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Old Jul 13, 2012, 11:12 AM
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United States, PA, Pittsburgh
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New to RC, Best WWII aircraft for under $200

Hello, I am currently looking into getting an RC airplane. I would like for it to be of the WWII era, more specifically the European theater. I would like for it to be under $200. This would include everything to get it flying including Radio, Transmitter, and whatever else is needed. This will be my first so I would like it to be fairly durable or at least very fixable AS crashing is going to be inevitable. Retractable landing gear is not necessarily a must but is certainly a plus.

Flight Exp:
I have flown single engine Cessna's several times before and I regularly play Flight simulators on my XBOX and PC. So I know how ailerons/elevator/rudders work. I also have experience building model airplanes, so I am not afraid constructing/painting it, if necessary.

Also is there anything I should know or look for? I have gathered that the Brushless motors are better than the brushed ones.

Kits I'm currently looking at include:
P-51:
http://www.nitroplanes.com/60a-dy8939-p51-rtf-24g.html
Spitfires:
http://www.nitroplanes.com/60a-dy894...e-rtf-24g.html
http://www.nitroplanes.com/60a-dy893...2-rtf-24g.html
http://www.hobbytron.com/ParkflyersS...CAirplane.html
http://www.nitroplanes.com/93a252-sp...g-fixgear.html
Luftwaffe:
http://www.nitroplanes.com/gl602-me1...ProductReviews
http://www.nitroplanes.com/60a-dy895...9-rtf-24g.html
http://www.nitroplanes.com/60a-dy894...-eretract.html
http://tinyurl.com/7feoee9

Or is there any other kits/planes that you guys would suggest?
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 12:02 PM
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NE Texas
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You would do well to start with something like a Supercub or Champ. Yeah, I know, it's not the cool-looking WW II fighter type you had in mind. However, unless you start with a trainer, you're very likely to be carrying your cool-looking plane home in a trash bag.

Noting your flying experience as "a few single engine Cessnas", please take it from one who has a couple of thousand hours in Cessnas, Luscombes, Pipers, Beechcraft, ultralights and a few others. That experience is absolutely worthless when it comes to RC flying. The major difference is the absence of sensory input. In a real plane, you have all of your senses helping you to interpret and react to the aircraft. In RC you have your eyes as the only sensory input. Not much help.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyfellow View Post
Hello, I am currently looking into getting an RC airplane. I would like for it to be of the WWII era, more specifically the European theater. I would like for it to be under $200. This would include everything to get it flying including Radio, Transmitter, and whatever else is needed. This will be my first so I would like it to be fairly durable or at least very fixable AS crashing is going to be inevitable. Retractable landing gear is not necessarily a must but is certainly a plus.
You don't have the skills to fly a warbird right now, you are going to have to start with a plane that is designed for beginners. Your second plane can be a warbird, but there aren't very many good quality ones under $200. Adding accessories like retractable gear might seem cool but it's usually more of a pain than it's worth, unless you are building a large scale model - bigger than 20%. On little planes, retracts just add weight and complexity and become another thing that can fail.

Quote:
Flight Exp:
I have flown single engine Cessna's several times before and I regularly play Flight simulators on my XBOX and PC. So I know how ailerons/elevator/rudders work. I also have experience building model airplanes, so I am not afraid constructing/painting it, if necessary.
Immaterial - your full scale skills will not help you here. Full scale flying is a mental activity, and RC flying is a physical skill - for the most part, we are flying on instinct, not thinking it through. Jocks are better at this than geeks.

None of those planes are appropriate for beginners. They are marketed to beginners and personally, I believe that these companies hurt the hobby more than they help. They are selling cheap stuff which requires an expert touch to make it work right, if it's not defective in the first place, and they are saying that things are beginner appropriate when they are not. Banana Hobby and Nitroplanes are only interested in getting one sale out of you - they don't care if you become a life-long customer. They are depending on the fact that you don't know anything about the hobby yet, and they wow you with seemingly detailed aircraft which are mostly fluff, and low prices which reflect very little except their lack of quality.

