Which SAFE plane to get for a 12 year old - RC Groups
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Nov 09, 2017, 04:32 PM
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Which SAFE plane to get for a 12 year old


My son will be 12 in a couple weeks. He has been waiting a plane. I want to get one with SAFE technology. Which should I get?

E-flite's Apprentice 15e RTF
Carbon Cub S+
T28 Trojan

Thanks for any help.
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Nov 09, 2017, 04:50 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
I have flown an Apprentice S 15e , and a Mini Apprentice S .... they are both outstanding .

The planes with S+ can fly away if the GPS is not set up properly ..... that is even mentioned in the manuals .

The Trojan S RTF comes with an LP ( Low Power ) transmitter , so the range is limited . Not an issue for the tiny Trojan , but the transmitter will be useless for flying a larger plane that will fly to a greater distance .
Nov 09, 2017, 06:48 PM
Up! Up! And Away!
GottaZoom's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by balsa or carbon
I have flown an Apprentice S 15e , and a Mini Apprentice S .... they are both outstanding .

The planes with S+ can fly away if the GPS is not set up properly ..... that is even mentioned in the manuals .

The Trojan S RTF comes with an LP ( Low Power ) transmitter , so the range is limited . Not an issue for the tiny Trojan , but the transmitter will be useless for flying a larger plane that will fly to a greater distance .
Yes to all of the above. You can still have range issues with the LP transmitter, too. Flying field is a big issue with bigger planes. If that's not an issue, and budget is not then of the 3 I'd go with the Apprentice/Mini for a high wing to help with learning to get off SAFE. The UMX sport cub S would be similar to the T-28 and both can have little damage if careful, but are fragile and (IMO) harder to repair due to small size.

SAFE will help to limit crashes and damage, but crashes are a fact. So repairs should be considered, as well as parts costs.

I'm biased in favor of a Delta Ray, which needs more field than UMX plane, at least to start. It's slow and stable and forgiving and fun to fly even beyond a first plane. It's also not a high wing, and requires learning to read the wind to move off SAFE. But it's sturdy and easy to repair with foam safe glue and the motors aren't at the front. Plus it's price includes a full range TX that can be used with the other HH planes.
Nov 09, 2017, 08:05 PM
Perpetual Noob
BoxCar31's Avatar
The Apprentice S15 is the plane I started with and still fly. I will second the suggestion fir a better battery charger as the one supplied requires a DC input. You can get a decent AC/DC input charger that will charge a single battery at a time for around $50 from many sources both local and on-line. I would also recommend a second battery so you can have one charging while the other is flying. Better battery prices are found on-line than the Eflite batteries from the local store. Brand isn't as important as the "C" rating. you should go for a 30C over the supplied 20C as the C rating indicates surge current supply ability.
Nov 09, 2017, 10:12 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by park_flyer12
My son will be 12 in a couple weeks. He has been waiting a plane. I want to get one with SAFE technology. Which should I get?

E-flite's Apprentice 15e RTF
Carbon Cub S+
T28 Trojan

Thanks for any help.
Is he going to have someone who knows how to fly rc planes help him learn to fly?
Nov 10, 2017, 10:03 AM
Registered User
Neither of us know how to fly, so there isn't anyone to teach him. We both drive RC cars (Associated buggies) and do pretty good with those. I do have some very good AC/DC chargers that I paid some good money for that can charge LiPo, NiCad, NiMH, etc. So I should be ok there. I just wanted a "starter" plane for him (yes, I am sure I will be flying it also... ) so that he can learn and something that was easy to repair, work on, and inexpensive for parts. I was planning on getting the flight simulator for the PC to help if that was worth it.

I know that RC car driving doesn't translate into flying skills. At least not for me, but I am old and slow. Hopefully for him it will be better, but still want something "SAFE", easy to learn, easy to repair, etc. I don't want him to get frustrated and quit. He seems very interested and has been asking about it for a while so wanted to get the best plane I could for him. While money is not an issue (within reason) I don't want to start spending $500 bucks on something. But $200-$300 is ok.

Should I get another upgraded radio like a Spektrum 6 channel or just use what it comes with?

Thanks for all the help.
Nov 10, 2017, 11:22 AM
Up! Up! And Away!
GottaZoom's Avatar
I assume with RC cars the reverse orientation of having a car/plane coming toward you should be very comfortable - next hard issues after that is not flying too slowly (especially with wind) which creates a stall, and not over-correcting for roll. Flying with SAFE can really help with confidence and limiting repairs costs - the risk is that since if feels different it can become a crutch and encourage over-correction without it.

If you decide to stay in planes, you'll want a better TX (at least a DX6 or DX8 in the Spektrum line), but you may want to get to that level of confidence before dropping hundreds on a TX or looking at alternative lines that can offer more capability.

