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Oct 10, 2021, 08:21 PM
I74
I74
Slope plane crazy
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What was the R/C world like before SIMs ??

Lot's more crashes & rough landings.
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Oct 11, 2021, 01:46 PM
AMA 46133
SeismicCWave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trisquire
This is a six year old thread, but it seemed like a fun subject. In the model plane magazines, writers usually suggested a learning curve much like in full-scale aviation. Start with a 3 channel trainer, and then progress to 4 channels with ailerons. Start off with planes that try to right themselves if you get into trouble. Ultimately the goal was to be able to handle a go-where-you-point-it plane with neutral stability.
I can see there were really a few distinct eras of learning how to fly RC.

1) Just like the full size aviation pioneers, people like the Wright brothers, the old time RC pilots had to learn to fly RC all by themselves. As such they took planes that were free flight and use the radio control unit as "interruptions". The planes pretty much flew themselves and the radio control units just occasionally disrupt their flight patterns which may resemble some form of "control".

2) Once there were a crop of "proficient" RC pilots/builders (yes most proficient pilots in those days also were the builders) then there were a lot of passing the transmitters back and forth. I learned in that era. We build "trainers" and get hooked up with mentors. They will do the take offs and landings and trim the planes out for us. Then once the plane is in a straight and level flight, they pass the transmitter over to the students. When the students got into trouble, they passed the transmitters back to the instructors.

3) There are now flight simulators to help students learn how to fly before actually attempting flight of their models. However this method did not emphasize the building and setting up of the model since the flight sims took care of all the setups. Especially in an RC helicopter flight sims.

4) The mostly automated flying vehicles like the RC planes with the more advanced form of in flight electronic stabilization. The plane flies itself and allow the student pilot to occasion disturb the flight pattern. (Does that sound familiar?)

5) the "students" sit on the couch and watch a video of an RC plane flying a routine in a flight simulator and nothing is tactile to the touch. It is all an illusion............
Oct 12, 2021, 10:16 AM
Intermediate Multi
Trisquire's Avatar
So I guess we've come full circle in a way. We've simply transitioned from passive (#1) to active (#4) flight stabilization. Like you, I did my initial learning during the #2 period. I've gotten a lot more comfortable with my flying as a result of #3 however.
Oct 12, 2021, 01:41 PM
AMA 46133
SeismicCWave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trisquire
So I guess we've come full circle in a way. We've simply transitioned from passive (#1) to active (#4) flight stabilization. Like you, I did my initial learning during the #2 period. I've gotten a lot more comfortable with my flying as a result of #3 however.
Number 2 worked for fixed wing airplanes that can get into a nice straight and level flight. However for RC helicopters it was a more complicated issue since there isn't anytime a helicopter gets into a stable hover for a long period of time (I meant before electronic flight stabilization.) So to learn to fly helicopter even with tail gyro meant that I had to learn all by myself. However having a few friends that can do the hardware setup really helped. Especially for things like hovering pitch etc. So for me number 3 (the flight simulator) helped me in practicing difficult RC helicopter maneuvers without crashing.

I don' know how many people actually remember one of the first RC helicopter flight simulators available on the market. Sold by Dave Brown. I was at the 1987 Chicago Model Show and there was a long line of people waiting to try their hands on the Dave Brown RC helicopter flight simulators. It was running on a PC computer using DOS as the operating system.
Oct 12, 2021, 02:38 PM
I74
I74
Slope plane crazy
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No. 2 is where I basically learned 4+ channels.
No.3 is where I started teaching myself advanced aerobatics.

I don't fly anything fixed wing with flight stabilization,, ''that's cheating'', lol.
Setting planes & computer radios up correctly,, you shouldn't need stabilization assist anyways.
Last edited by I74; Oct 12, 2021 at 02:47 PM.
Oct 12, 2021, 02:58 PM
AMA 46133
SeismicCWave's Avatar
>>I don't fly anything fixed wing with flight stabilization,, ''that's cheating'', lol.<<

I have to agree but I am old school. Nowadays with Spektrum and other radio coming out with all sorts of flight stabilizers every one seems to want one. I like to "fly" my plane and not let some electronic gadget flies for me.

Some people like to program their "drones" to take off fly some place, come back and land without them doing anything. What is the fun in that?
Oct 12, 2021, 04:19 PM
Intermediate Multi
Trisquire's Avatar
For the photography/video drone enthusiasts, the vehicle itself is just a means to and end. It's a platform for getting aerial footage. The FPV guys, on the other hand, are interested in flying skill.

Does anyone know how the numbers break down in terms of drone enthusiasts? How many folks are into video or photo producing drones and how many folks are into FPV drones?
Oct 12, 2021, 04:58 PM
AMA 46133
SeismicCWave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trisquire
For the photography/video drone enthusiasts, the vehicle itself is just a means to and end. It's a platform for getting aerial footage. The FPV guys, on the other hand, are interested in flying skill.

Does anyone know how the numbers break down in terms of drone enthusiasts? How many folks are into video or photo producing drones and how many folks are into FPV drones?
I was an aerial photographer before all these sophisticated stuff came out. I was using an electric helicopter for my work then progressed into home made multicopters ( Sorry I refuse to call my multicopters, drones). That was all before FAA put their fingers into the pie. I was also custom making multicopters and stabilized camera gimbals.

