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May 28, 2010, 03:40 PM
Registered User

All terrain aircraft

Here's a new question for all: which model airplane is the best for beginners? No, sorry; What I meant was: which model airplanes would you recommend for improvised airfields?

I'm completely new here in the forum, but I'm not completely, 100% new to flying (more like 98–99%). I've flown heavy, noisy ones, 20 or so years ago—and learned enough to bring them down again in a fairly low amount of separate pieces. After that, I put the hobby aside. Now, I've recently bought (and started flying) the tiny, tiny, tiny Parkzone Ultra-Micro P-51D Mustang—what a joy!

Apart from being easy to fly, fun to fly and quite crash resistant, the one property that really made it happen (the relapse into r/c piloting) was that the size and weight eliminated need for airfields. The tiny model, even with my lack of skill, requires only a small airvolume to fly in. It can be hand-launched and—thanks to weighting only 36 grams—landed without a scratch on top of the uncut grass. With or without landing gears.

Now, with this stimulating hobby once more dominating my thoughts, I'm looking for more. I want a larger model I can fly whenever the wind is noticeable. I want something stable that I can use to teach my friends to fly with (with a "buddy cord"-setup). I want something that is as fun for me to fly as the P-51D, only bigger.

Most of all, I want something that doesn't require me find out which tuesdays the local r/c club meet and fly at some far away airstrip that I'm unable to get to. I want to be able to fly wherever there is an open, deserted field.

I see two options: a model with high, sturdy, taildragging landing gear setup or one without landing gear. Since I want to be able to launch it by hand and, later, land safely anywhere, I would not want anything heavier than 2 kg or larger than around 1,5 m (wingspan). To fit my skill-level (and curious friends') a fair bit of dihedral, some nice stall behavior and low minimum speed would be desirable.

So far, I've found the Multiplex Mentor, potentially with some landing gear modifications, to fit the bill (slightly too big—you can launch it by hand, can't you?). But there must be plenty more bush planes out there right? Anyone else living with these requirements?

(Btw. Sorry for the way too long explanation. The question is really: list the best, most fun, easy to fly, medium sized model airplanes accepting improvised airfields.)
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May 28, 2010, 04:17 PM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
What's wrong with just 'belly-landing' ? If you're going to hand launch, you don't need U/C, so you might as well do a belly landing as well.

I and many others have been doing it for years, with balsa models and foam models.

Some models even have their U/C removed if the flying site is a rough surface.

So I'm not quite sure why you're asking.
May 28, 2010, 04:30 PM
Registered User
I'm all for belly-landing! In my experience however, not all models are built for it. Especially for models weighing in at more than 500 grams or so. What I'm looking for is not only fun models capable of belly-landing, but actually designed for it.

Maybe I'm too afraid to damage the model, but when I see a 2 kg (or more) land on a rough surface, I wince.
May 29, 2010, 10:31 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
I am currently having to belly land a 7lb - 2oz, (3.2 kg) model made from Depron foam.

And it's on to quite short grass on a playing field, admittedly I wouldn't want to do it on tarmac or concrete. Also, when it's a flying boat, (Short Sunderland), adding wheels would spoil the looks.
Most of the foamie models in the scratchbuilt forum don't have any wheels. It just isn't a problem.

All you need to do for rough surfaces is make sure the contact surface has some strength. My Sunderland has a layer of glass cloth bonded on with an Acrylic clear varnish, and then painted over in the normal color, so far the paint is hardly marked other than grass stains.
I have flown plenty of models without U/C, not just electric but glow as well, never had any belly landing damage, crashing damage yes, but then you can't protect models that want to crash.

Don't worry too much, just fly and try to make all your landings smooth ones.
Even some fairly strong tape would do if you are worried.
May 29, 2010, 11:27 AM
Registered User
That's good enough for me; I'll follow all the other "beginner model" recommendations and compensate the lack of landing strip with a layer of glass fiber adhesive tape.
May 29, 2010, 11:32 AM
RIP Azarr - "Old age is not for sissies"
Azarr's Avatar
Since you're in Sweden, take a look at the Multiplex Fun Cub. Designed for just what you're asking about.

May 29, 2010, 06:59 PM
Registered User
Thanks! A very good suggestion—I had not heard of this model earlier. The Fun Cub seems to fit my requirements perfectly.
May 30, 2010, 05:20 AM
Registered User
Multiplex Easy Star anyone? Big wingspan, flies slow, super stable, no landing gear at all. Can do an aileron mod to convert it to 4 channels to keep yourself interested.
May 30, 2010, 07:43 PM
Registered User
I was going to mention the Fun Cub as well! Apparently here in the US there is still about 5 or 6 weeks until they hit our shores, unlike the oil in the Gulf.
May 31, 2010, 12:17 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Mattvr1ck
Multiplex Easy Star anyone? Big wingspan, flies slow, super stable, no landing gear at all. Can do an aileron mod to convert it to 4 channels to keep yourself interested.
I've been thinking about the Easy Star as well, and I've read through tons of threads about it here. It seems to be very much of what I should get, but for some reason the Fun Cub appeals more...
May 31, 2010, 12:20 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Azarr
Since you're in Sweden, take a look at the Multiplex Fun Cub. Designed for just what you're asking about.
Doesn't seem to help to live here: the Fun Cub seems to be out of stock everywhere.

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