HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Apr 13, 2006, 09:19 AM
Registered User
Hastings, Minnesota
Joined Apr 2006
8 Posts
Discussion
Just The New Guy Here!

Hello to you all. This is my first post to say hello. I have just recently taken a liking to RC planes. My future step son got a Air Hogs Stelth Bomber RC plane for Christmas. We finally got it out of the box last weekend and flew it. Crashed many times, put it in a few trees, but all in all had a great time flying it. The charge only lasted about 4 minutes, but was fun.
So Monday at work I am doing some searches on flying RC planes. Mainly because I want one for myself. So I come accross this one http://www.rcdiscounts.com/acbhpusa/...=1190&st_id=54 It says it's a good beginner plane. So i figure, what the heck, lets give this a shot. Is this a good starter? So now I am inpatiently waiting for it to get here. I have already scoped out all the fields in my neighborhood to see where is best to fly it. Iam a little nervous about flying it, because I don't want to wreck it, because I know I am going to crash it. But it is supposed to be fairly tough and can withstand most crashes.
I have this free SIM http://n.ethz.ch/~mmoeller/fms/index_e.html I have to say it has helped me get the idea of what happens when I do this, and when I do this...and so on.
Anyway, I will; probably be here quite a bit with questions.
Does anyone have any first time flyer tips they would care to share? i would love to hear them.
Thank you...
akm0524 is offline Find More Posts by akm0524
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Apr 13, 2006, 09:49 AM
Sam Talley
Ranger13's Avatar
Nashville, TN
Joined May 2003
299 Posts
Some, if not many, members of RC Group have not had good experiences with Megatech models.

Here is a very good website which compares trainer-type models:

http://plawner.net/3/1st_plane/

Good luck!
Ranger13 is offline Find More Posts by Ranger13
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13, 2006, 09:54 AM
Registered User
Joined Apr 2006
923 Posts
Welcome to the forums!

The Megatech Freedom Flyer can be a decent trainer airplane,
but would not be on the short list of most recommended models. It is somewhat fast and you will want a lot of space to fly it. Try to find 600x600 ft. clear of any trees/buildings/obstructions. Yes, really that much space.

Also the prop is located up front, so will be exposed to impacts. You may want some spare props and some packing tape to patch up the wing just in case the inveitable happens.

One of the most recommended starter planes is the Slow Stick and you could get one for about $40 and I think you could use all the electronics from the Freedom Flyer to run it. This is just an option in case the FF blows up or something.

Many people have learned on the FF. Good luck and enjoy!
Barry2 is offline Find More Posts by Barry2
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13, 2006, 09:59 AM
Registered User
Joined Apr 2006
923 Posts
One thing to note is that the charger that comes with the Freedom Flyer is a pretty lame dumb timer charger and may be rough on the flight battery. If you can get a peak charger and use that, you will be happier with the results.
Barry2 is offline Find More Posts by Barry2
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13, 2006, 10:30 AM
AMA #851612
BIGDANO's Avatar
Alameda, CA
Joined Dec 2005
1,617 Posts
I think that's a great choice! I learned on it's ugly brother, the AirStrike. The FF is an updated version of the AirStrike with much better electronics. The fuselage is made of tough plastic and will withstand some pretty serious crashes.

Do yourelf a favor and pick up some extra props:

http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXJEH1&P=7

and possibly a tail set:

http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXJEG9&P=7

The motor appears to be direct-drive, so no worries about the easily bent gear-shaft like the AirStrike. All in all, if I had it to do over again, I would've gotten this plane instead of the AirStrike. I think you made a good choice.

Check out the review:

