Toronto Electric Model Aviation Club Forum

Toronto Electric Model Aviation Club (TEMAC) => Flight Instruction => Topic started by: thehaze on April 18, 2013, 01:12:10 PM

Title: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: thehaze on April 18, 2013, 01:12:10 PM
Here are some suggestions for new members on selecting their first model. This is by no means a comprehensive list but should be enough to get you started.

There are couple of considerations that one needs to look at when selecting a model. But I'll get the most important one out of the way first..

Do not buy a Warbird as your first model!!! Spitfires and Mustangs are cool, but they are not well suited for new or inexperienced pilots.

Ok moving on...

1/ Wing type. Look for something with a high wing placement (i.e. the wing rests above the fuselage). Additionally the wing should be non-symmetrical, or simply the bottom needs to be flatter than the top, the flatter, the better. Avoid symmetrical or semi-symmetrical airfoils. Lastly, the model should have some dihedral  (when looking at the model from the front or back the wing should have a V shape to it). These types of wings, generate more lift, and are more stable. The trade off is that they are less suited to aerobatics or speed, however those are not what a trainer is for.

2/ Construction. Balsa or Foam? This is a question that many people ask. The reality both have their strengths and weaknesses. Balsa trainers tend to be more rigid in the air and in my experience are more precise flyers. They also tend to be larger and heavier, this helps when flying in windy conditions. However, balsa models are more expensive, they usually take more time to set up, and they are more difficult to repair in the event of a crash or hard landing.

3/ Controls. Models are described by the number of channels (independent control surfaces) they employ. A good trainer should have 4 channels of control (Throttle, Rudder, Elevator, and Aileron). Some models have only 3 channels (no Aileron) and while they are good models in their own right, they will limit the amount of learning you can do.

4/ Radio System. Buy the best radio system you can afford. Unlike the trainer model itself, this piece of gear will stay with you as you progress from one model to another and the investment you put into the radio system will pay dividends in time. There's a lot to choose from, and a trip to the hobby shop will help you tremendously in selecting a radio system. Some models come with a radio, generally they aren't the best, but in some cases, they will suffice. Minimally, you should look for a radio that offers features such as dual rates, exponential, a multiple model memory, and most importantly for students a buddy box or trainer port. A buddy box system allows the instructor to hold the master controller while the student uses a slave that is connected to it via a cable. This allows the instructor to take control of the model when needed to correct any mistakes and avoid any unscheduled off field landings. Without a buddy box, it is very difficult for us to provide instruction so do not overlook this feature. Given the variety of radio systems in the market. Students are required to provide their own buddy box and trainer cord.  At TEMAC, the most popular radio for the beginner is the Spektrum DX6i (http://www.spektrumrc.com/Air/Radios.aspx (http://www.spektrumrc.com/Air/Radios.aspx)) however there are many other worthy selections.

5/ Batteries and Charger. You should have at least 2 batteries for your model. This will allow you to fly and charge and get the most use out of your time at the field. If you aren't capable of charging at the field, but a few more batteries. Some RTF (Ready to fly) models come with at least one battery and a basic charger. While the included charger is adequate, you will eventually find that you will need a better charger. Your local hobby shop can help you select one that is suitable for your needs. Always follow the instructions provided with your batteries/ charger and use caution when charging.

6/ Landing Gear. While not essential for Park Flyers, anyone interested in obtaining their MAAC Wings will need a model that can Taxi, Take-off, and Land at Rogo Field. The surface at Rogo is grass. And while it is cut and well maintained, small models with small wheels have some difficulty with this surface.  Additionally the configuration of the gear will make a difference. Tricycle setups (planes with a nose gear and two trailing wheels on the wing or fuselage) are the best for students.

The next post will include some examples of training airplanes that have been used at TEMAC...


Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: thehaze on April 18, 2013, 01:42:30 PM
Here are some models that have been used by many new pilots at TEMAC

Park Flyers: (Use these models to get your Park Flyer Wings)

Hobby King Bixler (https://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__24474__Hobbyking_Bixler_2_EPO_1500mm_w_Brushless_Motor_Servos_and_Optional_Flaps_ARF_.html (https://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__24474__Hobbyking_Bixler_2_EPO_1500mm_w_Brushless_Motor_Servos_and_Optional_Flaps_ARF_.html)) Just the basics. But it's a good stable flyer and it's lots of fun.

