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How do I fly, exactly?

Old 10-13-2005, 08:01 PM
  #1  
Jeremy Z
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Default How do I fly, exactly?

First, if there's a link you can give me that explains it, along with unexpected things, can you point me in that direction.

Second, I think I know the basic theory, but doing is different altogether.

I bought the T-Hawk and am awaiting delivery. It has a 3 channel transmitter with a single stick on the right, and a slider for throttle on the left back side.
  1. If I push the stick forward, that is down elevator, right?
  2. If I pull it towards me, it is up elevator, right?
  3. If I push the stick left, that is left rudder, (since there are no ailerons) correct?
  4. ..and vice-versa for pushing it right, correct?
But mainly, I'm wondering what is going to suprise me. For instance, I read somewhere that when I dial in some left rudder, the plane will start to bank and turn left, but that when I let the stick return to center, the plane will still be turning left. Is that true? Does it also work like that for elevator inputs, so that it will keep going up or down until I apply counter-elevator to level it off?

What about hand-launching? Will have to trim in some up elevator so it doesn't crash as soon as it's out of my hand?

How do I hold the transmitter (I'm righty) when I'm throwing the plane?

I heard that the instructions for the T-Hawk say to climb to 100' or so, then cut motor power and practice some controls on the way to a landing. Is this a good way to start? What's next?

Any other tips or things to watch for? (remember, I'm totally green)

(Assume I don't have an instructor)

Thanks in advance.

Jeremy

PS - I'm going to have my wife take some digital video of my first flights, so you will be able to see how your advice helps, and maybe have a laugh or two, hehehe.
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Old 10-13-2005, 08:16 PM
  #2  
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Did you try the simulator links suggested in your previous thread?
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Old 10-13-2005, 10:37 PM
  #3  
meegosh
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I have only flown a plane once, and that was numerous years ago. I have ordered a slow stick and will be flying for the first time sometime next week. I have found the simulators a good start on grasping the concept of flight, from what I remember from years ago. You seem like you understand that the controls for the elevator are reversed, ie up goes down, down goes up. Some of the newer transmitters have a servo reverse switch that can make it so that when you hit the stick up, your plane goes up. Not the opposite. So if that is what is confusing you then just get a Tx that will allow you to swith the servos.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask, I will try to help, and I am sure the others will too!
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Old 11-20-2005, 07:59 PM
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starcad
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Ah, actually the elevator is not reversed. If you were sitting in a real plane then pulling back on the stick would give you up elevetor and pushing forward down elevetor. Your R/C transmitter is setup the same way pulling back on the stick is up and pushing forward down elevator.

Originally Posted by meegosh View Post
I have only flown a plane once, and that was numerous years ago. I have ordered a slow stick and will be flying for the first time sometime next week. I have found the simulators a good start on grasping the concept of flight, from what I remember from years ago. You seem like you understand that the controls for the elevator are reversed, ie up goes down, down goes up. Some of the newer transmitters have a servo reverse switch that can make it so that when you hit the stick up, your plane goes up. Not the opposite. So if that is what is confusing you then just get a Tx that will allow you to swith the servos.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask, I will try to help, and I am sure the others will too!
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Old 10-13-2005, 11:08 PM
  #5  
rcers
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Any other tips or things to watch for? (remember, I'm totally green)

(Assume I don't have an instructor)
Without an instructor, you should buy about 5-10 airplanes. You will go through them quickly!

There are likely 10k+ RCers in Chicagoland. Go to a local field and get some help! Ask someone here......get HELP!

If you just can't do that....spend hours on a sim. They help a great deal.
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:17 AM
  #6  
Stan-the-Man
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Thumbs up Just a thought on this...

Originally Posted by rcers View Post
Without an instructor, you should buy about 5-10 airplanes. You will go through them quickly!

There are likely 10k+ RCers in Chicagoland. Go to a local field and get some help! Ask someone here......get HELP!

If you just can't do that....spend hours on a sim. They help a great deal.
Good thought about the using a simulator...

Another, thought, too, if you don't mind... I agree about having to buy the planes...

