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Old Jun 13, 2004, 01:24 AM
flieslikeabeagle is offline
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Beginner success stories?

I just got into the RC model plane hobby. My first post on this forum was made the day after my first successful flight - May 25, 2004, if I recall correctly, that is to say, just over two weeks ago.

Well, I'm still having a blast with my T-hawk. I've gone flying every Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning, and a couple of evenings; I went flying today, and plan to wake up at 6 AM tomorrow so I can get to the field and fly before the morning breeze picks up around 8 pm.

I've had a couple of good things happen in this time, and wanted to share them with some of you folks.

About a week ago my neighbour bought a T-hawk and started going flying with me; last week he let his T-hawk get too far away, to the point where it was difficult to tell its orientation, and to make it worse, he had been flying for a while and the batteries were getting low, so there was limited thrust. The final straw was that he flew beyond the boundaries of the field, over some tall trees and by a hill - and hit some turbulent air that started to pitch and toss his plane about a little. I had been getting my T-hawk ready for my second flight of the day and hadn't noticed his predicament until he realised he was in over his head, and called me to take over the transmitter from him. With hardly any flying time under my belt, I was very unsure of my ability to help, but I took the transmitter from him, and after a tense thirty or forty seconds I managed to get his plane back, *barely* making it over the tops of some tall trees before the ESC cut the power to the motor. The T-hawk glides well, and once I cleared the trees it was plain sailing, and I glided his plane back to a nice safe landing. That made me feel really good! I know it was mostly luck and hardly any skill, but I was really glad to have his plane back safe and sound.

Then, a few days ago, I felt brave enough (or foolhardy enough!) to try a loop. My T-hawk fell sideways out of my first couple of attempts, partly because there was a slight breeze and partly because I had failed to get the wings truly level and the speed quite high enough going into the loop. On the third try I was rewarded with a beautiful, clean loop! That was a thrill. Since then I have done a few more, some nice and clean, many untidy and incomplete, but each time I have fun - and that's the whole point of this hobby, isn't it?

So, any other beginners out there with some good experiences to share? I see so many sad posts about bad things happening to beginners on this forum that I thought it would be nice to have a thread listing *good* experiences some of us newbies are having.

So, what good stuff is happening to you in your quest to learn RC flying?

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Old Jun 13, 2004, 08:00 AM
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Grand Rapids Kent Cty, Michigan, United States
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I also have just started putting planes in the air over the last couple of weeks. I started ordering equipment and building way back in Februaruy. With Michigan winter finally gone and school winding down ( I teach ) I have found time to get my feet wet.

I tried flying gassers back in high school (25 years ago) and never really learned how to fly. Crashed a couple, but never soloed. When I saw all the advances in electrics I just knew I had to try.

First to hit the sky was a Frog. What a wonderful plane for a beginner. I honestly believe you have to try to crash the thing. Stable, forgiving, rear prop so you can't break it. Wrinkle the nose a little and throw it in the air again. Hey, I'm flying!!! 25 years later and I'm flying!!!

Next up the Slow Stick. (I borrowed the Slow Stick motor to put in the Frog) Was a little more difficult to get trimmed out and flying well, but it is worth it. I think I only broke 1 prop (after that I put the servo horn prop saver on it.) A little touchier and more responsive than the Frog, but hey, I'm flying again.

Last one to go up in the last couple days was one of Tog's Birddogs. Again, with the motor from the Slow Stick and the 1260 prop this little guy will even buck a pretty good head wind. The thing just floats up off the ground and I am even getting better at floating it back down to the ground.

I guess you could say I am addicted. If you haven't looked at the posts in the foamies section take the time. You can build who knows how many planes out of a bundle of blue foam and if you do obilterate one, who cares, it was only a couple bucks anyway.

Bottom line, if you take your time, read and follow the advice from this forum, and most importantly wait for a calm day to fly you can teach yourself to fly without any planes having to give their lives in the process.
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Old Jun 14, 2004, 02:38 PM
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Crawley, West Sussex, UK
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<AOL>me too!</AOL>

I tried model flying 20+ years ago, but it was too much hassle, especially as I was 13ish and needed to get my Dad to take me to the airfield - I crashed the first time I tried flying without an instructor and never had the confidence to try again.

