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Old Aug 19, 2005, 10:49 PM
Wind is the devil.
Argyle's Avatar
Joined Aug 2005
1,030 Posts
I am plotting on my first RC Plane purchase...

Hello people. I am a complete noobie when it comes to RC Planes but I used to help my friend transport his glow planes to the local club where I grew up, and watch them fly all evening. I have never flown a plane, and now I am looking to get into the hobby on my own.

I am pals with Wufnu from another forum, and he directed me here to learn more about the hobby and to get some advice and assistance.

I must admit, I am quite overwhelmed with the abbreviations and acronyms, but I am trying to learn what I can.

Thus far, it seems like the Pico Tiger Moth by GWS is an excellent choice for someone who wishes to build their first plane, and explore upgrade options in the future.

However, I am a bit reserved to buy a 3 channel plane, as I want to learn to 3D eventually.

I am 100% positive that I want my first radio to be a solid investment. I want a 4 -channel, dependable, and decent range. Radios seem to be the largest portion of the investment, and it would be wise to buy one that offers me long-term service. I have seen a few models that hold programming for multiple planes, but I am far to novice to decide on which one is an economical and solid choice for a beginner.

I believe that the Tiger Moth would be an excellent starter plane as I have noted the brushless upgrades in threads on this forum.

Wufnu has told me that I need to be wary about brushless and li-po upgrades due to fire hazards. I'm not sure I understand this

Anywho, I am looking to spend around $250-300 for my initial setup, and another $200 on any upgrades once I feel comfortable. Once I have mastered a noobie plane with brushless setup, I will be looking for balsa kit (for the experience of constructing a plane), and a 3D model. After that I may make a speed demon glow plane, who knows...

Any advice or insight would be appreciated.

(I found the 27 million post Tiger Moth thread as well. Search for teh win!)
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 12:46 AM
crash, crash, smash!
Joined Aug 2005
10 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyle
Hello people. I am a complete noobie when it comes to RC Planes
Well hello there. I am also a complete noobie, I just got my T-Hawk RTF today and haven't ever flown before, but I have already come to appreciate this forum for the wealth of info. I will address some of your questions from the perspective of a complete noob who has perhaps a few days reading and research time more than you do. I am no expert by any stretch so prefer the advice of nearly anyone else who has a different opinion.

Quote:
I must admit, I am quite overwhelmed with the abbreviations and acronyms, but I am trying to learn what I can.
Yeah, me too, but I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there, it gets better even if it seems overwhelming now.

Quote:
However, I am a bit reserved to buy a 3 channel plane, as I want to learn to 3D eventually.
I can relate, I want to do that eventually as well. When I was weighing my choices I was deliberating between a 2 and 3 channel plane. I really didn't want a 2 channel even though the hobby zone planes and hobby town store I was at pretty much insisted I start with one of the 2 channel planes. Thank goodness I came here and folks said "no way, go 3 channel". Now that I understand a little more than I used to I understand why I wouldn't be happy for more than a few flights with a 2 channel.

4 channel is definitely something I want on my second plane, but I am also glad I didn't go 4 channel for my first plane. Even among advanced fliers I see frequent praise for many of the 3 channel planes. They are 'true planes', not cheapie toys. Having that 4th channel is nice, but from what I can see those who started with them spent a lot of time frustrated and repairing rather than flying. There are kits out there that offer both 3 and 4 channels so you can start with 3 and then change out the wing for the 4th channel although someone else will have to come along and make recommendations on this.

Quote:
I am 100% positive that I want my first radio to be a solid investment. I want a 4 -channel, dependable, and decent range. Radios seem to be the largest portion of the investment, and it would be wise to buy one that offers me long-term service. I have seen a few models that hold programming for multiple planes, but I am far to novice to decide on which one is an economical and solid choice for a beginner.
Ok, on the radio. I have the stock radio that came with the T-Hawk RTF package. For my next plane I will purchase a computer controlled 6 or 8 channel radio. The way I look at it is why buy a radio that has exactly the number of channels I need, but offers no room for more later on? A good radio is an investment so why not reach into the pockets and get a radio that will work with everything I think I want to fly in the future as well as the planes I don't yet realize I will want to fly.

There is a forum here on radios and while there are lots of opinions you will find that there are a few choices that seem to be praised as the best bang for the buck more consistently than the rest. I don't have the experience to recommend any particular radio, but wait a bit and someone will post useful info on how to make your selection.

Quote:
Wufnu has told me that I need to be wary about brushless and li-po upgrades due to fire hazards. I'm not sure I understand this
I am not sure I do either other than the lipo batteries are supposedly dangerous if charged improperly. I think any battery is, but I guess the lipos present greater risk. I would imagine that by sticking with quality chargers one would be OK, but I don't know. I haven't gotten to the point where I have really looked into brushless motors and lipo batteries.

Quote:
Anywho, I am looking to spend around $250-300 for my initial setup, and another $200 on any upgrades once I feel comfortable. Once I have mastered a noobie plane with brushless setup, I will be looking for balsa kit (for the experience of constructing a plane), and a 3D model. After that I may make a speed demon glow plane, who knows...
Well, I think you can build what you want with that price range although if you want to go for a good radio right off the bat you might have to tap a bit into your upgrade money from what I have seen particularly if you want lipo and brushless right off the bat too.

