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Old Dec 15, 2004, 06:29 AM
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Chester New Jersey
Joined Dec 2004
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Newbie with 8 year old looking to fly!

I am looking for another hobby to do with my 8 year old daughter and I bet she would really love RC flying. I am looking at a electric starter kit that I can learn and teach her as well. I have two questions - 1. should I get a less expensive model like the Firebird Scout, or one with some extra's like the T-Hawk. It seems like having replaceable parts is important! 2. should I get a "buddy" remote control so I can help her while she is flying? If so, are there kits with this option available? Thanks.
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 07:40 AM
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Tampere, Finland
Joined Nov 2004
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How serious are YOU about this?
I got myself a radio and charger that will allow me a lot of room to grow. That is not the cheap way, to start with, though.
On the other hand, if you start cheap and then want to progress into something more demanding, you will have to get the more advanced gear anyway. You would still have the cheap gear from a "ready set" but I am not sure you could use it in another plane.

I hope your heart does not break if your daughter comes to the conclusion that this is not her thing.

How much are you willing to spend? Nobody said R/C airplanes are cheap. In the end, you have to make the decision.

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Old Dec 15, 2004, 07:42 AM
an earth bound misfit, I
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St. Pete, Florida
Joined Sep 2001
9,429 Posts
The T-Hawk would be a great way to start. It always gets very good reviews here by people who fly them. Another good option might be the ParkZone Slow-V. It's easier to fly since it's slower, but on the other hand can't handle the wind as well.

I strongly suggest downloading the free FMS flight simulator and practicing on the computer before flying. It really helps with the orientation and apparent control reversal when flying away from or towards yourself.

After a little sim time don't be surprised if your daughter can fly better than you. Kids seem to pick it up very quickly.

Welcome to RC Groups!

Some FMS links:
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 07:59 AM
WAA pilot #21
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Princeton NJ
Joined Dec 2003
3,166 Posts
None of the ready-to-fly packages have radios with buddy-box jacks...that i know of anyway. In your situation i dont think thats all that necessary though.
You could easily stand behind her with your arms around her and hold the controller, taking over when necessary.
I vote for the thawk, slow v or slowstick.
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 09:20 AM
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Snohomish County, Wa.
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I've been using a SlowStick to teach my 8 and 11 year olds. This is after their grandfather bought them a RatShack/Megatech hunk of junk last xmas. It smashed itself to pieces on it's first attempt at levitation. When then moved onto a Firebird, which was marginally more controllable - meaning that I (a licensed commercial pilot) could keep it within the park and somewhat under control for a minute or two at a time. Finally did what we should have done in the first place, which was to read this forum for a couple of weeks, and bought a SlowStick. It's been up and away ever since, particularly for my credit card bill (as I've gotten myself hooked).

There's lot of info in this forum on both the Slowstick, and it's new competitor, the Slo-V. I won't repeat it all.

W.r.t a buddy box, we tried it without one initially, and it didn't really work out very well. I either had to grab the box out of their hands prematurely, or I waited until they were so close to the (tree, fence, ground) that my limited skills (remember, you're a beginner too) couldn't pull off a recovery. Doesn't help that we have pretty limited space to fly in here, if you have lots of space (multiple soccer fields worth) your experience might be different.

My kids are both pretty bright, but they still get confused/disoriented more often than I think an adult would. And their confidence it pretty easily shaken.

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Old Dec 15, 2004, 09:35 AM
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Southern MA. USA
Joined Jan 2003
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My situation was much like yours, my grandson and his dad ( my son ) were playing with toy r/c planes they picked up at wallmart, they were cheap toys and really didn't fly very well or very long, time measured in seconds.

Well it looked like fun so I bought a FireBird 2 and a fireBird XL and and got some stick time, but the real help came in the form of a G/P Gen.2 flight simulator, my grandson was nine years old and his gramps was sixty and we learned to fly together with that simulator, It's allot better than throwing a real plane in the air only to watch it crash into more pieces than you care to pick up, not that we all don't crash from time to time, we do... grin.., but their easyer to take when you learn how to fix them.

So my friend for the bottom line , my suggestion is spend a couple hundred bucks on a good r/c simulator and learn to fly with your little girl, doing it together will be both fun and rewarding, you will get to fly many different models, that will help you to chose the right plane for your first plane, it will also allow you to fly when the weather is too bad to take your favorite plane out in, also while you are learning on your simulator take some time on the E-zone and learn a little about batteries, motors, ESC's, RX's and radios and chargers.
That's my best advice, my next best is don't be in a hurry, take your time and enjoy the process of learning.

