United States, WA, Vancouver
Joined Aug 2010
2,464 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr ABC Rc View Post
Hi guys this is my first post and i was wondering what the best RC Trainer would be with a wingspan around 1.6m .

I like the design of an Alpha 40 and a Seagull boomerang.

It has to be Balsa Though

Here's my other question : When i get one should i go straight into flying with that or should i build a nice little foamie to start of with ???

here's an example of a little foamie i might build http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv3D30RGT-g

I'd be grateful for any replies
The best chance for success for a beginner is a high wing trainer with dihedral or polyhedral ( wings angled up like a " V " ) for self - righting , and capable of flying slowly ( gives you time to react ) .
This would be a good one close to the size ( 1.6 m ) you mentioned http://crashtesthobby.com/products/albatross , or this larger one http://crashtesthobby.com/products/storm-chaser . But whatever you get , have someone experienced in RC help you set it up ( CG , trim , etc. ) .
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Old May 09, 2012, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by cmdl View Post
Flyzone Sensei or Eflite Apprentice. I've only flown the Sensei so I can vouch for it.
And I learned by myself with only a flight sim (RF6 on the "Nexstar EP"), and an Apprentice, and could not have been happier with the experience! The Sensei is an awesome alternative option from what i have seen/read. I would never train on a balsa! Maybe buddy-boxed...
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Old May 09, 2012, 12:54 AM
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Are there any good flight sims then that are free
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Old May 09, 2012, 04:37 AM
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United States, OR, The Dalles
Joined Apr 2011
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I would suggest buying a good quality simulator. It will more than pay for its self.

I started with Real Flight Basic, and later bought the full version. The full version is worth the extra.

I have a couple 3 channel planes, but I much prefer 4 channel and I don't think it is a problem to start with one. The Apprentice flies great, it is tough, parts are reasonable, and it flies inverted and does basic aerobatics well for a high wing trainer.
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Old May 09, 2012, 08:29 AM
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United States, GA, Cleveland
Joined Feb 2012
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I started with the Phoenix simulator last Christmas. I then bought an Apprentice 15e. I already have a few flights in with a friend who trimmed the plane (only took a few clicks of up elevator). I do think the simulator helps with muscle memory and getting used to the orientation of the plane

Support from Horizon Hobby was great. They replaced a dead servo in two days and even replaced the fuselage when I showed them that a bad linkage had burned the first servo out.
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Old May 09, 2012, 08:52 AM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmine2501 View Post
This is sort of misleading. It makes it sound as if the addition of another control makes the plane harder to fly. This is not true - it makes the plane easier to fly. Most people don't use the rudder on 4-channel planes anyway - making it effectively a 3-channel plane, and making it the same control actions as the R-E plane. You learn to turn and burn with the right stick and control airspeed with the left one, and it doesn't matter if you're flying R-E only or full house. This is now my 4th year as a club instructor, and I can tell you from personal experience, there is no need to start with a 3-channel plane and it isn't any easier. We do all our training on 4-channel trainers, and it's a huge advantage because after the student learns basic orientation instinct, we can dive right into *correct* flying with all 4 controls.
As usual Jasmine is correct, UNLESS YOU ARE AN UNASSISTED NEWBIE! When you are working with an instructor and a buddy box, there is no reason you can't learn with a 4-channel plane. Even with a 3-channel plane, you will learn more, have more fun, have less damage to repair with a qualified instructor. That is your 10 times important first choice in learning to fly.

The difference between flying a 3-channel plane and flying a 4-channel plane has nothing to do with ailerons. Both the 3-channel and 4-channel configurations have great roll control. On one, your roll control is the ailerons, on the other it is the rudder. On both planes, your primary roll control is put on your right stick for mode 2 transmitters. 4-channel it would be aileron, 3-channel you plug your rudder into the aileron position in the transmitter. You do not have to relearn to fly when changing from 3 to 4 channels. That is a HUGE misconception. With both, to roll the plane you deflect the right stick.

The big difference between the two types is the amount of dihedral in the wings. 3-channel planes have a large amount of dihedral angle, making the plane self-stabilizing. When you bank or roll the plane using the rudder, you must maintain deflection throughout the maneuver because as soon as you let go of the stick the plane automatically returns to straight and level flight. For the unassisted beginner, this can save your life. If you don't think a 3-channel plane can do lots of great maneuvers, my Slow Stick wants to have a conversation with you. You can actually do rolling circles with a 3-channel plane (it can, I can't yet!) and it is no more difficult (or easy for that matter!) than it is with 4 channels.

With the 4-channel plane, you have little or no self-correction. When you make a turn, you do not maintain aileron deflection throughout the turn. You release the stick when you are at the bank angle you want. To come out of the turn, you apply opposite aileron to unbank the plane, centering the stick when you are level. Your plane is just as happy in any angle of banking and has no mind of its own. You give it the command to bank knife edge and it will happily turn on its side, lose all lift and crash into the ground. If you can't see the orientation of the plane properly (a learning process for ALL of us) or don't know the correct control inputs to fix your problem you'll have a smoking hole in the ground in seconds.

So both kinds have roll control that works great. With ailerons you have more control over roll rate and can hold a roll angle better--better precision by far. But you give up an airplane that knows how to fly.

People who know how to fly call a 4-channel more controllable. That is the same as saying it is less stable and doesn't know how to fly by itself.

With an instructor, there's no reason not to start out with a Parkzone Trojan or build a decent flying balsa kit. Pay attention to the advice of your instructor on the plane. They'll also want to pre-flight check your plane, a function more important to you than the flying instruction! They'll immediately see little stuff that you would never find because all the parts and impacted into that proverbial crater and can't be analyzed any more. It doesn't matter how well YOU can fly if the plane is incapable of flying.

Learning without an instructor is possible, with correct plane selection, iron discipline, lots of research and good luck. Having an instructor is much more fun, you will learn faster, break less things...it just avoids the inevitable heartache of learning on your own. It's so much better to learn from other people's mistakes than live through your own!
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