Beginning with a Spad (Differing opinions) - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 05-22-2003, 10:56 AM   #1
Tattoo
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Beginning with a Spad (Differing opinions)


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In light of some comments made on another forum, I decided to bring this up to hopefully quell some negitive myths and mayby get some "on the level" conversation going on the subject. It's been said that a Spad trainer flys like a heavy pig. It's instructions are not as good as supperior kit manufactures, and the task of procuring materials and flaming coroplast for glue is a vague general rule of thumb that would confuse a newbie. The plane in the picture below is possibly the most popular Spad trainer, and they are flying around the world possibly in the thousands. The instructions are the best that I could do with no background in technical writing, and the reviews are favorable. Oh yeah, and the info is free because I just want to spred the fun. The plane in the picture cost less than $10 in materials. This does not include the landing gear and engine mount...which came off a Dura-Plane. Even if a newbie were to build one from total scratch, the cost to build the plane would still be $20-$30...and the gear and hardware transfers to the next plane...so replacing the "airframe" with future Spads would indeed be less than a $10 investment. The plane in the picture involves 7 pieces of Coroplast, 4 yardsticks, and a stick of gutter-pipe. That's 12 pieces that you have to cut, screw and glue together. With experience it take about 4 hours, reports from rank beginners average between 10 and 20 hours for their first one with subsiquent planes going much faster once they figure out the cutting, folding, flashing and gluing. Flashing and gluing does take some practice to get it right. I've been told that this is intimidating to new builders, and a torch also costs about $10. Yes I can agree, but everything worth doing takes a little effort and learning. With 20 year and over 40 balsa planes under my belt, I can assure you that as a beginner, the task of flashing and gluing coro is nothing compared to the task of trying to cover a plane in monocote...which is also expensive and requires a $30 iron. The plane below has a wing loading of @ 16-19 oz/sq.ft. depending on the weight of the LG and engine etc. installed on it. It's flight charicteristics rival that of a Kadet or Falcon...both of which I've owned and flown (I've had 4 Falcons). It's ability to survive crashes is only rivaled by AirCores Dura-Planes and Armidillos. It's taken awhile for these planes to be accepted in our area due to the same misconceptions the forums experience from time to time...but not anymore, and they are everywhere. Even the LHS supports them, because they've learned that they are sucking people into the hobby better than ever and that means lots of flight packs, engines, and tons of fuel being sold. The only negitive thing that I can find in my experiences about this type of trainer is that some may think it's ugly. well...for that there's the Spadet which is even lighter with a better wingloading. Even Uglier (if that's possible) is the BUHOR...which is even lighter and flies better.

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Old 05-22-2003, 11:10 AM   #2
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Fight the good fight buddie.

Sorry to be so hard on ya on that other site but, I didn't want to hijack the thread any further.

I think our friendly debates equate to a subtle difference in our enjoyment of the hobby.
- Some desire a shortcut to the field
- still others want a shortcut to experimenting
- yet others want a bounce-proof plane

I enjoy the adventure of the longer path.
Epic Qests aren't for everyone, some prefer half hour sitcoms. Sorry to wax Taoist on you.
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Old 05-22-2003, 12:46 PM   #3
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Hey time to voice my opinion...

I fly everything. Not too many guys like me, I dabble in every size plane from 1/2A to giant scale gas, 2 and 4 stroke, heck I even build my own engines. I build from kits, scratch from bought plans, buy ARF's and do a lot of my own designing (have 6 of my own design airplanes currently flying. I fly helis, jets, old timers, etc. I truly enjoy building and flying and everything about this great hobby. I started flying RC (modelled much before that though with FF, cl and rubber) in 83' and consider myself an active participant in this hobby as best I can be.

Now I am only trying to give some background not toot my own horn.

That being said, I find if absolutely foolish to insinuate that SPAD type planes are not "good". Plain and simple they are model aircraft. They are a great addition to the rest of the planes we are able to have and fly and they serve a great purpose. Some build them due to cost restraints, some build them for the durability and some for the speed of contruction.

WHO CARES WHY??? I surely dont. And neither should anyone else.

My student this summer took time and effort and $$ to build a beautifull Sig Kadet Sr and after he solos I am going to get him to build a Spad Ugly Stick for a second plane. Why? Because it is cheap, fast to build and durable. Does that make it somehow less of a model airplane? NO!!!!

If you want to push this to the extreme then I will turn my nose on anyone who buys a purchased engine (what? cant buy a lathe, learn the skills and make your own ) and doesnt design and build their own planes. Rubbish...

So, Tatoo to answer your question, I think SPADS have their rightfull place in this hobby and are suited to training and sport flying as much as anything else.

Just get out and fly, and build, and fly.... promote the hobby no matter what it is you are doing.

Enough said!