http://www.rcgroups.com/links/index....53&skey=ab3e32

I have done some major mods to my AirStrike, pulling all the electronics and installing better/lighter stuff. The last two mods are going to be a new motor and Lipo's. You can get TWO 8C 3S1P 2000 Mah Lipo's from CommonSenseRC for $42.50. This battery is only 1 oz. heavier than the stock battery, and should keep the plane in the air for about an hour!!!
BIGDANO is offline Find More Posts by BIGDANO
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13, 2006, 11:57 AM
Registered User
United States, NY, Queens
Joined Oct 2005
2,418 Posts
I must disagree with BIGDANO. The Freedom Flyer is not a good selection for a beginner. In fact, if you develop a progression of planes that make learning and going from beginner to expert in simple, easy steps, the Freedom Flyer would come in at Step #4, in the same basic catagory as the ParkZone Cub or Decathlon. If you are learning without an instructor, Step #1 for a beginner should be a very simple, basic plane that allows you to experience flight with minimal control variables, since the more variables the more things you need to think about and figure out how to control at the same time. 2-channel planes like the Firebird Commander fall in this catagory, but the most popular, and probably the best, is the AirHogs AeroAce. Your future step-son's stealth bomber falls within this step, but it is not nearly as good a plane as the AeroAce. Step #2 is a 3-channel slow flyer. Because of its slow flying speed, it gives you plenty of time to decide what to do next or how to correct the plane if it isn't doing what you want it to. However, it adds elevation control, which makes it a lot more enjoyable to fly. The most popular planes in the step are the ParkZone Slow-V, which comes fully equipped to fly, and the Slow Stick, which requires you to purchase all of the electronics seperately. The first 2 steps require you to fly with virtually no wind. Step #3 is the last beginner catagory and is a faster flying 3-channel plane, which requires a lot more room, but can be flown substantialy higher and in some wind. Some of the most popular planes in this catagory are the Aerobird Challenger, Firebird Freedom, T-hawk, SkyFly and EasyStar. Step #4 is the high wing intermediate trainer. These planes are a lot more responsive than any of the previous ones, being capable of various stunts; look a lot more like a real plane; but require a lot more skilll and concentration to fly without crashing. Step #5 are the faster, more responsive 3-channel planes like the PZ Stryker and P51, or high wing 4-channel. Beyond Step #5 you start moving into the advanced planes.

People have been successful by starting at all levels of flying. However, the higher the level, the more difficult it is to learn and the more crashes you are likely to suffer. A good example is a flyer who started flying planes at our field last year. He had been flying helicopters for six years and decided to switch to planes. He was confident that planes would no problem to learn, so he started right away at Step #5. I personnaly witnessed him crashing and totally destroying five planes within the span of four weeks. He has persevered and today he is beginning to fly at the expert level. He was able to start at Step #5, but it cost him over $2,000 to get to the point where he could comfortably fly at his level.

I would advise that you set aside your Freedom Flyer, get yourself a Step #2 or Step #3 plane and learn, and crash, with it. Then when you are comfortable flying at that level, you will be able to enjoy your Freedom Flyer.
Leo L is offline Find More Posts by Leo L
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13, 2006, 12:14 PM
AMA #851612
BIGDANO's Avatar
Alameda, CA
Joined Dec 2005
1,617 Posts
Hey Leo, the great thing about this country (USA) is that we get to disagree with one another! Just wondering, at what step does a flight sim come in?

He would have to completely demolish this plane 20 times to come close to the $2000 figure you mentioned. I can personally verify that this plane can take a straight drop from 20 feet up and still come back for more. I've flown my AirStrike into a pole during landing, hitting the right wing and spiraling to a nose-in from about 5 feet up. Tossed it right back into the air. Durability is not an issue with these planes, and crashes are to be expected.

From his initial post, it sounds like he's beyond step one in your 4 Step Plan for success. I keep seeing people recommending the Slo Stick and Aero-Birds....I'm beginning to wonder if these people are from their sales department!

The fact of the matter is that this plane is fine for a first trainer. I got my AirStrike through a successfull maiden in stock trim ( ) with nothing more than a couple hours of sim time. If you can fly and land the trainer plane in the sim, you can fly and land this plane.
BIGDANO is offline Find More Posts by BIGDANO
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13, 2006, 03:25 PM
WAA pilot #21
Vanning's Avatar
Princeton NJ
Joined Dec 2003
3,166 Posts
Hey AK, welcome.
Realistically, the FF is a redesign of a notoriously substandard plane, the Airstrike (aka the Groundstrike) That doesnt mean anything in itself - they coulda redesigned from the ground up or they coulda changed the name and the stickers on the wing - you dont know. Dano says they replaced the electronics - good, from what i recall the electronics were very heavy.

The claim that it does 50mph is
A) impossible. Somebody show me proof it can maintain even 30mph in level flight. Its not exactly sleek....
B) not good to begin with. You DONT WANT a fast plane.
Its more important that a plane be able to fly slowly at this point. If the FF can be throttled back for nice slow cruising, great. I dunno i dont have one. Assuming you can toodle around at 2/3rds throttle, you should be fine.

Find the biggest field you can. Then go find an even bigger one. Trust me.

A good charger will be a blessing. Something like the Hobbico MKII is a great value at $50 usd. and will outlast your next dozen planes. Timers are useful for cooking eggs - and for cooking batteries.

