New to RC but have commercial license and 1850 hours - RC Groups
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Oct 23, 2011, 06:37 PM

New to RC but have commercial license and 1850 hours

As the title states, I'm a commercial pilot with 1850 hours; looking to get into R/C flying. In that 1850 hours are 130 in a T-38 supersonic trainer. I plan to use a simulator (was a sim check pilot way back when). All the recommendations are to start with a SuperCub or other slow trainer. Does my flight experience and knowledge of aerodynamics allow me to step up initially to a faster plane? All input is appreciated.
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Oct 23, 2011, 06:58 PM
Shelter Kitty "Orange Death"
bartricky's Avatar
Originally Posted by sjohnsonmbb
Does my flight experience and knowledge of aerodynamics allow me to step up initially to a faster plane? All input is appreciated.
9 out of 10 times it makes it harder.

Trust me. Knowledge of what the controls do is helpful but you can't think of yourself in the cockpit. RC is more of a video game mentality.
Oct 23, 2011, 07:04 PM
Senile Member
Lnagel's Avatar
Having flown both full size and RC I can tell you it's a whole new ball game. As far as I'm concerned, flying RC is more difficult because you don't have the instruments and tactile feedback that you get with the full size. Start with the trainer. After you learn the basics and obtain the required eye-hand coordination, then your knowledge of aerodynamics will help you become more proficient.

Oct 23, 2011, 07:11 PM
Too much to do not enough time
BobaFett1138's Avatar
My dad is also a commercial pilot. Been flying for 30+ years. (I think his log books are at 25,000 hours last I checked....) I'm STILL trying to get him to fly an alpha 40 trainer on my FS-one flight sim after 3 years, and he CONSTANTLY loses orientation. I've gotten him to do take offs, landings, and clean turns, but that orientation thing always comes back to get him. He has a LOT of trouble "putting himself inside the cockpit". I on the other hand, playing video games all my life, picked up FS-one and was flying 3D aircraft inside of a week. You are also used to big airplanes, with a lot of weight. RC planes are SO light, and they will not behave in the manner you'd expect. I would say your experience qualifies you for a SLOWER plane. Not to be insulting or anything, but you will have a hard time. master orientation on the sim, take your time, and have fun!
Oct 23, 2011, 07:44 PM
Takeoff,Crash,Repair ...
kg6uvp's Avatar
I'm low time pilot, only about 220hours, mostly in Cessnas. Rc piloting is 110% different.
Think of getting out in front of your plane and looking back and trying to control it. Its a different skill, believe me.

Go with a high wing trainer. Rudder, elevator and throttle only for first one.
Super Cub works. I flew the Easystar first. A lot of fun to fly, very relaxing, but didn't learn to take off and land. SuperCub works, I think and EasyCub might have been a better choice. Bigger is usually better if its wing loading is low.

My advice, and worth ever penny you paid for it.

(You get what you pay for when you get free advice?)
Oct 23, 2011, 10:17 PM
epphobby's Avatar
I am also a full scale pilot with low hours on some trainers. I started it all with the hardest one ( my opinion) which is R/C heli, then R/C plane and having mastered all that, i found it quite easy for me to fly the full scale. My buddy who flies A320 with 13+ years full scale flying experience has been having a hard time to fly R/C plane.
R/C is not as easy as it may looks like and like everyones else have said, its basically eye to hands coordination, plus feeling of how fast, slow, high or low the plane is, i would say the orientations is the hardest part.
I would say try a r/c simulator which most of LHS has setup on display for potential customers to try.
Oct 24, 2011, 12:25 AM
Registered User
I fly full scale as well. I had a Cessna Aerobat for a few years I took out weekly.
I loved to yank and bank, loop and roll and just dive it stright into the ground!
I also flew a couple military jets, heli's and gyro's, so my orientation was ok.
I got a micro heli and never did ever really fly it well.
Then I went to fixed wing Rc planes. I started with a simple trainer, but since this is a windy area, I couldn't keep it in the air for more than a few seconds. The hobbyshop guy said I need a faster plane for the wind and to get a simulator. So I got a sim and a Flying Wing. I practiced on the trainers, then the aerobatic's then the warbirds and jets.