If you don't have a trainer, or can't find one, and decide to make a purchase of a good plane to start with... I have bought one HobbyZone Super Cub to my two Firebird Phantoms and four Aerobird 3's. The Super Cub has my beginner vote. It may cost a little more, but in my case, it has outlasted all the others, and out performed them, to boot. For a readily available RTF (Ready to Fly) model for starters or returnees, all I can say is "It has worked for me". My first one is still flying with a chipped left wing, cracked engine cowling, tilting rear rudder, and missing wing struts... and a pilot that may be 100 yards short of the runway.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:25 PM
  #7  
Kavurcen
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
you should buy about 5-10
Ummm, do you want to spend a thousand dollars?
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Old 10-13-2005, 11:58 PM
  #8  
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Jeremy-

[when I dial in some left rudder, the plane will start to bank and turn left, but that when I let the stick return to center, the plane will still be turning left. Is that true?]
The T-Hawk has a bit of dihedral in the wings so it should correct itself if you are in a shallow turn. Steep turns will probably require you to correct the turn in the opposite direction before you lose too much altitude. When you start, keep your turns smooth and try not to overcontrol; when you want to turn left, for example, give it a little left rudder and wait for the plane to bank. Responsiveness will also depend on your airspeed.

[Does it also work like that for elevator inputs, so that it will keep going up or down until I apply counter-elevator to level it off?]

This also depends on your airspeed. If you're climbing at full throttle, then you can slow down to level off. I suggest setting up your plane to fly level at 1/2 throttle.

What about hand-launching? Will have to trim in some up elevator so it doesn't crash as soon as it's out of my hand?
It's best to have your plane trimmed for level flight at 1/2 throttle. Hand launch at full throttle and throw it straight and level. Try to keep it level until to gain enough airspeed for a gentle climb. When you have enough altitude, then you can make turns.

[How do I hold the transmitter (I'm righty) when I'm throwing the plane?]
I hold the Tx with my left hand and throw with my right. Remember, straight and level.

[I heard that the instructions for the T-Hawk say to climb to 100' or so, then cut motor power and practice some controls on the way to a landing. Is this a good way to start? What's next?]

That's not a bad way to start. If you crash, you will have less damage than crashing at full throttle. However, keep in mind that you need to keep your airspeed up. If you cut your power, and don't keep up your airspeed, the plane won't respond well. Do what's comfortable for you. If you prefer to go to 1/3 or 1/2 throttle, then do that. Practice cutting your power for landing. Also practice cutting your power if you see you're losing control and you're too close to the ground.

[Any other tips or things to watch for? (remember, I'm totally green)]
Plan your takeoff, flight pattern, and landings. For example, take off, fly straight into a gentle climb; when you have enough airspeed, fly a rectangular or circular pattern then slow down and start your landing approach. Land, then do it again.

Other tips:
Know what obstacles are around you.
Take off into the wind and land into the wind.
If you missed your landing, plan what you would do. Throttle up and try again? Would you have enough room to land further down?
Don't fly if there is too much wind for you to handle comfortably. It's better to have a short flight or no flight and be able to return another day with your plane (and $$) intact.

Others with much more experience than me will also have valuable suggestions for you.

--
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Old 10-14-2005, 04:17 AM
  #9  
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Default R/C Flying

To Jeremy, first off, Good Luck! If you can find some experienced flyers to help you through the initial flights it will increase your chances of sucess. It's not impossible to do alone but it's harder.
That said, Yes, when you push the stick forward, the elevator (and the plane) will point downward. Pull back, Up. Thus the expression "Pull UP!"
Trims are permanent adjustments to the control surfaces. Say you're flying the plane and it always turns slightly to the left. You could hold the stick slightly to the right during the entire flight to compensate but that's hard to remember and will be different at different airspeeds. The trim buttons or sliders will apply a SLIGHT bit of right (about 1/10 of the total movement, also called "Throw" or "Deflection") and when you release the stick (called "Hands Off") the STICK will return to center of the transmitter but the RUDDER will keep however much adjustment you put in the trim button (each increment or detent is called a "click"), in other words it will stay slightly to the right and (hopefully) the plane will now fly straight. It will be much easier to see when you get your transmitter, and start setting up the controls. So, yes, if you put in trims the plane will continously follow them, if you put too much (say, rudder) the plane will keep turning.
Soarr's directions for hand-launching are good, let it climb at it's own rate, don't try to force anything. I'd get it up 200-300 feet, shut the motor down and SEE what the plane does. Always keep the plane in front of you, don't get turned around or let it get downwind of your position. Try making GENTLE turns, first one direction, then the other. As it comes down practice a landing set-up at altitude, then do the same thing when it's lower. If you come in too high or short of the landing area, power it up and try again. It will "float" a long way, be prepared to start your landing a ways off and let it glide in. Don't turn too low, you'll be rebuilding a wing! Have it set up on a straight glide path first and only make minor corrections (if any) below 20 feet. At the very end, just before touchdown, a LITTLE "up" will flare out the landing and it should just gently touch the ground. Don't pull too much "up" or it will lose airspeed and stall.
Try to remember to check the plane between flights: Even a soft landing can pop a control horn or clevis loose. Try all the controls until you can move them blindfolded. It will get easier each time and as you build confidence you won't even have to think of control inputs, your mind and hands will just react. NOW you're flying! Best of luck, keep us posted! Ron
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Old 10-14-2005, 05:01 AM
  #10  
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Default FMS simulator

Download FMS Flight Sim. It's free, and it will give you added thumb time and a bit of confidence. People seem to think flying an rc plane is easy. But gravity, wind, lift, drag, and experience, or the lack of, will accompany almost every one of your flights. I really think you should consider the flight sim route if you're going to go it alone.