Then, a few months ago a colleage brought a HumbleBee (cheap and nasty helicopter toy) into work and I was interested again. I bought a Sky Scorcher to fly during lunch breaks (and it can live under my desk) and downloaded FMS - a few weeks of flying the simulator gave the confidence and enthusiasm to by a real plane.

The local show recommended a slowstick and I was lucky enough to have a completely wind free evening for the first flight (not finishing building until 9:30 probably helped!) I had several 'unplanned landings' in my first 5 minutes but nothing broke and I went home bouncing like my 4 year old daughter :-)

Now I can fly the SS with confidence, landing more or less where I want and getting bored of the limited aerobatic ability. I've just discovered that there is a local club - I wonder if they had similar experiences or if they are a load of old duffers who'll be upset that I didn't go to them first?
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Old Jun 14, 2004, 02:42 PM
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I'm in the same boat as you guys. I have always wanted to fly an RC plane but never took the plunge. I got my first plane on May 5th and then flew it on the 8th, that Saturday. I'm also hooked. I was up for about 8 minutes on the first flight (EasyStar). I can loop with no problems and can do touch and goes all day long. Inverted is hard with this plane, but I can do it high up with room to recover .

Yesterday I flew with a few guys from around here and got to see some different planes. They were very nice and I will do it again. I'm not sure what plane I want next, but there is about 20 I have my eye on

Oh yeah, my wife is happy about that


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Old Jun 14, 2004, 10:17 PM
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Full Throttle and No Regrets!
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Denville, New Jersey
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Take the plung I did but just make sure your financially stable to do so its very fun new and exciting to learn to fly rc a whole other world for many of us used to ground RC and be a wise online shopper find good deals all around. Take a look at my maiden flight!
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Old Jun 14, 2004, 11:39 PM
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Hey Guys,

Thanks for starting this thread with your wonderful story, Beagl. That is GREAT!!

I got a GWS Tiger Moth for Christmas this past December and had it built in two evenings. I have always wanted an RC plane and this seemed like the ticket. I took it to my college and set up in one of the large dance studios. All I was brave enough to try were short "hops." I'd go full throttle and gently lift the TM off the ground and set it back down again. This lasted one LONG evening (my wife was getting tired. I could have been there till the next morning).

Next was trying it at a side street near my house: Not enough room to do anything. So, I took my little TM to our local field and happened to find a guy who has been flying RC since he was about 12. He flew it the first three times and said it only needed a couple very minor adjustments (tweak the elevator a bit lower, and trim the rudder a tiny bit left). Fourth flight he got it higher up in case I would crash it and handed me the controls. Boy, that felt WONDERFUL!!

The afternoon went by way to quickly. The next day I took the plane with my son to our college's soccer field. We flew it till 8pm and didn't want to go home. I have now had over 2 dozen flights and only one minor crash. I was trying out the football field and it began to get too gusty to fly. I was trying to bring the Moth in when a very strong gust seemed to literally "push" the plane right into the ground. Fortunately it only caused a small crack in the wing strut which I repaired on the spot with 5 minute epoxy.

I have already gone ahead and purchased the GWS Corsair to use as an aileron trainer. My son is looking forward to getting the Tiger Moth as his very own first RC plane!

To all the new RC pilots out there: GO GET 'EM!!
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Old Jun 15, 2004, 07:28 AM
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Back as a kid, I was HUUUUGE into building model WWII planes. Got into RC...but cars/buggies. Tried an RC plane, back then a common trainer was the Craft Air Peice-O-Cake. Big wingspan, .049 engine. Being young, didn't have a lot of patience, didn't really catch onto flying well, a few crashs, and reduced to splintered balsa.

Fast forward many years, married, divorced, met a lady from Canada who had a 12 yo son from a prior marriage, we married. She got him one of those Hobbico kiddy trainer RC planes. He didn't want to fly it first, so he had me maiden voyage it. Well, as kiddie like as that plane was, flying it around the field went pretty well for me...but the "bug bit me"...and I felt the urge to get into RC again. That was this past winter.

