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  #1  
Old 09-16-2018, 08:58 PM
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paulmohr paulmohr is offline
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What plane?

Ok, I would have thought this would be a simple question but so far I can't get a straight answer from anyone on other RC forums. So since this is the forum for this software maybe I will have better luck here lol.

Ok, here is the deal. I am new to this whole RC plane hobby. So new that I don't even own a plane yet. My plan is to join a local RC club and have them train me with a buddy box, which they said they will do. Not only will they, they require it. I am in the process of joining but I don't know how long it will take and nice weather in my area is quickly running out. So the other part of the plan is to use a simulator to help get myself ready. Get an idea of how it should feel and how the controls work and all that good stuff.

I actually have two simulators, I have RF8 and RC7. And I decided to just get a transmitter now since I will eventually need one anyway. I got a DX6e and the spektrum wireless dongle to go with it.

So here is the problem. I have been flying these planes, and there are a ton of them. Each of them handle different, even the "trainers". So I have no idea which one I should focusing on and actually practicing with.

Which one of these planes actually flies like a real RC aircraft I would currently purchase? Like say I wanted to by a hobbyzone cub, or something from Eflight or maybe a techone saturn.

I don't want to be practicing with a model on the simulator that will be nothing like the real thing when I actually get the chance to fly one. Does that make sense? I understand it isn't an exact science and they might all fly slightly different, but can someone give me a ballpark aircraft to start with?

Once I actually join the club and the AMA I can hopefully get a plane in the air with a trainer. Then I can tweak the sim to match what I felt during the session. But until then I have no clue what to do or which plane to fly. I am hoping I can get my membership going before the weather turns and we can't fly anymore. But if I don't I am going to be on the simulator for the winter just hoping what I am doing is right. I mean man, all I really need is like 5 minutes of a real plane in the air so I have some idea what it "feels" like. I get the feeling I am way overthinking this, but that is who I am.

And if the models in the sim are accurate enough I might even be able to use it to decide which airplane I want to buy for my first one. That is probably hoping for a lot, but it would be nice lol.

I went down to the local field a few days ago and talked to a few of the guys. I said I was thinking of getting one those carbon cubs with all the fancy gps stuff and auto landing and all of that. They all said not to put too much faith into that stuff. If I rely on it too much I won't learn to actually fly correctly and when it fails, which they assured me it would, I wouldn't know what to do. One guy suggested the techone saturn. He said he had one at one time and it was really tuff. Said he cartwheeled it down the runway it didn't even break. I was also thinking of getting one of the pusher types with the prop over the wings so I would be less likely to break a prop if I landed wrong. But they all seem to fly strange in the sim so I don't know about that. And from what I can tell from the simulators I don't like the gliders at all.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Thanks,
Paul
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2018, 09:15 PM
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BrokeDad BrokeDad is online now
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I would start with a high wing trainer. The biggest you can afford. Ask around at the club and I bet you can find a good deal on a used plane.

I'm guessing you are going to be flying an electric plane. The one I learned on was a nitro though (not many electrics back in the 1980's). It was the Kadet LT-40 but mine was sized up to be a 60. The one in the simulator flies much like the real thing. There is also the PT-40.

If you have an LHS go look there also as probably like mine they have many used planes hanging from the ceiling for sale. Whatever you learn on is going to take a beating so used is a good option.

My current passion is helicopters. They are much harder to master than a plane but I finally managed.

Last edited by BrokeDad; 09-16-2018 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:30 PM
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uncle twist uncle twist is online now
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Well, if you don`t get a chance to fly a real plane, the sim. is a great trainer. All you really need to do with the sim. is learn orientation, that`s the most important, next, I would say is flying towards yourself, and of coarse landing. The sim. is great for all of this. Once a "trainer"plane is in the air, they all pretty much react/fly the same, of coarse there will be "slight" differences between models, but once you`ve got the basics down, it`s not hard jumping from one plane to another. If you`re going to be on a buddy box, don`t sweat it, your instructor will be there. I will say that the sim. was extremely useful for me and my son. He actually spent about two hrs. practicing and about ten hrs. goofing off, he nailed his first flights takeoff through landing, he didn`t pursue it after that (went into the Air Force), but he still did great.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:41 PM
Warpspeed Warpspeed is offline
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I fly in a gym with about a dozen other flyers. I and they started out flying the Sport Cub S. This plane will cost you $99 at Horizon, and will bind with your DX6e. They are relatively easy to fly and have safe mode. Flying inside is harder than it looks, but can be fairly inexpensive to get into. Any of the slow trainers on RF8 will get you ready.