The first time your aircraft is flying toward you, you'll want to go left, and you'll end up going right. Be smart, or be prepared to shell out some bucks. Also, once you get your plane in the air, GET SOME ALTITUDE. And lots of it. When in the learning phase, altitude is your best ally. Don't even bother to turn before you get good altitude.

I'm not familiar with your plane, but if it's a "Trainer", then, if you get disoriented, or you loose control, don't panic. Just release the stick. The plane will right itself and you can then take control of it. That is if you had enough altitude. I can't stress that enough. New pilots are leery about flying high up. Don't be.

Steve
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:23 AM
  #11  
meegosh
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Excellent advise guys! I have read all your posts and next week when my first SS gets here I will take it way up before I attempt any turns. I think I'm going to a soccer field to practice.. I might have to land on the parking lot seeing that there is so man bumps on their fields. I will post pics of the maiden!
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:25 AM
  #12  
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Two best things you can get are either a simulator or an experienced pilot. Either will significantly increase your chances of success. If you can do both you are golden

Good luck on the maiden there.
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Old 10-14-2005, 11:29 AM
  #13  
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http://willstech.com/products/produc...dc4960d27e8e3f

This book is a very helpful book for all. Beginners and experienced.
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:32 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by debhicks View Post
http://willstech.com/products/produc...dc4960d27e8e3f

This book is a very helpful book for all. Beginners and experienced.
Got this on ebay too. I recommend it too.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:13 PM
  #15  
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I fly with LOFT: Lack Of Fricking Talent !
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Old 10-15-2005, 06:34 AM
  #16  
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Whether you have a coach or you are trying to learn to fly on your own, you
will need to be mindful of these six areas if you are going to become a
successful RC pilot. After two years of working with new flyers at our club,
and coaching flyers on the forums, there are a few things I have seen as the
key areas to stress for new pilots. Some get it right away and some have to
work at it. They are in no particular order because they all have to be
learned to be successful.

WIND
Orientation
Speed
Altitude
Over Control
Preflight Check

1) Wind - The single biggest cause of crashes that I have observed has been
the
insistence upon flying in too much wind. If you are under an instructor's
control or on a buddy box, then follow their advice, but if you are starting
out and tying to learn on your own, regardless of the model, I recommend dead
calm to 3 MPH for the slow stick and tiger moth type planes. Under 5 MPH for
all others. That includes gusts. An experienced pilot can handle more. It
is the pilot, more than the plane, that determines how much wind can be
handled.

The wind was around 10 mph steady with gusts to 12. That was strong enough
that some of the experienced pilots flying three and four channel small
electric planes chose not to launch their electrics. This new flyer insisted
that he wanted to try his two and three channel parkflyers. Crash, Crash,
Crash - Three planes in pieces. He just would not listen. Sometimes you just
have to let them crash. There is no other way to get them to understand.

Many parkflyers can be flown in higher winds by AN EXPERIENCED PILOT. I
have flown my Aerobird in 18 mph wind (clocked speed) but it is quite exciting
trying to land it.

Always keep the plane up wind from you. There is no reason for a new flyer to
have the plane downwind EVER!


2) Orientation - Knowing the orientation of your plane is a real challenge,
even for experienced pilots. You just have to work at it and some adults have
a real problem with left and right regardless of which way the plane is going.
Licensed pilots have a lot of trouble with this one as they are accustomed to
being in the plane.

Here are two suggestions on how to work on orientation when you are not
flying.

Use a flight simulator on your PC. Pick a slow flying model and fly it a lot.
Forget the jets and fast planes. Pick a slow one. Focus on left and right
coming at you. Keep the plane in front of you. Don't let it fly over your
head.

FMS is a free flight simulator. It is not the best flight sim, but the price
is right and it works. There are also other free and commercial simulators.

