Trainer Jets, what really prepares you? - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:08 PM   #1
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Trainer Jets, what really prepares you?

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So in the last couple months I've talked with many new jet pilots, guys who just recently got into turbines with a Reaction or a Boomerang.
Then they transitioned to another jet and within the first 5 flights they caused some sort of damage.

When I started flying jets, I began with a Ducted Fan "Cyclone". I had taken all the steps leading up to a fast airplane, pattern, pylon etc, and although much different, the cyclone was a great flying jet and I outside of engine hassles (the joys of ducted fans) I had success with it.
After switching to turbines, I got a Kangaroo. The Kangaroo was easy to fly, but definitely not "trainer" like compared to todays jets.

The big difference I noticed was that you had to fly it in with power, you had to really think about your throttle settings etc.

The Reaction, boomer's etc are seemingly too easy to fly as an entry to jets. If one was willing to spend the money I really believe a Reaction 54 could be used as an entry to low wing models after a 40 size trainer.

You don't have to worry about landing on power, you can glide in, you have almost nothing to worry about regarding stalls etc.

To move up from a Reaction to almost any scale jet is no different IMO than moving from an Ultra Sport to a jet.

I'm not putting down the Reaction or Boomer's at all, they are great airplanes, but considering the flying skill needed to fly one of those vs even the "trainer" jets of 10 years ago, do they really prepare you for "jets".
What I mean is, when I wanted to fly "jets", I wanted to fly a viper, a bandit, an F16, an F18 etc. The Kangaroo would still do 200mph, and it required power to land nicely. It got me ready for my Exocet, and my Kingcat. It wasn't a huge step from the Kangaroo into the next jets.

As I say, I could honestly see a Reaction being used as a 2nd airplane if you wanted to spend the $$$. However, that certainly doesn't prepare you for a heavily loaded F18 or a Bandit directly after that.

The reason I am writing this thread is because I see may posts with people who have lots of flying experience, warbirds, pattern etc wanting to try jets, and everyone recommends the Boomerangs, Reactions etc for their first airplane. Well, to be honest, if I'd flown a Reaction as my first jet after all the models I'd flown previously, it probably would have given me a bit of a false sense of security when I moved on to my next jet.

In the end, although I don't have a problem with airplanes like the Reaction (I own one) or a boomerang etc, I'm not sure I consider them "jets" in the sense of a high performance aircraft. They are a jet turbine powered airplane, but I'm not sure I'd say with confidence that they are a jet or even a jet trainer.

They do almost guarantee you success in your turbine powered flights, but as I said in the beginning, I've recently talked with a few pilots who felt that even after a couple hundred flights, the "trainer" did not prepare them for their next choice into jet modelling.

I personally think that jets like the Kangaroo, Rookie, Panther etc are a better first step into jet modelling. Just curious what your guy's thoughts are, particularly those of you who have learned on a Boomer or Reaction.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:07 PM   #2
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I believe they Build confidence and not false confidence either, most guys are shaking like a leaf on there first Jet experience, best to make it successful. The boomer (which I own one) flys very slow and very fast (my opinion), if your not careful it will do a nasty stall (I've done it) now you get to learn all about spool up time and because it is forgiving you will probably save the Jet. For speed, I have a Ram500 (12lbs) and it probably does about 125mph....not too shabby.

I also have a Hotspot( thank you) and in my opinion it's not the best trainer, very fast, easy to loose orientation with (don't paint them white) and can fall out of the sky pretty damn quick on a slow sharp turn and can land very hot or slow.

I'm delighted that there are jets out there like the Boomer and the Reaction, easy to fly, great for learning all the aspects of operating turbines and they can fly from just about any field. And maybe after 30-40 flights you might be bored of it but at least you will have something to sell

Everyone is different, both is flying skills and tastes for "jets", This is my 3rd year in Jets and my best one was last year with more than 60 logged flights, mostly on the Boomer and about 10 on the Hotspot. The Hotspot is getting more comfortable as I spend more time with the Boomer

From the Boomer I have moved up to the Elan, a little faster, heavier and probably just about as easy to fly as the Boomer, again I'm delighted to have a predictable flying Turbine Jet to keep improving my skills. I also have a F18 in the works but no hurry, I'll just keep firing away at the Boomer, Elan and Hotspot, once these are absolutely MASTERED, then the F18.

Just my 3 cents

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Old 01-23-2008, 07:23 AM   #3
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Yes. the boomer and Reaction can give a false sense of security. But it is a great tool for learning the turbine operations. Starting, stoping, throttle lag etc. Like any aspect of this hobby, if you move to scale birds, you need to learn how they handle and how to land them.

I notice a big difference between my Boomer intro and my hot spot. The boomer is a fly anywhere anytime kind of jet where my hot spot requires a larger area to slow down and land. My L39 is somewhere in the middle of the pack, maybe a bit closer to the boomer as it is still very easy to fly.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:44 PM   #4
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I learned to fly on a Kangaroo. The delta shape was hard getting used to. To be honest my EX Super Bandit was a better trainer than my Roo'. It was just a faster pattern plane Very predictable and once set up would land on a dime.

Now this year I'm going to fly the PST Panter (honest Randy )That may be the best trainer yet if one does not go crazy with scale details.
Time will tell.

