Full Scale Pilots and R/C Pilots - RC Groups
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Jul 03, 2001, 03:42 PM
He wasn't always evil
AirVenture's Avatar

Full Scale Pilots and R/C Pilots

I was just wondering who out there his both a full scale airplane pilot and a remote control pilot. I myself am one, however, very new to R/C. It would be great to hear your comments on how you learned to fly and compare r/c flight to full scale flight

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Jul 03, 2001, 04:24 PM
Kosh's Avatar
I got into R/C late last year... and I just started my Private Pilot License training in April or March.

There is deffinately less to worry about when flying R/C... you just fly where you want, when you want, how you want...

Flying full scale, there are many more regulations, and other things to worry about, but you do have the added advantage of a first person perspective....

But then, I'm new at both so, that is just my opinion
Jul 03, 2001, 04:26 PM
Registered User
I plan on getting my private pilot license after I get my A&P license.
Jul 03, 2001, 04:35 PM
tic's Avatar
I have flown full scale for 15 yrs. or so and R/C for about 7mo.. seems to me learning R/C is harder.. The reverse sensing really got me and the lack of any airspeed indicator or such makes it all "seat of the pants" flying.
Jul 03, 2001, 05:15 PM
missing member
I have been flying full scale for about eight years now. I fly for a freight company out here in AZ. R/C is fairly new to me too but I am having a blast with it. As far as difficulty, I think r/c is tough because you don't get the physical sensations of flight... however it is not impossibly hard to teach yourself to fly.
As for full scale, the flying part is really pretty easy, although I would NOT reccomend self training

The regulations and paperwork and studies are what make full scale much more demanding... not to mention adverse weather.
I was a flight instructor in Texas for about four years and one thing I know for sure is that if you want to fly ANYHING, full scale or not, you have to invest a lot of time to do it right.
By the way I find r/c considerably less expensive than full scale flying
Jul 03, 2001, 05:25 PM
Tear down the WALL!
ralf dvorak's Avatar
yes, I am...
I fly RC for 25 years now (starting @6) and it got me into full scale flying.
I am a GAF pilot now for 10 years.

Sometimes I consider my job just as the best job in the world to earn the money to get my "toys" (planes, cars, etc. )
but the other times when you just skim the cloud layer tops...hmmmmmmm...
...Off tomorrow, pity


[This message has been edited by ralf dvorak (edited 07-03-2001).]
Jul 03, 2001, 06:26 PM
He wasn't always evil
AirVenture's Avatar
I definately have to agree that some aspects of flying R/C are very strange for a full scale pilot. One can only wonder what it would be like if you could see first person how an r/c plane flies (I know i'd definately be sick remembering my first flights). Right now I'm only 17 years old but have been flying for 5 years...R/C flying for a month or so. Both are a blast and almost equally enjoyable, but I think full scale flying might be slightly ahead. Thank you all for your comments hope to see you guys around!

Jul 03, 2001, 07:05 PM
Registered User
Larry Dudeck's Avatar
I've been flying R/C for about 15 months. Up until two weeks ago it was a substitute for the real thing.

Since then I have completed two lessons in a Cessna 150. Given my choice, I'd take the stodgy Cessna over any model.

On the other hand, the pre-flight check list, the pre-start, pre-take off and post flight check lists are bothersome, extremely important but bothersome. With a real plane the check list will save your hide, though.

Next lesson is Thursday at 1800 hrs.
Jul 03, 2001, 07:07 PM
Old Timer
California Condor's Avatar
Pilot and built my own plane.
Originally posted by AirVenture:
I was just wondering who out there his both a full scale airplane pilot and a remote control pilot. I myself am one, however, very new to R/C. It would be great to hear your comments on how you learned to fly and compare r/c flight to full scale flight

Jul 03, 2001, 07:11 PM
The Great and Powerful Oz
Woody's Avatar
I have been flying RC since 1976, and have had a pilot's license since 1980. Learning to fly a full-scale was easy after learning RC. After I told my instructor that I flew RC, he said he had thought I had previous flying experience. Aerodynamics are the same, no matter what the size of the plane.
Jul 03, 2001, 07:18 PM
Registered User
toddp's Avatar
I've had my private license for 2 years and am currently working on my instrument rating. I flew r/c some as a kid, mostly just built and crashed. Just got into electrics about a month ago and I'm having a blast. Here are the main differences for me:

R/C is more relaxing and stress free. It is something I can go out and do for 1/2 hour after work or in the evening and relax. With R/C you're allowed to try crazy things and make lots of mistakes (especially with a Zagi).