FMS Flight simulator Home Page
Free download
http://n.ethz.ch/student/mmoeller/fms/index_e.html

Parkflyers for FMS
http://gunnerson.homestead.com/files/fms_models.htm

The links below take you to sites that provide cables that work with FMS. If
your radio has a trainer port, these cables allow you to use the trainer port
on your radio to "fly" the
simulator. This is an excellent training approach.

http://www.allthingsrc.com/webshop/
http://www.simblaster.com/
http://www.customelectronics.co.uk/

An alternative is to try an RC car that has proportional steering. You don't
have to worry about lift, stall and wind. Get something with left and right
steering and speed control. Set up an easy course that goes toward and away
from you with lots of turns. Do it very slowly at first until you can make
the turns easily. Then build speed over time. You'll get it! If it has
sticks rather than a steering wheel even better, but not required. Oh, and
little cars are fun too.


3) Too much speed - Speed it the enemy of the new pilot but if you fly too
slowly the wings can't generate enough lift, so there is a compromise here.
The key message is that you don't have to fly at full throttle all the time.
Most small electrics fly very nicely at 2/3 throttle and some do quite well at
1/2. That is a much better training speed than full power. Launch at full
power and climb to a good height, say 100 feet as a minimum, so you have time
to recover from a mistake. At 100 feet, about double the height of the trees
where I live, go to half throttle and see how the plane handles. If it holds
altitude on a straight line, this is a good speed. Now work on slow and easy
turns, work on left and right, flying toward you and maintaining altitude.
Add a little throttle if the plane can't hold altitude.


4) Not enough altitude - New flyers are often afraid of altitude. They feel
safer close to the ground. Nothing could be more wrong.

Altitude is your friend. Altitude is your safety margin. It gives you a
chance to fix a mistake. If you are flying low and you make a mistake ....
CRUNCH!

As stated above I consider 100 feet, about double tree height where I live, as
a good flying height and I usually fly much higher than this. I advise my new
flyers that fifty feet, is minimum flying height. Below that you better be
lining up for landing.


5) Over control - Most of the time the plane does not need input from you.
Once you get to height, a properly trimmed plane flying in calm air will
maintain its height and direction with no help from you. In fact anything you
do will interfere with the plane.

When teaching new pilots I often do a demo flight of their plane. I get the
plane to 100 feet, then bring the throttle back to a nice cursing speed. I
get it going straight, with plenty of space in front of it, then take my hand
off the sticks and hold the radio out to the left with my arms spread wide to
emphasize that I am doing nothing. I let the plane go wherever it wants to
go, as long as it is holding altitude, staying upwind and has enough room. If
you are flying a high wing trainer and you can't do this, your plane is out of
trim.

Even in a mild breeze with some gusts, once you reach flying height, you
should be able to take your hand off the stick. Oh the plane will move around
and the breeze might push it into a turn, but it should continue to fly with
no help from you.

Along this same line of thinking, don't hold your turns for more than a couple
of seconds after the plane starts to turn. Understand that the plane turns by
banking or tilting its wings. If you hold a turn too long you will force the
plane to deepen this bank and it will eventually lose lift and go into a
spiral dive and crash. Give your inputs slowly and gently and watch the
plane. Start your turn then let off then turn some more and let off. Start
your turns long before you need to and you won't need to make sharp turns.

I just watch these guys hold the turn, hold the turn, hold the turn, crash.
Of course they are flying in 10 mph wind, near the ground, coming toward
themselves at full throttle.

6) Preflight check - Before every flight it is the pilot's responsibility to
confirm that the plane, the controls and the conditions are correct and
acceptable for flight.

Plane - Batteries at proper power
Surfaces properly aligned
No damage or breakage on the plane
Everything secure

Radio - Frequency control has been met before you turn on the radio
A full range check before the first flight of the day
All trims and switches in the proper position for this plane
Battery condition is good
Antenna fully extended
For computer radios - proper model is displayed
All surfaces move in the proper direction

Conditions - No one on the field or in any way at risk from your fight
You are launching into the wind
Wind strength is acceptable ( see wind above )
Sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes
All other area conditions are acceptable.

Then and only then can you consider yourself, your plane, radio and the
conditions right for flight. Based on your plane, your radio and local
conditions you may need to add or change something here, but this is the bare
minimum. It only takes a couple of minutes at the beginning of the flying
day and only a few seconds to perform before each flight.

If this all seems like too much to remember, do what professional pilots do,
take along a preflight check list. Before every flight they go down
the check list, perform the tests, in sequence, and confirm that all is right.
If you want your flying experience to be a positive one, you should do the
same. After a short time, it all becomes automatic and just a natural part of
a fun and rewarding day.

I hope some of this is useful in learning to fly your plane.
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Old 10-15-2005, 02:23 PM
  #17  
Jeremy Z
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
...I hope some of this is useful in learning to fly your plane.
Wow Ed, I'm humbled by that response. Thanks a lot. I'm going to start a Word file to put all these great tips in, for later use. Or print them, or both.