You'll really want to consider field size. With the larger apprentice you'll probably want a club size field. For a new pilot with any plane, finding a large open space where you can fly without wind is really important. After you have basic controls for tight turns and you know how much wind is OK for the plane, you can use smaller fields - depending on plane size and speed. This is why the UMX planes are popular. With a little experience to get control 2 or 3 backyards is enough space to have a lot of fun.

The Delta Ray I mentioned is what I'd call an in-between size. It is large enough to see at some distance but also slow enough to allow for a smaller field than something like the larger Apprentice. One can fly it on a single football field sized park and be happy with that for a field. I can land it in my back yard (after taking off and flying it out over the lake).

As I said, for any plane you'll want to start with a LOT of room and little wind and no close trees/obstacles. And really best if you can find somebody with experience to help with the first few flights.

As for Sims, you can download and try Clearview SE for free from a keyboard. It works with controller plus my USB TX and with my Taranis Q X7, too.
Nov 10, 2017, 02:19 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by park_flyer12
Neither of us know how to fly, so there isn't anyone to teach him. We both drive RC cars (Associated buggies) and do pretty good with those. I do have some very good AC/DC chargers that I paid some good money for that can charge LiPo, NiCad, NiMH, etc. So I should be ok there. I just wanted a "starter" plane for him (yes, I am sure I will be flying it also... ) so that he can learn and something that was easy to repair, work on, and inexpensive for parts. I was planning on getting the flight simulator for the PC to help if that was worth it.

I know that RC car driving doesn't translate into flying skills. At least not for me, but I am old and slow. Hopefully for him it will be better, but still want something "SAFE", easy to learn, easy to repair, etc. I don't want him to get frustrated and quit. He seems very interested and has been asking about it for a while so wanted to get the best plane I could for him. While money is not an issue (within reason) I don't want to start spending $500 bucks on something. But $200-$300 is ok.

Should I get another upgraded radio like a Spektrum 6 channel or just use what it comes with?

Thanks for all the help.
See if you can get an experienced RC flyer to help you for the first flights . If that's not possible : for unassisted first time Rc flyers , I recommend starting with a BNF ( Bind N Fly ) UMX Radian . Go to the middle of a huge , open , grass covered field ... at a time when there is no wind . Fly the UMX Radian around , keeping it reasonably close by .... then shut the throttle down and it will land itself . DON'T make any turns when it gets close to the ground .

For the BNF UMX Radian you will need to get a Spektrum transmitter , I recommend DX6e or higher . Then you will be able to fly additional BNF planes/helis/quads you may get in the future .

https://www.horizonhobby.com/EFLU298...8aAuF2EALw_wcB


https://www.horizonhobby.com/dx6e-6c...-only-spmr6650



https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=Y4nEGZaplJQ






If you haven't already , practice with a simulator . Many RC hobby shops have demo simulators , and there are free sim apps for touchscreen smart phones and tablets .
Nov 10, 2017, 03:51 PM
Registered User
Yes, the coming towards us will be a challenge.. in a way. The race tracks are always left/right view, so not much coming towards us.

I do want to stick with SAFE technology.

On the Delta Ray and the Trojan 28, both of those are Brushed Motors. So I was also thinking the brushless would be better? Yes/No?

If so, then that means the Apprentice or the Cub, correct?
Nov 10, 2017, 06:29 PM
Up! Up! And Away!
GottaZoom's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by park_flyer12
Yes, the coming towards us will be a challenge.. in a way. The race tracks are always left/right view, so not much coming towards us.

I do want to stick with SAFE technology.

On the Delta Ray and the Trojan 28, both of those are Brushed Motors. So I was also thinking the brushless would be better? Yes/No?

If so, then that means the Apprentice or the Cub, correct?
The 1S motor on the UMX T-28 or UMX SCS wear fairly fast - maybe fairer to say their life can be unpredictable. Working on the small planes is something I'm still avoiding (have both that need repair) 3+ years into the hobby. On my DR I decided to upgrade to brushed before the 2S 180 brushed motors wore out.

IMO, the DR motors are much easier to replace, but I suppose one could argue the point. Having posted on that extensively in the DR thread and my blog - YES -brushless is better, but it can wait until you've learned to fly. Plan on crashing and replacing after many repairs. With my DR SAFE has kept me from extensive damage, but there will still be bumps and bruises.

Brushed has a value in that a slow plane won't feel slow when you start out - it's amazing how fast it seemed at first. What I really like about the DR brushless upgrade is it is still mild on 2S and just extra fun on 3S batteries. I was shocked at how much faster things happen when I put in that first 3S battery.