Hobbyzone Super Cub (http://www.hobbyzonerc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=HBZ7100 (http://www.hobbyzonerc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=HBZ7100)): A very basic model. It flies well and lots and lots of people started with this one. The downsides.. it's small and sensitive to wind, it only employs 3 channels, and the radio system would need to be replaced to used on a buddy box.

Hobbyzone Glasair Sportsman (http://www.hobbyzonerc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdId=HBZ7600#quickSpecs (http://www.hobbyzonerc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdId=HBZ7600#quickSpecs)) It's similar to the Supercub, except the radio is better and it has ailerons. A better choice.

Flyzone Switch (http://www.flyzoneplanes.com/airplanes/flza3300/index.html (http://www.flyzoneplanes.com/airplanes/flza3300/index.html)) A good starting kit. Includes everything you need.

Hobbico Nexstar Mini EP (http://www.hobbiconexstar.com/nexstar-mini/ (http://www.hobbiconexstar.com/nexstar-mini/)) A good small balsa choice.


MAAC Wings Trainers (i.e. Club trainers)

Eflite Apprentice S (). The most widely used trainer at TEMAC. The wheels are a little small but can be swapped out with a slightly larger set to make taxiing and field ops easier.

Hobbico Nexstar ([url=http://www.hobbiconexstar.com/nexstar-ep/index.html]http://www.hobbiconexstar.com/nexstar-ep/index.html (http://www.e-fliterc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=EFL3100[/url)) The cadillac of electric trainers. It's size and flight characteristics make this a serious flying machine.

Flyzone Sensei (http://www.flyzoneplanes.com/airplanes/flza3010/index.html (http://www.flyzoneplanes.com/airplanes/flza3010/index.html)) Similar to the Apprentice. A good solid choice in the foam category

Multiplex Mentor (http://www.multiplexusa.com/model-kits/mentor.html (http://www.multiplexusa.com/model-kits/mentor.html)) A great flying model. Requires more assembly than some of the other choices.
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: imran1042 on April 18, 2013, 05:55:16 PM
Can I use the Hobbyzone firebird stratos to get park flyer wings?
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: imran13 on April 18, 2013, 06:53:07 PM
I have an Art-Tech Cessna 182, is that alright?

Thanks, Imran L
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: thehaze on April 18, 2013, 08:23:53 PM
Can I use the Hobbyzone firebird stratos to get park flyer wings?

Yes. But it won't accept a buddy box so you will lose the insurance that this gives you. Although I hear the stratos is very forgiving when flown in the right conditions.
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: thehaze on April 18, 2013, 08:27:25 PM
I have an Art-Tech Cessna 182, is that alright?

Thanks, Imran L

I have flown that model and it's a little fast for a trainer. But it's manageable. If i recall, the radio it comes with is also unable to accept a buddy box.
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: imran1042 on April 18, 2013, 08:56:19 PM
I have an Art-Tech Cessna 182, is that alright?

Thanks, Imran L

I have flown that model and it's a little fast for a trainer. But it's manageable. If i recall, the radio it comes with is also unable to accept a buddy box.

He put a spectrum reciever in it
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: imran13 on April 18, 2013, 09:25:52 PM
Last year when I first came to the club, I flew that plane as my trainer with Greg Hazelton. I think it was fine, but then again I'm still new at this.

Imran
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: thehaze on April 18, 2013, 09:44:32 PM
Last year when I first came to the club, I flew that plane as my trainer with Greg Hazelton. I think it was fine, but then again I'm still new at this.

Imran

Then carry on.

Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: imran13 on April 18, 2013, 10:12:41 PM
Aye, Chief!
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: Candu on May 01, 2013, 08:24:22 AM
I got my hands on a preowned HobbyKing EPP FPV. Would that serve as a trainer?
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: thehaze on May 01, 2013, 12:14:13 PM
I got my hands on a preowned HobbyKing EPP FPV. Would that serve as a trainer?

