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Old 12-21-2011, 05:04 PM
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dahawk's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Keller, TX
Posts: 5,019

Welcome Jeff,

I'm relatively new to the RC world myself being back at it for about year after a 30 year layoff. Lived in Crystal Lake in the 80's. There's a club in Hoffman Estates near Golf Rd and Higgins(72) in the Forest Preserve. That's where I first flew a Joe Bridi balsa gas trainer that I built myself from a kit circa 1981. No foam or electrics back then. On the Apprentice, good choice. Our club trainer guys highly recommend this plane and e-flight(Horizon) makes some really great quality stuff.

When I decided to get back into the hobby, I started out by hanging out at the field , observing, asking questions and getting to know some of the guys. Most RC clubs welcome new members with open arms. Make sure to go ahead and get your AMA card if you haven't done so yet.

Like Fish, I started with the HZ Super Cub LP. Being surrounding by all the "heavy metal" at the flying field, at first, I felt like a baby learning to walk and talk. No need to fear the embarrassment. Might hear a few undertoned chuckles but most guys are there in your camp wanting you to succeed and progress. The SC is still my dear friend and am modding her out. Have graduated to some slightly higher performing planes like the AF Cessna 182 , the PZ T-28 and am now building scratch foamie pusher jets like the F-22, F-4 Phantom and F-15. You really get to know your plane by building them and you gain a sense of accomplishment when something you build actually flies.

These planes are a riot to fly and cheap to build. When you crash, and you will crash, it's not like you just lost a $400-$500 plane. More like $30-$50.

I too was drooling over EDF's at first. I want to eventually try them but from what I've seen, it's mainly a speed thing. For speed, I bought a HK Radjet pusher that apparently will go over 100mph. That's still alot to handle(at least for me) on a 1000 ft field surrounded by trees.

My recommendation from lessons learned would be to find a club, spend some time on the buddy box with an experienced pilot, buy a sim (Real Flight, Phoenix), get a good battery charger/balancer, standardize on a connector like deans or ec3, and check the related threads here and other sites like RC groups.com. There's always someone with experience that can chime in. I've never been involved with a hobby that has the plethera of information available as does RC.

Alot of experts here(myself not included) willing to help with what you may even think are "dumb" beginner questions. No worries.

I've learned alot in the past year. Like Fish metioned above, it's highly addictive. No huge cash outlays but a constant stream of little ones that add up.I keep Hobby King pretty busy with servo purchases and the like and I do support my LHS.

I justified it by giving up golf-lol.

Enjoy !

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