An Old NEWBIE... - RC Groups
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Mar 27, 2004, 10:25 AM
Registered User

HELP...What do I buy...?

Dear gentlmen/ladies of this forum,

First of all I beg your indulgence for the most probably stupid questions I am about to ask. I am a 37 yo photographer that has been away from this sport for almost two decades and now finally find I have time to indulge a childhood passion.
Firstly I would like to mention that I now live in Tokyo, Japan. Having lived in England for my formative years, where I flew glowplug (not sure if thats too antiquated a term these days) engined 3 channel planes for a while. I have always thought that gliders were a far greater flying experience than my sometimes scarily short powered attempts in my youth...I do remember build and repair time were 90% of the eqation when it came to my flying abilities.
Having gone shopping with my girlfriend to a department store and seeing a 2m RC glider for sale I enquired as to the cost and was suprised at the price (cheaper than I would have expected). So with that "got to have" knot in my stomach I started my research on the web...came to this as much as I could and deceided that I need better informed minds to inform me as to the direction I now need to be heading in.
From what I have seen..(200MB plus of down loaded video clips which have kept me glued to my computer screen) I have deceided that an electric powered glider is the way to go. I would like any help as to what I should get...the problem being I will need to learn to fly again and that will involve the purchase of a trainer and then a real glider to actually do some flying with.

1.) I think the purchase of a good radio from the begining is almost compulsory and so advice on the standards that are useable in Japan (AM,FM or PCM) and also which models are considered worth while for long term use and compliance.

2.) A RTF electric plane to hone my basic skills upon.

3.)A more advanced ARTF to keep me grinning like a kid after my breaking (I hope thats not going to be literal) period on the trainer.

I hope those a spacific enough questions, any and all advice is welcome at the moment as I am confused as to how I should proceed from this point. The ARTF that captured my eye and still looks appealing is the Kelly, this is mostly due to the fact that 2m plus craft would probably be impracticle considering where I am.

My thanks in advance.

Last edited by HarshaDS; Mar 27, 2004 at 10:40 AM.
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Mar 27, 2004, 10:40 AM
The Airplane Gremlin
Seared Ice's Avatar
I suggest you consider a Slope Soaring plane. Perhaps one made of EPP foam (wont' break easily in a crash...good for beginners). I have read there's some slope soaring going on in Japan. Slope soaring is where the wind hits a hill/cliff and gets blown upwards...the wind moving up pushes your plane up in the air. No motor required (which saves on the cost aswell). Find out if you have a club nearby or anyone into the hobby nearby.

As for the radio, if you can afford it, go for a "computer radio". These radios save the settings for several models and usually will work with any model. The good (popular) brands are Futaba, Hitec, JR, and Airtronics. FM is best.

If you want to get a 2m glider, consider the Gentle's been around for a while and many beginners learn to fly on them. If you build the kit, you can have removable wingtips so that you can transport it easily.

Consider a "Parkflier" type airplane. GWS makes very good parkfliers like the Slowstick and PicoStick.

If you build your plane from a kit, you will know how to fix it better when you crash.

If you can fly a parkflier type plane anywhere in your area, a 2m or less glider should fit well also. If you get a glider, you probably want to put an electric motor in it. You could consider a Hand-lauch-glider which are thrown like a javelin and then glided down or a discus-launch-glider which you swing around real fast and let go then glide down.

If there's a club near you, they might prefer you learn on a trainer-type airplane.

And yes, glowplugs are still how the engines run....and I wouldn't call 37 OLD. I'm 15 and the "Old Newbies" in my club are 2x your age....

Welcome to This is a great site and there are 100s (if not 1000s) of experts here. This is a very good forum for beginners.