Now the hard part-finding a group. If you have a local hobby shop that sells micro electrics, they can probably tell you of any groups in your area.

Once you master indoor-gym flying, then you can advance to outdoors and "wind".

I hope you enjoy flying as much as I have.

FWIW the swap files here have some indoor gyms you can practice in.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:52 PM
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paulmohr paulmohr is offline
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Ya, I have already been trying to get a handle on that. That IS the hardest part, flying while coming towards you. And lining up with the runway. I think that has more to do with the fact that in the sim your field of view is limited and you have no depth perception. I am hoping it will be easier in real life. If not, if my flying in the sim is any indication I am doomed lol. I might as well just buy one and throw it on the ground, the effect will be the same.

My problem is I noticed there are slight differences in the models in the sim, even with different trainers. Some fly leve pretty easy, some not so much. Some will climb when you give them throttle, and fly level at half throttle ( I was under the impression this is how it was supposed to be?). Others if they are not at full throttle all the time they lose altitude. As in the glide patch is not very good. And some lose a lot of altitude when you turn, others again not so much.

Also if I can find a model in the sim I know is accurate or that I can "trust" I can start playing with setting on my transmitter as well. Like how expo and dual rates work, trim settings and flight modes and all that nifty stuff in the menu lol.

Oh and congrats on your son joining the Air Force, I was in during the late 80's early 90's during desert storm. I was a mechanic on F-4 E/G models. Most bases also have a model RC club, at least they did when I was in. Most also offer an actual program to get your private pilots licesnse as well. Unlesss he is joined to be a pilot, then I guess that won't be an issue.

And I already found a club, just trying to get the membership thing figured out and getting my AMA squared away. I actually live less than a mile from a really nice RC air field. They also fly in a high school gym during the winter. No membership or AMA required for that either. So I will have to look into getting a small plane to give that a try.

Last edited by paulmohr; 09-16-2018 at 09:56 PM.
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  #6  
Old 09-16-2018, 10:41 PM
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uncle twist uncle twist is online now
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When I first got the sim., I wasn`t worth a darn at flying either, But PRACTICING in it gave me enough training and confidence to go try in real life. was I nervous ??? hell yah, were my hands shaking like leaf ?? hell yah (but you couldn`t tell by looking at plane ) depth perception is a problem in real life as well (coming at yourself during landing approach) BUT, much better/easier in the real world than in the sim. (3D as opposed to 2D) Thanks for your service,. Where you stationed at ???? my son is currently at Nellis AFB in Vegas. I remember F-4s and and some F-104s among others fling over my house when I was teen living in Novato Cal., they were flying out of Hamilton AFB when it was still active.
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  #7  
Old 09-16-2018, 11:54 PM
Flapper Flapper is online now
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Just to establish bona fides - I've been flying since 1967, and have instructed hundreds on a wide variety of planes.
I noted in another thread, but it bears repeating - the planes in RF are VERY accurate. I have modified several to exactly match whatever I am currently flying, and they duplicate what I see in the real world very closely. Both good and bad. So much so that if I am having an issue with a plane, I can model it in RF, and then figure out what adjustments in RF to make to get it flying better, which then also work when applied to the "real" model.
What you are seeing between planes in RF is what you will see in the real world - some fly better than others. Some so-called "trainers" can be pretty poor (I'm looking at you, PT-40!). Most trainers have their roots back in the early days, when there were no buddy boxes. So they are designed to be somewhat self correcting - pull out of dives, roll back to level, etc. Each brand may vary the formula a bit, which leads to the differences you see. In my opinion, this can make it harder on the student. For example - if you roll the plane to the right, you first have to give it a certain amount of control to get it moving. Then you have to reduce it to find the balance point to keep the wing at a set angle during the turn. The plane is trying to roll back to level on its own, so you have to fight it a bit. A true aerobatic plane doesn't do that - you roll the wing, then come back to neutral and it just stays at the angle you left it at. But, generally aerobatic airplanes are too fast and too responsive for a beginners undeveloped reflexes. Similar scenarios apply for all the other controls.
If you will only be flying with an instructor on a buddy box, the options open up a lot. My favorite would be any of the "Stik" airplanes. They are very neutral in control, and can fly slow, with few bad habits. See this thread, where I recommend and have a link to a "Das Ugly Stik".
http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33414
If you want to stick to the default planes in RF, the NextSTAR EP is also a pretty good choice.
Whatever your choice is in RF, as noted - stick with it and get to know it very, very well. Whatever you decide on for your first real plane will be different. But not so different that you will be back at square one in learning.
The big difference between RF and real life is the broader field of view. VR might make it much more like real life, but otherwise it will be an adjustment in seeing how your plane looks in relation to the rest of the world.
Practice, practice, practice. Do the boring turns, circles and figure 8's over and over. Turn on wind and wind gusts. As an instructor, I can always tell right away those that have a simulator - they are very far ahead in the learning curve, and literally shave weeks/months off their time on the buddy box.
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:25 AM
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paulmohr paulmohr is offline
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Thanks for the advice Flapper, and everyone else. I did see your post about the Ugly Stik while poking around before registering. I also have many "add-on" planes that I have gotten off this forum and others. I think like every plane from the realflight series modded for RF8. It was some big bundle I downloaded. And then some I downloaded seperate, ones that looked like trainers or stuff that would be easy to fly. I noticed some, especially ones from 7.5 or 6 need to tweaked a bit for 8. like flaps sticking up, or only one aileoron works or something like that. I will have to grab that Das Ugly stik. I have flown the Nexstar ep as well. I guess I should just pick one and stick with it and worry about the rest after I get to actually fly one. They provide a plane when they train you if you don't own one, so honestly I have no idea what it will be or how it will handle.

