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An Old Fart, venturing into the final frontier of RC!

PoorManRC

Master member
#1
Hi everyone!
I'm Carmine, a 54 year old Child, who's been in RC for 37 Years, all Ground Vehicles. I'm Retired/Disabled USAF, and why I never got into RC Flight until just this Month, is beyond me! :ROFLMAO:

I'm sure it was cost. RC Aircraft used to be SO much! Then we got RTF & ARF Styrofoam, 2.4Ghz, Brushless Motors and maybe more importantly, lightweight Lipo Batteries!
Then came FliteTest!! (y)(y) I'm brand new to this corner of the Hobby, and Foam Core Board Aircraft have probably been around for a while...

But Josh and the Guys at FliteTest seemed to create a Revolution!!!
I'm not telling any of you anything new. I just recently found this, and am completely Blown Away!
My Disabilities inevitably put me in a sad state, financially. I can barely support RC Crawlers and Buggies.... So I'll start with Aircraft!! :oops::p

I haven't even STARTED yet, and one very kind Gentleman ALREADY helped me out with parts, including Landing Gear, Wood bits for control levers and Firewalls - and a COOL 3D Printed 45 Degree Angle Foam Cutting Tool!
I was Humbled. I'm also taking it as an omen, that I'm in the RIGHT place!!

The only real hurdle I've got left, is being able to afford an at least 4 Channel Radio System.....
I have a feeling that when I get my first Build done......
I'll be so desperate and anxious, that I'll try to fly it with my 3 Channel Pistol Radio!!

Anyway, I'm GLAD to be here!!
~ Carmine
 

PoorManRC

Master member
#3
Thanks Merv! In my case, I'm not getting much choice... BUT, with free Plans and Cheap Parts (except RX/TX), I should at LEAST be chucking something into the Air soon enough!

This all really does rewrite what's possible now, especially with almost NO Budget. I'm excited to begin!!

~ Carmine
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#4
Welcome. :) You'll find we're a great bunch of people, and for a lot of us, flying on the cheap is what got us into the hobby. I was at a Maker Faire in San Diego about 3 weeks ago, and I was participating in it, building the Flite Test STEM gliders for the kids who came up. Parents were absolutely shocked at how cheaply the planes could be made, AND that they were being made out of foam, and looked like actual airplanes! A lot of the kids commented that they wanted to make it radio controlled, and I would tell them, "Actually, that's what Flite Test is all about! The people who originated with this have built some REALLY cool projects, from a flying IKEA chair, to the Tiny Tykes flying 'car' to all sorts of different RC planes. You want a P51 Mustang? We can help you build an approximation out of foam board. You want a flying wing to do combat events, where you're trying to take out someone else's plane without them taking yours out? We can help you do that too!"

It was amazing to hear the amount of people who wanted to get into it once they learned the cost of a plane wasn't that expensive. Most of them kept saying, "Well, the planes are $200 and up." And then I'd have to tell them that the initial costs that were expensive were the radio transmitter, which, depending on the model, you could get for around $50-$60, the electronics for the plane could be had for around $50 (receiver, motor, ESC, and servos; that's an approximation, mind you, depending on what motors, what servos, etc), and then the batteries, which were rechargeable and reusable, were anywhere from roughly $10-$30 depending on how big a battery and how many cells you wanted. Chargers were another thing - you could get those really cheap, or really expensive...And I would try to explain that a lot of it was factored to, "How many different planes do you want to fly? How quick do you want to charge your batteries? How much are you willing to spend in the name of quality, and are you willing to invest a little more now for comfort later, if you think you're really going to get into this hobby?"

That, I think, is some of the best information to provide.
 

