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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:39 AM
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United States, NM, Los Lunas
Joined Jan 2012
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Buying a used Apprentice 15e

So I found a nice Apprentice 15e with a DX5e for sale for $100 and I am going to go and look at it tomorrow. Is this a good deal? They are $300 brand new but if I can replace some of the parts I will.I coulnd't find anything online on what to look for when I go to inspect it. I talked to him on the phone and he crashed it once, he said it did a nose dive and the hobby store pros helped him repair it. So I guess my question would be what am I looking for? This is my first plane and I want to know what to look for as far as wings, tail, motor, prop, damage? I want to make sure that when I take it out it is going to fly okay for me. Do I need to plug in the battery and make sure everything works? If anything I can buy all the parts that I need if something isn't right?
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 03:41 AM
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United States, OR, The Dalles
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If it is in decent shape it sounds like a good deal. I'd make sure the motor runs smoothly, as do all the control surfaces.

If you are just entering rc flying, it would be a good idea to hook up with a club. Maybe someone experienced would be willing to look at the plane.

Anyway, most any part you might need is a available. The motor is probably the most expensive part.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 03:56 AM
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Right on, it sounds like a good deal. I think this guy just didn't have time to fly it and has flown it a handful of times and crashed it once.
There is a club in my area and I have been going over to this field where I live every Saturday morning and talking to the guys over there. The president of the club is a trainer because I saw him using a buddy box with one of the other guys there. If I do decide to buy it I will be talking to him so he can help me get started. I have been flying helicopters for about 2 years now and I think it would be fun to own a few planes too. I don't think that I will be having any problems flying a plane. I just don't know too much about planes as I'm a helicopter guy.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 04:30 AM
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Sounds like you are well on the way to success.

You could have the guy test fly and trim the plane for you, and maybe buddy box a time or two...

The Apprentice is really a nice flying plane. A 3300 gives long flight times, it is tough, parts are available and reasonably priced, and it flies inverted and does basic aerobatic stuff well.

It's also fun on floats.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 12:17 PM
The wind caused that!!
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United States, OK, Poteau
Joined Jul 2012
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check the front nose gear, they are weak and tend to break where it mounts. the motor mount is very fragile, my thoughts is it's designed this way so it breaks away before you damage the firewall. the motor is NOT a power 15, its a plastic version and is a 15 size. being plastic it tends to crack the bell during a hard crash.

i would put a battery in it and make sure everything works. listen to the motor to make sure it doesn't make any weird sounds. make sure all the control surfaces work (my elevator servo went out on mine).

good thing about the apprentice is that all the parts are available, and the plane is pretty tough and flies great. i run the stock 3200MaH battery and can get 30 minutes of flight tiime if i'm not full throttle the whole time.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 08:14 PM
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30e would be considered?
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoghead5150 View Post
check the front nose gear, they are weak and tend to break where it mounts. the motor mount is very fragile, my thoughts is it's designed this way so it breaks away before you damage the firewall. the motor is NOT a power 15, its a plastic version and is a 15 size. being plastic it tends to crack the bell during a hard crash.
I've never had a problem with the nose gear or motor mount, but haven't crashed it. Also, the motor is metal now. The apprentice is a great plane that can stick with you for a long time. Even after you get to flying some pretty wild stuff, it's still fun and unstressful to put it up.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:38 PM
The wind caused that!!
hoghead5150's Avatar
United States, OK, Poteau
Joined Jul 2012
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nice to know the motor is metal now. i bought mine about 5 months ago and it's plastic. my brother has an apprentice also, and his is plastic.

the nose gear slides in a plastic hole and has a set screw that holds it tight. the screw has a tendency to loosen up and cause nose gear to wobble. don't over tighten it as it will strip the threads very easy.

i haven't crashed mine yet either, but my brother plowed his in nose first. a little glue, a new motor mount, cowl, and prop and it is good as new. the motor mount shattered, the firewall was left untouched!! it is a great plane, super fun to fly, and will do decent simple aerobatics.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:55 AM
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Okay, so I went over today and looked at it. I had him plug the battery in and test the motor. Motor sounded just fine. He didn't know anything about airplanes so when he crashed he took it to a hobby shop and they fixed it up pretty good. I talked him down to selling it to me for $80. So I took $20 that was left over, went to the hobby shop and purchased a spinner, new prop, and some glue.

I took it home, plugged everything in, tested all controls, everything looked good. I'm going to tinker with it some more to get all the trims right. The only thing is that the horizontal wing is not parallel to the main wing, it is tweeked just a little from when he crashed it, will that affect the flying? Or will I have to just trim it when flying? I don't know much about planes but I'm learning more and more.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 02:49 AM
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If the horiz stab is not warped, it probably won't effect how it flies. If in doubt, a set if replacement tail feathers is cheap.

I would suggest putting some blendurm (sp?) hinge tape on the ailerons, as the foam can crack there after a while. Mine has a ton of flights in it, though.

Also, larger wheels would be a worthwhile upgrade, especially if you have a bumpy or grass runway.

Sea plane supply has a great float set for the Apprentice.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 03:26 AM
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Going to probably take my Apprentice out on Saturday if the weather is nice and take it up. I am not sure if I did the trimming right? When I pugged in the battery, the ailerons, rudder and elevator were not lined up flush so I used the trim on the transmitter to make them flush. Was I supposed to do that or was I supposed to adjust the push rods to make them right?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmki81 View Post
Going to probably take my Apprentice out on Saturday if the weather is nice and take it up. I am not sure if I did the trimming right? When I pugged in the battery, the ailerons, rudder and elevator were not lined up flush so I used the trim on the transmitter to make them flush. Was I supposed to do that or was I supposed to adjust the push rods to make them right?
Especially if you had to use several clicks on your transmitter to center the controls, you would be better centering the trims on the transmitter and adjusting the pushrods to center controls. That is always the much preferred method, but if you only put one or two clicks in the transmitter to center, you might be ok. Much much better to have everything centered with no trim clicked in, then you have full travel both directions and all trim available if you ever had to use it.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 01:49 PM
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I think as long as you didn't have to input trims way out of center, I'd leave it where it is for now.

Once it has been test flown and trimmed in the air, then adjust the linkages if needed.

Once the plane is trimmed to fly straight in the air, you may find you have to adjust the nose wheel pushrod to get the plane to taxi straight.
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 02:34 AM
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How do I know if my trims are way out of the center point on the transmitter? I think there are different beeps right? I think i'm going to leave it for now till I can fly it. I haven't taxied it yet so I don't know how far everything is off. Wish me luck, going out this morning.....
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 06:30 AM
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There is a different beep when you are at center, and a different beep when you run out of trim.

Good luck. Do you have someone to assist?

P.S. be sure to start with the radio on low rates. With no expo, even on low rates the plane will be pretty sensitive. Think small stick movements.

The Dx5 actually does have expo, though. It is not adjustable (can only be turned on or off) and is at a fairly low level. Still, it would be worth activating.

1. Hold the aileron trim switch to the right when powering on the transmitter.
2. Release the aileron trim switch after a series of ascending tones to confirm that Expo is activated.
Deactivate Expo
1. Hold the aileron trim switch to the left when powering on the transmitter.
2. Release the aileron trim switch after a series of descending tones to confirm that Expo is deactivated.
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Last edited by JeffinTD; Nov 17, 2012 at 06:41 AM.
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