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Aug 22, 2018, 12:53 PM
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Discussion

First time RC pilot here. Tired of the CRASHING!


I recently decided to get into RC flying after wanting to do it for a long time but never really having the time or money to dedicate.
I decided to build a FT Tiny Trainer after watching the great build videos on Flite Tests Youtube channel, and by recommendations by other RC hobbyists that its one of the easiest trainers to build and fly for a beginner.
The build was successful, and after much research I figured out the electronics, and ordered as close to the right parts as I could find.
Everything arrived from HobbyKing.com ahead of schedule and working perfectly despite the horrible reviews of that company.I honestly had no problems with HobbyKing!
The setup was challenging but went well. i battled through the various design issues and got everything working fine. It was a real learning experience and I felt like an aircraft engineer, getting this little aircraft built and running and taxiing around my living room floor, ready for its maiden voyage.

Thats where the fun kinda ended.

The maiden voyage was a disaster. I rammed into a signpost on my first attempt. My second attempt was a short flight followed by a spiral dive into a river bed with significant damage to prop and power pod. The plane seemingly had no real control, was twitchy and would make sudden turns or dives.

I went back and repaired the minimal front end damage and tried it again at a park a few weeks later. Same thing. No control, sudden dives, and the plane actually lost control once end went on free flight when the servo arm came loose from the rudder causing the plane to run like a scared deer away, ending up lost in a stand of trees, with me using the beeping from the esc to track it down. I had maybe a half dozen short terrible flights in this session before the servo incident made call it a day.

Heres the weird part though.

After taking it back to my truck, repairing the prop and servo arm, taping up some minor damage to the wing, I decided to try it one more time. I launched it in a small valley just beside my truck. I had 5 or six beautiful flights of maybe 30 seconds to a minute each where it felt like the plane was flying itself. I was only gently coaxing it into doing what it wanted to do. I finally understood the addiction of RC flying! I did some slow landings with the power off, and even managed to pull off some acro with a few loops. The last loop I did was too tight and I believe stressed the hot glue joint, causing the wing to fold and the plane to nose dive, but that was fine.. At least it worked beautifully while it worked!

Ive never been able to replicate those flights. I rebuilt the destroyed power pod, bought some new stronger props, and I even discovered expo and dual rates and shorted the throws significantly on the elevator and rudder to see if that helped. I tried again the next week with a repaired wing and couldnt keep it in the air. I rebuilt the fuse and power pod, and it improved nothing. I had a few short flights at a soccer complex that ending with me half way up a 50 foot tree shaking it loose from a branch and a final unanticipated nose dive that destroyed the fusealage.

If it wasnt for those few perfect flights I would chalk it up to either a bad design, bad building techniques or bad pilot skills, but it did fly once.
I know the design is sound because there are many many videos on youtube of people successfully flying these birds.
As for building, Ive tried to build as straight and light as possible. Ive removed paper from areas of the foamboard that didnt need it, and replaced with packing tape in areas where extra strength is needed. I am obsessive about straight cuts and accurate dimensions. I checked the COG before every flight. I made sure the thrust angle was correct and the prop was properly oriented and spinning in the right direction.
Ill admit I am a beginner pilot, but I have done a few hours in a sim, and was managing to keep trainers and more advanced 4 channel planes in the air for minutes at a time.

Ive honestly still had a lot of fun in this hobby with the building, learning, and rescue missions after a crash, but i feel more like the NTSB or first responders at an air crash than an actual pilot. LOL...Im seriously at a loss here. After destroying 2 planes, I am thinking i maybe have a serious setup issue. or transmitter setup problem. Im probably going to abandon this design and try a FT Flyer or BLU Baby which are supposed to be excellent first time airplanes.

Any advice as to what i could be doing wrong or suggestions on better first airplanes to try would be appreciated.
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Aug 22, 2018, 01:52 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
My favorite beginner plane is the EzFly , I've used EzFlys to teach dozens of first timers over the last few years . One big advantage of an EzFly is the motor & prop are protected if crashed nose first .