I downloaded the FMS program & installed it on my computer. I need to look into how to control it. My 27 MHz radio doesn't have have jack for a buddy cord, so I hope I can get some other type of controller... The program itself looks great, and I have downloaded the T-Hawk model for it.

I've signed up for AMA (the trial deal for $20 for three months) and contacted local club members through AMAs table of local flyers. (though much of the stuff is out of date...)

Thanks a lot for the tips everyone. Maybe this is a candidate for a thread that should be archived or made sticky in this forum? That way, the experienced flyers could put their heart into it, and not worry that some newb will come along every week asking the same question.

Jeremy
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Old 10-15-2005, 03:03 PM
  #18  
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ok here's my bit then.

go to your local PC or toy store and pickup a USB dual analog controller.

plug her in and bam, for $10 you got yourself a psuedo rc controller...mind you it's without ratchet, but just set your throttle to 3/4 or so with the keyboard and fly around.

Tim.
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Old 10-15-2005, 04:05 PM
  #19  
AEAJR
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Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
Wow Ed, I'm humbled by that response. Thanks a lot. I'm going to start a Word file to put all these great tips in, for later use. Or print them, or both.

I downloaded the FMS program & installed it on my computer. I need to look into how to control it. My 27 MHz radio doesn't have have jack for a buddy cord, so I hope I can get some other type of controller... The program itself looks great, and I have downloaded the T-Hawk model for it.

I've signed up for AMA (the trial deal for $20 for three months) and contacted local club members through AMAs table of local flyers. (though much of the stuff is out of date...)

Thanks a lot for the tips everyone. Maybe this is a candidate for a thread that should be archived or made sticky in this forum? That way, the experienced flyers could put their heart into it, and not worry that some newb will come along every week asking the same question.

Jeremy
Why Smaug, I am shocked that anything would humble a Dragon. Dragons were flying long before men even dreamed of it! I am honored by your words.

As for using FMS, I think watt_the?! makes a good suggestion. Had not thought of that. watt_the?!, can you find one of these on-line and provide a link? I would like to include it in the info I provide to new flyers

Jeremy,

Aside from what watt_the?! suggests, there are two ways to get a proper hook up for FMS.

1) pick up a cheap, used 4 channel radio with a trainer port. Any FM radio should work and it doesn't even have to have a working transmitter. Buddy Boxes are just 4 channel radios with the transmitter removed or left out. I picked up a used Futaba Conquest radio for $10 just for this purpose. If you hook up with a club there may be someone who would loan or sell you an old used radio cheap. The one I have actually works and I could use it to fly a plane if I wished.

2) Commit big time and get yourself a computer radio. This is a $100-$200 commitment and probably more than you want to do right now. See if you can find what watt_the?! suggests.

If you liked the post above you may also find value here:


The New Flyer's Handbook
by Ed Anderson - AEAJR on the Forums

If you are new to RC Flying, this series of articles may be helpful in your
training. Consider them part of a beginners handbook. They are written with
the new flyer in mind.

How RC Planes Differ from RC Cars
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=17

Stall
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=31

Take Off and Land into the Wind
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=43

Parts of the Plane
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=54

The Radio - The Pilot's Cockpit
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=59

Why Join a Club
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=64

Lost Model Locators
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=67

Radio Systems Part 1 - Standard Radios
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=44

Radio Systems Part 2 - Computer Radios - A Better Investment
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=65

OTHER RESOURCES

Landing techniques
http://www.masportaviator.com/ah.asp?CatID=8&ID=20

The AMA, the Academy of Model Aeronautics, is an outstanding resource to the
new and experienced flyer. I encourage you to become a member. Here is an
outstanding series of articles published by the AMA that will be really useful
to new pilots. It is called, "From the Ground Up" by Bob Aberle. I highly
recommend it.
http://www.modelaircraft.org/mag/FTGU/Part1/index.html

RC Clubs in the United States:
http://www.modelaircraft.org/clubmain.asp?sid=3D490C78380448B0A15E31DE4FA6F552

International RC Clubs
http://www.fai.org/fai_members/addresses.asp

An excellent site for new flyers by Ian Pullar of Australia
http://www.newrcflyers.com/

Another great resource for new flyers by Patrick Plawner
http://plawner.net/3/

New Electric Flyer FAQs
http://www.ezonemag.com/pages/faq/a105.shtml

Electric Motor information
Click on Motor Chart link on this page too
http://parkflyermotors.com/secure/shop/custom.asp?recid=11

Reviews on electric motors
http://www.rcuniverse.com/product_guide/engineguide.cfm

Plane reviews
http://www.rcuniverse.com/product_guide/airplaneguide.cfm

Reviews on radio equipment
http://www.rcuniverse.com/product_guide/radioguide.cfm

Good luck new pilot and welcome to RC flying!
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Old 10-16-2005, 06:53 AM
  #20  
Jeremy Z
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
Why Smaug, I am shocked that anything would humble a Dragon. Dragons were flying long before men even dreamed of it! I am honored by your words.
Remember, even the mighty Smaug was once a hatchling who couldn't fly!