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Old 01-26-2008, 07:27 PM   #5
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My opinion on this matter:

There are probably a lot of modelers who want to fly turbine powered aircraft who do not want to fly scale or anything else but sport type jets (for whatever reason, thats not important). A R54 or a Boomerang serves that purpose as does other jets that are capable of flying off of tight (re short) fields and able to handle the rough grass without damage.

Secondly, if one decides to fly scale jets, itis really up to the modeler to educate him/herself inwhat it takes in terms of flight experience to fly something with a high wing loading. If they are THAT ignorant in today's enviroment (with so much on the internet, and so many excellent books on the topic as well as model magazines like RCJI) about what it takes then it is no different to me, than a fellow who tries to go from a basic high wing trainer to a heavy warbird (talking prop powered aircraft) thinking the trainer has prepared them for a 50 oz/foot giant scale P47...

ALL jet models have their place. Trainers, sport planes, scale, etc. If you see someone or know someone who has a false sense of security re a jet that they are going to try flying and you think they are not prepared - SAY SOMETHING! No different than, again, seeing a fellow modeler trying to fly a plane they may not be ready for with a prop on it.

I would never say to someone "oh that jet is not hard enough to fly - you better get something harder to land that can fly faster"... as that seems a bit odd. However, suggesting that someone with a dozen flights on their R54, who talks about flying a much more sophisticated/harder to fly jet to perhaps get something somewhere in the middle first makes sense. They may not listen to you.

But, its no different than the prop flyer who has just gotten his/her wings who decides a twin engine WWII plane or a diamond dust, etc is going to make a great 2nd model - you can offere advice but in the end thats it. Why is that any different with turbine powered models?

We are supposed to be in this to help one another and the guys with more experience passing that on to the newcomers.

With repsect to your comment about what you "consider" a jet - that is totally not relevent. Jets are aircraft propelled by a turbine engine. You may not consider a Boomerang a "real man's jet" so to speak, but the guy/gal flying theirs probably doesnt care. And just remember, there are a LOT of flyers in Canada who fly at fields that you would never be able to take off and land a Kangaroo or Hotspot from. If they want to smell, hear and taste the turbine fever, well, its going to have to be something like a turbine powered ugly stick like it or not.
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if its got a wing or two and an engine - I like it!
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:12 PM   #6
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I agree, my comment on what is or isn't a "jet" was not well thought out, I apologize to anyone who may have taken offence to that. Part of what prompted me to post this thread, alongside talking to a few new jet modellers, was reading some threads on "that other site" where guys were looking to get into jets. Many of them wanting to fly, or start with jets like the Skymaster F4, F18's etc. The cost of the current scale jets is certainly appealing, you can build a nice F18 these days for less than my Kangaroo ended up costing me in 2000.
I see in a lot of those threads where guys say "start with a reaction, then get your F4". I can see somebody being ready or close to ready for an F4 if they've flown something like a Rookie, or a Roo or something, but flying an R54 isn't going to get you into a position where you are "ready" for an F4 in most cases.

In hindsight, this thread should probably have been more directed towards "what jets truly get you ready for the 'heavy metal' of jets" rather than just jets in general.

I guess the other thing I was looking at was, back in the day of ducted fan, it took a lot of steps through different prop planes to be "ready" for the entry level jets of those days compared to today. I think, (and this is just my opinion) once you had gone through the ballistic pattern planes of yesteryear, you were fairly competent to fly a Viper, or something of that sort. Once you were flying a Viper, or a yellow aircraft F16 etc, you were more into the groove of a high performance jet. If you aspired to fly a scale jet done to the nines in those days you could feel relatively confident with it after flying what were considered entry level jets then.

Today if you want to fly a heavily loaded jet like an F100 or F4 or whatever, I was just wondering if there were people out there who would graduate from their trainer, into a sportster type plane, then fly an R54 and then feel good about flying an F4 or the like. It still hasn't taken you through those steps.

Now, I agree totally that it's up to the modeller to educate themselves, but sometimes the educating one receives from the internet is IMO incorrect. There are so many threads where if a new jet modeller reads them, and particularly doesn't read anything more than the first few posts, they may feel very comfortable in moving up very quickly.

Anyway, it's really not important, I was not in any way intentionally bashing R54's or boomers, nor was I intending to bash anyone wanting to get started in jets, it was just simply something I have noticed and was wondering what others opinions were. The jet modelling world has changed so much in the past few years that it's nothing like what it was back when I first started seeing ducted fan jets back in the 80's.

I still come from the school of build your own airplane so when you break it you know how to fix it too, but then I find myself in the ARF world where when I do have a screw up and bust up a sport plane, I don't fix them anymore either, it's cheaper to buy another ARF.

Sometimes it's tough to teach old dogs new tricks I guess, or rather, to make sure they remember them :P
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by LGM Guitars

I still come from the school of build your own airplane so when you break it you know how to fix it too, but then I find myself in the ARF world where when I do have a screw up and bust up a sport plane, I don't fix them anymore either, it's cheaper to buy another ARF.
Very true, but at least you did learn how to fix them.
Like I mentioned before, I think it's a smart thing to know how to work on models if you fly them.

I think I may have a difference of opinion on what a jet and "jet model" is though. To me a jet model could be anything from that nice scale $7000 F-18 powered by 42lb thrust turbine or it could be the small foamie 747 model pushed by a prop. They're both jet models but of course the F-18 is a true "turbojet" powered model. Make any sense? LOL
Howzitgoin' eh?
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