Last edited by Seared Ice; Mar 27, 2004 at 10:42 AM.
Mar 27, 2004, 10:52 AM
around Colombia
ShredAir's Avatar
Harsha, a good place to start is meeting people who are into the hobby. In Tokyo, I recommend Little Bellanca Co, Ltd, ask for Mutsuo Kobayashi. Here is an address:
Sotobori Sky Bldg. 2-11
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Japan 162-0845

Dieter Mahlein, ShredAir
Mar 27, 2004, 11:16 AM
soholingo's Avatar
If you do a search on soholingo, you will find that I was where you were just a few years ago. I flew all manner of toys initially, crashed a lot of planes, then I saw hotliner flying, and KNEW that was the way to go. What you need when starting out is stick time. The single best way I have seen to get stick time is to go with an EPP wing. They are durable, and can fly fast and slow, they can thermal, they can slope, and you spend MORE time flying than building.

Prior to getting into the field spend some time with FMS flying simulator.

I just used a two stick joy stick and helped with getting orientation, understanding how to line up for landing, etc...

That said nothing is better than getting with people who fly the types of planes you fly. For me that was whizwaz and tic, and good vendors like Shredair and NES (I mention these two because the owners have spent hours on the phone with me, describing how to fly).

oh, and post your questions to ezone...

Mar 29, 2004, 06:53 AM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
I've moved this thread to the beginner forum. Here, you will find many of your questions already answered..
Mar 29, 2004, 07:29 AM
The Airplane Gremlin
Seared Ice's Avatar
I think it was a good idea that he asked where he did. Rather than asking in the beginners forum where he'll get only opinions highly biased towards planes like the Slow Stick, he'll get opinions from people with lots of experience that know what he's interested in -- gliders. Nobody minds a question being asked twice (except maybe you moderators who feel its your duty to stop such foul behavior). Things are always changing in this hobby -- especially the things Harsha needs help with like chosing a plane and radio system -- so I think it is good that he asked before, perhaps, doing a search to see if his questions have been asked. Rarely does a search I do return threads on just what I need and if at all, the threads I get are each for a slight part of the question I'm asking. Me putting together all the peices to the puzzle takes much more time than a few people taking 3 minutes out of their lives to respond. If I see that the work I will have to do to answer my own question is far less than the work other users will have to do to answer it, I will decide to answer it on my own.
Do you need any more help, Harsha?
Mar 29, 2004, 09:42 AM
Registered User
Dr Kiwi's Avatar
Hi Harsha - Welcome! You have recieved good advice from John, and I can't really add anything better, though I wonder whether an electric power-assist glider would work well in your situation - then you don't need the Hi-start/winch, tow-plane or the perfect slope?

"Old" is only in the mind. You are still a kid in my book, as evidenced by the fact that you grew up flying glow - when I began flying powered aircraft (C/L) in '62, glow engines were a new concept which had not even reached New Zealand - we used only diesels (one of my Oliver Tiger Mk III's, now 45-50 years old still runs well!).

Cheers, Phil
Mar 29, 2004, 11:30 AM
soholingo's Avatar
No doubt he posted in the right forum before. I find that I post my questions in the places I am most likely to get an answer, which isn't always the appropriate place. Andy you are probably doing him a disservice as the people that can answer his question are going to be in the sailplane/highperformance forums.

How did I find this thread? It was in the sailplane forum and I subscribed...
Mar 29, 2004, 01:46 PM
Registered User
Hello again,
Please forgive me but I shall attempt to answer you all as I thank you all for taking the time to reply to my questions.

Dieter/Shred Air,
I took your advice and got in touch with Little Bellanca and spoke to Mr. Kobayashi after several tries, I have an appontment with him Tuesday at 6.00pm,thank you for the information

Dr. Kiwi/Phil first powered aircrafrat was a control line FW Me-109 powered by a PAW diesel..I don't see any dielsel engine forums so I'm assuming that unless Mercedes or BMW decide to minaturise their engines in commonrail form this is a non starter these days.My original idea of the Kelly was exactly as you have said ..a glider with electric power for the ease of getting up into the air to actually do some gliding.