You are going to need to do this like everyone else - get a trainer plane, get some instruction preferably from a real life person, and learn to fly an easy plane, then get the high performance stuff.

http://jazzyflight.blogspot.com/2007...g-started.html - Please read - for someone in your position I would suggest a Slow Stick or one of the new ultra-micro planes. You have two skills to learn - building and flying, and you can do those in any order. With the micro stuff you can learn to fly first because they are almost always perfect right out of the box.

This is the popular micro trainer right now - http://www.horizonhobby.com/products/champ-rtf-HBZ4900
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Ok, thanks for the input. I will have to rethink my approach to getting started with RC airplanes.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 12:27 PM
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NE Texas
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If it makes you feel any better about your WW II urge, the Slow Stick comes with German Iron Cross decals you can put on the wings. Or you could buy a Super Cub and paint it up like a WW II L-4.

As Jasmine said, the Champ would be an excellent beginner because it's small, forgiving, tough and cheap.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Spyfellow View Post
Ok, thanks for the input. I will have to rethink my approach to getting started with RC airplanes.
Just get started the right way, and your second plane can be one of these...
http://parkzone.com/Products/Default...ProdID=PKZ5980
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 01:09 PM
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United States, CA, Rosemead
Joined Jan 2012
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my 2 cents. shortest path to wwii warbird: hz super cub -> hz super cub with ailerons mod and flat wings -> hz sc with 480 brushless -> pz t28 (where i'm at) ->....
i hope some day to fly the spitfire

of course, there are probably much better paths the veterans here can suggest. just mentioning what i thought was quick enough for me.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 01:24 PM
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Australia, SA, Evanston Park
Joined Mar 2010
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Well done spy fellow, you will soon see why these good people have giving you good advise, and you are clearly smart enough to listen, this will help you achieve your dream of the ww2 warbirds so much quicker.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 01:27 PM
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United States, OR, Canby
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Originally Posted by wingspann View Post
Noting your flying experience as "a few single engine Cessnas", please take it from one who has a couple of thousand hours in Cessnas, Luscombes, Pipers, Beechcraft, ultralights and a few others. That experience is absolutely worthless when it comes to RC flying. The major difference is the absence of sensory input. In a real plane, you have all of your senses helping you to interpret and react to the aircraft. In RC you have your eyes as the only sensory input. Not much help.
I think I'll have to disagree somewhat with this. After reading many posts by people who fly RC but have never flown full scale, it seems many accidents, especially first time flights, but also by more experienced RC pilots are the result of not understanding how and why an airplane flies and proper use and function of the controls or even the effects of headwinds and tailwinds.

I don't have thousands of hours in full scale but I give my flying experience credit for not crashing my first palnes which were 4 channel foam warbirds on their first flights including maybe 1/2 hour of sim. time. Sure I have crashed them but mostly when I got into a panic situation and flying outside my skills even for full scale.

I then moved into glow and gas powered planes and they have all survived...so far

Sometimes all those extra senses being used in FS aircraft lead to accidents as well...trust your instruments, not your butt.

Just my take on it, YMMV.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 01:41 PM
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I think I'll have to disagree somewhat with this. After reading many posts by people who fly RC but have never flown full scale, it seems many accidents, especially first time flights, but also by more experienced RC pilots are the result of not understanding how and why an airplane flies and proper use and function of the controls or even the effects of headwinds and tailwinds.
Problem is, you don't have time to think about that kind of stuff while you are flying. With full scale planes you kinda do, but with these, by the time you think the word angle of attack, your plane is in the ground. It is instructive after the crash though.

Quote:
Sometimes all those extra senses being used in FS aircraft lead to accidents as well...trust your instruments, not your butt.
Sure yeah, I can't believe those guys crashed that Airbus, for five minutes straight, they were crashing for five minutes straight and didn't realize it. Don't they teach instrument flying anymore? I would think that for the whole five minutes, their AH said "up" and the VSI said "down" and isn't everybody supposed to know that means you're low on power or AOA is too high? With RC planes you don't have five straight minutes to think about that stuff.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by wingspann View Post
If it makes you feel any better about your WW II urge, the Slow Stick comes with German Iron Cross decals you can put on the wings. Or you could buy a Super Cub and paint it up like a WW II L-4.

As Jasmine said, the Champ would be an excellent beginner because it's small, forgiving, tough and cheap.
Call me vain but I do like this idea the thought of flying around a yellow banana does seem as cool/appealing.

