3 channel vs 4 channel - RC Groups
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Jan 28, 2010, 11:23 AM
Registered User

3 channel vs 4 channel

How hard is it to switch from a 3 channel aircraft like the Ez star to a 4 channel aircraft like the Hobbico nexstar? Seems like most instructors teach how to turn using the ailerons first and then rubber with ailerons later.

I'm asking because I have a Hobbico nexstar ep mini but I may get the ez star (if they are ever back in stock) because it looks more durable.
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Jan 28, 2010, 11:37 AM
Registered User
It's not really difficult at all. What's difficult (at least for us old pharts) is flying fast planes, as opposed to slow, mellow planes.

As I see it, ailerons are just a tool... they allow the plane to do a few more tricks (like rolls) that are difficult or impossible to do without them. On the other hand, if misused, they can get you into trouble.

You can learn a lot flying an EasyStar (or SuperCub) and all of it will serve you well as you move on to more advanced planes. What has changed over the years is that there are now quality beginner planes (viz., EasyStar, SuperCub) that will withstand most of the abuse that beginners can dish out, and will allow beginners to enjoy flying with near-zero fuss and bother, and without the benefit of an instructor.
Jan 28, 2010, 12:24 PM
Hoarding balsa is a sickness
Welcome to the fun of flying.
What I am about to tell you may open the flood gates of debate like few other subjects, so be ready. I have been in this hobby for 52 years, and have been a club instructor for over 30 years, with 4 generations of club instructors below me. I fly what is known as " Mode 2", with the throttle on the left stick and the elevator on the right stick. Here is where you need to read carefully..... I use the right stick to either >turn< or >bank< the the airplane, depending on the type of plane I am flying. With rudder, elevator and motor control, the right stick is used to operate the rudder and elevator. In this configuratiion, the rudder >turns< the airplane by causing the airplane to "yaw" on it's verticle axis. Without going into further detail, the yaw makes the airplane turn, and it banks as a result. The turns look good and are easy to correct if the controls are set without a lot of throw. What you are doing is guiding the airplane around the sky and teaching yourself, and your brain, the relationship between what you want to happen and what you see happening, not "what the H*** just happened ???" When a new person wants me to teach him, he ( or she ) has to agree to let me "bore them to tears" in the training arena. After they move on to bigger, faster, ect. type of aircraft, they "always" keep an airplane on the ready when they want to be "bored to tears" again. There is something magical about watching an airplane flying when you don't have to be freaked out about controlling it.
Now that I have bored you to tears, you show up with an airplane with ailerons. This is where I want to open the second flood gate of debate....flat bottom wings with ailerons will almost always have "Adverse Yaw" when you try to turn. You want to bank the airplane to the left, and it does that, but the nose of the plane swings to the right and the airplane crabs in flight. When I fly 4 ch. airplanes, the right stick controls the elevator and the ailerons, the left stick controls the rudder. The rudder is used with the ailerons to make the airplane turn gracefully like your 3 ch. trainer did. You have to use enough rudder to offset the adverse yaw and get the nose of the plane to go where you want it. The aileron will >bank< the plane, and the rudder will cancel the adverse yaw and help the airplane >turn< . If you choose an airplane with a semi-symetrical airfoil, this adverse yaw peoblem will be reduced somewhat.
Couple more points I want to make. Please don't use an airplane for the frist parts of your training that is overpowered, just makes things worse. When you start flying and you fell stressed, end that lesson and relax to digest what was making you stressed. Your instructor will understand. Wait 15 minutes and go up again. Try to fly during gentle wind conditions, or buy an "Ember 2" and fly indoors to start with. Relax in the pitts when working with your plane, and develop good safty habits. Don't be afraid to ask your instructor "dumb question # 236", that's what they are there for. Coffee, latte's, and booze WILL slow your progress....you choose. Learn your transmitter's functions 100 % and be able to change the programming in a heartbeat at the request of your instructor. About your choice of airplanes....I HATE the Nexstar, I Like the Avistar with a gentle engine. I LOVE the "Gymallo", and the Ember 2. If you have a real airport closeby, spend a hundred bucks and get an hour in a 150 or 172 and learn by the seat of your pants what adverse yaw is, minimum controlled airspeed feels like, how to pick up a low wing with rudder during high angles of attack, keeping the ball centered during turns, side slips, and the effect on the amount of elevator needed during a 15 degree bank turn and a 70 degree bank turn, and "take-off and departure stalls". Write down what I just told you to do in a 150 and make the CFI show you these things, not just give you ride around the country side. Tell him why you want to do this.