The biggest problem I had was "Comming back at Ya"!
If I could have taken my plane out to a country road, with someone else driving and we just followed it as I flew it, it would be no problem. The sim helped me get my right thumb on automatic. After that, it got real easy quickly.

Now after about 10 years and 300 planes, 40 helis later, I mostly fly EPP parkflyers in smaller areas, even in the street infront of my house.

The simulator allowed me to skip the trainers, but each of us has there own learing curve. I sometimes teach Rc flying. Some can pick it up real fast right off a sim, and others just have to work at it alot harder. Butch
Oct 24, 2011, 12:40 AM
Rocket Programmer
jasmine2501's Avatar
Full scale pilots are the worst students in some ways, but also the best in some ways. Your strengths are knowing how planes work and how they should fly, but your weakness will be the different perspective and lack of information. When you're flying in the plane, you have instruments, you have butt feel, and you're always facing forward. With RC you have none of that feedback, and you spend half of your time with the plane facing you. Once you get over those issues though, your full scale experience will be quite helpful. I have never had trouble with landing and one of the reasons why is that full scale experience. There are many other times when it comes in handy too, but you should consider a simulator and an instructor to get you over the first humps. If you have a full scale simulator, try flying with the "tower view" or something just to get the feel.
Oct 24, 2011, 06:37 AM
Registered User
meshyx's Avatar
It seems that many beginners think faster is always more fun. This isn't true! If that was the case, all of us would be flying strykers and jets, which is clearly not the case.

I think you'll find great pleasure in cruising along with a stable and 'slow' plane, in between high-speed runs with your fast planes. Since you're gonna want both, it makes sense to start with the easiest one!

I'd recommend one of the easystar-clones if you think the cubs look a bit boring.
Some popular clones are the Hawk Sky and the Clouds Fly.
If you find something that looks more or less like the multiplex easystar, preferably with brushless motor and lipo batteries, it's gonna be a great trainer.
Oct 24, 2011, 08:42 AM
Registered User
ausf's Avatar
It's like trying to fly full size blindfolded with your body packed in ice.

Knowledge will help, but the repetitive muscle training is what will do it. I may know the exact mechanics of a good golf swing, but the only way to get there is practice.
Oct 24, 2011, 09:19 AM
Registered User
I recommend starting with a proper trainer before moving to something faster.

I'm a self-taught RCer that was flying full scale for 6 years prior.. I personally didn't find RC particularly difficult, but OTOH I'm also a gamer so I could deal with the 3rd person perspective.

The lack of feedback from the plane is a detriment. However, your knowledge of theory of flight and ability to multitask will come in quite handy.
Oct 24, 2011, 04:03 PM
Registered User
With whatever you decide on, an instructor will be your best friend ~~~ IF YOU LISTEN TO HIM/HER.

I have a saying ~ My worst students are :
1. Over 55
2. Have owned or run a business ( been in charge )
3. And a full scale pilot

My choice would be a high wing trainer ( Apprentice or Fun Cub type ) ENJOY !!! RED
Oct 24, 2011, 05:36 PM
Registered User
DeeBee1's Avatar
I also fly full size light aircraft as well as R/C. Although the aerodynamics are obviously the same, the actual flying is really a different skill and I personally don't think there is much comparison between full size and model flying.

Like any new skill, I suggest you start with the basics and get a trainer plane. If you pick up the basics quickly then great, you can progress from there.
Oct 24, 2011, 06:29 PM
Stick, roger ball.
I built a scratchbuilt foamie for $40 + radio. I firmly believe it's why I learned as much as I have as fast as I have. I'm not afraid to fly it. If I auger it in, a little glue and tape and I'm flying again. Flip through all the free plans in the scratchbuilt section and give it a go.
Oct 25, 2011, 12:21 AM
Registered User
I agree that building a plane from scratch is very informative.

As far as real time helping with RC?

I've flown a bit also, helicopters and fixed wing.

Like most have already said it really doesn't help nearly as much as you and I would have hoped.

I found that spending a lot of time on a sim helped me more than anything else.

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