(of course, the above is JMHO and not meant as an attack on those who dislike coroplast, CA glue, pre-manufactured airplanes, commercially available engines, fuel and radios... :P )
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Old 05-22-2003, 12:55 PM   #4
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Sometimes I don't know why I fight. I guess it's reading falsehoods. There is nothing superior to the way a non Spad flies. My current favorite Spad out flies anything I ever flew...balsa, foam or plastic. In terms of wingloading, and in some cases down right all up weight, Spads are not heavier. In terms of newbies and confusion, I will never forget getting into the hobby, and just trying to get a Stab hinged and monocoted the first time far exceeded the complexity of an entire Spad project. What I'm gathering is something just is just too good to be true but for once really is, and this really upsets people that have put a lot of time, money and effort into something, and suddenly the next guy shows up with something he slapped tother the night before and is tougher, cheaper, and flies as good. That would ---- me off too...and I would either try it or go out of my way to rag on it. And appearance is improving too ...the more guys who like to build, get the coroplast addiction...the more the gap is closing. I wish you were'nt so darn far away Jim...we could continue our discussion at the field
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Old 05-22-2003, 01:25 PM   #5
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You guys are way too serious.

Andrew, shame on you. In another thread you're bashing sailplanes while on this thread you're stating you fly everything....while bashing me for stating my dislike for 'type'.

To each their own mates, I have friends who don't like biplanes, I don't understand their dislike but I respect their preferences... even when they bash one of mine (in good humour).
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Old 05-22-2003, 02:58 PM   #6
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Jim,
Didnt bash sailplanes, just said I dont particularly get a thrill flying them (I own one, dont fly it). And yes, I do fancy myself a guy who flys "everything" that is everything I can get my hands on but there are many planes I wish to own that I willnot get a chance to for a while...

That however has nothing to do with the thread!

Jim,
If you really read what I wrote, you will see I am NOT bashing you personally. However, I am bashing your opinion (well stated on many threads here and on RCU) that certain planes (arfs and spads) are "not worthy" I am just offering my differing opinion.

You know, I havent yet had the opportunity to tackle a truely fabulous scale model yet. Just havent the time. I admire you and the others' scale stuff with great awe. I dont however think that to be a true modeller you need to spend hundreds of hours on a plane. Plain and simple! You bash these, in jest or not a smiley face after a bash is still a bash.... I just wanted to state MY strong opinion as another experienced modeller (would have less meaning if it came from a new modeller that has not done much building IMO) that SPADS and simpler designs are indeed planes and damn it, they have so much to offer the hobby!

So, please dont take it personally...

Tatoo, I agree with you 100%. A good flying model is a good flying model no matter what it is built from. Now, looks, that is something to each his own will have to deal with. Some planes are built to show off and look great, some are built for one purpose, to fly and nothing else. Once again, who cares? I couldnt care less what my fellow club mates are flying as long as we all participate in the hobby and HAVE FUN.
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Old 05-22-2003, 03:45 PM   #7
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And that is the point; We all have personal preferences/opinoins.
Sometimes these get mis-interpreted as bashing, much as it did in the infamous ARF threads on that other site.

Yeah, I'm guilty of going too far sometimes (just like others) but, I truly feel aircraft like the Kadet are far superior candidates as trainers than than any plastic fatastic I've yet encountered.

I'm not bashing how other people enjoy their hobby, I'm simply expressing my opinon. Some people don't like 4-strokes. That's ok, I can forgive these people for their personality flaws.
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Old 05-22-2003, 03:59 PM   #8
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Andrew,
I would have to agree with you 100% Fun is what its all about no matter what you fly. and I am new to R/C ( second season) but I have been building models of all sorts since I was 10 yrs old. thats 30 yrs of fun. I now have both balsa and spads and enjoy them both I just love the fun of flying and am learning more each day thanks to all of you guys that are willing to help us less experienced, Both in my club and here on the net.
Hawk

PS. Tattoo, anyone bashing you for spads should be ashamed ...there awesome!!!
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Old 05-22-2003, 04:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJCoholic
.... promote the hobby no matter what it is you are doing.
What else needs to be said? I think that no matter what part of the this wonderful sport you like, as long as you have fun at it and positively promote it, then we all have succeeded.

I hate building, love flying. I don't fly so good, so I chose to fly SPADs. What a great combination! And with the job, I travel a lot, and you know what, SPADs travel VERY well. Forget trying to figure out how your going to transport a balsa & monocote wing from Muncie to LA. Though it in a box and put it on a truck. What could be better?

Soap box off.

Cheers!

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Old 05-22-2003, 04:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
I truly feel aircraft like the Kadet are far superior candidates as trainers than than any plastic fatastic I've yet encountered.
Jim, I couldn't agree with you more...at least "Kadet" and "trainer", trouble is, my Spadet IS plastic fantastic... :P
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