Actually, my 2nd DR was built brushless from scratch for roughly same cost as buying a BNF DR. Took my time and got both for the cost of the Apprentice. Then I upgraded the 1st DR's motors - a couple times - and it will be repowered again over the winter. Oh, and I'm still planning to use the original DR motors in a scratch plane for my grand-daughter to learn. As I type this I am re-thinking the small, light dollar tree fuse that I started and perhaps will get a 3rd fuse to let her and her dad use #1 instead.
Nov 10, 2017, 08:15 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by park_flyer12
I do want to stick with SAFE technology.
The SAFE technology is fantastic and helps beginners by keeping the plane right-side-up . BUT ..... for "UNASSISTED" first time RC flyers ( IMO ) SAFE can still be a little complicated . The UMX Radian I recommended stays right-side-up the simple fool proof old fashioned way ( before SAFE technology ) , with a high polyhedral wing . If a UMX Radian is crashed beyond repair ( which would be hard to do ) , you're out $90 . If an Apprentice is crashed beyond repair , you're out $250 . For "UNASSISTED" first time RC flyers .... IMO , the Apprentice would be a good second plane .

Everything IMO ( In My Opinion ) is based on 7 years of RC flying experience , and helping DOZENS of people learn to fly RC ...... and helping several people set up their SAFE planes .

If you do get a SAFE plane first , fortunately the manuals are VERY thorough . For the best chance of success , follow ALL the instructions EXACTLY . If in doubt about anything , ask here first before attempting to fly .
Nov 10, 2017, 09:40 PM
Up! Up! And Away!
GottaZoom's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by balsa or carbon
.... If you do get a SAFE plane first , fortunately the manuals are VERY thorough . For the best chance of success , follow ALL the instructions EXACTLY . If in doubt about anything , ask here first before attempting to fly .
All of it was good advice - shortened to emphasize and comment on the above.

On the manual, one caution on mine I found was the information was so concise it seemed easy to overlook. Probably would really help to take it and put it into a checklist. But then, when we are new there is just so much new info it can be hard to keep it all on hand and checked off.
Nov 10, 2017, 10:52 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by park_flyer12
Yes, the coming towards us will be a challenge.. in a way. The race tracks are always left/right view, so not much coming towards us.

I do want to stick with SAFE technology.

On the Delta Ray and the Trojan 28, both of those are Brushed Motors. So I was also thinking the brushless would be better? Yes/No?

If so, then that means the Apprentice or the Cub, correct?
Don't worry about brushed/brushless. The plane will likely be done before the motor is.

I started with an Apprentice. I flew it into many trees and crashed and repaired it many times before I found someone to help me. It takes a lot of room, and even with Safe I do not think a 12 yo (or almost any age newbie) could successfully learn to fly it by himself.

The Trojan 28 is a step up from the Apprentice, and again not something one can learn to fly successfully by yourself.

I don't know about the Cub.

This isn't what you want to hear, but you need to find the local flying field and go hang out. Someone there will help,teach your son to fly. The simulator wont do it. It helps, but it's not enough.

This just isn't a diy learning thing. Been there, tried that, and failed.
Nov 11, 2017, 02:47 AM
Registered User
Grup's Avatar
I'm going to reiterate what AJudge said in post 13; get help don't try to learn on your own. I really wanted to fly; and I got with a club and learned from an instructor. Looking back on it, and recalling some bad first flights I had with perfectly good airplanes, makes me think that learning on your own is more difficult. Lots of people do it; but most have more trouble with the process than working with an instructor.

That difficulty is surmountable if you are really motivated. Kids seem to have different motivations than adults, but they also have lower attention span. If you go all the way out to a field to fly, spend time setting it up, toss it into the air and it immediately disables itself: That would be a "typical" first attempt by a self taught beginner.

Now do that another time. That's all you get with a kid before he's thinking "I'm going skate boarding with my friends". An adult that has dreamed about flying all his life will keep at it. A kid will be lost to flight forever.


Regards
Nov 11, 2017, 11:18 AM
Perpetual Noob
BoxCar31's Avatar
If you decide to upgrade the transmitter, my recommendation is for the DX6 G3 over the DX6e. Why, because of the voice announcements from the transmitter. The voice announcements can be set to announce the switch positions which are important for a new flyer. The DX6 will last for many years as it will control most anything you want to fly. You only need the additional channels if you want to go beyond adding flaps and retracts to a 4 channel plane or you want to add features to a SAFE equipped plane. If so, then the DX8G2 is the sweet spot but it will cost the same as the airplane. The US price for the BNF Apprentice is $30 less than the RTF but you will eat that difference in a single battery purchase. I would recommend the RTF and the DX6 G3 which adds $200 to the cost of the plane. This will give you the plane, battery and a second transmitter which will wirelessly bind to the DX6 so you can both fly the airplane with the DX6 as the master controller and the DX5e/DXe as the slave.

If you go this route, contact me off line and I will send you my DX6 configuration for the Apprentice which allows for Buddy Box flying and switch change announcements.


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