My recommendation: since this plane is already en route, assemble it. Charge it. Find a huge field. Do your pre-flight check. Throw caution to the wind (literally. you launch airplanes INTO the wind) and give her a try. You will eventually have smashed the heck out of it, so dont let that stop you. You mustnt get too emotionally attached to any plane. They all have expiration dates.
Fly/crash/repair until it no longer flys or its so ugly you cant stand it.
Retire it.

By then you should have a better idea of what you like & dont like. Of your abilities and weaknesses. Of your physical limitations (no big fields nearby, too much prevailing wind, etc.) Then start posting for recommendations!
Vanning is offline Find More Posts by Vanning
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13, 2006, 03:58 PM
Registered User
Hastings, Minnesota
Joined Apr 2006
8 Posts
Thanks for all the feedback. But getting a different charger is being brought up, how do I know what will work with my current batery?

And just another question in general. How far is the range on one of these things? How high before you lose control of it? Or how far away? or will I lose site of it before I lose control (Of the plane that is)
akm0524 is offline Find More Posts by akm0524
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13, 2006, 05:54 PM
AMA #851612
BIGDANO's Avatar
Alameda, CA
Joined Dec 2005
1,617 Posts
For the charger question, you're entering a whole new realm of batts and mods! If you plan to go to Lipo's eventually, make sure you get a charger capable of charging Lipo's. I made the mistake of buying a couple cheapies before finally biting the bullet and buying a Triton. Awesome charger, never looked back. The Triton can charge pretty much any battery out there, INCLUDING THE BATTERY IN THE VEHICLE YOU DRIVE TO WORK! I recently charged the battery of our 3rd car (know anyone who's looking for a '95 VW Jetta?).

Which leads us to connectors. My personal preference is Deans, but there are several out there to choose from. You will almost surely have to learn how to solder, which is actually a piece of cake. Soldering connectors to ESC's, connectors to batteries, connectors to motors, wires to motors, etc, etc.

As for the range of the radio, the 27 Mhz band isn't quite as wide as the 72Mhz band, but since it's a park flyer it's perfect. You will lose orientation of the plane before you lose control...meaning it will turn into a speck and you'll think "which way is it flying??".

Hey Vanning, great post! The Freedom Flyer is definitely updated, but after modding my AirStrike, it became a MUCH better flyer. Here's the link to my AirStrike thread:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=451884
BIGDANO is offline Find More Posts by BIGDANO
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 2006, 08:33 AM
lawn darts r' us
Joined Sep 2005
171 Posts
The Freedom Flyer will be nothing but problems. Very high wing loading (meaning it will fly fast and be hard for a beginner to control), underpowered (look at the redicilous little prop on it), total junk electronics (worse than PZ in my opinion), and no readily available spare parts- to name a few. I had actually ordered one of these (really should have known better- been in r/c for about 20years now) and when it arrived from the factory it was damaged (shipping damage). I sent it back and got a refund. A few weeks later they sent it back and sent a note that the plane was on them- they just wanted me to fly it. By this time I had successfully flown my J-3 PZ cub I had also bought several times- and the difference in quality of the planes construction and quality was readily apparent. The freedom flyer is hanging from the ceiling of my hobby room - never flown- probably where it will stay. I did work in a hobby shop for 4 years in college- and we carried some megatech products- all in my opinion were total junk. You'd be much better served buying something like a Slo-V or J-3 Cub if your looking for RTF, or maybe the SS if you are looking to buy standard electronics right off the bat.
MKMotorsport is offline Find More Posts by MKMotorsport
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 2006, 09:55 AM
AMA #851612
BIGDANO's Avatar
Alameda, CA
Joined Dec 2005
1,617 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKMotorsport
The Freedom Flyer will be nothing but problems. Very high wing loading (meaning it will fly fast and be hard for a beginner to control), underpowered (look at the redicilous little prop on it), total junk electronics (worse than PZ in my opinion), and no readily available spare parts- to name a few. I had actually ordered one of these (really should have known better- been in r/c for about 20years now) and when it arrived from the factory it was damaged (shipping damage). I sent it back and got a refund. A few weeks later they sent it back and sent a note that the plane was on them- they just wanted me to fly it. By this time I had successfully flown my J-3 PZ cub I had also bought several times- and the difference in quality of the planes construction and quality was readily apparent. The freedom flyer is hanging from the ceiling of my hobby room - never flown- probably where it will stay. I did work in a hobby shop for 4 years in college- and we carried some megatech products- all in my opinion were total junk. You'd be much better served buying something like a Slo-V or J-3 Cub if your looking for RTF, or maybe the SS if you are looking to buy standard electronics right off the bat.
Man, the positive re-inforcement is almost unbearable! How do you know it will be nothing but problems if you've never flown it? How is it that I was able to successfully maiden my AirStrike in stock trim, which is admittedly a hunk of junk, being a total noob and never having flown before? Am I an exception to the rule? Did I just "get lucky"?