The EzFly can be built from plans , but there's another disposable beginner plane ( Super Easy ) that can be built without plans . The Super Easy looks like a big paper airplane and also has a protected motor/prop . And if crashed beyond repair , a new SE airframe can be made quickly and easily .

If you would like to build either one of those planes , I'll be glad to help .



Here is one of my EzFlys :

Copy of EzFly with under-cambered wing (1 min 57 sec)





Here is a Super Easy built and flown by a first timer :


RcGroups Scratchbuild "SuperEasy" maiden flight (1 min 28 sec)






Here is a later flight by the same guy & his Super Easy :


RcGroups "SuperEasy" scratch build short flight (1 min 10 sec)
Last edited by balsa or carbon; Aug 22, 2018 at 02:02 PM.
Aug 22, 2018, 02:50 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
I like the traditional look of the EZFly . It just looks so much more planelike in the air. it looks like i flies nice and slow for a beginner. I shouldnt have any problems with the build. it looks pretty similar to the Tiny trainer

That looks like an interesting design. on the Super easy.. i havent really seen a design like that. with the dihedral AND the high wing it looks like it would be really stable for a beginner. It would be almost impossible to invert lol. Id worry a bit about flying in the wind though because of the large cross section. It might get blown around a bit lol.

I might take a run at building the ezfly when i get a chance
Aug 22, 2018, 03:25 PM
gpw
gpw
“There’s no place like Foam”
gpw's Avatar
These days best get some time on a flight simulator ( crashproof ) It took me 40 years to stop crashing Balsa planes …. so often …
Latest blog entry: Lost plans
Aug 22, 2018, 03:29 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
The advantage of the Super Easy is that it's a quick easy disposable build , the basic airframe ( without prop slot or control surfaces ) is just two straight cuts on two pieces of foam board !
Last edited by balsa or carbon; Nov 12, 2018 at 03:00 PM.
Aug 22, 2018, 03:53 PM
Too old to rock-n-roll...
TooJung2Die's Avatar

Practice, practice


FoamForce,
Boy can I relate to what you wrote. My horrible experience was with a beginner "crash-proof" ready to fly (RTF) airplane. I put the left over pieces in a box and put my dream of flying RC aside for a few years.

Then I stumbled across Flite Test. I built the Tiny Trainer. While waiting for the slow boat from China to deliver the assorted electronics, I spent several hours on a free flight simulator called Desk Pilot.

I was completely astonished when the Tiny Trainer flew around for ten minutes, landed safely and was still perfectly flyable! My hands were shaking and I had the RC fever.

I attribute the success of the second airplane to the time spent on the flight simulator, not my airplane building skill. Practice, practice on a simulator. The Tiny Trainer is an excellent beginner aircraft.

Jon
Aug 22, 2018, 06:16 PM
Kimbers Keeper.
BHOFM's Avatar
Can't go wrong with an Ezfly!

ezflyer (3 min 46 sec)
Aug 22, 2018, 09:54 PM
treefinder
springer's Avatar
It will be useful for you to add your location to your profile, so we know where you are at. Recommendations differ depending on location.

Also, what radio are you using? Knowing that will help us give good suggestions.

As to planes, if you are doing this all by yourself, either of the planes BoC recommended are good for learning. At this point, you have learned a lot about building, and are meticulous, both good, but now you need practise to teach your fingers/thumbs how to fly the planes. While those planes are limited, and you may get bored with them, keep at it til flying them feels natural. Once you start wanting a more realistic plane, the Blubaby is a great choice. I have built many (from 20" span to 48" span) and tried different wings (undercambered RET, KFM 3 REAT, KFM5a with ailerons, auto gyro all on same fuselage) also on wheels, snow skis and floats. The plane is so versatile it is hard to get tired of it. On top of that it is a great flyer.

