Look at the first video at http://www.combatwings.com/catalog/video_electric.php
I had flown for 34+ years and was looking for planes to teach my sons when I stumbled on this site. I had never seen planes so indestructible. EPP was new to me although I had cut foam for years. This was two or three years ago and all 3 of the boys learned to fly well with the XE2s without destroying their first EPP plane. All of the planes are still flyable. The boys hit trees, buildings, parking lots and even have taken them into combat which we do in our club and the planes have survived.
The nature of the EPP foam has also protected the radio. We have not had to replace a ESC, servo or receiver. Everyone learning will crash. An EPP wing provides a cushion with the soft foam front and the motor in the back so less impact damage occurs with a crash. You can't fly if your plane is broken.
Some people don't know that if you can fly a flying wing you can fly a conventional plane even though the set up is very different the radio controls are the same. Once you can fly well with an EPP wing you are ready to go try every plane that interests you. Try the conventional military scale, flatfoam and balsa planes. Half the hobby is experimentation of the possibilities and enjoyment of a variety of planes. Just make your learning mistakes on a bouncy rather than brittle plane.
Look at the EPP deltas at www.superflyrc.com. Watch their videos. I was helping a newbie last week who was learning with a Superfly and was impressed with how easy it was to build and to fly. The Superfly will fly real slow and won't stall. These EPP planes also protect the radio and motor.
I have been one of the club trainers for a long time and have watched to many people buy cheap equipment and either drop out of the hobby or turn around and spend more money to get something that really can fly.
If you fly too simple of a plane you will always fly like a beginner and won't advance as quickly. Believe it or not a higher power plane is easier to fly than an underpowered plane because you are much less likely to stall.
I recommend that from the very first you go brushless motors. I know they are more expensive but they are so much better and don't wear out like the brushed motors. We now have brushed motor ESCs and motors that we haven't used for years.
We made the switch from gas planes to brushed motors then had to switch again to brushless. We also went from gas to NiMH then Lipo batteries which also cost a lot of money to upgrade. If you are going to do it do it right the first time.
Late note: Don't use colored packing tape on EPP. Spray a coat of 3M77 adhesive spray over the entire surface to be covered, let it dry overnight, then iron on Ultracoat. It stays stuck and makes the plane even stronger.
Many will recommend the tape because it is easier and faster to install. They don't tell you that it comes loose with time.
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
Flying is not a natural thing for people. We are accostomed to being attached to a solid surface where we move in two dimmensions. Then we put a device in the air that moves in 3 dimmensions in a moving fluid. This thing moves independent of our position. How do you relate to that device, your airplane or Heli?
I try to project myself into the plane, be the pilot in the cockpit. This is also not a natural thing to do. How many of us have ever had to do that in any other situation.
But that is part of what makes this so rewarding. When you take this unnatural situation and mange to get it under control, you have a genuine feeling of accomplishment.
Regardless of whether you are flying a thermal duration glider, a small electric plane, a helicopter or a giant scale gas plane, this is not a natural act.
It feels good to know you have been able to gather the skills required to be successful.
Joined Jun 2007
Wow! Just finished reading this thread. Great information for someone wanting to get into this hobby. Now I need to research radios and sims. No sense in investing in a plane until I have a radio, and a feeling that I might actually get it off the ground and back without crashing. Thanks for the hints on which planes to start with.
Wonder how much hard drive I have left with all the 'saving' I've done on this thread.
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
No need to buy a Used Radio
I have a very specific position on radios. Don't buy a Standard Radio!!!
Computer radios are now so inexpensive and offer so much more than standard
radios that it doesn't make sense to get anything but a computer radio.
get me wrong, there are many good standard radios, but for only a few bucks
more you get a much more capable computer radio that can do more for you
any standard radio and can save you money by time you get the second plane.
They can also make it easier to fly your plane, perform aerobatics and more.
Below are five radios. All will fly your typical parkflyer. All but the
can also be purchased with larger servos suitable for larger planes and
gliders. Two are standard radios, for the uncommitted or low budget first
time flyer. These will get your plane off the ground with very basic radio
features for a low price. Each package I list include radio, micro servos,
Hitec Neon 3 - 3 channel standard radio $59
2 micro servos, micro receiver, switch, etc
For $19 you can add a trainer port to this:
This package is such good value for that first 3 channel ARF or kit, if you
can't afford a computer radio. ( more on that later ) If you bought the
two servos and the receiver by themselves, that would come to about $60. So
this is about as cheap as you can get into a hobby grade radio that will fly
three channel R/E/T or A/E/T parkflyer or 3 channel
glider ARF or kit plane. It also does not include rechargeable batteries
which the others do. You run this one on standard AA batteries.
