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Oct 23, 2005, 11:49 PM
Thread OP

(noobie)Thinking about buying an Electric RC plane


Hi there! I'm new to these forums and I am thinking about getting into RC aircraft. I heard electric is good for beginners and you do not need any license to fly electric RC planes.

I have never experimented with RC planes before, but have always enjoyed watching them.

What would you reccomend I buy? I am browsing www.hobbyzone.com and was thinking about buying an electric plane with everything I need included in the box.

I was thinking either a Commander 2 or a P-51D Mustang.

Thanks for your help

-Glerp
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Oct 24, 2005, 12:07 AM
500FT & Climbing
SuperHornet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glerp
Hi there! I'm new to these forums and I am thinking about getting into RC aircraft. I heard electric is good for beginners and you do not need any license to fly electric RC planes.

I have never experimented with RC planes before, but have always enjoyed watching them.

What would you reccomend I buy? I am browsing www.hobbyzone.com and was thinking about buying an electric plane with everything I need included in the box.

I was thinking either a Commander 2 or a P-51D Mustang.

Thanks for your help

-Glerp
I wouldnt be considering a P-51D as a bigginer, you should go for the Commander something easier to begin with. It would be better if you get yourself onto a flight simulator which you could pratice on your computer, FMS is a free simulator, you can search the web for the FMS download.

SuperH
Oct 24, 2005, 12:09 AM
Registered User
First of all, welcome to this great hobby...you will find lots of helpful people here on rcgroups. You do not need a license to fly any R/C plane, you just need the skill. I think what you are talking about is the AMA membership, which you SHOULD have, even if flying in a park. It just helps to show onlookers that you are responsible, and it includes a liability insurance, if something happens. Most clubs require you to pass some sort of test before solo, but this is more for the safety/longevity of your model...gas/glow or electric. If you think you will stay in the hobby, steer clear of the RTF planes, as both you mentioned don't have equipment you can put in another plane when you crash it. If you aren't sure, the commander would be the only one of the 2 to consider. The mustang is a handful even for pilots with a few months under their belt. I have just started considering building myself a low-wing warbird type plane after 3 months of almost daily flight. Also, the commander is a 2 channel plane, and if you want to move up later, you will have to nearly re-learn to fly again, as the steering is controlled only by the motors, and altitude is as well. This will allow for some fun, but less controllability. There are a few threads in here about the commander, and if those were the only 2 you were looking at, I would go with the commander. There are many other planes that are suitable with full control and on the normal 72mhz band, unlike the commander's 27mhz which is the same as a lot of toy cars/boats. If you are completely set on buying a hobbyzone plane, I would recommend the slo-v over any of them, as it's more suited to slower flight, best for a noob. It's similar to the slowstick, which is the most recommended plane I see on here for a 1st timer. The slowstick and the easystar are the 2 best/most recommended planes. The easystar can be bought with everything in the box, but it's quite a bit more than the commander, although you can reuse it's equipment and it's nearly indestructible. I learned the hard way that I had got the wrong plane off the bat, but now have an extremely relaxing time with it. It took me several trips to the club field to learn how to fly it, and be confident in taking it up myself. This is with a trainer, the hobbico superstar ep. While I was learning on this, I took the time to build myself a foam plane made of blucor (siding insulation) check out the foamie section if this sounds like something you'd be into...you can build any plane you want and material only costs about $2-5 per plane. If I had found rcgroups before I bought the balsa plane, I would have went this route and had much more fun building different creations. I now just lack the equipment (servos/motor/esc/batt) to have more than one foamie at a time. Some of the real experts will chime in, because I have no experience with the slowstick, EZ*, or the hobbyzone planes, just know what I have read here.

And as a side note, if you want to just test your feet out, with little money, go get one of the airhogs brand aeroace's for $30 at your local ToysRUs. It's a fantastic indestructible plane that does basically what the commander will, only in 1/10th the space. I fly mine every night in my cul-de-sac and my 6 y/o can fly it just as well as me. You won't be disappointed with it, and can decide if you like the hobby or not to proceed. Make sure you do your research before buying, and you won't be disappointed with whatever you get.

Todd
Oct 24, 2005, 12:30 AM
Thread OP
Thanks for the quick replies,

Yeah I was just mentioning those 2 planes as an example. I am 20 years old, and a college student. I love aviation, and I have played some flight simulators on my computer, and understand them for the most part. At this point I was thinking about the Commander 2 because I heard it was a good beginner plane, and its a great price.

So your saying if I want to keep going with the hobby, I should buy a beginner plane with a 72mhz band, not a 27mhz? Do most more advanced planes use a 72 mhx band?

Also I'm not "set" on buying online anywhere, I just saw that and it looked fun. Any suggestions on what and where to buy online are welcome.

I see you mentioned the slowstick and easystar are the best planes for a noob. I don't mind spending more on the plane if I can use its parts in future planes.

You said easystar plane you can buy with everything in the box, where can I purchase it online? (or the slowstick)



Thank you all for your feedback and your time.
-Glerp
Oct 24, 2005, 12:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glerp
I see you mentioned the slowstick and easystar are the best planes for a noob. I don't mind spending more on the plane if I can use its parts in future planes.
I wouldn't worry about saving parts, say, out of an easystar. From what I've heard, even accomplished flyers enjoy keeping an easystar around, just for a relaxing Sunday flight.
Oct 24, 2005, 12:43 AM
Registered User
perttime's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperHornet
FMS helped me a lot with orientation, although it is not all that realistic. I recommend it, unless you have $$$ for a commercial simulator.