OK fellow flyers, I got my fire suit on...flame away.

Last edited by maxxnut; Jan 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM.
Jan 28, 2010, 01:27 PM
springer's Avatar
Neil: well spoke! I didn't have the benefit of an instructor, but followed pretty much what you describe. started with a Trainer1 that just floats around the sky (well except for the loops and those stall turns! - but not at first) and progressed into 4ch, bigger, faster motors and planes.
Jan 28, 2010, 01:37 PM
Registered User
Gonzo454's Avatar

Who can argue with sound advice...though I did not have the benefit of an instructor and my personal path went a bit different, your advice is sound, and you have the years and experience to back that up. Thanks for sharing!

Jan 28, 2010, 07:47 PM
Sportin my new 'do'
raz's Avatar
The only difference is learning to steer with the left stick while on the ground and some times on landing.
Jan 28, 2010, 09:33 PM
Senior User
Jeremy Z's Avatar
pgls - Get the EasyStar. If it is out of stock in one place, you can find it at another place.

Neil said great stuff, just in a long-winded manner. I agree with him whole-heartedly. You have a much greater chance of success starting with a 3 ch plane, in which things don't happen so quickly when you move that right stick sideways. You'll use that plane to learn orientation, and to learn not to overcorrect, and to take off and land smoothly.

Then, you'll go onto the nextstar, and you'll need to learn to coordinate aileron & rudder to make the turns as smooth as you had them on the EasyStar. But once you master that, you'll have more control, and quicker control over the model.

Neil was also 100% right that it is nice to keep a plane in the fleet that is super easy to fly. The EasyStar is just the plane. Not only is it super easy to fly smoothly and well, and it is also a quasi sailplane. Lots of us EasyStar pilots challenge ourselves by flying up as high as we can see, then seeing how long we can take to get down. Trying to find thermals along the way.

Well, looks like I was long-winded too.
Jan 28, 2010, 09:35 PM
Senior User
Jeremy Z's Avatar
Hobby Horse seems to have them in stock: (hard to tell)

Just Google 'multiplex easy star' and poke around until you find one in stock.
Jan 29, 2010, 02:56 AM
Hoarding balsa is a sickness
Mmmmmm, me like the Gymallo for outdoor. I just can't get rid of the darn thing.

If the trailing edge is flapping, you are flying too fast !!


and here:
My Gymallo Second Video (5 min 46 sec)
Jan 29, 2010, 12:25 PM
Registered User
Thanks for all the good info. I ordered the Ez Start RR ARF from OmniModels.com. it's on backorder but with free shipping it seemed like the best deal. I will hold off on the Nexstar for a little longer. The weather has been very unpredictable seems like every weekend we have rain or high winds.
Jan 29, 2010, 12:56 PM
Hoarding balsa is a sickness
Like I stated above, you might want to hold off on the Nexstar for a looooong time, and look at the Avistar instead...better wing and better flying. Much more smooth.
Jan 29, 2010, 02:33 PM
Senior User
Jeremy Z's Avatar
Originally Posted by pgls421
The weather has been very unpredictable seems like every weekend we have rain or high winds.
This is what pushed me to also get an RC truck. With trucks, winds don't matter, but terrain does.

With planes, terrain doesn't matter (much) but wind does.

Pick your poison!
Jan 29, 2010, 03:04 PM
Registered User
i went straight from SIM to a 4 channel and didnt have any problems. just get comfortable on the sim first and when you have your first flight fly it slow and be very gentle with the inputs. ohh yea and make sure you have plenty of area to fly in and get some height quick

ohh and by the way the high wing trainer is what i have, very stable and can cope with a bit of wind. im still a newbie but hey i have been in your shoes and know exactly how ya feel.

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