I don't know the numbers for the breakdown but I read rumors that one year DJI and their competitors sold something like 7 million "drones". That probably included all the toy drones little kids play in their living rooms. However the number is still staggering. That's why DJI is so successful because their sales volume is way larger than any RC related industry had ever saw. However we are no longer open the subject of this thread and I don't want to be the one bad mouthing the "drone" industry.
Oct 12, 2021, 07:02 PM
I74
I74
Slope plane crazy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeismicCWave
>>I don't fly anything fixed wing with flight stabilization,, ''that's cheating'', lol.<<

I have to agree but I am old school. Nowadays with Spektrum and other radio coming out with all sorts of flight stabilizers every one seems to want one. I like to "fly" my plane and not let some electronic gadget flies for me.

Some people like to program their "drones" to take off fly some place, come back and land without them doing anything. What is the fun in that?
The newest radio I still use as my ''go to'',, is my trusty ''old'' -''Japan made'', JR XP-8103, with a 2.4 conversion, ''Love that thing'' !

I know how to replace the mem. batt cell in those also.
Oct 12, 2021, 08:54 PM
AMA 46133
SeismicCWave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by I74
The newest radio I still use as my ''go to'',, is my trusty ''old'' -''Japan made'', JR XP-8103, with a 2.4 conversion, ''Love that thing'' !

I know how to replace the mem. batt cell in those also.
Yeah I still use my JR 9303. Convert to 2.4 GHz with a Frisky module. I like the ergonomics of the transmitter and where the two slider switches are located.
Oct 13, 2021, 07:47 AM
Registered User
Daedalus66's Avatar
Having first flown RC in 1954, I’ve been through all the stages. I’m still an active instructor in our club flight school.

It’s a mistake to lump together various kinds of stabilization. The big distinction is between rate stabilization and AutoLevel. In Spektrum terms, between AS3X and SAFE. The former, properly set up, does not interfere with the pilot’s control of the model. Rather, by reacting to short-term disturbances, it enables the model to fly more smoothly, but always at the direction of the pilot. Self-levelling stabilization (SAFE), on the other hand, greatly reduces the pilot’s workload (and control) by changing the fundamental relationship between stick movements and plane reactions. With SAFE, the sticks command an angle of flight: hold aileron and the model banks, release and it comes back to level.

Learning to fly, whether on a sim or in the air, is quite different in these two basic modes of stabilization. In rate mode (AS3X) it’s much like flying a bigger unstabilized model — it’s smoother and less jumpy, but the controls are perfectly normal in response. In Autolevel, however, the student learns a totally different set of commands. To turn you just hold the aileron stick to one side. This leaned response makes for an often difficult transition to “real” RC flying.

The moral of the story is that the value of practice on a sim is almost totally lost if the pilot flies in SAFE mode.
Oct 13, 2021, 12:22 PM
AMA 46133
SeismicCWave's Avatar
>>The moral of the story is that the value of practice on a sim is almost totally lost if the pilot flies in SAFE mode.<<

I disagree a little here. Yes if you consider the stability of the aircraft between the SIM and at the flying field with a "real" plane. However the difference is the "setup" before the flying begins. In a flight sim you have to actually go into the software to create setup flaws. Something like making an aileron control quit after X number of minutes into a flight. Or making and engine quit and you have to dead stick after a duration.

However in real life the pilot is usually the builder and the experience in the building and setting up of the aircraft/helicopter is as much a required experience compare to a flight sim. In another word in real world there are balsa dust (or foam dust knowing the latest crop of airplanes are foamies) and a flight sim is sterile.
Oct 15, 2021, 07:06 AM
Registered User
Daedalus66's Avatar
I was talking only about the value of sim time in teaching the basic skills of flying the plane. What you want the student to learn is to coordinate, for example, the use of aileron, elevator and perhaps rudder in making a smooth and coordinated turn. This is one of the hardest skills to master at the beginning. Allowing SAFE to do it for you means you will never learn it. Thus you will be condemned to fly only models with SAFE-type stabilization.
Oct 15, 2021, 06:24 PM
I74
I74
Slope plane crazy
I74's Avatar
I use rudder as much as ailerons & elev.,, especially on Sailplanes & aerobatic jobs.

Also fly on a sim for a 1/2 hr. or so with an assortment of planes,, when I haven't flown in awhile,, like before the season opener.

It really helps me in feeling more confident when going out & doing it for real,, especially for landings.

My eyesight anymore is the biggest down fall I have, & it sucks.

Even though I have flown for ''many'' years,, not being able to see real good,, I have to be ''very'' careful,, & pretty much fly ''a lot'' more conservative now,, with mostly just basic flying.
Last edited by I74; Oct 15, 2021 at 06:35 PM.
Oct 16, 2021, 05:21 AM
Youtube channel : solentlifeuk
solentlife's Avatar
I'm 'old school' and I smile when I read the :

Don't use Stabiliser - its cheating !!

Sorry but that's "head in the sand" .....

I agree that if you want to fly competition - then do not use. But when it comes to general - what's the beef ??

We have 2 in our club who love to tell everyone .... "He's cheating with a gyro" .....

Both of them - at different days I have handed over model and TX and said - have a fly mate ... not saying anything about with gyro or not ....
They soon stopped being smart when I said they had just flown with low gain gyro after they both commented it was nice to fly.

People make the mistake of thinking the gyro will fly FOR YOU ......... WRONG. Unless the model is at flight speed - it has NO EFFECT .. so forget hand launches and all the crap you hear are better with !

Gyros have actually made various models flyable where previously they were impossible.

I've been flying models for over 55 yrs ..... learnt on basic 2ch trainers ... even went the relay / G. Ghost route .... taught many to fly.

When proportional radio hit the streets - I soon got a buddy cable and helped a number or newbies with that .......... but strange - I soon wasn't using it and people were taught without ... with very few crashes.

I see more crashes now than I used to in the 80's 90's ............

I crash more now than I did before !! But I'm getting past my sell by date ... eyes not what they were. Reactions slowed !!


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