GWS makes a few great beginner planes and they are pretty good values for the money:
E-Starter: I started with this because I wanted to go for aileron control. It is a bit fast for teaching yourself, but if you find a club and a teacher...
Beaver: Looks like a real airplane and it is slow.
Slow Stick: the name says it really.

All these should at first be flown in very calm weather.
Oct 24, 2005, 06:16 AM
Glerp wrote

Quote:
So your saying if I want to keep going with the hobby, I should buy a beginner plane with a 72mhz band, not a 27mhz? Do most more advanced planes use a 72 mhx band?
Yes. The 27 MHz bands are shared between air and surface models, whereas there are specific 72 MHz frequencies for air only. On 72 MHz you shouldn't get shot down by interference when someone starts running a model car in the next street.
Oct 24, 2005, 07:26 AM
P-61 WWII Night Fighter
Solcat's Avatar
http://plawner.net/3/1st_plane/
Oct 24, 2005, 08:03 AM
WAA pilot #21
Vanning's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgleigh
The 27 MHz bands are shared between air and surface models,
and garage door openers, and every radio shack toy ever made, etc, etc....

Typically toys or RTF airplanes have 27mhz stuff, and more often than not they are built with ALL the electronics on one circuitboard and incompatible with other systems. Many folks have had success with 27mhz stuff, but if you do have a problem, then your outta luck.

College students rarely have the scratch to buy themselves nice equipment, so often your stuck with the low-$ RTF stuff like Firebirds. If thats the case, then try it, keeping in mind that its not a really good sampling of what the hobby really is.
There is also the For Sale forum here where you can save a few pesos.

For a quick education see my newbies guide (mostly relevant even if you dont select a Slowstick):
http://mattsrc.rchomepage.com/ssir/allinone.shtml
Oct 24, 2005, 08:13 AM
Registered User

Local help


I'll bet Helmut, of Dymond Models, there in SD, would be glad to help start you on the right path. I only met him once, at the San Diego electric fun-fly, a couple years ago, but he seemed like a nice guy. (BTW, the other advice here is great, also!).
Oct 24, 2005, 08:16 AM
WAA pilot #21
Vanning's Avatar
Side note:
Of the Hobbyzone/Parkzone stuff, i recently was asked by my local hobby shop owner to check out a ParkZone J3 Cub that the owner reported problems with. I do all the RC car repairs for him in exchange for store credit ( ) once in a while i get a plane or heli repair too...
I had little expectations, but was genuinely impressed. Not a powerhouse, but easy to fly and tolerated the windy conditions pretty well.
BTW, the owners problem was that he didnt read the instructions about charging the battery.

The EZstar is available from www.hobby-lobby.com and a few other places as well.

The Slowstick is available through almost everybody. Browse around, and dont be afraid of planes requiring some assembly. Heck, even balsa kits these days are easy to build. The choices in electronics out there is intimidating, so dont bother trying to figure it all out. Just ask here what you will need.
Oct 24, 2005, 08:50 AM
pray for our troops
pac ace's Avatar
I started flying earlier this year and now have both an Easy Star and a Slow Stick. I really like them both and they are really fun in the right conditions. The Easy Star wast the first r/c plane that I flew successfully. It is really a tough being made of Elapor foam. It handles windy conditions better than the Slow Stick (as a beginner you will want to fly in as calm a wind as possible) but requires more room to fly, it is also faster than the Slow Stick. I feel that the Slow Stick really is more fun in more confined spaces like a baseball field. They are both capable of simple aerobatics.
Another consideration between the two is that you can get the Easy Star as an RTF which includes a radio and battery charger and all you have to do is connect the push rods to the control horns so there really is no building. If you get the Slow Stick you will have to get all of the components seperately (servos, speed control, battery, charger and radio) which could be a little confusing for a noob without help.
Another thing to think about would be that the Slow Stick might need a little bit of soldering. I remember that I had to do some with mine, It's not that bad and you will be soldering at some time if you continue with the sport.
Both are fun planes and you will have a lot of fun with either> Since you seem to be looking at RTF kits I can't imagine that there's anything out there that's better than an Easy Star RTF. They're $180 and well worth it.
Oct 24, 2005, 09:36 AM
the kitty litter of rcgroups
rdwoebke's Avatar

Perhaps skip the electric?


If I lived in San Diego, I might be tempted to skip the electric whirly bit.....

I have been fortunate to be able to visit SD on about 10 occasions, and I have flown with these guys:

http://www.torreypinesgulls.org/

If you hook up with them, somebody might have some decent older gear they would sell you for about the cost of an ARF 2 channel electric job.

Good luck, and welcome to the hobby.

Ryan
Latest blog entry: Supergee wing mount pylons
Oct 24, 2005, 09:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glerp
Hi there! I'm new to these forums and I am thinking about getting into RC aircraft. I heard electric is good for beginners and you do not need any license to fly electric RC planes.

I have never experimented with RC planes before, but have always enjoyed watching them.

What would you reccomend I buy? I am browsing www.hobbyzone.com and was thinking about buying an electric plane with everything I need included in the box.

I was thinking either a Commander 2 or a P-51D Mustang.

Thanks for your help

-Glerp
I would say the Aerobird Challenger. Its 3 channel. Can fly nice and slow, it will right itself, and is very durable. All in one box also.

Dont buy anything with the prop in front such as the Cub. You will destroy it, get all mad, swear, and then not keep with this amazing hobby. For those who suggest the Slo V, or Slow Stick, I would say no to that also. It will not handle wind and is BORING. At least the Challenger has some speed and ability to do some moves in the air. Tough as nails.
Last edited by bobcagen; Oct 24, 2005 at 09:54 AM.


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