Thumb flying or finger flying?? - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:53 PM   #1
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Thumb flying or finger flying??

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I'd like some input, especislly from guys that have changed.

I have been a guy that grabs his Tx control sticks with his fingers(Thunb and first finger) and have been using my middle finger to flick switches etc. That's the way I started.

Anyway, as my flying and planes have advanced, I find the finger switch flicking etc a little awkward.

I started practising on my simulator using my thunbs on the sticks and using my index finger to switch on smoke, retracts, flaps etc and lo and behold it seems to be easier and more accurate. I also seem to be flying steadier with the plane in most manouvers.

Is this my imagination or is thumb flying better in the long run???
John Kovats

aka Johnny Versatile

MAAC 65460

Hespeler Model Aviators Inc.
Cambridge Float Flyers

I don't have the answers, but I have a personal relationship with the Guy that does.
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:18 PM   #2
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I guess it gets down to what you FEEL is right for you. I have only ever flown with thumbs but was curious about the thumb and index finger tecnique. It appeared to be an akward way to fly to me and after trying it my assumtions were correct. I found that I couldn't combine the elevator and aileron inputs as well a just with my thumb. I suppose that if I gave it a little more time I could get use to it but why should I mess with a good thing. I also found that I didn't have the range of movement with the thumb and index finger when performing a knife edge with lots of rudder. Other quick-type manouvers were hard also, such as snap rolls. The finger and thumb method required more effort to do quick actions.
The next thing I want to try is MODE I to see if it has any advantages for 3D flying and/or scale flying.
I hope you find your comfort zone.
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:21 PM   #3
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My impression is that finger flying was more accurate, perhaps a little more awkward for throwing switches. But I can see that in heavy 3D type flying where the sticks are moving alot and with big throws it could be alot harder to fly.

It comes down to personal preference as with most things hehe.

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Old 03-08-2006, 01:27 PM   #4
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I use thumbs for 3D and general flying and use thumb and index for precision aerobatics. There are no rules however, it's whatever you are more comfortable with.

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Old 03-08-2006, 01:29 PM   #5
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I've tried both...Went back to the thumbs...I find it easier and just as accurate for myself...I think everyone is different....Could possibly have something to do with finger and or thumb length...Some of the TOC winners fly with thumbs only....So it's what ever is more comfortable...
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Old 03-08-2006, 02:55 PM   #6
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I began flying R/C, back in the early 80's, using just thumbs. When I moved to Europe I noticed many of the flyers were using transmitter trays and controlling their aircraft using their index fingers and thumbs. I decided that when in Rome, do as the Romans, and switched to this method of control input. My personal experience is a follows - a thumb and index finger flyer tends to be more precise, perfect for pattern type flying and perhaps glider. With the edge of your hands resting on the transmitter tray panels, the sticks become very solid. Also, you experience far less fatigue. When I fly thumbs only, after ten to fifteen minutes I begin to loose the feeling in my thump tips However, for all out wild control and extreme and quick stick deflections, you can't beat the thumbs only. Lets face it; it is easier to move only two digits, the thumbs, than four, the thumbs and index fingers. Plus, if you have small hands and you rest your hands on the tray, you may not be able to move the sticks to full deflection without moving the whole hand. My preference : , I tend to feel much more in control and comfortable simply "dumb thumbing" it Bottom line fly by whatever method you are comfortable and have fun.

Peter Merkel
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:00 PM   #7
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I have been flying for over 20 years, started with the thumbs and then switched/tried the index finger thumb combo. I can fly like that but I preffer the thumb only method and continue to fly that way.
Ted LeBlanc
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:36 PM   #8
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Old 03-08-2006, 05:22 PM   #9
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Thumbs for me, I tried nipple pinching (thumb & index) but I can't do it
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Old 03-08-2006, 05:27 PM   #10
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I fly thumbs only without a neck strap, but I learned that way, and I fly Mode 1, where elevator and ailerons are on separate sticks - so its no problem.

I've often wanted to try the neck strap, or tray, but having the transmitter on my neck seems to restrict me somehow.

I personally think its whatever you learn on, kinda like driving in England or here - the way you learn would be the "natural" way.


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