Uncle Twist: I was stationed at George AFB in victorville california, up in the high desert. It is closed now. As our F-4's returned from desert storm we either sold them to other countries or mothballed them. I was actually in the AMU that did the retrofitting to get rid of them. I got out slightly early because I didn't want to re locate with a few months of service left. They were a great battle air frame, but very expensive to maintain because of the age. We worked a LOT of hours because they broke nearly everytime they flew lol. However in war time conditions they could fly with a lot wrong with them. Lots of back up systems and you could fill them full of holes and stay in the air. The old pilots loved them because they new they could trust them. That old addage " you can make a brick fly with enough thrust" was coined for the F-4. The glide ratio sucked on them. Under 250 knots and they just dropped onto the runway lol.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:24 PM
12oclockhigh 12oclockhigh is offline
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Don't over think this. Don't junk up your plane. I have taught many people to fly. I would start with a high wing 4 channel plane. That means Throttle, Ailerons, Elevator, and Rudder. Learn to fly with all electronic assistance turned off.

The Apprentice from Horizon is a good example of a starter plane.

It is too late to start learning to fly this year. Wait, fly the simulator, start in the spring.

I would use the flight school airport and learn to land on the centerline each and every time. No Excuses.

Don't overthink this and don't think that you can just buy a plane you don't have to learn to fly. (electronics)
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:14 PM
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paulmohr paulmohr is offline
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Ya the couple of guys I talked to at the field the other day said the same thing, don't bother with all the fancy gps and gryro stuff. Just learn to fly. And no, I don't really expect to learn to fly this late in the season. But I would like to join the club and at least get a chance to get a plane in the air for 5 minutes or so so I know how it feels. I think it will give me confidence in the simulator or let me choose and set up a plane to react the way the real one will next season when I really get to start. I will play on the simulator and do indoor flying through the winter and save up for my own plane next spring.

I actually found a couple really good videos on youtube on beginning flying and the basics, and how to effectively use the sim.

Thanks for all your help guys. This is the most responses and fastest response times I have gotten and I joined like 3 or 4 RC forums looking for info. And the fact that some of you are actually instructors helps my confidence a lot.
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:18 PM
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BrokeDad BrokeDad is online now
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The Night Vapor is an easy slow indoor model to fly (or outdoor with zero wind). It's only rudder steer but you can assign it to the stick that would normally do ailerons. I did that with the one I have.

It would at least teach you orientation during these upcoming winter months plus you can fly it at night when the winds are gone.

Stay away from stability mode if you can learning. It's makes it hard to break when you learn with it. I found this out especially on helis. Just use a 4 channel high wing trainer with some dihedral built into the main wing.
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:13 PM
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paulmohr paulmohr is offline
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Yes I think I am going to stay way from the fancy tech features. Maybe focus more something more durable or easy to repair lol. I was really excited when I first saw these features, never heard of them before. But the more I see videos of them and talk to people it just seems like a problem waiting to happen. A guy told me they tend to work well when playing with the feature, or showing it off to someone. However when you really need it most likely it will fail. And since you were relying on it you don't have the skill or reaction time to actually save the plane and it ends up crashing anyway.