It includes mixing for flying wings or V-tail 3 channel planes as well as
servo reversing. It does not have ATV/EPA or dual rates, however these can
be added later at extra cost. . You can also add a trainer port for
use with an instructor or to connect to a flight simulator. You can add a
4th channel but it is limited so don't think of this as a 4 channel radio.
can't fly a 4 channel plane.
Hitec Laser 4 - 4 Channel Standard Radio $113
My minimum recommended 4 channel standard radio for A/E/R/Throttle
parkflyer, glow plane or 4 channel glider. Radio, micro receiver, 3 micro
servos, Switch harness, etc. It will fly a 4 channel aileron plane.
and Elevon mixing, servo reversing, ATV on ch 1&2 . Also has a trainer port
that can be used with fight simulators or a buddy box.
While the Laser is a good radio, pick the Laser 4 only if you are unsure you
will continue in the hobby and want to spend as little as possible to get a
4 channel plane into the air. Not my recommendation for a committed flyer
who plans to continue in the hobby.
COMPUTER RADIOS - Much Better Choice
In short, computer radios give you things like model memories, exponential,
a variety of surface mixes and more; features not found on standard radios.
Your computer radio can store the profile for many planes and reset itself
for each plane by just selecting the model. Standard radios don't have
memories or a lot of the other features that computer radios offer. With a
computer radio, you only need one radio to fly a bunch of planes, rather
than dedicating a radio to each plane, or resetting the radio each time you
change planes. Computer radios are great! In the end, they are cheaper.
more convenient AND can make it easier for a new flyer to learn to fly.
These are all 6 channel radios so they will let you fly more advanced planes
then either of the radios above.
Spektrum DX 6 - $199 - For the committed Parkflyer pilot
If your plans are to fly small to medium sized electrics, often called
parkflyers, hand launched gliders with wing spans under 60 inches, this
might be your best choice. The DX6 is suitable for flying within 2000 feet
out. That is about 5-7 football fields away. This is more then enough for
these plane and further than most people will fly them.
It has a nice mix of features, 10 model memories and is backed by Horizon
Hobby, so you can be confident of good service. You will never worry about
channel conflict again. This promises to be the RC technology of the
Digital DSMT Spread Spectrum Modulation
10 model memories, dual rates, exponential, 6 channels, 8 standard mixes and
three programmable mixes. No crystals needed and no channel conflict
DX6 Flight experience thread
More information on DX6 - Spektrum
AMA on 2.4 GHz SS
Futaba 6 EXAS - Entry Level 6 Channel Computer Radio - $150
micro receiver, 3 micro servos, Switch
Receiver in this package is not appropriate for sailplanes or glow planes.
OK for parkflyers/low speed electrics.
The Futaba 6EXAS is an entry level computer radio for the committed flyer
who also plans to fly glow planes, thermal duration gliders or electrics
over 60" wing span. Six channels, 6 model memories, a good mix of
features and convenience that will carry you a long way. The link is to a
is good for parkflyers, but there are other packages if you need
components for larger planes. For about $30 more than the Laser 4 radio you
are miles ahead in capability!
Airtronics VG 6000 - $170
This particular package is very attractive for small electrics. Comes with
two small servos AND a 20 amp ESC. 6 channels, 4 model memories, a good mix
of features to carry you forward. The VG 6000 is also available with larger
components so it can also fly glow planes, and TD gliders that need greater
range than the DX6 offers.
There are lots of other good choices in computer radios that have more
channels, more features and a higher price. however these would be
excellent choices for the first time radio buyer or someone stepping up from
RTFs who knows they will continue in the hobby.
What you need to know about receivers:
Good article on radios from the Torrey Pines Gulls Web Site.
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
Advice needed . . .I have read through a lot of the forums here, so I have a bit of an idea what I need to do. I have this plane coming in the next couple of days:
Now, from what I have read, it may be a little more than I bargained for! Certainly doesn't sound like much of a trainer. Anyway, I would like to at least make an effort to fly it. Any good tips for me, other than what is in this thread already?
I have FMS, and downloaded the PZ P51D model. Unfortunately I only have a standard joystick, so It isn't ideal for learning. This got me wondering, how are the controls set up on a 4 channel tx?
As for experience? Not much, I'm afraid . . I have a Havoc Heli (Picoo Z) and a Blade Runner. I have also used MS flight sim for years. Other than that, I'm a bit of a newb! I plan on hitting the field and trying some takoff/landings, and maybe a little bit of actual airtime, depending on how it goes, but I don't anticipate I'll get much. I'll be happy just coming home without repairs.
So, any advice on flying this bird?