FPV models are generally very stable platforms. Without knowing much about the model I would say it would be suitable for Park Flyer Wings.

Mike
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: frajolex on May 15, 2013, 01:18:25 PM
Hey folks, so, after joining TEMAC, how much does it cost to get instruction?

I have a HobbyKing Cessna 182 + Spektrum DX6i, but I have never flew RC planes before!   ;D
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: thehaze on May 15, 2013, 01:25:39 PM
Instruction is included in the membership cost. So there is no extra cost.

The Cessna sounds good.

We train on Wednesdays. Hope to see you at the field.

Mike
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: frajolex on May 15, 2013, 02:19:45 PM
Instruction is included in the membership cost. So there is no extra cost.

The Cessna sounds good.

We train on Wednesdays. Hope to see you at the field.

Mike

Hi Mike,

Like today???  what time? can I pay the membership @ the field?  Ahm, I don't have the buddy cable neither the other controller.. but as I said.. I have a dx6i... what are the chances of someone with the same to help me?
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: thehaze on May 15, 2013, 02:48:34 PM
Training tonight is cancelled due to the wind.  I post on this forum weekly about the status of training.

You need to contact Andy about membership. I'm not allowed to handle the cash. :-)

There are quite a few people with spektrum radios. But I don't guarantee anything. So you need to decide for yourself if you want to rely on other people to get you in the air.

Mike
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: Jeng on May 15, 2013, 08:33:56 PM
    Thanks Mike for the new privileges last week! I've decided to take your advice and step up to a more beefier plane. I picked up a Sensie last weekend!
    It's too bad tonight's training was cancelled. Guess I'll install more LED lights on the wings.

Tnx agn,
James
   
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: thehaze on May 15, 2013, 09:56:02 PM
Nice!

Can't wait to see it fly.

Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: sihinch on May 08, 2014, 07:29:37 AM
Just bumping this thread to the top, for new 2014 students.

Great advice in Mike's initial posts on how to select a first plane.
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: imran13 on May 08, 2014, 10:54:13 AM
Just saying I think the original post should be modified to say that we have the geotex runway now :D

And just to add onto that post now that I know a little more than I did back then.
Balsa planes, however hard they are to fix, if treated properly are a great trainer. I originally had an Art-Tech Cessna 182, but it kinda fell apart (accidentally?) And so I bought an E-Flite Leader 480. Its great plane which I got my MAAC wings on.

Imran
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: Ashman001 on July 07, 2015, 12:16:39 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm on the verge of joining TEMAC and have been spending the fall/winter training with Phoenix flight sim and my Spektrum DX6i controller.  I visited my local hobby shop and found the plane I want to start with...Hobby Zone Corsair with safe technology. 

http://temac.ca/smf/index.php/topic,4843.msg30362.html#new

I understand and have read the post about staying away from war birds as a trainer...but with 3 modes (Beginner/Intermediate/advance) and safe tech, could this be a good trainer plane? 
I think someone is currently training on the Corsair at TEMAC.

BTW this comes as a RTF, but if I already have a DX6i do I need to buy the controller it comes with?  I was thinking of just buying the trainer cord and mate it to the instructors controller...is that ok?

Thanks,

Ashman001

Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: sihinch on July 07, 2015, 12:37:07 PM
Hi Ash,

Welcome to the forum!

I have some opinions on this, which you may not like!

When we train, we ALWAYs teach with SAFE off and the airplane in expert mode. We do this based on 2 things - first your instructor is your "safe" mode and will rescue the model in a bad situation and second, you will learn to fly more correctly if you understand how the model reacts to YOUR inputs and not those of a computer.

So you don't need safe!

Also, we do expect the student to provide both the Master transmitter and Buddy Box. You cannot always rely on the instructor having your brand of transmitter and it's not always fair to expect the Instructor to have a set-up for your model in their Transmitter memory. Sorry if that sounds harsh.