I did get the Das Ugly Stik to work properly. I had to go in and change the servo settings. For some reason mine only one side would work and sometimes one of them would be stuck in the up position just making it spin out of control. I fixed it though and it works pretty good.

I also discovered one of the things I was doing wrong because I simply didn't know any better was trying to use the rudder. When you bank and lose altitude for some reason I thought you could compensate with the rudder. Ya, that doesn't work lol. You just have to level out and climb again I guess. Using the rudder to turn must be a bit more of an advanced skill. I also discovered the rudder seems to work better with planes that don't have dihedral built into them. At least I am not figuring all this stuff out by wrecking 200 dollar planes all the time.

And I am probably not going to be joining the local club as soon as I hoped. I just discovered my emergency tooth extraction cost me 300 bucks. That is a lot of money when you only make 750 a month to begin with lol. At least it doesn't feel like someone hit me in the face with a bat anymore though, so there is an upside to it.

RC helis, man that scares the crap out of me lol. I think it would be easier to learn to fly a real one then it would an rc one.
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:17 PM
Flapper Flapper is online now
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As 12oclockhigh noted - don't obsess about this too much. All the planes have differences, hence why the hobby is so fascinating. Just stay in the same "type" of airplane you will be learning on - high wing, or a select number of mid-wings, 4 channel, no gadgets. Just pick any of the ones recommended above, and use it as your main plane. Use it a lot. And after getting somewhat comfortable, on occasion, swap it out for a different one of the same "type" for a bit. You'll find the differences aren't really that much, and are pretty easy to adapt to. You'll be more than prepared for whatever plane your instructor puts you on. The club I currently teach at has all the instructors and students show up on the same night. Then we mix it up, so students get a variety of instructors AND experience on several different airplanes. Some end up favoring the foam electric trainers, some love the traditional glow trainer I use, some love the giant UltraStik. Almost all approach the first time with a different plane with some trepidation, but all find that within the first minute or two of flight that the differences are not extreme, and do just as well with their training.
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:38 PM
Flapper Flapper is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmohr View Post
...I also discovered one of the things I was doing wrong because I simply didn't know any better was trying to use the rudder. When you bank and lose altitude for some reason I thought you could compensate with the rudder. Ya, that doesn't work lol. You just have to level out and climb again I guess. Using the rudder to turn must be a bit more of an advanced skill. I also discovered the rudder seems to work better with planes that don't have dihedral built into them. At least I am not figuring all this stuff out by wrecking 200 dollar planes all the time...
Yep, you have to feed in a bit of elevator when doing a turn, to stop it from dropping.
"Real" planes use both aileron and rudder at the same time (same direction) to turn, with elevator to stop the drop. Some models, primarily scale like Cubs and Citabias, need that too to turn well. Some versions have been modified to reduce that need. Many/most RC planes use aileron only for the standard banking turn.
Rudder on a high wing trainer will yaw the plane AND induce a roll in the same direction. A more aerobatic plane (like the Stik) tends to have much less roll, and will pretty much only yaw with the rudder.
One of my lessons is to have a student do flat turns/circles with their plane - use rudder only to turn, but give enough opposite aileron to keep the wings level while in the turn. This skill comes in strongly when trying to bring a plane in on the runway centerline, especially in a cross wind.
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:08 PM
lvflyer lvflyer is offline
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HH Apprentice With SAFE

You need to get the Horizon Hobby RTF Apprentice or MINI Apprentice with SAFE - I am acquainted with HH people and the designers for years now and with the 3 modes of SAFE (on, partially on and off) you cannot go wrong NO MATTER what other flyers say NOT ACQUAINTED with the DESIGNERS of SAFE and HH planes like the Apprentice.

There is a reason why the Apprentice AND other HH planes have garnered the award "INNOVATION of the YEAR". Their planes are designed and constructed VERY well and FLY.

I have "experimented" with other manufacture's plane as I do "cost of quality" evaluations for myself and there are VERY FEW other manufactures that come up time and time again with the quality AND flyability of most HH planes

Last edited by lvflyer; 09-25-2018 at 10:28 PM.
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