akm0524, pay no attention to these nay-sayers. I'm sure you'll do fine. Just remember, crashing is part of the learning experience. You will most likely crash no matter WHAT plane you choose. Since you've already bought this plane, follow Vanning's advice: "since this plane is already en route, assemble it. Charge it. Find a huge field. Do your pre-flight check. Throw caution to the wind (literally. you launch airplanes INTO the wind) and give her a try."

It's my experience that these planes are durable, and the fuse is nearly indestructable unless you do a WOT nose dive into the ground.

Most of all, have fun and give us a full flight report on your maiden!!
BIGDANO is offline Find More Posts by BIGDANO
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 2006, 10:19 AM
Registered User
Hastings, Minnesota
Joined Apr 2006
8 Posts
BIGDANO, Thank you. I wil do just that. Maybe this weekend if I am lucky, but I think I want to get a little more SIM time in with my new Logitech controller. Thanks again! Much appreciated..
akm0524 is offline Find More Posts by akm0524
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 2006, 10:30 AM
Registered User
United States, NY, Queens
Joined Oct 2005
2,418 Posts
My intention was to allow AKM the opportunity to enjoy his plane, rather than having it become a major repair project after the first flight. I have never flown the Freedom Flyer, nor seen one fly, but I own an Airstrike and I am very familiar with its flight capabilities. Assuming that the Freedom Flyer is an upgrade of the Airstirke, using newer, lighter electronics, it should be a fairly enjoyable plane. But not as a beginner plane. The PZ Cub is a similar, but significantly better, plane, but I would never recommend it for a beginner either. If you check out the threads, you will find some people who have started with the Cub and didn't have any problems learning with it. There are also people who started with the Stryker and people who started with the P51. All of these people are exceptions to the rule; as BigDano apparently is with his experience of learning with the Airstrike. If you decide to start with the Freedom, then at least spend a substantial amount of time on a simulator. Should your first flight result in a substantial crash (and I hope that it does not), consider setting the Freedom to the side and going with a more conventional beginner plane until your skill level improves. I tried flying the Airstrike after learning on a Firebird Commander. The first two flights resulted in nose first ground crashes. I set the plane aside and bought myself an Aerobird Challenger, followed by a PZ Cub. After becoming proficient with the Cub, I fixed the Airstrike and began flying it. I didn't have any problems controlling it, but found it to be extremely heavy for its wing size. Similarly to BigDano, I replaced all of the electronics with light weight components (actually extra parts from my PZ Cub and Decathlon) and I now have a very nice flying plane. I presume that your Freedom Flyer will be similar to the modified Airstrike. Best of luck to you, whatever you decide. Keep us informed.
Leo L is offline Find More Posts by Leo L
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 2006, 10:49 AM
Foam flies better
Fly Or Die's Avatar
From Canadia and proud of it!
Joined Jan 2006
3,199 Posts
Actually thats a great plane to start with if you practice alot on the sim. Get a joystick of gamepad to get the feel for the controller, practice a bunch, and then go fly. I had a similar plane{4ch} and a similar sim with a joystick, and it helped more than you can imagine. I was flying on the first flight{after some test glides}. The one disadvantage with that plane is that it is foam, so be prepared to get repair parts. On the other hand, once you learn to fly, you will be able to upgrade directly to something better with the parts you already have, so overall good plane. One of the guys here is right, the readytoflyfun thawk may be a better intro, just dont get a hobbyzone firebird cuz they suck in comparison to the thawk. Either way, with one or the other, you should be fine. Just remember, big field, no wind whatsoever, and lots of sim practice.
Fly Or Die is offline Find More Posts by Fly Or Die
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Hi, new guy here... EJRocky Electric Plane Talk 15 Nov 18, 2007 08:20 PM
New guy here, just looking for a place to start..... jigjew Dock Talk 6 Jan 22, 2005 04:43 AM
Yippee! New guy here... And as usual, a few ??? MyDeSoto Electric Plane Talk 14 Aug 01, 2004 11:25 PM
New guy here. I come offering videos.. TurboRacer Aerial Photography 7 Oct 04, 2002 01:09 PM