As for the aircraft - I have flown and taught the student on the Corsair a number of times. It is possible to learn on that plane if you really want to. But in my opinion it doesn't fly as well as a true trainer. I would still recommend a trainer.

Therefore I would recommend either the Apprentice (if you are a Spektrum/Horizon Hobby person) or the Multiplex Mentor or a Sensei.  I also hear the Art-Tech trainer is good but I've never flown it.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: Oscar on July 07, 2015, 10:38:43 PM
Hi Ash

Welcome to TEMAC.  The Corsair S is a beautiful plane.  I used to own the Corsair S too.  Maybe I can answer some of your questions

1) Your DX6i is fine to bind to Corsair S.  (HobbyZone comes with two version.  RTF /w Radio and BNF /wo Radio.  You can buy the BNF version) However, make sure you read the manual thoroughly in page 12.   As you know, SAFE has Beginner / Intermediate / Advance modes.  To operate, the radio requires a 3 position switch.  If you look at your DX6i, there are lots of two position switchs but no 3 position switch.  Page 12 in the manual will explain how you can get away with that by using two 2-position switch to toggle B/I/A modes.  It will be difficult to operate while you concentrate flying your plane.  Let the instructor help you (As Simon suggested).  They are better than Beginner and Intermediate mode.  :D

2) The Corsair S RTF comes with a special DX4 radio with 3 position switch and the panic recovery button programmed to the bind switch.  For your DX6i, you cannot programmed the panic recovery to bind switch.  Instead, the panic recovery button locates in the FLAP switch (0 and 1).  It will even more difficult to active this function.  Leave this to instructor to assist you than finding the panic recovery button.

3) If you purchase the Corsair S RTF, then you have two radio.  All you need to do is purchase the training cord. And you are all set for training with our instructor. 

4) If this is your first plane, you need to be aware the following
 a) This plane is very "floaty" and at times just does not want to come down. This has nothing to do with your flying skills, nor its SAFE feature; it's just the nature of this plane. There is a good chance that you will overshoot the landing area and land on grass.  And if you cut the power too early, it will stall badly (it's because the low wing design).  Until you master the landing skill for low wing plane, be prepare to frequent visit LHS to get new props and landing gear.

 b) This plane is notorious for nose overs to landing.  Technically you can overcome with mod but it only reduce the nose over percentage.  Take off can also be nose over because this is a tail-dragger plane.

 c) The plate that support the landing gear is very weak.  And with learning how to land, you will keep gluing the plate. 

 d) The color of Corsair is a navy blue color.  It can be difficult to see (even they have the white arrow at the vertical stabilizer).  Dust, Overcast sky - it can be a challenge. (There is something that computer simulator cannot teach you)

I hope this help. 

Note: I agree Simon's suggestion too.  Get a high wing trainer, training cord and 2 radios and attend our training nights. 

Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: sihinch on July 07, 2015, 10:56:21 PM
Again, please don't buy an aircraft based on the SAFE system. We do not use it when training - in fact it usually causes more problems and issues than help.

And you should really attend our training program with 2 transmitters - one as the master controller and the second for the buddy box.

And I stand by the previous post of mine that a high wing trainer is a better option to learn with. Can you use the Corsair? Yes! Is it ideal? I would say "No"!
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: Ashman001 on July 08, 2015, 08:32:02 AM
Thanks guys for all your good advise.  I didn't know training was done with SAFE mode off and in expert mode.  That definitely changes things, I will look at getting a RTF high wing plane as my starter and trainer cord. 

I hope to be at the TEMAC field this evening just to meet with some of the instructors and get an idea on how the training program works.

Thanks again for your great advise.

Ash   
Title: Re: Selecting a Training Airplane
Post by: Ashman001 on July 09, 2015, 12:00:03 PM
Hi Everyone,

It was great coming out yesterday and meeting Jack, Simon, Rob, Dave from Pinnacle and so many others. Everyone was so friendly and open to talk too.   Thanks again for all the information and great advice on a trainer. 

Think I found the plane, thanks Simon for the suggestion.   Will hopefully sign up to the club tomorrow and shop for a plane over the weekend...fingers crossed.

Ash