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Old Jul 01, 2008, 09:16 PM
Flys with Thumbs
Danal Estes's Avatar
Frisco, TX, USA
Joined Sep 2001
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Parkflyer trainer for experienced pilot?

OK, I flew fixed wing for 30+ years, including a ton of electric airplanes. In the last couple of years, I became a heli addict and sold all my fixed wing stuff.

Now... I need to train some neighbor kids to fly. Fixed wing. Buddy box. Our adjoining back yards, which have an approximate 200x400 foot combined "tree free" area.

So, assume the following:
  • I can fly.
  • I can build.
  • I have buddy box capable TX equipment, both JR 72 and Spektrum 2.4G.
  • I can charge any type of NiCd, NiMh, or LiPo battery.
  • We can wait for calm evenings to fly.

What "trainer" do I want to buddy these kids?

I haven't researched airplanes in 5 to 8 years. What is good, now? Rugged? Relatively cheap? And, the better looking, the better (kids, and moms and dads who are not RC fanatics, yet). Better probably means "real" looking. Flies slowly? Good for teaching? Ailerons or rudder either one is OK with me as long as it is a good teaching aircraft. Rugged. Brushless.


What's good?
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Old Jul 01, 2008, 09:22 PM
WAA-08 THANK FRANK!
JimNM's Avatar
Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States
Joined Jun 2002
7,047 Posts
The StevensAero Squirt400 - it was chosen as the plane to fly in the WINGS ACROSS AMERICA 2008 venture.

www.stevensaero.com

You can add an aileron wing to continue learning as the pilots mature. There is also a .25E sized SQuirt for you to play with
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Old Jul 01, 2008, 09:32 PM
Flys with Thumbs
Danal Estes's Avatar
Frisco, TX, USA
Joined Sep 2001
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Thanks Jim, looks great! I've seen a bunch of Steven's stuff at the local field and they are always very nice kits.

(By the way, your URL is missing the "s" at the end of stevens)


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Old Jul 01, 2008, 10:14 PM
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I doubt you can find a better trainer than the SA SQuiRT. It has to be one of the best designed planes with the beginner in mind on the market today.

Frank
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Old Jul 01, 2008, 10:31 PM
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I'm building the Squirt 400 right now, and I'll say this much... this little plane is RUGGEDLY built!

Chuck
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Old Jul 01, 2008, 10:45 PM
Flys with Thumbs
Danal Estes's Avatar
Frisco, TX, USA
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Hmmm... three votes. I'll order one tomorrow!

Thanks guys!

BTW, is there a reasonable brushless alternative to the Speed 400 they suggest? I'm not looking for more power as much as longer flight time and/or zero maintenance.
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Old Jul 01, 2008, 10:51 PM
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To be honest, and I've flown both the sp400 and BL versions, the SQuiRT flies very sweet on the sp400. I think better, but that's just me.

If you have to go BL Himax 2808-0980 is a good choice. That's what I have on mine and flight times are quite long. I prefer the 8x4 prop with that combo but might just try the 7x6 on her this week.

Frank
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Old Jul 01, 2008, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danal Estes
Hmmm... three votes. I'll order one tomorrow!

Thanks guys!

BTW, is there a reasonable brushless alternative to the Speed 400 they suggest? I'm not looking for more power as much as longer flight time and/or zero maintenance.
Hi Danal,

I'm building mine with the stock brushed motor. Bill Stevens designed this plane for the 400 brushed, and it's actually held into the fuse with rubber bands, so that you don't tear up the mount on a not so stellar landing. With a lighter brushless, you'll also have to move the servos in closer to the middle of the plane to get a correct center of gravity, etc.

When you order it... make sure you get the 'cradle mount' for the motor. Also, he sells the 400 motor dirt cheap. (I just bought 4 of them myself). Also, make sure to get the little prop adaptor kit for the motor (cheap).

Everything you need to fly is on his "Needed to fly" page. He highly recommends you use the brushed 400 on the Squirt!

Chuck
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Old Jul 01, 2008, 11:10 PM
Flys with Thumbs
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Yeah, I've been poking around the site. Path of least resistance = use the recommended motor. I think I'll do that. Point is to train the kids, not hotrod the airplane.

So, OK, 400 Squirt, stock power system. Sounds good.

Thanks again to everyone.
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Old Jul 02, 2008, 08:14 AM
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You're welcome Danal and keep us posted on progress.

Here is my build thread in case you are interested.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=844841

Frank
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Old Jul 02, 2008, 08:16 AM
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PS The foamie and slow stick guys must be on vacation.

Frank
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Old Jul 02, 2008, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murocflyer
PS The foamie and slow stick guys must be on vacation.

Frank
EasyStar....but he's already decided....so too late.
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Old Jul 02, 2008, 11:03 AM
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Wow, this long and no silly recommendations for an Easy Star or Slow Stick? I guess that foam or balsa thread is helping. Kudos to you guys for steering Danal in the right direction.

Frank
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Old Jul 02, 2008, 11:39 AM
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Wow, this long and no silly recommendations for an Easy Star or Slow Stick?
Hi Frank,

LOL Well, as much as I love my foamies, this was almost a no brainer...

Chuck
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Old Jul 02, 2008, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murocflyer
Wow, this long and no silly recommendations for an Easy Star or Slow Stick? I guess that foam or balsa thread is helping. Kudos to you guys for steering Danal in the right direction.

Frank
At 30+ years of flying, I suspect he can build a balsa model (and even said so "I can build"). If he said "Parkflyer trainer for NEW pilot" then balsa's a bad suggestion.
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