I just came home from a long day of shopping, and one of the items was a joystick. It is a big-ass thing, like you'd find in a real F-16, but it was the only proportional one that actually had a stick and was only $20 at Target. I've spent about 3 hours on FMS today, and I'm already 100% more confident in my abilities. That FMS program is fanTAStic. I feel like I really got something good for free. I read the copyright info on it, and it says that it can be given around freely, as long as you don't try to profit from it. The authors of the program even went so far as to give permission to include it with an RC package that someone is selling, so long as they don't try to get extra money for including the program.

In real life, I will be able to see the plane better, because I'm only limited by the resolution of my eyes. However, crashes are higher-stakes, so it balances out.

Jeremy
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:15 AM
  #21  
mtdoramike
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I agree, WOW I feel like I can almost fly the Superstar EP after reading Ed's response. BUT, I have to agree with everyone, get a flight simm or a local trainer to help you out. Take it from someone who KNOWS. I too take my first maiden flight with the Superstar EP and lets just say it was a disaster. I was in an open field of about 10-15 acres ate least and thought it was plenty of room. WRONG, I hand launched the Superstar for a fellow I had met who had a little more experience then I did, but not much more. The Superstar climbed and was flying very well, Ted handed the controls over to me and told me to bring it back over the field and try a landing approach. BIG MISTAKE, I gave it a little left rudder bump and the Superstar went straight into the ground from about 40 feet up before Ted could grab the controls from me.

Needless to say, I didn't have an experienced trainer nor had I played on a simm either. The Superstar was in pieces, well at least from the wing forward was snapped off. It crashed inside a fenced in business that sells luxory motor homes and all I could think of while driving over there was, GOD I hope I didn't hit anyone or anything other then the ground. The plane was not important at that moment. But fortunately it crashed in some weeds next to the fence. This was last Monday a week ago. I have just rebuilt the entire nose section of the plane and awaiting the monokote to finish it. A fellow forum member sent me a new motor since the shaft of mine got bent in the crash.

I since have joined AMA and in the process of joining a club where they have trainers and trainer planes as well as buddy boxes.

I attached some before and after pics of the Superstar.






Originally Posted by Jeremy Z View Post
Wow Ed, I'm humbled by that response. Thanks a lot. I'm going to start a Word file to put all these great tips in, for later use. Or print them, or both.

I downloaded the FMS program & installed it on my computer. I need to look into how to control it. My 27 MHz radio doesn't have have jack for a buddy cord, so I hope I can get some other type of controller... The program itself looks great, and I have downloaded the T-Hawk model for it.

I've signed up for AMA (the trial deal for $20 for three months) and contacted local club members through AMAs table of local flyers. (though much of the stuff is out of date...)

Thanks a lot for the tips everyone. Maybe this is a candidate for a thread that should be archived or made sticky in this forum? That way, the experienced flyers could put their heart into it, and not worry that some newb will come along every week asking the same question.

Jeremy
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Old 08-17-2006, 01:22 AM
  #22  
Slowdoc
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Ed: I just signed up today and read your discussion. I have a dumb question.
You say always keep the plane upwind from you. I take it upwind means wind in your face? I understand you take off and land into wind but how can you fly upwind and not turn to fly with the wind? Still confused??
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Old 08-17-2006, 02:58 AM
  #23  
Solid Hit
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I think he means he wants you to fly with the wind in your face. Of course you will have to fly it down wind but you will want to keep it in front of you.

The only exception will be on final when you will fly it down wind from where you are standing and bring it back up.

Last edited by Solid Hit; 09-09-2006 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:04 PM
  #24  
Stan-the-Man
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Default Excellent class, AEAJR!

Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
Whether you have a coach or you are trying to learn to fly on your own, you
will need to be mindful of these six areas if you are going to become a
successful RC pilot. After two years of working with new flyers at our club,
and coaching flyers on the forums, there are a few things I have seen as the
key areas to stress for new pilots. Some get it right away and some have to
work at it. They are in no particular order because they all have to be
learned to be successful.

