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Old 01-20-2011, 09:36 PM   #1
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Better Approach to Starting to Fly

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I've been nearly 27 years in R/C, but I've never flown an airplane.

Last fall I bought a Great Planes Extra 300 SP (46-55 two-stroke). I am considering buying a Hanger 9 Twist 40 in order to learn to fly a "plank".

Should I get the Extra in the air and don't bother buying the Twist or buy the Twist to learn on and keep the Extra for use later?

Thank you for your input.

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Old 01-20-2011, 09:51 PM   #2
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Re: Better Approach to Starting to Fly

If you have not flown RC it won't matter, the Extra or the twist will both become a smoking hole just the same.
that being said, it's not a shot at your skill, it is just that those aircraft require a level of skill beyond a new pilot.
a good trainer type plane should be your first plane, but if you feel a twist or extra are better suited to your flying, contact a local club and get an instructor to fly with you with a buddy box. It may save you a few bucks and some frustration.

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Old 01-21-2011, 07:09 AM   #3
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Re: Better Approach to Starting to Fly

If Maple Ridge is anything like Coronation, there won't be too many people with buddy boxes available. I would start out with a flight simulator for the winter picking a good trainer to learn the basic controls with. (NB, one flight sim comes with a DX5e) Then go buy a cheap piece of styrofoam, like a hobby zone Super Cub, get the bind and fly version and pick out a separate radio. The Horizon Hobbies Super Cub works with the DX5e. Avoid the RTF model since the Ready to Fly radio is low quality and has no option for a buddy box.

Why the foamie over a hunk of balsa? Well in learning the 7 ways to kill a super cub, I've replaced 5 cowls >$4 each, 1 gear box, 1 radio Rx (water, not crash), a prop shaft and 3 propellers. Oh, and the Super Cub is alive and well. If you pick that particular plane there's a few tricks to strengthening it that I have field tested Foam is cheap, breaking balsa will make you cry.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:08 AM   #4
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Re: Better Approach to Starting to Fly

Hi Ken,

You may want to try one of the local club member's flight simulator first to test your flying skills before your first flight. I found the flight simulator helped me when I was getting back into the hobby after 30 years absence.

My suggestion would be to get your own flight simulator for your PC, try flying the different planes, and you probably find you'll want to get a trainer to start off with. Getting your own flight simulator at this time of year would be great and give you lots of time to practice before the summer flying season with out the "crash costs".

I think is always a good idea to contact your local club, or find another flyer in your area who you trust and can call upon for advise.

It would also be great if your first flight could be on a "buddy box" with an experienced flyer to test and trim out your plane and find out how it flys. All new transmitters have "buddy box" capabilities, that is, they can link two transmitters together. One as master and one as slave - the master controls which one is active.

Hope this helps.


"We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!" - Benjamin Franklin.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:36 AM   #5
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Re: Better Approach to Starting to Fly

Thank you for the input, guys.

I'll definitely will put in time on a simulator first. Last night I was thinking of joining the nearest local club. And the guy I bought the Extra 300 from said he would trim it out for me. I was thinking of going the foam plane way as another local club is filled with guys really enjoying flying them. At least I can get it in the air and practice "spot" landing.

Have a great season.

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Old 01-21-2011, 10:04 AM   #6
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Re: Better Approach to Starting to Fly


Join a club where you can get some help.

The Coquitlam club has a Simulator that members can "rent" as well as a flight training program.

RCFCBC has a new field in Mission near Silverdale. They are setting up a buddy box program for flight training.

Whatever U do, don't buy a Twist - they are a POS and have some really screwy rudder coupling issues.

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Old 01-21-2011, 10:29 AM   #7
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Re: Better Approach to Starting to Fly


I was thinking of joining RCFCBC; their membership fees have gone up along with their initiation fee for a total of $300. Probably the highest in Canada.

On the basis of your comments, I will not buy the Twist. I didn't realize that it was so poorly made and had such unpredictable flying qualities.

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Old 01-21-2011, 06:42 PM   #8
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Re: Better Approach to Starting to Fly

I've been flying the Twist 40 for the last 5 yrs and it's one of my favorite funfly planes. No coupling whatsoever and it flies on a rail. Just not a plane to learn on. Like taking flying lessons on a full size Extra 300. Learn on a Cub first.

Tried for my kamikazi pilots licence. Flunked the test.
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:47 PM   #9
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Re: Better Approach to Starting to Fly

Looks like you're doing things right -- not buying a pile of equipment before you need it.

First step is pretty much what you've done -- find ALL (emphasis) of the clubs in your area -- the MAAC website will have a page that gives the zones in Canada and the clubs in the zone. They may have upgraded the page to include a geographic locator for the clubs -- locations that are closest to you.

Take the time to visit the clubs and to hang out a while. The MAAC-chartered clubs usually have a 'free flight" program that gives you one flight on a trainer aircraft under the tutelage of an instructor. Find the club that fits your personality and needs. Sounds like the RCFCBC fees are giving you a case of sticker shock -- better check out what you'd pay for golf, water-skiiing, skiing/snowboarding....... also, may be a case of what they provide in terms of facilities or it could be just snob factor -- I don't know the club and can't comment on it as being good, bad or indifferent. Get the facts on the clubs and the pluses and minuses of being a member, especially in terms of getting and keeping student members.

Next step will be to see what the students in the club are using and what the club recommends as a trainer.

Then shop around for a plane in good used condition, as well as the basic flight equipment. Alternate would be to go with one of the package trainers like the NexStar, which has everything except the starting and fuel equipment. If you're joining an all-electric club or going to be flying electrics, there's a version of the NexStar for that as well.
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:22 PM   #10
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Re: Better Approach to Starting to Fly

You might be suprised how much fun a trainer can be. I had a Superstar 40 trainer and that sucker was a blast! I learned how to pull stalls turns, Immleman's, loops, rolls, inverted passes, all sorts of basic flight patterns. Sure, I crashed it a couple times but it was a tough plane and easy to fix. A lot of experienced flyers still take their trainer out once in a while for some fun, casual flying. I would highly recommend a Superstar, LT-40, Alpha 40 or something along those lines.
Dean Myers
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