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Help in choosing a "third" aircraft?

Old 06-21-2008, 05:19 AM
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camateg
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Question Help in choosing a "third" aircraft?

Hello -

I recently started to monitor this forum in a somewhat "passive" way to try to see what people are flying and doing with their planes. It has proven to be invaluable in providing advice and entertainment, so thank you for that!

I first got into the sport about 6 years ago when I bought a two channel plane which I flew extremely well...for fifteen seconds...until I hit the single solitary light pole in the middle of the field and lost both wings. Perhaps I should have aimed for it, thereby greatly reducing my chances of hitting it!

In any case, five years later, I was ready to try again. I began with the Tyco SkyMasters(?), the ones with the interchangeable bodies, which was the first time I had ever piloted anything with any degree of control. Just as I was mastering it and thought I had found my ideal aircraft, they were (of course) discontinued...

Now I have been flying my "second' plane pretty well for a few months. It is a Parkzone Cessna 210 and I enjoy it a great deal. I started flying it in a field with very tall barley to "catch" it when it fell and now I can fly it very nicely in the unwooded portion of my own land, which is about 1/3 acre. I was afraid it would be a maintenance headache, but have only had to replace a single prop when my friend made a hard landing in the driveway.

Now, to stop rambling and ask a question or two:

I am considering either a larger 3-channel or an aileron "trainer." I am thinking of either the ParkZone Cub or the HobbyZone Aerobird Swift, respectively, to fill those roles.

My questions are:

- Would another 3 channel be of similar difficulty to my Centurion? Would the larger size of the Cub make it more or less difficult? I was thinking that the Cub would be more stable and docile and certainly wind-resistant, but it is probably a lot faster too, so maybe all of those ideas would cancel one another out...

- I have heard many things (good and bad) about the HobbyZone planes with the v-shaped tails, but I get confused because there are so many different models. I thought about the Aerobird Swift because it doesn't have a rudder and seems like a more logical way to "build-up" to a 4 channel some day. Is this a sensible thing to think?

- Which aircraft would be more durable, more fun, more likely to build new skills without costing me an arm and a leg for broken parts?

Thank you very much for any feedback!

Matt
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:47 AM
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Sabrehawk
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Well ya just cant go wrong hardly with PZ's Cubs, both the smaller J3, and the bigger Super Cub.
I got back into the hobby a few years ago after a long break and came back to find electric flight having come in to its own.
I went for the PZ J3 Cub, mainly cause I have always loved this plane, and had built and flown a Sig 1/6th scale one back in the 80's, as well as Sig's Citabria, another one I have a great love for. So I bought both the PZ versions of these two classic planes.

The Decathalon proved to be too weakly powered, and never flew well at all, and ya had to be very, very careful and gentle on the elevator, or you'd stall it out quickly. Which I did many times, and aerobaticly she wasnt even there.
But the J3 Cub was a completely different story, and flies very well with plenty of reserve power. It's much narrower fuselge, and lighter wieght made it a much nicer, and better flyer.

And then there is PZ's Supercub, now I dont have this one but I dont need to to know it's success rate, and flyability. Thousands of pilots beginners and veterans alike have proven it's worth. So one only has to take a read around here and RCG to know that.
So I can recomend it as well.

As for something with ailerons, well Im goin to advise one that most have not. I feel it's an excellent plane to learn aileron flying in, and once you get used to it, it can be easily upgraded to a brushless power pkg and become a very aerobaticly sound aircraft. Not that it cant do aerobatics on the stock brushed motor, it can but you'll have to do them with a bit of caution and an airspeed gaining shallow dive is always needed.
But, that will teach you do it right and fly it on the wing, not the prop.
Which is also good for the normal mode of flight as well for learning true flying skills. An overpowered plane will let you get into bad habits, and spoil ya too much.
The plane I refer to is Art Tech's Decathalon.
http://www.parkflyers.com/html/decathalon.html

Mine is now upgraded with a Park 400 BL motor, and flown on a 3cell 11.1v 1250mah Lipo swinging a 9x 4.7 APC SF prop. She's one smooooth flyer!
Here's mine with it's son, "Junior".
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:12 AM
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themantoknow
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Default Fun with the Super cub

Here are a few photos of my super cub. I put the GWS floats on it for added "fun factor". I lucked out when I was out flying the other day and this part time professional photographer walked up and said...."hey you mind if I take a few photos". This sure beats giving the wife the camera.
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:15 AM
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Default forgot....

