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If I knew what you know now (or how I should learn to stop worrying and love 3ch)

Old 10-09-2008, 08:42 AM
  #26  
AEAJR
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Originally Posted by BnWasteland View Post
Greets all,

First off, great forum. I've learned a lot today. Thanks for the resource.

I'm about to buy my first rc plane. Never touched one before. I live in a populated area, and space is available wherever I can steal it.

I guess my question is, all the beginner rigs seem to be 3ch. I just don't wanna. Do I have to? Can't I jump straight into an aileron-equipped plane, or is there some measure of personal character that comes from learning to fly inverted with only a rudder (look ma, no flaps)?

Or am I just being arrogant?
Did you get a plane?

How is it going?
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:16 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by BnWasteland View Post
Greets all,

First off, great forum. I've learned a lot today. Thanks for the resource.

I'm about to buy my first rc plane. Never touched one before. I live in a populated area, and space is available wherever I can steal it.

I guess my question is, all the beginner rigs seem to be 3ch. I just don't wanna. Do I have to? Can't I jump straight into an aileron-equipped plane, or is there some measure of personal character that comes from learning to fly inverted with only a rudder (look ma, no flaps)?

Or am I just being arrogant?
Arrogance or ignorance, either way it amounts to buckets of money thrown away if you jump into the deep end before you know how to swim.

One way to fulfill your dream of owning a 4 channel plane would be to buy one that has some dihedral and is capable of stable, slow flight. Then disconnect the aileron servo(s) from the receiver and plug the rudder servo into the aileron slot. This will allow you to fly the plane as if it were using the ailerons ( getting you accustomed to using the right stick for turns), but it would help to prevent you from getting in trouble from overcontrolling on the ailerons. Then after you master the basics of getting airborne, trimmed and controllable, you can go full 4 channel with the same plane. (Unless, of course, it's too heavy by then with all the packing tape, epoxy and reinforcing rods from repairs )

John
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:40 PM
  #28  
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Well I'll be the one voice here that will say go for it, and get that 4ch plane.
There is simply no reason you have to go 3ch, in fact I could think of many reasons not to. One reason not to is that a plane turning with rudder only can get into trouble more easily, and has trouble getting out of trouble. The reason for this is that the plane still turns for the same reason, it gets banked but getting it banked takes more effort and is a sluggish affair at best, and getting it unbanked is just as sluggish if not more so.
This because it's getting banked by yawing the plane first and putting one wing ahead of the other and the oncoming air hitting it more than the other wing picks it up and the result is bank. Then the plane begins to turn.
So, as I said sluggish and slow to respond and thats what gets a rudder only plane into trouble, and prevents it from getting out of it quickly enough.
Another reason is the bad habits that are learned in rudder turning, like steering on the ground with the right stick, performing certain aerobatics with the right stick(hammerheads & spins). Of which these habits will have to be broken when going to ailerons.

So, just dont go for a plane that isnt a trainer type. Stick with a high wing, slower flying, and gentle handling plane with a low wingoading. Not some aerobatic hottie with fully symetric wings and no dihedral.
And there are plenty of this type around. The Telemaster is one such bird, most any Piper Cub would be good but I'd avoid any of the Cessna's on the market like the 182's I've seen around, especially the flyzone 182 which has no dihedral at all.

I too am a flightsimmer and have been since 2000, and have studied full scale flying for some time. I've never seen a full scale aircraft without ailerons yet, nor have I seen a full scale trainer with out them.
In fact the only full scale aircraft I've ever seen without ailerons is an ultralite which uses weight shift to initiate turns.

I have a very nice Decathalon that IMO would be fine for a beginner, in fact it's as docile as any Cub and is also fully aerobatic but can be as gentile as a J3 Cub, or an Aeronca Champ. In fact it's early ancestor the Citabria is based on the Champ. And ya wont find a better, easier plane to fly than the Champ.
I also just bought the Realair Decathalon pkg. for FSX and am enjoying these classics imensely. Plus one of the Decathalons in the pkg is a dead ringer for my Art Tech Decathalon. Plus the pkg comes with the earlier Citabria and Scout too as well as the Decathalon.
My Art Tech Decathalon :


FSX Decathalon :


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Old 10-09-2008, 03:45 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Sabrehawk View Post
I too am a flightsimmer and have been since 2000, and have studied full scale flying for some time. I've never seen a full scale aircraft without ailerons yet, nor have I seen a full scale trainer with out them.
In fact the only full scale aircraft I've ever seen without ailerons is an ultralite which uses weight shift to initiate turns.
Very valid statements. And I would not disagree with you, but I do have a different prospective.

How many full scale planes have you seen where the guy walks into the full scale plane store buys the plane then goes to the airport and takes off. I think the number would be zero.

With full scale planes, flight instruction is mandatory and extensive. And, frankly, lives are at stake both in the air and on the ground.