When you finish a build with all gear in it, before you start flying, find some tall grass and do a glide test power off with battery in it, control surfaces at neutral. Throw straight from shoulder, nice gentle throw. Watch how it glides. You want a fairly long, flat glide or gentle arc to ground. If it pops the nose up or dives, shift battery fwd or aft respectively til you get a good glide. If it rolls off either way, check for warps in wing, tail surfaces or fuse. Once satisfied, try a throw with quarter throttle, just enough to extend glide. If that is good, then try a normal take off or throw and power up. Much easier to detect issues with low power setting.

Good luck! You have the bug, go ahead and indulge it!
Aug 23, 2018, 03:25 AM
Build straight - Fly twisty
Whiskers's Avatar
Quote: I have done a few hours in a sim, and was managing to keep trainers and more advanced 4 channel planes in the air for minutes at a time.

Clearly you haven't done enough training on the sim.
You should practice enough to be able to fly for hours at a time if required. Get to the standard where you don't have to think about how to move the sticks, just the same as you don't have to think how to move your legs when you walk.

Also, you must use as your controller, either your actual radio or a device with identical sticks.

Using the keyboard or a game controller is worse than useless. It will teach behaviour that will have to be unlearned.
Aug 23, 2018, 07:15 AM
treefinder
springer's Avatar
Great points, bro!
Aug 23, 2018, 08:00 AM
Registered User
I learnt flying by trial and error on a micro fixed-pitch helicopter (wltoys v911), after that moving to fixed-wing was a breeze. (Might be an option if sitting inside in front of a sim does not appeal)
Aug 23, 2018, 04:55 PM
Build straight - Fly twisty
Whiskers's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IridiA
I learnt flying by trial and error on a micro fixed-pitch helicopter (wltoys v911), after that moving to fixed-wing was a breeze. (Might be an option if sitting inside in front of a sim does not appeal)
Hmmmm...
I'm not convinced about that.
Helicopters require very different stick work.
With that little heli, pushing the right stick forward (mode 2) makes the plane move forward. The same movement with a fixed wing plane may well plunge it into the ground.
For me, training needs to be specific for the task. I wouldn't practice my pistol shooting by blazing away with a shotgun.
Aug 23, 2018, 05:52 PM
Kimbers Keeper.
BHOFM's Avatar
When I got back in RC, I started with a FP helio. and a Uberlite in the front year. The Helio functions are basically the same. Throttle makes the motor go faster, rudder controls yaw.
Ailerons control roll, elevator lifts the nose and lowers the nose.
Maybe not the best for first timers, but it got me up to speed pretty quick.

Some one on the forum stated ,"I am getting better, I am crashing closer to the runway".
Aug 23, 2018, 07:32 PM
Registered User
Delta Pusher Build Video (19 min 38 sec)


That was my first plane. It was super easy and cheep to build and with the pink foam it was hard to break. You can put one together easily in an evening and be flying the next day. No complicated folds or plans a couple measurements 1 sheet of dtfb and some 1" pink foam any your ready to rock or fly or ... crash whatever.

Just remember get up there altitude is your friend.
Aug 23, 2018, 08:54 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjd10684
https://youtu.be/lpjzNjn7ynw

That was my first plane. It was super easy and cheep to build and with the pink foam it was hard to break. You can put one together easily in an evening and be flying the next day. No complicated folds or plans a couple measurements 1 sheet of dtfb and some 1" pink foam any your ready to rock or fly or ... crash whatever.

Just remember get up there altitude is your friend.
For most unassisted first timers , I think there's a big advantage if the plane they're trying to fly is slow flying and self-leveling . Most elevon controlled flying wings are neither slow nor self-leveling . If the OP FoamForce had a tough time with an FT Tiny Trainer ( a high polyhedral wing glider ) , I doubt he'd have much success with a flying wing .


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