So excited about the photos i forgot to mention....i would highly recommend the SC as a third airplane. Ive probably flown over a dozen before this one and it ranks right up to the top list.
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:50 AM
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jasmine2501
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That Parkzone Cessna is a fairly tricky 3-channel plane - if you've mastered it I'd say your ready for a Stryker

The Stryker is a 3-channel 'bank-n-yank' delta-wing jet-like thingy. It's not got a rudder, which doesn't stop me from trying to use it - but it's a solid and predictable flyer. The Parkzone Cessna isn't really going to get you ready for 4-channels, but nothing but a 4-channel plane, or a delta, is going to do that for you. You just have to jump in - save some money for parts.

This is a Stryker in the first part of this video - and a 'very capable' 3D 4-channel plane in the last part. They are both fairly easy to fly, but the capability of the X-Ray means you can get yourself into trouble. Same with the Stryker, but it's much more durable and much more 'fixable' - I've seen them show up back at the field after being in multiple pieces.



Almost anything in my hangar would make a decent step-up, even the 100mph Hummer - which is again, very predictable and 3-channel.
http://jazzyflight.blogspot.com/
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:17 PM
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phillipmorris
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I was rather nervous with aileron planes at the start till I flew the amazing abit more docile Stryker B, they are getting scarce as discontinued, flew my B model forever as the famed Super Cub Trainer..either of these are tops on my list, be ready on the Stryker C as fly rather fast but terrific performance..with caution this one is a terrific flyer...going thru planes like water my current top choice is the Parkzone Trojan, this puppie does have a nice brushless motor and at half throttle handles close to a trainer, ailerons and elevator on the right stick is similar to the 3 channel experinece, heavy throttle the newbie will likely get introuble even with the docile Trojan, it will ride up on its tail on full throttle, sometimes mine shows tork on take offs with max throttle, only requires near 1/2 throttle and handles beautifully, love this plane, its simply amazing flyer and doesn't handle at all like my Warbird Spitz, more forgiving with less continual hands on for a low wing. Wonderful intrductory to the 4 channel...take your time on the next venture and do wish you well, BEST

Super Cub, Night Flights
Strykers, B and C
Parkzone Warbird Spitz
Multiplex Easy Star Glider, 30 minutes of thermal fun
Parkzone Trojan, docile in lower throttles, forgiving for a low wing, still blows me away!!
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:27 PM
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Buck Rogers
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I have an Aerobird Swift and I have to say its not the easiest plane to fly - it has some pretty unpredictable stall characteristics. I dont think I would recommend the swift for an aileron trainer although once I got the hang of flying the Swift I was well prepared for moving onto my GWS P51 which actually seems easier to fly in some ways.
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:12 PM
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Murocflyer
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May I recommend and even better aileron trainer?

The Mountain Models Tyro:

Attachment 69986

http://www.mountainmodels.com/produc...roducts_id=464

Or if you would even like something quicker to assemble, then look at the MM EZ Cub.

http://www.mountainmodels.com/produc...roducts_id=545

Either way, you will be more than happy with your decision.

Frank

Last edited by Murocflyer; 10-29-2013 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:11 PM
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HeadMaster
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Ild say you would be better served with an aileron trainer of some kind. I like the Wing Dragon 4 or E Starter.
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:08 PM
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Yeah actually the more I've looked at it, starting out with 4 channels is better in the long run.
As long as the plane is docile and slow enough there's nothing wrong with starting out with ailerons. In fact I now beleive that starting out on rudder only for steering can also lead to bad habits and make is difficult to transition to ailerons.