Change scene to model airplanes. Anyone, knowing nothing about how planes fly, can walk into the plane store and buy a model airplane. Then you take it to the field ( perhaps after a build ) and try to put it in the sky. No instruction, no help, perhaps never even read the manual.

I have read many posts by potential new flyers. The guy has spent hours on the simulator. He flies Cap 232s and Mustangs and does great. But when you drill down, he still can't land them. But he is real good about flying them around ... until he has to hit the reset. And about 25% of the time, he is flying the plane from the cockpit view, not from the ground. ( it is too hard to see from the ground )

The point is that the key issue is not the plane but the pilot.

THAT is why so many of us recommend 3 channel R/E/T high dihedral top wing planes to new flyers. It is not the plane, it is the pilot. So many of them do exactly as I outlined above.

Now, if they have a coach or an instructor, someone who can guide them, teach them about basics of flight, help you trim out the plane and guide them through the early flights, then there is nothing wrong with a 4 channel plane.

The sluggish response you refrence is EXACTLY why we recommend these planes. As it is, newbies tend to over control these planes throwing them into wild positions on the first flights. Ailerons, giving much more control, often make the situation worse, for an uncoached flyer.

The rudder only planes have high dihedral and low cgs almost by necessity so they tend to be very self righting. If you let go of the sticks they will pull themselves out of almost any situation if there is enough altitude.


And a very high percentage of these new pilots are not flying off runways, they are flying off grass, baseball diamonds or using hand launches. Ground handling is often not even a feature of the plane.


I am not arguing for either plane. I am just clarifying why certain configurations have had higher rates of success than others when we are talking about learning to fly on your own, with no instructor.

Each pilot is different, but the majority seem to do best on the three channel R/E/T planes.

A personal note on simulators:

I will say that my two nieces learned to fly a GWS pico Tiger Moth very quickly with the help of a simulator, FMS. But I had given them specific simulator drills. For hours I had them take off, make on circle around the field and land. I showed them how to use the throttle rather than the elevator to control altitude on approach. After a couple of hours and 100 cycles or so, they could both take off and land. Ages 12 and 9.

When we went to the field, I flew the plane, then they flew the plane. Both did very well. But they had an instructor and guided practice.

Your mileage will vary.

Last edited by AEAJR; 10-09-2008 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:20 PM
  #30  
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Ed, you put my thoughts to words in a way that I couldn't and thus didn't.

Thank you.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:28 PM
  #31  
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:-)
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:02 PM
  #32  
BnWasteland
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
Did you get a plane?

How is it going?
I ended up with a gently crashed 3-ch ParkZone J-3 Cub (Brushless). I got it cheap, and had to put a few bucks in. I also got the ClearView sim, and have logged several hours in there. The sim helped a lot with my first flight. The wind and trees did not. =o)

Anyway, a new motor and a few dabs of solder later, and I am ready to fly again. Im still thinking I'll move to a 4-ch sooner than later. But it's still nice to have the cheap plane to destroy.

Thanks for the reality check, and all the encouragement.
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:59 PM
  #33  
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Well, anyways im just saying that its not set in stone that you or anyone for that matter has to start on a 3ch plane. There are 4ch ships availible that are perfectly suited for a beginner.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:16 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Sabrehawk View Post
Well, anyways im just saying that its not set in stone that you or anyone for that matter has to start on a 3ch plane. There are 4ch ships availible that are perfectly suited for a beginner.
Nothing is set in stone when it comes to this hobby. Especially if you have someone to help you.
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Old 10-10-2008, 04:55 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by BnWasteland View Post
I ended up with a gently crashed 3-ch ParkZone J-3 Cub (Brushless). I got it cheap, and had to put a few bucks in. I also got the ClearView sim, and have logged several hours in there. The sim helped a lot with my first flight. The wind and trees did not. =o)

Anyway, a new motor and a few dabs of solder later, and I am ready to fly again. Im still thinking I'll move to a 4-ch sooner than later. But it's still nice to have the cheap plane to destroy.

Thanks for the reality check, and all the encouragement.


Sounds good, keep us updated.
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:25 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by BnWasteland View Post
I ended up with a gently crashed 3-ch ParkZone J-3 Cub (Brushless). I got it cheap, and had to put a few bucks in. I also got the ClearView sim, and have logged several hours in there. The sim helped a lot with my first flight. The wind and trees did not. =o)

Anyway, a new motor and a few dabs of solder later, and I am ready to fly again. Im still thinking I'll move to a 4-ch sooner than later. But it's still nice to have the cheap plane to destroy.

Thanks for the reality check, and all the encouragement.
Well, that's a stroke of luck for you my friend. I've gently crashed my PZ J-3 about 3-dozen times and she always finds a way to coome back together lol. I have three things to say and then I'll pipe down.