WIND
Orientation
Speed
Altitude
Over Control
Preflight Check

1) Wind - The single biggest cause of crashes that I have observed has been
the
insistence upon flying in too much wind. If you are under an instructor's
control or on a buddy box, then follow their advice, but if you are starting
out and tying to learn on your own, regardless of the model, I recommend dead
calm to 3 MPH for the slow stick and tiger moth type planes. Under 5 MPH for
all others. That includes gusts. An experienced pilot can handle more. It
is the pilot, more than the plane, that determines how much wind can be
handled.

The wind was around 10 mph steady with gusts to 12. That was strong enough
that some of the experienced pilots flying three and four channel small
electric planes chose not to launch their electrics. This new flyer insisted
that he wanted to try his two and three channel parkflyers. Crash, Crash,
Crash - Three planes in pieces. He just would not listen. Sometimes you just
have to let them crash. There is no other way to get them to understand.

Many parkflyers can be flown in higher winds by AN EXPERIENCED PILOT. I
have flown my Aerobird in 18 mph wind (clocked speed) but it is quite exciting
trying to land it.

Always keep the plane up wind from you. There is no reason for a new flyer to
have the plane downwind EVER!


2) Orientation - Knowing the orientation of your plane is a real challenge,
even for experienced pilots. You just have to work at it and some adults have
a real problem with left and right regardless of which way the plane is going.
Licensed pilots have a lot of trouble with this one as they are accustomed to
being in the plane.

Here are two suggestions on how to work on orientation when you are not
flying.

Use a flight simulator on your PC. Pick a slow flying model and fly it a lot.
Forget the jets and fast planes. Pick a slow one. Focus on left and right
coming at you. Keep the plane in front of you. Don't let it fly over your
head.

FMS is a free flight simulator. It is not the best flight sim, but the price
is right and it works. There are also other free and commercial simulators.

FMS Flight simulator Home Page
Free download
http://n.ethz.ch/student/mmoeller/fms/index_e.html

Parkflyers for FMS
http://gunnerson.homestead.com/files/fms_models.htm

The links below take you to sites that provide cables that work with FMS. If
your radio has a trainer port, these cables allow you to use the trainer port
on your radio to "fly" the
simulator. This is an excellent training approach.

http://www.allthingsrc.com/webshop/
http://www.simblaster.com/
http://www.customelectronics.co.uk/

An alternative is to try an RC car that has proportional steering. You don't
have to worry about lift, stall and wind. Get something with left and right
steering and speed control. Set up an easy course that goes toward and away
from you with lots of turns. Do it very slowly at first until you can make
the turns easily. Then build speed over time. You'll get it! If it has
sticks rather than a steering wheel even better, but not required. Oh, and
little cars are fun too.


3) Too much speed - Speed it the enemy of the new pilot but if you fly too
slowly the wings can't generate enough lift, so there is a compromise here.
The key message is that you don't have to fly at full throttle all the time.
Most small electrics fly very nicely at 2/3 throttle and some do quite well at
1/2. That is a much better training speed than full power. Launch at full
power and climb to a good height, say 100 feet as a minimum, so you have time
to recover from a mistake. At 100 feet, about double the height of the trees
where I live, go to half throttle and see how the plane handles. If it holds
altitude on a straight line, this is a good speed. Now work on slow and easy
turns, work on left and right, flying toward you and maintaining altitude.
Add a little throttle if the plane can't hold altitude.


4) Not enough altitude - New flyers are often afraid of altitude. They feel
safer close to the ground. Nothing could be more wrong.

Altitude is your friend. Altitude is your safety margin. It gives you a
chance to fix a mistake. If you are flying low and you make a mistake ....
CRUNCH!

As stated above I consider 100 feet, about double tree height where I live, as
a good flying height and I usually fly much higher than this. I advise my new
flyers that fifty feet, is minimum flying height. Below that you better be
lining up for landing.


5) Over control - Most of the time the plane does not need input from you.
Once you get to height, a properly trimmed plane flying in calm air will
maintain its height and direction with no help from you. In fact anything you
do will interfere with the plane.

When teaching new pilots I often do a demo flight of their plane. I get the
plane to 100 feet, then bring the throttle back to a nice cursing speed. I
get it going straight, with plenty of space in front of it, then take my hand
off the sticks and hold the radio out to the left with my arms spread wide to
emphasize that I am doing nothing. I let the plane go wherever it wants to
go, as long as it is holding altitude, staying upwind and has enough room. If
you are flying a high wing trainer and you can't do this, your plane is out of
trim.

Even in a mild breeze with some gusts, once you reach flying height, you
should be able to take your hand off the stick. Oh the plane will move around
and the breeze might push it into a turn, but it should continue to fly with
no help from you.

