HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR 1ST PLANE


So you want to get into RC Airplanes Huh?  Have you been watching videos day after day, watching Big planes, jets, water planes and so many other cool planes that you can't take it anymore?

You have entered the world of Remote Controlled Airplanes Addiction.  The problem is, you want the cool planes first! Maybe it's an old warbird or and EDF jet that has caught your eye.

What ever you do, DO NOT buy a Jet as your first plane!!!!  Let me repeat this, DO NOT pick up and decide to fly your first time with an EDF jet!!  If you do, it will be quickest money you've ever burned for less than a minute of entertainment.

But Robert, I've been watching these videos and have seen guys at the field flying these jets and it really looks easy!!!  Know why it looks easy? They have been flying for a long time, have put in their time with trainer planes, and most likely, practiced on a Simulator!

SIMULATORS:  Everyone will tell you to buy a Simulator first! Don't do anything until you've bought a Simulator.  I agree with this and disagree.  I tend to go with the idea that it's ok to get an in-expensive trainer plane first, try it out, and if you find you really like the sport, then before you move on to more complicated planes, Buy a Simulator and put in 40 to 80 hours of SIM flight time before flying another plane.  40 to 80 hours???  Holy Cow Robert, thats alot!!!   I know, I know.  But what you are trying to get is Muscle memory with the controls.  If you have to think at all about which way to move the control sticks, then you aren't ready to fly.  For instance, when the airplane is flying away from you, left is left and right is right.  But sooner or later, that plane has to come back at you, and then, Left is Right and Right is Left.  If you are accidentally pushing right on the stick when you should be pushing left, you Aren't Ready to Fly yet!  A single small brief bank in the wrong direction could mean, CRASH.  The more time you put into that Simulator you bought, the less likely you will be to Crash your gorgeous new plane you bought.  There is no RESET button on the real plane at the field.  Put in your time, You'll be happy you did.!!  Plus, it can be fun!!

Here's a couple of ideas for your Simulator,  #1 rule, STAND UP while you are flying on the SIM.  At the field, you aren't sitting!   If you have a Projector, Project the SIM on the wall, a screen or even your garage door in the evening!  The bigger the screen, the more realistic it will be for you!  If you start getting bored on the SIM, play around for awhile with it.  Pick different planes, land, takeoff, flip it, roll it.  It doesnt matter.  What you are learning is Muscle Memory for which way to move the sticks to make the plane go where you want it to go no matter what position the planes in.  And one last SIM hint, Turn on the wind.  Put 5 to 6 mph of wind on.  Most SIMs have the ability to do this.  You might as learn on the SIM to fight the wind right?  There is almost always some sort of wind at the flying field.  You'll find yourself very comfortable flying even in 5 to 10mph winds.  You'll be flying while your buddies are crying that it's too windy on a 7 mph day.  Tisk Tisk.

WHAT PLANE DO I GET THEN??

What ever plane you get, make sure it is a High Wing Plane.  Like the Hobbyzone Super Cub. The wing sits on top of the plane and the weight of the body of the plane rests below the plane.  High Wing Planes Float through the air much easier. It's a Balancing game.  To get an idea of the difference between a High Wing and a Low Wing,  Get a AA battery.  Go on, I'll wait.  ............ ok, got the AA battery?  Lay it down in the palm of your hand.  Now balance it.  Wow, that was easy!  Thats balancing a High Wing plane in the air.  Now, Stand that battery up in the palm of your hand. Balance it, don't let it fall over.  Not too hard, takes a little extra movements but you've got it.  Thats a Low Wing Plane.  Most of the weight of the plane is on top of the wing and trying to balance, so you've got more control to give to the plane.  This is very simplified example and Im sure there are plenty of people that will disagree with my comparison.  But if you are Brand new to flying, This is a great example.

On the left menu, I've placed the planes I have into several categories, starting with Beginner Planes, Beginner Upgrade Planes, Intermediate Planes, Advanced Planes.  Master each category before jumping to the next level.  Some will be faster at moving forward than others.  Thats ok! It's not a race.  FLY FOR YOU!  

So, even though you can pick several different 1st timer planes, I prefer to pickup that Very First plane from your local Hobby Shop.  They will most likely have the Hobbyzone Super Cub.  It's roughly $160 Ready to fly.  Battery, Charger, Controller, Plane.  Charge it up, find a good open empty field and give it a whirl.  If you crash it (And you probably will), the local hobby shop has very inexpensive replacement parts for it.  The plane can easily be glued back together too with Foam Safe C/A glue. (Get GAP filling kind).

If you find that you LOVE it. Want MORE, then invest in the Simulator. Practice on the SIM, go fly your SuperCub. Back and forth.  Then when you move onto a T-28 or F4U Corsair warbird lowwing, you'll enjoy that flight so much more! And then, Welcome to the Addiction!

If you find you really didnt enjoy it, it was like tasting Broccoli for the 1st time and spit it out, then at least you aren't out a lot of money. You can even donate or sell your plane to someone else. 

 

One of the best things I can tell you to do is to find an experienced Friend!  Go to the local Flying field and ask questions.  You'll find that we avid flyers love to help new guys getting into the hobby.  If you can hook up with an experienced pilot and have a SIM at home, you are already 75% ahead of anyone else starting in this hobby.

 

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?  EMAIL ME..... I love helping others in this hobby!  Good Luck with your first plane and Flight!!!!

 

See you in the SKY!