If you have been making ROG takeoffs on a three channel plane, when going to 4 channels you'll now have to re-train that right thumb to stay put when taking off, and now the left thumb has to be trained to steer on the ground. But the worst is getting that right thumb to stay still till airborne. But if you've been flying 3 channel for a long time that right thumb will be difficult to chatstize as muscle memory takes over without you thinking about it.

When starting out with full house controls, there wont be any "unlearning" to do, you start out getting both thumbs trained to do what they are supposed to do from the get-go
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:23 PM
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Yeah I don't know about that - as someone else mentioned, the typical aileron trainer flies more like a 3-channel than a flat-wing bird does. I also disagree about the 'unlearning' concept. 3-channel planes teach you how to fly 3-channel planes - true, but there is a lot of overlap in the concepts, and you learn skills that apply to all aircraft, not just planes. I am not aware of any 'bad habits' a person could learn by flying 3-channel planes. It is obvious that different types of aircraft will require different flying styles, but this is true between any two planes, not a unique 3 vs. 4-channel problem. You will have to learn to fly all your planes a little differently no matter what. 3-channel planes give you a chance to learn the reactions you will need to deal with this variation between aircraft, without risking things like getting upside-down.

I can fly any plane now - and when it's a 3-channel, my brain is in a different mode, so to speak, but this isn't a problem, it's a valuable skill.
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:32 AM
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camateg
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Thank you very much, everyone, for jumping in and offering these suggestions!

I will take this advice to heart and try to make a good decision. I will be purchasing the "third" plane in about a month or two, so I will let you know how it turns out.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:49 AM
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Well, at least you are taking the time to think it through, instead of going out a grabbing a $2000 30% Extra or something

That mentality will help you more than anything when it comes to planes - think everything through, then do it. This applies to building and flying - plan your flights a few moves ahead as you go along, and you'll find your flying is a lot better.
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Old 06-22-2008, 06:12 AM
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phillipmorris
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My personal experience, flown the WD4 Wing Dragon 4 and the Begin Air, great value aileron trainers, but again the Parkzone Trojan will fly slow and still perform very well, its my pick, not the typical low wing response as turned out easier to handle than the value brands even with high wing, they did something right on the Trojans design..<>..flew it this evening, it handles so well I still can't believe I'm flying this stable of a Warbird-haven't a clue why this plane flys so well, its certainly not me, as still brushing up on smoother landings...

Good Luck on your chosen plane, keep us posted how things turn out....

My list of stable flyers todate:
1. Super Cub Trainer
2. Multilplex Easy Star Glider, 30 minute flights the norm
3. Parkzone Trojan, not quite hands off but more forgiving than expected, beauty..
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:15 AM
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One of our new club members came out with a T-28 last week - it was his first flight after training on a Parkzone Cessna and he had somebody take it up and trim it out, but he handled it just fine after that. Landing wasn't great though, and it was an experienced person who did that part. Parkzone radio was crap though - we had to switch it over to his Futaba radio before anyone felt comfortable to fly it. Luckily he had brought all the stuff we needed to do that.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:01 AM
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ministeve2003
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If your looking at something RTF out of the box, Supercub... I mean look, you got 2 people on here with supercubs as their avitars... What does that tell ya...LOL and yes my avitar is a supercub flying inverted inches off the gound...hehehe...

if you want to build it... how about a mountain models magpie, they sell it as a 3channel, 4 channel, and as a kit with both wings...
http://www.mountainmodels.com/produc...roducts_id=220

If your building it... Let us know, we can direct you to what parts/electronics you'll need...
SK
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:27 AM
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camateg
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Hello. I wanted to return with the results of my search here, even though it's been a while!

In the end, I purchased a Parkflyers Decathlon, in the interest of economy and expedience... I flew it for a few quick hops and then one absolutely brilliant flight around the farm where I am permitted to fly.

As I began to launch it for an (ideally) even better flight, the antenna line wrapped around my arm and it flew straight into the earth, mostly destroying it through some strange twist of fate... I certainly agree with the advice above about not getting a $3000 aircraft for a beginner!

Thanks again all and, once I am over my gun-shyness, I will once again be reviewing the advice here, as spring is almost upon us in PA...

Thanks!
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