1. Always fly with the wing 'struts' (straps) on. They may look pointless but if you put a wing down on a bumpy landing, it has a tendency to fold faster than your favorite investment bank
2. Bigger wheels. Dubro 1.75" will do; Micro-lite 2" are favorite.
2a. If you are going to do ROG (ground take-offs) consider buying the tail wheel bracket for a Super cub and slapping it on there. Chances are you'll have to reinforce the bottom part of the rudder for this, too, but that will break or bend to the point you'll need to fix it anyway.
3. After you break the tail off (which is so common I tend to think it is by design to help out the glue industry) think about reinforcing the inside of the fuse with a carbon fiber rod or something equally light and strong before you reglue it.


Well I hope this little rant of mine helps. Again, I think you will enjoy this plane, I know I did. Here's a few shots of her last incarnation before she was retired.

GRU
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:59 AM
  #37  
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Hi guys. I bought an E-Flite Apprentice (4ch) two weeks ago. First time I have ever flown, and I have taken it out every day since I bought it. I have had 70 take-offs and landings without a single incident. I can now do pretty much most basic acrobatics, and can fly all around the park inverted...

BUT.....

Two months ago I went to the store to buy the plane. Instead I came home with Aerofly Pro. I flew it for one or two hours every night. I did not go and buy the plane until I could land EVERY model in AFPD on the tarmac in front of me EVERY time. I would switch from trainer to 747 to bi-plane to spitfire to constellation to 330 extra, etc. I would vary the wind and turbulence so that I was travelling backwards when I touched down. I kept practicing until I could ALWAYS save the plane no matter which direction it was falling out of the sky.

When I finally went to do my maiden I went to a BIG park (400m x 400m square) that had no people in it. That meant I would only need to turn when I was ready to, not when a tree was fast approaching. I was a little anxious, as I was not sure what to expect, but the LHS owner assured me that if I could fly confidently in the sim, I would also be able to fly in the field. No doubt all the hours of practice paid off. I was pleasantly surprised that flying the real thing was amazingly similar to the simulator. Landing for real was actually easier than the simulator, as speed, height, distance were all a little easier to judge in the flesh.

I am not claiming to be some freak flyer. I must have wrecked 50 planes in the simulator before my first successful landing. But, if you are willing to put the time into the simulator, you wait until you are ready (I did not buy the plane until later so that I would not be tempted) and you have a safe place to fly, I think starting on 4ch is very achievable.

I think a simulator is a great investment. Even though I am flying very confidently now, it is not wasted. I am using it now to practice flying indoor 3D aircraft, and when I feel I am proficient at it, I will go and buy one, and again start in a very low-risk, controlled environment.

Last edited by Harrow; 01-31-2009 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:06 PM
  #38  
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A flight simulator can be the single BEST prep tool for learning to fly. But you have to follow the right routine and you picked the BEST approach to learning to fly.

The single most critical procedure you must perform to end the day with a flyable plane is the landing. Your focus on landings with the simulator was the key to your success. My complements!

I read many reports by new flyers who say they have hours of simulator time. But when you drill down, they have been flying around but use a lot of resets when they try to land.

"Oh, I fly great! But I can't land for s#$%."

Your report should be an inspiration to all new flyers.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:40 PM
  #39  
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AEAJR, ha, what you say is so true!! A few friends have come to watch me fly, and of course the inevitable question always follows - "Hey, can I have a go!! ?".

Of course watching a training plane fly gently around the park makes it look so easy. My answer is always - "If you can fly succesfully on my simulator, I will let you have a go." So, they come over to my house and take off. Some even cruise around rather successfully for a few minutes. "Great", they say, "can we go to the park now?".

That is when I drop the bombshell..."Hang on, let me see you do 5 successful landings in a row." I load up a small landing field that is surrounded by trees and hedges, and add a little wind turbulence. They don't even come close to achieving a single successful landing, and certainly not several in a row !!!

"Um, gee, it's much harder than it looks", they reply.

Plane remains intact, and so does the friendship.

Last edited by Harrow; 01-31-2009 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:48 AM
  #40  
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My 2 cent's, I bought a 4ch Art tech F4U (with zero exp in flying), luckily it came with a free sim and cable for the radio. Practiced a while, then when and bought a Super Cub. More sim time, till I could fly and land each model then off to field.

Crashed only once when I misjudged the distance to a light tower and clipped the wing, ended up in flat spin with minimal dmg. NowI fly the stock SC fine but my F4 is still sitting built but unflown till my confidence is better. Have been told I should fly the F4 right stick only anyway.

IMO the SC handles almost exactly like the sim, have no problem manuevering plane when coming towards me(thanks to sim practice). Eventually I will maiden the F$ but dont want to wreck such a nice plane just yet.
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:50 PM
  #41  
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There is one other aspect of the super cub that hasn't been mentioned. It is one that my family has an increasing amount of fun with. It is their x-port modules. We have had the drop module and it is fun to try to drop bombs or parachute guys onto targets. I just picked up our second super cub (I have 3 boys and 2 girls) and we plan to get the sonic combat modules for a little air to air battling. Like the others have said, the 3 channels can be enjoyable to fly long after you graduate into more complex planes.
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