Which RTF Trainer to buy? - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 09-21-2008, 01:55 PM   #1
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Which RTF Trainer to buy?

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Hi guys,

My 12 year old son has finally decided to take up flying. Even though I have been doing this since he was born, he finally just took interest. Anyway, it has been years since I flew any type of trainer and we are looking at three RTF planes. Would like some input from people that have experience with these. I like the Nextar and H9 P51 based on the fact that they come with a flight sim for that particular plane which will give him a lot of practice over the winter months.


1.) Hobbico NexStar RTF

2.) H9 PTS P51 RTF

3.) H9 Alpha 40 DSM2 Trainer RTF

Any input would be appreciated. If anyone can think of a RTF trainer not included in the above list that we should look at, please advise.


Dave V.
Burlington Radio Control Modelers
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:13 PM   #2
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Re: Which RTF Trainer to buy?

hi Jake I Think the next star is a very good choice as your son get beter you can remove the traning aid that come with it (speed brake and self levelling systeme) and it is a very strong airplane and it fly and look good. Good Luck. BEN.
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:23 PM   #3
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Re: Which RTF Trainer to buy?

Hi Dave,
I always recommend Hobbico Avistar. Semi symmetrical wing handles wind alot better than the flat bottoms and too much dihedal, also once he is comfortable the throws can be crankee up and you got a good aerobatic trainer as well.
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:51 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Re: Which RTF Trainer to buy?

Yep, Go with the Hobbico NexStar. It is an awesome first plane ready to go right out of the box. I have been flying mine all summer and love it. But whats important is that replacement parts are readily available if the unthinkable happens.
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:27 PM   #5
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Re: Which RTF Trainer to buy?

Well, I hate to differ with folks but as an instructor I have had nothing but great admiration for the Nexstar ARF package. They are very simple to assemble and fly absolutely great right out of the box. The engines that come with the package is first rate and I have delt with a great number of them. Start right up and run fantastic, again right out of the box. They are very easy to setup, relyable and strong.

The radio is of very good quality too and will do most beginners for quite some time. And on top of everything else that comes in the package, there is a flightsim included so you can learn a lot of the basics right at home on your computer.

I would NOT recommend using the autopilot when first starting to learn. This might sound strange but it makes the plane too easy to fly and could make for a lazy pilot right at the start.. You need to get the full feel of the plane using all four primary flight controls if you're going to learn to fly properly.

As for aerobatics, this plane will be all thats needed for some time to come. I always recommend that a trainer be used to learn to fly and get one's wings. And thereafter for at least the first full flying season, continue flying the trainer until you can almost fly it blindfolded, so to speak. Even then, this plane is able to do most basic aerobatic manovers, loops, rolls, lazy eights, immelmans, split esses, and even inverted flight. Its all that is required until a new pilot becomes quite proficient at flying. Yes it has some diehedrial, but for a beginner this is a good thing as it helps the plane, and the pilot, to self correct flight attitude helping to keep the wings level especially important for learing proper landing proceedure. Turn final, line it up with the centre of the runway, chop the power and flair it on landing perhaps hardly even touching the ailerons....it almost lands itself!

Most important though, is that I find this particular ARF very strong and able to take more than the average abuse a beginner will put her through. Parts are relatively inexpensive and easily obtainable if/when needed. And for the price, its an awsome deal especially with all the extras included.

Pretty hard to beat this all around excellent looking and flying fully complete airplane package. AND yes folks, theres more! This package use to come with a gaurantee and I hope it still does!! IF you are under the direction of an instructor linked to you with a buddy box and something unforseen happens, and you crash your plane, the company/MFG will send you a brand new airframe FREE of charge.

I was an instructor with a fellow when just such a thing happened. He was coming in for a landing approach, which he had done many times, and right at the very last second, instead of pulling the power completely off, he gave it full power and didn't pull up fast enough. POW! It happened so fast that I as the instructor didn't have even a second to react.

I wrote out a detailed report of what happened and signed it for my student. He sent it in with a request under the warrenty/gaurantee and was sent a brand new complete airframe (airframe only-no damage to engine or servos etc) within two weeks of the incident. NOW thats a great bit of flight insurance unheard of in this hobby.

