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MuleShack

Radio Control Airplane

16 posts in this topic

Not sure if this is the right forum choice, but here goes.

I was looking into getting into the hobby of flying some radio controlled air planes. No, not those little 12" buggers you get at radio shack, but more of the kind that have 36-48" wing spans.

I did a little browsing and found some sites that have planes and parts etc.

There are varieties that have gas motors and also ones that have battery motors. The battery ones can fly for 10-12 minutes, but did not find anything on the gas motors yet.

Has anyone had any exposure to this type of activity and what would you recommend to get for a beginner. would Gas or Battery motor be the better way to go? I'm all about trying new stuff and learning, so beginner status wouldn't last long. Is flying these things difficult to learn? Would it be better to take some classes with a trainer to pick up the basics or can you learn on the fly pretty easy?

Maybe i could put floats on it and take in the boat when fishing is slow too. grin

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I would go with the gas motor for sure. Obviosly the size of fuel tank is going to determine flight time. Mine has a 10.5 oz. fuel tank and I have had it in the air probably 20 minutes and I don't think the tank was much below half full.

I would recommend a .40 trainer plane. the bigger the plane the easier it will handle, and the wind can't toss it around as much. it's amazing how little of a breeze can push around some of the smaller .20-.30 sized planes. i own a Hobbico Superstar, its a very solid, good flying plane. you should check that one out. i bought all my stuff from tower hobbies online. check out the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) HSOforum and you can get info on clubs in your area. i wouldn't recommend trying to teach yourself. flying is easy, but landing is not. find out where a club is and talk with them about getting started. the one i was in had trainers that you can learn on without even having to buy your own as long as you were in the club and an AMA member. I bought my plane then contacted the club, you should do it in the opposite order. a trainer can become boring after you learn the basics and if you don't need to buy one you can save your money for a more aerobatic second plane once you figure it out. they hook up a trainer cord between two radios and an instructer will get it in the air and trimmed out then turn the control over to you to fly, if you get into trouble they take control again and hopefully prevent the plane from crashing. the trainer cord prevents you from having to pass the radio back and forth, since you and the instructor would both be holding a radio.

it is a great hobby especially if you like building things. i haven't flown my plane in the last three years because of college and i don't want it in my apartment taking up room. definately easy to get hooked on when you see other peoples planes and want similar ones yourself.

The float planes are pretty cool. They make skis too, which can keep you occupied when the ice fishing is slow as well.

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That club idea sounds pretty cool to get the exposure and some training to find out what kind of plane you would want after you master the take off and landing part. The initial expense of buying a plane would be enough, rather than buying a beginner and then being bored with it after a couple months...might as well get trained in on someone elses stuff and then buy a better one later.

What kind of service life do the motors have (with the exception of crashes)?

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Service life would be similar to any gas motor. If you treat it well it will treat you well. Glow plugs need to be changed every once in a while, around a dollar I think. A drop or two of some after run oil after use and it'll last plenty long.

One thing if you did buy a trainer, you can take the engine and radio equipment out and swap it into your second plane.

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That club idea sounds pretty cool to get the exposure and some training to find out what kind of plane you would want after you master the take off and landing part. The initial expense of buying a plane would be enough, rather than buying a beginner and then being bored with it after a couple months...might as well get trained in on someone elses stuff and then buy a better one later.

What kind of service life do the motors have (with the exception of crashes)?

A 40 sized trainer will keep you entertained for a year, then it is an ideal plane to put on floats. 40 refers to .40 cubic inch, the size of the motor.

There is gas, glow, and electric. Electric is really taking off, excellent performance and low maintenance. I enjoy burning fossil fuels in these little planes, so I run gas and glow.

Glow fuel is what most of these little (48-60 inch wingpan) planes run. Mostly MeOH, some nitro, some oil. Buy it by the gallon from a local hobby shop. 2 and 4 stroke engines available.

Gas is gas. Typical 2 strokes, similar to chainsaw engines. You are in the 80" wingspan area here to start.

Don't, again, DON'T drop the cash on a trainer, radio, engine, spend time assembling it, then try and fly it by yourself. You'll destroy it. Unless you are that one in a million person, you'll end up with a pile of sticks.

Your 40 sized 2s engine will last as long as you want. Don't run it lean, and it'll go through several airframes.

1) Find local club - talk to them, many may know of used trainer gear for sale.

2) Buy used trainer stuff.

3) Get help learning to fly it.

4) Enjoy it, master it.

5) Put it on floats - they are a blast.

Where in MN are you?

Tim

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Yeah whoops. I always just call the glow fuel gas. They aren't the same. Tim has some great tips there.

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Quote:
Unless you are that one in a million person, you'll end up with a pile of sticks.

Heck I'd give you mine but lets just say I wasn't the one in million guy! smile

A pile of sticks..... yep that works for me..... grin

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Where in MN are you?

Tim

South of Prior lake in the wide open country side with a long driveway/landing strip.

TimR,

nice information and clarification on some of the terms.

are you a club member around the metro?

I'll start digging around for some club information.

Thanks to both of you guys for the instant information. This FM site contintues to amaze me with the vast knowledge and background of the members here.

PB,

sorry to hear about your pile of sticks grin

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MuleShack,

I've been a club member at St. Paul RC, and Sodbusters (woodbury) in the past, and current am a member at St. Croix Valley RC up in Lindstrom. It looks like there are several clubs near you that could get you started. If you go to www dot modelaircraft dot org, you can click on clubs, put in your zip code, and they will give you a list of the nearest ones as well as contact info.

Post back up, or send an email if you have any questions.

Tim

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I have been out the one east of Rosemount a few times and that seems like a nice field. I know Jordan has a club as well.

I bought a used plane in college and flew it on my own for years and repaired several major crashes for only a couple bucks in repair materials. It was called an Ugly Stik. If you like the hobby, you will have to learn to repair/rebuild.

There are some high dihedral ARF's (all ready to fly) that are pretty decent as a trainer if you aren't into the building part.......but the building part is the most fun for most enthusiasts.

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I found a few clubs in the area, one has a field out by canterbury/valley fair and i cant remember where the other was off hand. I sent them an email with questions, but havent heard back yet.

Right now, my time is limited, so i'm leaning toward the RTF set up and have my eye on a P51 Mustang that has some attachments for the beginner to keep slower speeds and then can be removed for better performance after i master some skills. It says the wheels are pitched forward and it wont do a nose over when landing, so i like that advantage.

I'm still going to wait to buy until i talk with a club and see some planes in person, and find out some details about is bigger better and all that fun stuff.

Truthfully i want the wifey to get involved with this as well being she doesn't like to fish. But i have to pave the way and learn how to fly myself so i can teach her or then get her to a club.

Quote:
It was called an Ugly Stik.

WWG, was that referring to your flying ability? grin or was that the name of a plane?

Maybe once i have flown and got comfortable and move on to a 2nd level plane i would do the build thing over winter. I like to build things, but now i'm more into "Lets fly".

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There is a club right by my house in Jordan. They have a real nice setup with a paved airstrip right next to the MN river. I'm pretty sure you can see the airstrip on Google Maps smile

Didn't seem buzzing around too much this year while I was out fishing.

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There is one also in Princeton, behind Trents. They fly twice a week or so and even have a bathroom grin.

Pretty die hard group though; I have even seen them fly in the rain.

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There's also a group that flies across 101 from Valley Fair in Shakopee.

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Yea, that's the one that i got in contact with. They are goin to train me on their trainer and then i can buy what ever i want after that with some background knowledge. It seems like a pretty big area out there.

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