Along this same line of thinking, don't hold your turns for more than a couple
of seconds after the plane starts to turn. Understand that the plane turns by
banking or tilting its wings. If you hold a turn too long you will force the
plane to deepen this bank and it will eventually lose lift and go into a
spiral dive and crash. Give your inputs slowly and gently and watch the
plane. Start your turn then let off then turn some more and let off. Start
your turns long before you need to and you won't need to make sharp turns.

I just watch these guys hold the turn, hold the turn, hold the turn, crash.
Of course they are flying in 10 mph wind, near the ground, coming toward
themselves at full throttle.

6) Preflight check - Before every flight it is the pilot's responsibility to
confirm that the plane, the controls and the conditions are correct and
acceptable for flight.

Plane - Batteries at proper power
Surfaces properly aligned
No damage or breakage on the plane
Everything secure

Radio - Frequency control has been met before you turn on the radio
A full range check before the first flight of the day
All trims and switches in the proper position for this plane
Battery condition is good
Antenna fully extended
For computer radios - proper model is displayed
All surfaces move in the proper direction

Conditions - No one on the field or in any way at risk from your fight
You are launching into the wind
Wind strength is acceptable ( see wind above )
Sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes
All other area conditions are acceptable.

Then and only then can you consider yourself, your plane, radio and the
conditions right for flight. Based on your plane, your radio and local
conditions you may need to add or change something here, but this is the bare
minimum. It only takes a couple of minutes at the beginning of the flying
day and only a few seconds to perform before each flight.

If this all seems like too much to remember, do what professional pilots do,
take along a preflight check list. Before every flight they go down
the check list, perform the tests, in sequence, and confirm that all is right.
If you want your flying experience to be a positive one, you should do the
same. After a short time, it all becomes automatic and just a natural part of
a fun and rewarding day.

I hope some of this is useful in learning to fly your plane.

I left this quote in it's entirety so beginners will have a better chance to wander upon it. Good stuff.

You even explained away my crash two nights ago with my AB3... holding the plane in a wide turn with a good head breeze. She dove into the ground beautifully, and didn't bat an eyelash! Darn, how I wanted to blame the plane!

Sincere thanks. Of course, I learned the hard way a little late, but it's nice to know why.
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Old 10-15-2005, 04:12 PM
  #25  
AEAJR
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All of what I have provided will help you but when it comes to the fear and frustration of the first flight, this is the one that will make the greatest impact on your first flying experience. Do this wrong and failure is almost assured.

THROWING UP WILL MAKE YOU SICK!

Many, perhaps most of the small electric planes can be hand launched. Many
don't even have landing gear. I take the landing gear off as it tends to grab
in the grass and flip the plane over on landing. I belly land all of mine.

Let's take a look at that hand launch as it can be troublesome for new flyers.

Always launch into the wind. ALWAYS!!!! No exceptions! If the wind is not
blowing into your face, you are facing the wrong way.
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=43

Motor at FULL throttle. Remember, if you throw-UP, that will make you sick.
You want to send it straight out.

Your plane may actually lose some altitude as it gains speed. As long as the
wings are level and the plane is flat, that is fine. The plane should look
like it just flew past you, not like it is climbing, at least not right away.

Don't pull back on the elevator till it is up to speed. Maybe a TINY bit. It
should start to regain that altitude all on its own as the lift of the wing
kicks in. Until that happens, a big pull back on the elevator is like putting
on the brakes, and it will slow the plane down, the wings will lose lift and
it will stall and likely fall to one side or the other, especially if you
haven't thrown it with the wings level.


Stall?
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=31

Think of it this way, if you throw the plane up, it is like starting to ride
your bicycle up hill in high gear from a standing start. VERY HARD to do.
Better to start on level ground in a lower gear, get up some speed, then
attack the hill. Same for your plane.

If you throw up, the plane can not gain speed fast enough and the wing will
not get up to minimum flying speed. Getting a firm, flat, wings even throw
takes some work. Send it out like a big dart you are tossing at a board on the
wall.

Try this visualization:

Stand under the goal post of a football or soccer field. With the motor at
full power, throw it straight out so it will fly under the cross bar of the
other goal post.

Under the other goal post? Yes under!

That should give you a nice flat throw! If you are trying to throw it OVER the
goal post, you are tipped up too much. Strong firm, flat throw, not up, or
only slightly up. Those wings need to be flat to gain lift. ( Don't worry,
by time it reaches the other end of the field it will be much higher than
that cross bar, but don't try to throw it over the bar. Let the plane do it.)

This tendency to throw up is a very common mistake that lots of new flyers
make. You will crash and crash and crash and that will just make you sick!

Remember: If you throw-up, it will make you sick!
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