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Sep 25, 2005, 03:23 AM
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Micro trainer type plane?

Hi all,

I fly a Blade CP micro heli which is small enough to fly in my backyard. I am thinking about giving planes a try but would like the convenience that my heli offers me. Are there any micro sized planes that could be used as a trainer? Something that would fly in the space of a street?

Is there such a beast?

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Sep 25, 2005, 04:32 AM
Sussex, UK
RobinBennett's Avatar
Most of the micro planes are easy to fly, as they are similar to free-flight designs. However they are fragile and difficult to build (everything is small and fiddly) - I wouldn't recommend it as a good place to start learning to fly fixed wings - only do it if micro engineering is your goal.
There are some good RTF combinations but you'll still need good building skills for repairs - check out the "Plantraco Sub 1g 900Mhz RX and TX" thread for a flavour of what's on offer.

Flying anything bigger in a tight space takes a lot of skill, but it is entirely possible once you've had some practice, but you need to learn in a field and work down to your backyard. Checkout the RC Gymnastics video to see loops, rolls and a lot more in a 2-car garage:

The micro stuff won't cope with any wind at all, and has a fairly limited flight envelope. By comparison the small 3D planes can be flown in 'normal' weather and are so agile you may never go back to helicopters...

A trainer like a GWS picomoth or picostick can be flown in a street, although you should go to the park or football field for the first few flights, until you are confident of handling it in the street. From there you could go straight to a small 3D plane and most of the gear would be transferable (the plane itself is only about $30, so the 'trainer' stage doesn't cost much if you know what you are going to move on to and buy your servos/ESC/motor/batteries with that in mind)

Sep 25, 2005, 12:59 PM
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Thread OP
Thanks. Is there anything along the lines of a high wing trainer plane that has a really small wingspan, maybe smaller than the Tiger Moth-something like 20-30 inches? I like the Tiger Moth but it seems a bit large for street flying, am I wrong about this?
Sep 25, 2005, 01:09 PM
I'm dangerously carefree
SaMx's Avatar
there are 2 tigermoths. the 400 and the pico. the 400 is to big to fly in a street, but the pico is small enough. I think it fits right into the 20-30 inch ws range too.
Sep 25, 2005, 01:12 PM
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Thread OP
I went to the GWS USA web site and the Pico Tiger Moth wingspan is 31.5. Is there a smaller version than the Pico?

What about this plane:

Would this be a good choice? Anyone own this plane?

Sep 25, 2005, 02:26 PM
You might want to check out the Plantraco Skybuddy. I've never seen one in person, but the ads have always intrigued me. I'm sure others around here could tell you more about it...
Sep 25, 2005, 02:43 PM
Sussex, UK
RobinBennett's Avatar
The ability to fly slowly is not directly dependant on wing span. You should be looking at the weight, or more accurately the wing loading - that is weight divided by wing area. (Weight must be balanced by lift, and lift requires speed and wing area. Therefore if you want to reduce the speed you have to reduce the weight and increase the wing area)

The pico moth and cessna model you mention weigh about the same, but the moth has more than twice as much wing area (it's a biplane).

IMO the main limiting factor appears to be servos, receiver and speed controller - at this sort of weight they are a significant faction of the AUW - maybe 1oz, when the plane weighs 6oz. That's not a lot, but you can't reduce it unless you go to expensive,
fiddly, fragile micro gear. This leaves about 2oz for the plane, 2oz for the battery and 1oz for the motor.
Thus if you make the plane half the size you only save 1oz, and loose a lot of wing area, so it ends up faster and it will need more power to fly, if you fit the bigger motor and battery it'll need you lose your weight saving too...
You can cut your flight time by fitting a smaller battery but the standard battery only lasts 3-5 minutes anyway. You could fit a smaller motor but trainers don't have a lot of power to start with.
One way you can save weight is to use lipo batteries (I assume you're familiar with them) - that could save an ounce fairly easily.

I think you could learn a lot from browsing the beginners forum and seeing what sort of plane people are using for various sized fields, and how much success they are having. Lots of people want to learn in a small field but I bet you won't find many using that cessna.
Sep 25, 2005, 03:17 PM
Registered User
I've found that the Butterfly/Cobweb/Lazymoth type planes can be flown in light wind, in front of my house. They can loop and turn in 4ft. With a GWS IPS motor and the right lipo batt, they can even hover. I also have flying wings that are slowflyers, that will fly in some wind in front of my house. I've experimented a lot. Trying to get something that will fly in a small area in the wind. Light weight, lots of extra power, large control surfaces and crashability. Oh! Quick on the thumbs as well! Butch
Sep 25, 2005, 04:28 PM
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Thread OP
Wow that Sky Buddy is tiny! I think I might even want something a bit larger than that. It did seem to handle well outside but I am sure it was a day without wind, any wind and it is probably a different story.

Regarding the Cessna I have since learned that it is actually too quick of a flyer for my purpose. What I really want is a high wing plane with landing gear for ROG that can fly slowly in the space of say 40 by 20 feet. 4 channel control would be ideal but I do not know if that is realistic on such a small plane. There must be something out there that fits the bill.
Sep 25, 2005, 04:41 PM
Obviously I'm a "Minus Member"
buzzltyr's Avatar
Doc, you might want to look at some of the threads here on the Tiny-X, currently being kitted by (under signature kits). Small, 6-7 oz weight. Built light, with a CDRom motor and small lipo pack, it might fit your specifications. It would not qualify as a micro, but it is small enough to fly in a reasonably confined space.
Sep 25, 2005, 04:48 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by buzzltyr
Doc, you might want to look at some of the threads here on the Tiny-X, currently being kitted by (under signature kits). Small, 6-7 oz weight. Built light, with a CDRom motor and small lipo pack, it might fit your specifications. It would not qualify as a micro, but it is small enough to fly in a reasonably confined space.
I have a Tiny-X and love it but I sure wouldn't fly it in a 20 by 40 foot space. If one were very skilled they might be able to fly it in that small space but the average flyer would be hard pressed to do it.

Tom Moody
Sep 25, 2005, 05:00 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
About my skill level:

I have flown a 40 size gas trainer before, about 10 years ago. Gave it up before I could solo for unrelated reasons.

I have a LOT of G2 simulator time on planes and helis. On planes I can ROG fly around and land at will.

I currently fly a Blade CP micro heli where I am starting to dabble in forward flight.

The TinyX is the right size but that is a low wing plane and I am sure outside of my skill level.

Sep 25, 2005, 10:29 PM
Registered User
I have no experience with this plane but heard quite a bit of good things about them, it's the mini I.F.O
check out for more info
Sep 26, 2005, 12:54 PM
Registered User
BEC's Avatar
Stevens Aero DiddleBug or Lil' SQuiRT - both capable and easy to fly cul-de-sac airplanes. Each weighs less than 3 ounces properly set up. They are both three channel, but very responsive (with increased control throws) and well-balanced in handling. I'd run lower throws than recommended on the Lil' SQuiRT in particular for training purposes. This one is probably better since you mention ROG as it's gear is much more forgiving of surfaces like - say - the pavement in the street. The DiddleBug's charming wheel pants don't like such surfaces very much.

Both look like airplanes (rather than kites like IFOs - one of my predjudices against them).

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