So a few weekends later, went to the local hobby shop, without much research got the Great Planes Li'l Poke. Began building her...and began research on what radio/engine/batts, etc, to put in her. Stumbed across this forum...and poured through the posts. Saw all the suggestions of the "Slow Stick"...and decided to enter the hobby again using that, instead of splintering another balsa plane (the Li'l Poke). So bought a SS, all the gear, and after 3x un-graceful attempts on gusty days...the 4th attempt on a calm day was GREAT. Caught on very quickly, well past 30 flights, haven't broken a prop since my 3rd flight.

Yup, the Slow Stick graduated another beginner. Recently purchased a TM400...she's pretty much finished, just waiting for some more spare change so I can get some gear for that and fly her. Then perhaps I'll finish my Li'l Poke.
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Old Jun 15, 2004, 02:47 PM
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Detroit City, Michigan, United States
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I too wanted to get into since I was about six years old (I am currently fifteen.) After my brother got a Sky Rangers jet and flew it a lot, quite successfully. I got one. The little servo/actuator wasn't properly built and had to be returned. The second one had an improperly built vertical stab. After a while of trying to get it to work I just tore it apart and am waiting to see if I can rebuild it later with good radio equipment.

When I first started to look at this hobby seriously I decided that the RTF planes were the best way to go. At first I looked at the Firebird and Aerobird series but decided that the Pull/Pull fishing method line was not for me. After a while of looking around I found the Toytronics web site. I found their selection to be smaller than that of Hobby Zone, but also more varied. At first I was looking at the EGull for my first plane but I decided against two channel radios. So I looked at the T-Hawk. With the spare wing and tail sets plus three props it looked like an Ideal plane. I also decided that if I were to get more into this hobby that the standard parts will allow me to switch over to a true radio. I chose to go all out when I bought it and got the FM, and NiMh upgrades. The box arrived two days after it was ordered and was taken out of my sight and wrapped for Christmas.

About a month later o December 19 2003, I unwrapped it and assembled it. Which took about a miniute. The manual is pretty simple and only give basic instructions on how to put it together and other related things. I charged up my batteries and the next day took it to a local park. Let me be the first one to say that this was a mistake. It was below freezing and gusting up to twenty Miles an hour. When I got there I strapped on the wing with four rubber bands, unlike to the two recommended in the manual. After a few attempted ROG's I had my brother toss the plane. Needless to say, the tail has seen better days. After that I decided not to try and fly it until a good spring day.

Over the Winter and early spring I switched the connectors from Mini-Tamiyas to Deans Ultra so that both mine and my brothers batteries would be cross compatible. A few weeks after the start of spring we thought it would be a good day to go flying so we packed up all the planes and took them back up to the same park as last time. Again it was too windy for me to hope to fly. So I took the plane and got some practice moving it around on the ground. After this I realized that crushed limestone was getting shot up by the prop and striking the wing, which explains the two damaged props.

Over the next few weeks I built a PVC transport stand for the planes. As during the last outing we had found out just how hard it was to fit four planes in a station wagon’s back seat. So on Sunday, April 18th we had a practically wind free morning. We had planned on going up and had most of the stuff ready. We Arrived at the field to find the usual Glow pilots. I had four good flights that day. The first, though, was just two circles around a baseball field trying to land it. The last flight of the day it had started to get windy but I went up all the same, I did some figure eight's and then did some thing that could have cost me my plane, three loops.

Next plane is going to be a Dandy Sport.
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 04:25 AM
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Thanks for sharing all your stories! It's been fun reading them, and hopefully they will encourage some other folks just getting into the hobby (or thinking about doing so).

I'm still having a lot of fun with my T-hawk, and planning an RC conversion of a $5 foam airliner glider for my second plane (take a look at the posts by MailOrderGuy in this thread for more details )

I've been practicing knife-edge and inverted flight on FMS, though not yet in real life. I'm pretty darn sure my T-hawk won't knife-edge, and with all that polyhedral, an assymmetrical aerofoil, and no ailerons, I'm not sure about sustained inverted flight either. But I might try inverted flight with the T-hawk one of these days...

I also have an E-starter and a GWS Tigermoth waiting to be built. I think we can safely conclude that I've been hooked...

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Last edited by flieslikeabeagl; Jun 30, 2004 at 12:54 PM. Reason: removing an accidental smiley!
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