I have personally trained at least 7 new student pilots of all ages with this trainer and I have only good things to say about it. It sure made my job as an instructor a whole lot easier thats for sure. I believe the whole package is still less than $400, could be a bit higher by now but still a great deal for sure.

Anyway my friend, all the best with whatever you decide to buy and I hope your son enjoys this hobby as much as you do. He will learn so much and make some lifelong buddies along the way. Enjoy this great hobby!
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:53 AM   #6
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Re: Which RTF Trainer to buy?

Speaking as an instructor and having flown both the Nexstar and the P51PTS, as well as several other alleged trainers, I advise that you first look at your objective.

If that happens to be to have a plane which will be used as an advanced trainer at a later stage by removing a bunch of bolt on stuff, forget it (I think Mickey Mouse just ran by!). Either it is a trainer or it is not. It will not be both. It will not survive to that later stage.

If you want something more advanced than a basic trainer, OK. The Nexstar will be fine. More advanced is the H9 P51PTS. But do yourself a favour and get rid of the flywheel on the engine and that no-pitch 3 bladed prop.

IMO what you want is best determined by what your student needs combined with your objective. There is a total range of ability with the newbies and that will determine from what stage of trainer aircraft performance the individual will successfully progess at the best possible rate.

Of course, that may not be your objective. Crashes and the ensuing down time and expense may be of no consequence to you and really part of the fun experience of learning to fly RC. So that would change your plane selection.

Now if you want the all around absolute best option to get your student, regardless of ability, to solo competently, in the shortest period of time with the least expense (note to armchair experts: this is overall cost - repairs, extra parts, fixes from crashes and so forth - not just original acquisition costs), there is one choice. It is the Sig Kadet Senior. Virtually all your expense is up front as this plane is virtually impossible to crash. So it will not need repairs. He'll learn to fly it in a few trys. We have people in our club who get competently to their wings on that plane in a few weeks, even when they cannot fly anything else. We take students and knock 'em off like dominos doing flight tests. It's not unusal to get a couple per week who graduate. Once they solo, further learning proceeds at a very rapid pace with the Kadet Senior.

In short order, they move on to something else in total confidence with a great foundation. Generally a low wing model, such as the Pulse 40 and 4Star planes are popular at that stage.

We also use the Kadet LT-40. But it takes the students longer to graduate with that plane.
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:16 AM   #7
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Re: Which RTF Trainer to buy?

I have to chime in here as well with a different choice. I totally recommend the Arrow 40 from H-9 basically the same package as the Alpha however you can progress past the very basics with it. It flies beautifully as a trainer yet can fly inverted and do some mild aerobatics. When i bought mine the quote from the salesman was "after the first couple of weeks you'll be really glad you got this over the Alpha because of the extras you can do" he was right.

have fun you are so lucky to have your son want to get into it. Mine is 13 and has ZERO interest whatsoever.


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Old 09-22-2008, 10:25 AM   #8
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Re: Which RTF Trainer to buy?

If you are thinking of the Nexstar you may want to check out the following thread, http://www.rccanada.ca/rccforum/showthread.php?t=79351, it has just appeared and looks like it is in your neighbourhood.

Good Luck!

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Old 09-22-2008, 12:19 PM   #9
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Re: Which RTF Trainer to buy?

All good choices.
Had two friends learn on Nextars...FANTASTIC trainers. very forgiving, easy to land and take off and simulator that comes with it is a great place to start getting used to controls and orientation..half the battle closed before he even gets out to the field ! I think flying choices of aircraft and radios/electronics changes once you get your wings, so you really can't beat a $300-$400 package all in to get airborne, then sell it off for a few hundred and move on.

If you are interested I am selling an electric one COMPLETE for a friend, we can work out a price including shipping if you want, he is eager to sell it.

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Old 09-22-2008, 07:17 PM   #10
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Thumbs up Re: Which RTF Trainer to buy?

AS an instructor, I have flown all trainers that the new members come with. I like the H9 Alpha 40 DSM2 Trainer RTF the best. It is the most stable plane to learn on.
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