Do these have any possible upgrades? Or is it better just to save and get a better plane once i feel comfortable flying them.

Also it appears as though it does not have ailerons, how does it bank/turn?
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 02:03 PM
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Call me vain but I do like this idea the thought of flying around a yellow banana does seem as cool/appealing.

Do these have any possible upgrades? Or is it better just to save and get a better plane once i feel comfortable flying them.
The Hobbyzone Super Cub is a very basic airplane, which means it can be modified easily. It's made of foam and doesn't have a ton of detail, which means it can be painted. It is "chunky" rather than "elegant" which means it can be repaired from almost any damage. It is a good all-around beginner plane because very little can go wrong with it, and when it does, the damage is easily fixed. It's on the small side (and it's simple), so parts and upgrades can easily be found and mostly are low-priced.

The down side of it is that it's quite a bit less convenient than the Champ (which can also be painted with a light weight ink) because it's bigger, and it requires a large area to fly, particularly with a beginner at the sticks. You need two football fields to fly a Super Cub, but even a beginner can handle the Champ in a T-ball infield. You have to think about the mechanics of "going to fly" here. When you own a Super Cub, you have to find a time when the wind is low and you can go to the park and then get lucky enough to find the park relatively empty so you don't kill anyone. Half the time, you'll drive to the park to go fly and it will be windy by the time you get there, or it will be full of kids and dogs and not safe to fly. With a Champ, you can wait till the wind is light and then step out your door and fly in your yard, and if the wind comes up, it's not a big deal because you haven't put in a ton of effort finding a flying area.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 02:14 PM
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Oh also... just forget about having good looking planes. In your price range, you might find something that looks good on the web site, but those photos are carefully shot. If you want to have good looking planes you have to spend more money. Some beginner planes look good right out of the box, but they don't stay looking good for long. High quality ($$$) wood planes look good for many years, but looks are not a consideration for someone at your skill level. Go read my blog - there's photos of what planes actually look like.

These are moderately good looking planes in the photos... they are pricey, and not forgiving for beginners. I don't fly scale stuff, but this gives you an idea of the finish on real planes photographed by regular people, not the marketing department....
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 02:26 PM
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Problem is, you don't have time to think about that kind of stuff while you are flying. With full scale planes you kinda do, but with these, by the time you think the word angle of attack, your plane is in the ground. It is instructive after the crash though.
True things do happen fast with RC planes. My first takeoff with my first plane, a PZ Corsair was wild, it turned hard left once airborne yet with plenty of airspeed (and never had it happen again), to make matters worse it was on a baseball field and was heading for the backstop! I still managed a 270* turn to get it out of trouble. Now it wasn't my honed instincts from 5 uneventful sim. flights that saved it, I think it was the fact I knew what to do with the controls when the plane did something...plus a handful of luck too.

OTOH I suck at inverted flight, I "know" what I'm supposed to do but can't seem to put the head knowledge to practice. Never flew full scale inverted either.

At the same time a friend of mine who started in RC shortly after I did and has no FS flight experience, spends much more time on the sim than I do and can do a passable job of flying inverted, has a basket full of crashes and rebuilds (all balsa) under his belt, last one just a few days ago, and most are from bad takeoffs followed by landings. The only difference I can see is that I have experience and knowledge flying FS that he lacks.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jasmine2501 View Post
Oh also... just forget about having good looking planes. In your price range, you might find something that looks good on the web site, but those photos are carefully shot. If you want to have good looking planes you have to spend more money. Some beginner planes look good right out of the box, but they don't stay looking good for long. High quality ($$$) wood planes look good for many years, but looks are not a consideration for someone at your skill level. Go read my blog - there's photos of what planes actually look like.

These are moderately good looking planes in the photos... they are pricey, and not forgiving for beginners. I don't fly scale stuff, but this gives you an idea of the finish on real planes photographed by regular people, not the marketing department....
Well I think the Parkzone Warbirds look very nice IMO. I now understand I should just jump to one of these just yet, but when I do, I think they will be more than enough to satisfy my need for a sweet looking plane. They retail for around $200(+/- $50) well within my original price range.


Also how does the Champ control roll with no ailerons? I assume you can only use yaw to turn the plane?
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