Have fun, I know I will be tomorow.
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 01:17 AM
Just one more plane!
JWarren's Avatar
Port Saint Lucie, Florida, United States
Joined Aug 2004
2,537 Posts
Hey fellas!

Welcome to RC Groups! There is a lot of information scattered about in these forums. Learning how to search for that information is the biggest step.

There is a sticky at the top of this forum that contains quite a few links to information.

The E-Zone FAQ is another resource which may answer some of your questions.

http://www.ezonemag.com/pages/faq/index.shtml

The Tiger Moth is a nice flying plane from what I have seen. But, I can't give you first hand information, as I do not own one of them. There are plenty of people here that have though.

Try searching with the advanced search option at the top of each thread for "Tiger moth". I'm sure something will pop up.

John
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 01:19 AM
field epoxy tech.
modman's Avatar
canada
Joined Feb 2004
131 Posts
Hey guys

ya if you want to invest in a long term sevicble transmitter I would go for at least a 6 channel , if you ever want things like flaps , retractable landing gear , lights etc ...
or to fly a helicopter . I think its best to leave your options open if you can afford it .
Lithium polymer are pretty safe if you are responsable with them and do some research . the benifits you get with using lipo (lithium polymer ) batts and brushless motors are huge longer flight times , lighter set up , more power and efficiency but youve got to pay the price $$$$$$ .

The tiger moth would be a reasonable plane to start . Have you looked in to the e-starter ? you can just start out with the rudder and add ailerons later , and I think it can take more of a beating then the tiger moth .


Steve
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Last edited by modman; Aug 20, 2005 at 01:21 AM. Reason: forgot somthing
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 06:29 AM
Johan Beyers Eflight101
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Joined Feb 2005
118 Posts
I think the moth would be a good idea, BUT:

Get yourself a really ugly, slow plane. You'll learn a lot faster if you don't feel that sorry for the plane. Slow sticks are great for this, depending on how much space you have. The slow stick also later doubles as test bed and camera platform....

Maybe some useful info here:
http://www.eflight101.com/general/beginners/

Johan
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 07:49 AM
I fly for Beer
Jagzilla's Avatar
Chilliwack, B.C. Canada
Joined Sep 2004
2,730 Posts
FWIW, I have not found bi-planes to be that good of an idea for rank beginners. They are a bit harder to build, and I don't think hold up in the crashes as well. Don't get me wrong, the Pico TM is an excellent plane, and some do use it as a learner, but personally, I feel a high wing, more docile trainer type plane, such as the gws Beaver or even the E-Starter (if you feel like you can go with a bit faster, aileron plane right away) is a better choice. As you mentioned upgrading the plane, most people really don't go brushless in the Pico TM, it is meant as a slow flyer, and I think most people just add the nice "scale" touches to the looks of the plane. Due to their light weight, and wing design, they are not too good in anything above slight wind conditions, you might want to consider that as well. There are other beginner choices out there as well, pusher types have their advantages as well. I would lean towards a low cost, easy to fly plane for the first one, with the thought of transferring the electronics to the next plane as you are ready to move up, or as the first one is no longer flying. Just my thoughts.
J
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 08:04 AM
P-61 WWII Night Fighter
Solcat's Avatar
Sylmar, CA
Joined Jan 2004
1,538 Posts
The Tiger Moth is cool, requires little space to fly and is upgradable, but it might be a better second plane. It's fragile, and can't handle wind. An Easystar is tougher, handles wind, is a pusher propeller plane so you will not brake a bunch of propellers while you learn and it glides really well so you can get long flight times. Being bigger than the moth means it will be easier to keep oriented. It does require about the space of a soccer field to fly in.

Start with the free simulator FMS with a game pad with two joysticks:


http://n.ethz.ch/student/mmoeller/fms/index_e.html

Then get a ready to fly Multiplex Easy Star.


http://plawner.net/3/1st_plane/
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 08:26 AM
Wind is the devil.
Argyle's Avatar
Joined Aug 2005
1,030 Posts
I dont want the most simpleton plane, I need a bit of challenge, even if I fail.
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 08:41 AM
Registered User
Norm66's Avatar
Western Pennsylvania
Joined Oct 2004
797 Posts
I'm a newbie as well. After much research and reading, mainly on this forum, I chose the Mountain Models Magpie. It's not pretty, but the selling point for me was that for $55.00 you get a plane that comes with two wings, one for slow flying and a sport wing that has ailerons for when your ready to step up to the next level of flying. As I said it, won't win any prize in the looks department, but it is tough. You will have to build it and install your own radio gear and motor. It can operate on three channels to start and move up to 4. It even has the capacity to be outfitted for photo work. You can view video's of it on the Mountain Models website;

www.mountainmodels.com

The people at Mountain Models are top notch and very helpfull. They have other planes as well.