Full scale gives me more of a sense of accomplishment, and I suppose more of an ego boost than R/C. Plus, R/C will never offer the spectacular views, the travel, or probably the excitement of my first solo, a great landing, or possibly now an excellent ILS approach.

Lately, I've spent too much time messing with r/c and not enough time studying for my upcoming instrument checkride . Oh well, I'm really having a blast doing them both and fly one or the other, and sometimes both nearly every day.
Jul 03, 2001, 07:43 PM
Registered User
Daren's Avatar
I've built various models on and off for the last 25 years (FF, CL, plastic, etc.); R/C for the last 12-13. I'm about 50 hours into earning my private certificate. I have found that one has little to do with the other except for basic physics of flying.

1. Full size-lots of trimming. R/C-very little (hopefully).
2. Full size-expensive. R/C-cheap (comparatively).
3. Full size-coordinated turns. R/C-huh?
4. Full size-throttle=altitude, elevator=airspeed. R/C-just the opposite.
5. Full size-takes lots of practice to be a good pilot. R/C-takes lots of practice to be a good pilot.

As I see it. Your mileage may vary.

Jul 03, 2001, 09:14 PM
Visitor from Reality
While I ain't actually a pilot, I logged around 4,000 hours following them around in RAF Nimrod Anti-sub aircraft and have done a little impromptu flying.

Points - landing's hard, wherever you stand or sit. (unless you fly Zagis )

Full size & model drivers I've known (some details changed to protect the guilty)

Case one - last real flying job - chief IP with airline drivers school, Prestwick, Scotland, ex-Nimrod captain, more hours than Pontious. When flying models, would seldom go out of a left hand circuit around himself shooting touch and goes. (PS - is now a "Trapper" for the Committee for Arresting Aviation).

Case Two - VC10 tanker pilot, probably now running most of the RAF. Designed and built exquisite 1/6th scale WW1 era bipes and tripes. Had to be talked through flights by HIS IP (a RAF SNCO, of course). Not too good solo.

Case Three - a USAF F15 pilot based in England. Favourite trick reputed to be flying low over North Sea, going supersonic to watch rooster tail behind aircraft! Only had one model - an immaculate GP CAP 10, 60 sized with an OS 90. Started most flights with a snap and a half to inverted, one of the hottest hotdogger RC fliers I've seen, totally in control of his model at all times.

Case five. Ex-RAF test pilot, has tickets for most single engined warbirds in UK,. chief pilot at Shuttleworth. Gave up RC as it was too easy, last modelling interest was Pistachio (9" span) indoor rubber power scale. Once heard to bemoan missing model meets as Rolls Royce (his post RAF day job, testing Harriers) insisted on paying him to work weekends - flying their Spitfires in air shows.

Slight aside - tried to get a Nimrod pilot into RC. Briefing in coffee bar going well until we got to controlling rudder with left thumb! End of mission.

Funny old world. Odder still, I have never had enough of an urge to move up from the back of the aircraft to the front window seats.


Jul 04, 2001, 05:02 PM
Gentleman, scholar and acrobat
Cush's Avatar
I fly sailplanes (own an ASW19).

I used to fly R/C gliders a lot - ľ scale slope soarers mostly. It just became too distressing when I had the inevitable prang. I took up full size gliding about 12 years ago to save some money!.

I have recently come back to R/C. This time Iíve gone electric and Iím trying not to be too ambitious so the odd crash does not phase me too much now.

I fly a Twinstar and an srx250 at moment. The x250 in the park and the Twinstar at the full size airfield I glide from.

I do think that the skills gained in model flying translate well to full size and vice versa. I have often used all those years of bashing models along a slope to help me find lift on the ridge in full size gliders.