Joined Oct 2002
Also, experience with what you are buying comes to mind.....don't misunderstand me....the model looks great and best of all (in comparision with GWS), it comes fully assembled with power system and radio gear all installed, however......
Airplane (90% assembled)
4 Channel Multifunctional Radio Transmitter
Wall Battery Charger
High Quality Rechargeable 8.4V 600mah Ni-MH Battery <------
I am pretty sure that the carbon brushed motor they are shipping with the model is the Mabuchi 370, 7.2Volt, which is a good motor and has good torque as oppose to the 6.0Volt version. Also, the gearbox ratio must be around 5:1 since I see a very large propeller ( estimate a 10 X 8 slow flyer).
The only thing I see a weakness is the very low capacity 7-Cell, 600mAH, Ni-MH as I fear it is AAA-size and carries the highest internal resistance due to size. (From the picture of that Web Site you provided it is hard to determine what size battery cell they will be supplying), on the other hand if it's the 2/3A size then, it will provide a very good delivery of AMP (current) and it should do well.
I will make sure that:
1. The battery pack would need to be carefully cycled for the first couple of charges such as at the lowest AMP (current setting) to alllow the battery actively accepting a charge say around 0.2 of an AMP for the first couple of charges and after that I would not surpass 6/10 of an AMP or 0.6 AMP rate setting there after.
2. The large propeller, 10 X 8, will provide lots of thrust at wide open and good airspeed but, you need to make sure that you don't fly this model to the very end of the battery charge if you want to land her under power, otherwise expect a dead stick landing.
3. You need to be very careful in applying the elevator throw (little as possible or per instructions) as this model does tip stall if you apply too much up elevator because of it's short Fuse length.
4. Assuming you do feel comfortable flying this particular model and be successful with all the SIM training then, later for more airspeed (spirited RC Flying) I would recommend to get a different propeller such as the 9X7 "and" 8-cell, AAA-size, 720mAH, Ni-MH's.
My recommendation is to first try and fly Rudder+Elevator high wing model first and then, after you are very capable with lots of flights then, the Mustang.
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
Low wing planes are designed for aerobatics not for training. While it is possible that, with lots of sim time, you could be well prepared for this plane, the probabilty is low. Mustang pilots did not learn to fly in Mustangs.
If you do try to fly it, it must be nearly dead calm.
Launch, fly straight out and land - no turns. Do this till it feels natural.
Then, launch, go for altitude, at least 100 feet, and just circle the field practicing keeping it in front of you, keeping it level and holding altitude. Then land well before your battery is done.
Do that at least 5 times where you have not issues.
I would rather see you with a high wing plane but you are the pilot. You are in comtrol. You make the decisions.
Thanks Guys . . .
Here are a few more specs from another site:
1. Winspan: 870mm
2. Length: 737mm
3. Wingarea: 13.8dm2
4. Flying Weight: 405g
5. Wing loading: 25.7g/dm2
6. Battery: NI-MH 8.4v/600mah
7. Power system: LS-370 motor (1:5.3GEAR)
8. Propeller: 25.4x20.3cm
9. R/C system: 4 channel RC TX/RX and 3 mini servos and 1 electronic speed controller
So it is a 1:5.3 gear. I was a little concerned about the battery as well, but after reading these forums thought the low capacity wouldn't matter much anyway, because I probably wouldn't be flying this bird for real for quite some time. Then I could look at something better once I had it up and about.
As for my Heli skills. . . well, the havoc is quite simple, but I can control it very well. I have no problems with inverted controls when its coming at me, and I have learned how to control it with small movements instead of over steering all the time. I'm no pro, but I I'm pretty good with it now.
Anyway, I should have researched before buying, but hindsight is 20/20. I bought this one because it looked cool. The trainers didn't look like they would be much fun. I know better now, so no need to scold me on that one :P.
I still planning on trying to do short take offs and landings, just to see how it goes. I understand now the result could be not so pretty, but I still want to give it a try. Any tips on what will happen when it first takes off? I noticed in the trainer there is a bit of a pull to the left, I presume from prop tourque? Will I need to compensate for this, or should it not be an issue? And when landing, do I cut throttle, to what, one third or something then keep the nose up and let her come down? I haven't read may tips on this. Or do you keep power up and elevator down?
I know what your thinking . . this guy is gonna come back here and tell us the plane is broken . . . Anyway, it is scheduled for Thursday delivery, so I probably won't get to try out crashing until next weekend.
EDIT: Oh, and the field I am planning on using has a baseball diamond. . I thought that might be a good spot to take off, and land in the grass. It appears to be cut to a reasoanble level. Is this advisable?
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