Good luck in your flying and choices.
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 11:24 AM
Naturally altered
Joined Feb 2005
2,519 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyle
I dont want the most simpleton plane, I need a bit of challenge, even if I fail.
For my suggestion to you, It's a toss between the Tiger Moth, the Pico cub and the Beaver. They are all low cost and if that reassures you , just a tiny bit more challenging than, say , a slow stick.

Let's see.

Tiger Moth : very good flyer, gorgeous look, a bit difficult to build
Pico Cub : good flyer too, easy build, a bit short on power
Beaver : good flyer, very nice look too, heavier and more powerful, flies a bit faster (spells challenge)

The last two have a big advantage IMO. It is possible to buy a spare wing and relatively easy to add ailerons to it. Now this is not really something to recommend to a beginner, but once again, it's a possible challenge at low cost.

A step up is the E-starter, can be flown easy on 3 channels and 4 channels when you are ready.

Now since you are understandably not with an unlimited budget, I think it's a good idea to choose a very low cost plane, but the right one for a number of reasons.

First, you are going to break a few things here and there, props, shafts etc.

Second : it would be nice if the exact equipment can follow you in the second plane, namely battery packs and ESC, otherwise, it will cost you.

Third : your most critical decision is the radio system. It is a good idea to invest in a 6 channel computer radio from the start. Chances are you are going to be at RC flying for a little while, and if you are and you bought a 4 channels, you are not gonna spend two months before wishing you had bought a 6.

But consider the whole cost of what you are planning to buy and if you can only squeeze a 4 channel, so be it. In that case I would suggest a JR Quattro, electric flight version (i did not make a suggestion on the 6). It is a very good one, comes with a top-notch receiver and 2 sub micro servos for small electric planes.Very good features on it, but best of all, it is so low in cost that it would cost you the same money (maybe a bit more in fact) if you were to buy RX, crystal and servos separately. Essentially, you get the TX and its battery for free. That sure is no loss when you are ready to move on.

Have fun RCing
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 11:55 AM
I need a bigger garage...
ajreynolds's Avatar
USA, CA, San Diego
Joined Mar 2005
1,294 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm66
I'm a newbie as well. After much research and reading, mainly on this forum, I chose the Mountain Models Magpie. ....
www.mountainmodels.com
I second the Magpie. I recently flew mine for the first time (my first time flying as well) and it was great. Took off, flew around a bit, and even landed without incident. It's nice and stable, and you can see from the videos on Mountain Models website that it's pretty durable too.

There's also a really good build and discussion thread at http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=306795

FMS is also a good idea before you even try a real plane. If you get a simulator cable, you can hook up your transmitter to the computer to control the plane. It's a really good way to get a feel for the controls, and the program is free!

Andy
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 12:42 PM
Naturally altered
Joined Feb 2005
2,519 Posts
I did not mention the Magie because I have never seen one around ever. Lots of people are saying much good about it. I am sure it is a very good option too.
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 03:14 PM
Cheapskate freeloader!
Zeroaltitude's Avatar
Orebro, Sweden
Joined Oct 2002
3,155 Posts
Argyle, if youŽll be getting help from an experienced pilot to begin with (preferrably on a buddybox/trainer chord system) then there is no need for you to start with a 3ch plane. DoesnŽt meen that there is anything wrong with 3ch planes, just that you wonŽt need it.

With a good 3ch trainer (the Pico Tiger Moth is an excellent one, except for the inability to handle wind), the plane will have strong self-righting tendiencies. In other words, when you get into trouble you just let go of the sticks, and if there is enough altitude, the plane will right itself.
A good 4ch trainer will have some self-righting tendencies, but usually nowhere near as much as a 3ch trainer. Instead, the pilot must correct the situation. With an experienced pilot and a buddybox system, the teacher will do for you what the self-righting tendencies does on a 3ch plane. HeŽll be able to do much more than that though, heŽll also be able to tell you what you did wrong, so you wonŽt have to repeat it.

So, if you will be getting help, then find out what transmitter your "teacher(s)" has, and get one that is compatible, and also get a trainerchord. YouŽll be able to learn faster than teaching yourself, and your first plane will "last" longer as a training device since a 4ch plane will be able to teach you new things longer.

If you can afford it, then IŽd advice you to get both a 4ch trainer, and a 3ch slowflyer (again, the Pico Tiger Moth is an excellent choice for a slowflyer). This way you can fly on your own on windless days and/or when your teacher canŽt be there.

Anders O
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 04:30 PM
Wind is the devil.
Argyle's Avatar
Joined Aug 2005
1,030 Posts
What is the difference in the Tiger Moth "Slope Glider" kit and the regular kit?
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Old Aug 20, 2005, 05:10 PM
Cheapskate freeloader!
Zeroaltitude's Avatar
Orebro, Sweden
Joined Oct 2002
3,155 Posts
The slope glider kit doesnŽt include the motor and gearbox, just the fuselage, wings and tailplanes.

The Slope Glider version is excellent value for money if you allready have the IPS motor/gearbox, or if you plan on using a brushless motor setup. However, the Pico Tiger Moth is a solid performer on the stock motor, so to begin with (and assuming you donŽt allready have a motor/gearbox setup for the plane) I think you would want the regular kit rather than the slope version.

Anders O
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