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 Post subject: Any R/C Flyers around
PostPosted: 22 Nov 2012, 08:34 
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Joined: 27 Sep 2010, 19:54
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I've always been curious as to how one starts in this?

Cost of a starter kit
Where to learn to fly/crash

It always looks like an expensive hobby, but is this really the case for an average Joe Soap?


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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2012, 08:51 
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Location: Plymouth in body, Cape Town in spirit
Absolute first place to start is a simulator. It'll save you a lot of cash and hassle. Expect to pay somewhere in the region of R600-1000 for a simulator with USB 'transmitter'.

After that, the general recommendation is a trainer. A trainer is generally a resilient aircraft so you don't break much when you crash it, with a top-mounted wing, and a lot of dihedral in the wing. I wouldn't advise getting a three-channel, been there, done that, bought a 4-channel.

Decide if you want to go with liquid fuel and all that comes with it, or if you want to go electric. Both have their advantages, both have disadvantages:

Electric
+ Low maintenance
+ Quiet
+ Clean
- Expensive investment
- Long charge times

Fuel
+ Lower starting cost
+ Scales up easily for larger aircraft
- Dirty (you'll be washing down your plane after you fly)
- Loud
- Can be difficult to start and tune
- Fuel costs


If you feel you're able to keep a plane straight and level (generally by not touching anything), and are going electric get yourself a Parkzone Plug'n'Play or Bind'n'Fly (depending on what other equipment you have or are going to buy separately) . I recommend the Wildcat. It's pretty resilient, and flies like a dream. It's mid-wing but has enough dihedral to fly straight without your input. Only thing I've found is that it won't trim quite right for level flight and you need to keep a little pressure on the elevator, but other than that it's very easy to fly and manoeuvre, able to fly pretty slowly, and it's generally a very forgiving aircraft. My only serious crashes with it have been either pilot error, or transmitter interruption/failure.

Costs about R2000-3000 not entirely sure. Depends largely on whether they're easily available down there. I'm sure the locals will be able to advise on alternatives =]


Other things you'll need: A hat and sunglasses.

You should also join a local club, which will get you a place to fly/crash, other people to help and train you, and can also advise on insurance etc. I'm sure someone can help you find a local club ^^


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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2012, 09:47 
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Thanks for that info man, I really appreciate it.

I used to be big into R/C cars, but lost interest over the years and sold all my equipment.

This was more out of curiosity too...I've been seeing alot of vids on electric planes and seems a good stating point as you said.

I think I need to make a turn at Clowns Hobbies when the Xmas bonus comes ;)


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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2012, 18:49 
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Good info and advice there ,but when it comes to teaching someone I am still old school ,I sugest you go to your local hoby shop ,they will recomend a RC club.

Go chat to the instructors (should be SAMAA registered). He will advize you on the best for your needs.This you could just doublecheck on this and other RC forums.

The instructor's job is to guide you through the learning prosess ,doing the testflight and trims needed to the plane after very carefully checking out the build/setup.

Simulators do defenately help, but you first need someone to teach you the basics of RC flight, then they can be honed on a sim.

I have taught many people to fly susessfully this way.

Theuns


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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2012, 19:58 
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Location: Tring, Hertfordshire, UK
Ja, best is go to a club and chat to the guys. They might even have a club trainer to let you have a go on to see if it is for you, before you go buy a whole bunch of equipment.

I must get back into RC, it's so cheap over here!

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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2012, 20:12 
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Location: Plymouth in body, Cape Town in spirit
Monique wrote:
it's so cheap over here!


I hope I'm not giving skewed prices!


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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2012, 20:30 
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m4rek wrote:
Monique wrote:
it's so cheap over here!


I hope I'm not giving skewed prices!


Not at all. I just find it's easier to do and buy things here with what one earns compared to SA.

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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2012, 11:54 
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Location: Cape Town
A few years ago I wanted to by myself and the son a RC. This was before I moved to JHB. So when we visited the inlaws one Xmas we popped into the nearest model/hobby shop and ogled all the planes. We picked out our beauty, which as luck would have it also fitted nicely into the budget; took the box off the shelf and presented ourselves and my hard-earned money at the pay point.

And then just before I handed over the money the owner of the shop mentioned that he would only allow me to take the plane out of his shop once me and my son had paid for and done at least 6 hours of simulator training, which obvioulsy he could provide as well.

So I thought he was a bit sneaky, and decided I will not part with my cash, and he can shove his RC plane where the sun don't shine.

A few years later I saw a friend of mine assemble/build a very nice (and expensive) RC and take her on her maiden flight, just to prang her after she was airborne for roughly about 5 seconds. Write-off. !!!

Then only did I realise how wise the shop owner actually was, he actually saved me a lot of money and heart ache.

He flatly refused to sell me a RC unless I also pay for and do the sim ... because he knew what would happen otherwise. Crash and burn after 5 seconds ...

Thus, Dan, take the advise. Do a sim. Go chat to the local club okes and start cheap!!! :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2012, 19:00 
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iamsam wrote:
He flatly refused to sell me a RC unless I also pay for and do the sim ... because he knew what would happen otherwise. Crash and burn after 5 seconds ...


It is cool if he offers the training , but refusing to sell without it doesn't sound to nice to me.
Sims have only been "big" the last 15 years or so, what did we all do before them?? We went to the clubs and got trained there, sure we did prang now and then, but a good instructor can sent you solo without pranging.

The guys who learn on sims also find that flying the real thing is not the same as the sim, there are other factors that make it more "difficult" , but a sim does help with the basics like controll reversal and muscle memory.

The rest of us plainly just learned the old fasioned way with an instructor.

T


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2012, 16:54 
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I used to fly R/C a long time ago, before I learned to fly the real things.

Most advise already given is sound. Get yourself a nice sturdy trainer and a good radio.

I was taught by an instructor with linked radios. He had the master and there was a spring loaded chicken switch to give control to the student. If the situation got hairy he let go of the switch and resumed control.

Having also come from R/C cars in my youth, the control reversal thing wasn't an issue for me.

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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2012, 05:54 
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I'm not an R/C owner or pilot but years ago eventually coaxed my friend into fixing his electric aircraft, which he did. We used the local high school's cricket pitch as a runway and performed a few circuits of the grounds and he complained about being unable to discern whether or not the aircraft was going away or coming towards him at long distances.

I suggested that he afix a band of black tape (the aircraft was white) around one of the wings to help tell the aircraft's orientation.

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