John/Seared Ice,
I think you are right about the EPP foam option for me. I am always dreading the long hours/days of repair after the rapture of the 10 second flight followed by the enevitable crunch of delicate balsa folding under impact, those memories from almost 2 decades ago still haunt me. From what I have read on the various offerings the Graupner TERRY seems to be a good starting point though not a true would seem to fit what I think are my requirements.I spoke to the very sweet lady at Little Bellanca and she said I could get a starting kit into the air for around $1000.oo or so, I was a bit disconcerted as I had hoped that a simpler and more cost effective way might be found for me to kiss the ground...(especially when you see that there are a lot of offerings on the web sub $500.oo) I'm pretty sure there will be a lot of that going on ( both with the plane at high speed and me if nothing falls off of it). Mr Kobayashi when I did finally get to speak to him on the phone said that a decent radio will set me back $360.oo or so..I think it is a JR PCM9X..I hope that is a realistic price...though to me it seems overkill on the specs. PCM would make sence but a 9 channel radio ..?...would I ever need such a tecno beast for a powered glider ..?

How long did it take you to get into Japan/Tokyo..?.Having been here for a very short period I find it still rather daunting to function here. Again...thank you for the information on this endevour. Having been away from this for so long I am wondering what your opinion on the quality of the RC sims actually are..? I ask because I was told that this was the best way for me to learn to fly at Little Bellanca before getting up into the air, they offered me the Realflight G2 for $300.oo plus (again some $100.oo above what I have seen advertised on the web). The reason I mention the prices on what I have been told so far in Japan is everything over here seems to be at least 30% more than I've seen advertised on the web. I would not want to be rude to Mr. Kobayashi by assuming he was overcharging me but considering the difference in price it might be cheaper for me to order from the states and pay the shipping this a misunderstanding on my part..?
Forgive the rant...thank you for the download link for FMS..would you consider it on par with the Realflight G2 for the flying chacteristics of gliders..I ask because I could get a couple of planes for the price of the Real Flight G2 RC sim and that would be infinitly preferable..and have you flown it linked to your Radio..that to me seems the only difference between the two.

Andy W/Super Moderator,
Understood...forgive my ignorance, but as stated I placed my question in the forum that I thought might get the most informed answers. I apolagise for the inconvenience but having looked at the questions asked I thought the specifity of my post might stop me bothering people unduly.

I thank you all for your indulgence and the help you have given me so freely.

Mar 29, 2004, 03:17 PM
Dead stick!!
Peter Young's Avatar
Hi Harsha

My 2 cents worth...

I'm surprised the Terry set-up was so expensive, although I guess if you are buying everything from scratch it might get to that figure. I don't think the Terry is EPP foam, although I hear it is a good plane none the less. EPP is a very durable material that rarely breaks on impact, and when it does it can be glued and taped back together very easily. My favourite plane is an S&B Komet - partly because it is almost indestructable. Here's the web site for these planes:

An unbreakable trainer is a great thing for building confidence and reducing frustration. The Komet is also a plane you will enjoy for many years, rather than grow out of quickly.

My suggested package would be:

* Hitec Flash 5X transmitter - get the version with HS81 servos (better suited to gliders etc).
* Great Planes Triton charger - looks after your batteries (cycling etc) and does lipoly cells that will be the standard some time soon.
* S&B Komet + speed 400 motor + Kan 1050 batteries (just 2 to start with will be ok). You can buy the Komet in kit form, covered, or RTF.
* Jeti 50amp ESC with BEC and brake - get a 50 now and it will be useable for future big motor gliders. Alternate might be castle creations esc programeable for lipoly batteries.
* Great Planes Spectra ARF glider (upgrade the motor to a Kyosho Magnetic Mayhem for great power when climbing) - good starter glider that you can easily repair/buy spares for, flies great, cheap etc. Might need 3 or 4 batteries.
* The ultimate glider (to be decided after lots of research and advice).

I hope this helps. Great fun ahead I predict.

Last edited by Peter Young; Mar 29, 2004 at 09:10 PM.
Mar 30, 2004, 08:54 AM
Registered User
Dr Kiwi's Avatar
Hi Harsha - if you ever need to return to your roots, PAW is still in business producing a wide range of diesels for C/L and RC - I bought a PAW 19 a year or two ago.

Cheers, Phil

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