PS. Don't be surprised if your daughter outflys you right from the get-go....Grin.., most kids do.

Have fun with it,
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 10:18 AM
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Multiplex Easy Star ARF Review - Flying Model Simulator - EasyStar Zip File
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 11:52 AM
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Snohomish County, Wa.
Joined Jul 2004
365 Posts
Another plane that is worth mentioning is the Mountain Model Magpie - see the thread at http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...3&page=1&pp=15.

Other than the GWS SlowStick, all my planes are Mountain Models, and I'm definitely one of cadre of devoted MM believers in this forum. Doug designed the Magpie specifically for his daughter. Neither the Slowstick or the Magpie is going to be ready to fly out of the box, but neither takes more than a couple of hours for even an incompetent such as myself to put together. Unlike the Slo-V, they both will use "standard" electronics - receiver, servos, batteries, transmitter. In case you haven't figured out yet, that's where all the money in this sport goes to. The basic airframe is very cheap - most electric planes are in the $50 range for the bare plane. For example, Slowsticks retail for around $40. Now in flying form, I've seen $150 Slowsticks, and I've seen $400 Slowsticks (and that wasn't counting the value of the camcorder strapped to it!). It all depends on how much you want to throw into higher-quality electronics (and of course, brushless motors).

Can't believe it - finally a sunny, calm day here. I think I feel a "Panic attack" coming on at lunch time.

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Old Dec 15, 2004, 12:21 PM
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T-hawk gets my vote..ecspecially if its for any child under the age of 14. not only does the t-hawk have the ability to go about 20mph..but it is also quite a good glider once you get it up a few hundred feet..you can shut down the motor and glide like a bird...whcih helps to teach flight/flying skills even more.very resilent plane too..its made from a tough plastic..almost indestructible...my 2nd choice would be sky-scooter..but thats a bit more advanced and is made of foam...not as forgiving in a crash...
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 12:53 PM
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Detroit City, Michigan, United States
Joined Oct 2003
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I agree with every one on the SIM, and just have to say, the T-Hawk is one of the best beginner planes around, it comes with standard Electronics so you can replace the cheap toy band Tx (27Mhz transmitter.) with a Hobby Quality 72 Mhz radio. If you want to use a Buddy Box, I would suggest getting the T-Hawk with out Radio, with NiMh, and the AC Adapter, found here second from the top. Either a Hitec Laser 4 and a Hitec Neon SS or two of the Neon's if you want to cut off about six dollars. Either way you'll need something like A Hitec HFS-04MG and will need a Hitec Single Conversion Crystal if you chose that Rx. You will also need a Trainer Plug and Switch Upgrade and a Hitec one way Trainer Cord right at the Top. Total should be $168.74 for every thing at Servo City. The total from RTFF.com should be between $145.95 to $151.95 depending on where you live. Total for the Purchase would be No Higher than $320.69.

I Know it is a Bit much for an entrance into the Hobby, but the Laser should last you a good two or three years and the Neon is always useful for those more simple planes like a Flying wing which only need three channels and Elevon Mixing.

Best of luck to you, I am sure you and your daughter will love the Hobby.
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 01:06 PM
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Only one winner the 'easystar'.
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 02:26 PM
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We started with an RC AirHog. It still flies despite nosing in from 150 ft. up. Cheap, too. The Aerobird was likely a WOM as a second plane.
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 09:35 PM
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Greenville North Carolina U.S.
Joined Dec 2004
12 Posts
I fly a aerobird challenger and im 11..Make sure to give support. I couldnt of made it this far without my dad(even though he didnt know how to fly we came in together).
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 10:51 PM
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Joined Jan 2003
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Depends on how serious you are, how much you want to spend, and whether there is a competent pilot who can offer help.

For a nice taste, Try a FB Scout or FB Commander.
For a bit more serious approach, try an Aerobird Challenger
If you have a helper or some Sim experience, Try a Slo V

My 2 cents
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Old Dec 16, 2004, 09:24 AM
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Ithaca, NY USA
Joined Mar 2001
4,371 Posts
We have put together a complete package for the Magpie for first time flyers. It has a Hitec Laser 4 transmitter, two KAN650 batteries, a GWS MC2002 charger, etc., in other words, reusable components. I can't remember the price and I'm not at the shop at the moment, but I believe it is around $275.

For someone who is serious about getting started, I feel this is a great way to do it. The Magpie is one of the easiest planes to fly and is upgradeable to ailerons as you gain experience, and this package won't be obsolete as soon as you step up to your next plane.

The complete package isn't on the website yet - I'm in the middle of upgrading the site - but if you are interested, drop me an email.

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