PoorManRC

Master member
#6
@sprzout - Thank You! One fortunate thing for me is, being in RC Ground for so many years, I've already got some Cool Tools, Tons of scrap bits and pieces, Hardware, Chemical Supplies and a KILLER Charger.
I've very recently learned though, that the Lipos that I use in my Wraith and Buggies.... Wouldn't let any Aircraft under 900mm Wingspan, to even leave the ground!!! o_O:giggle::poop: Although I did think about how LONG a 6000 mAh Lipo, would keep a FT Cub FLYING!! Providing it could actually Takeoff! :eek:

Fortunately, my initial assessment looks really good. I can get SIX 1800-2200 mAh Batteries for the cost of ONE that I have now!!
.... Aircraft Outrunner Motors, MUCH CHEAPER!!!
9g Servos - shockingly Cheap!
(Brings up my first question... I hear a lot on the Videos that the FT Guys recommend either 4.5g or 9g Servos. I'm not clear on - are they referring to the performance - 9kg Torque? Or the actual weight of the Servos? In 1:8-1:10 Scale Crawlers, that's a LOT clearer)

Seriously, my only real problem, is the RX/TX... Just 8 years ago, I would have jumped for joy over $50-60 4+ Channel Radios!! However, I'm in a serious Hole... Even that little, is unobtainable at any point soon....
The idea of Model Memory, so I may only need ONE Transmitter, at least gives a little hope for someday.

@Merv - That's a great buy! I'm trying not to sound pathetic, but even that, I'll actually have to save up for. :cry:
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#7
@sprzout - Thank You! One fortunate thing for me is, being in RC Ground for so many years, I've already got some Cool Tools, Tons of scrap bits and pieces, Hardware, Chemical Supplies and a KILLER Charger.
I've very recently learned though, that the Lipos that I use in my Wraith and Buggies.... Wouldn't let any Aircraft under 900mm Wingspan, to even leave the ground!!! o_O:giggle::poop: Although I did think about how LONG a 6000 mAh Lipo, would keep a FT Cub FLYING!! Providing it could actually Takeoff! :eek:

Fortunately, my initial assessment looks really good. I can get SIX 1800-2200 mAh Batteries for the cost of ONE that I have now!!
.... Aircraft Outrunner Motors, MUCH CHEAPER!!!
9g Servos - shockingly Cheap!
(Brings up my first question... I hear a lot on the Videos that the FT Guys recommend either 4.5g or 9g Servos. I'm not clear on - are they referring to the performance - 9kg Torque? Or the actual weight of the Servos? In 1:8-1:10 Scale Crawlers, that's a LOT clearer)

Seriously, my only real problem, is the RX/TX... Just 8 years ago, I would have jumped for joy over $50-60 4+ Channel Radios!! However, I'm in a serious Hole... Even that little, is unobtainable at any point soon....
The idea of Model Memory, so I may only need ONE Transmitter, at least gives a little hope for someday.

@Merv - That's a great buy! I'm trying not to sound pathetic, but even that, I'll actually have to save up for. :cry:
The servo reference is to the actual weight of the servo itself. With aircraft everything is about weight. A heavy plane is just another form of ground vehicle.

Have fun!
 

PoorManRC

Master member
#8
The servo reference is to the actual weight of the servo itself. With aircraft everything is about weight. A heavy plane is just another form of ground vehicle.

Have fun!
THANK YOU! I thought so, but sure don't want to guess.
So... Say I'm setting up a 900-1000mm FT Build. What kind of Torque would be OK?

And LMAO about "heavy plane"!! :giggle::D:ROFLMAO:

NEXT question.... Has anyone tried making a Nose Gear steerable, by running a long Rod (in a protective Tube) from a Tail mounted Rudder Servo, to the front?? Thanks. ;)
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#9
THANK YOU! I thought so, but sure don't want to guess.
So... Say I'm setting up a 900-1000mm FT Build. What kind of Torque would be OK?

And LMAO about "heavy plane"!! :giggle::D:ROFLMAO:

NEXT question.... Has anyone tried making a Nose Gear steerable, by running a long Rod (in a protective Tube) from a Tail mounted Rudder Servo, to the front?? Thanks. ;)
As for the servo I would use, with an FT design and not a rocket or flying ingot, (extremely heavy) I would use almost anything to hand but cheap 9gram are sufficient. If the ailerons are not too big and you do not need a lot of throw I might even go as low as 5 gram.

Steerable nose and tail wheels are common on FT planes, (well those with undercarriage. Where the plane is large it is OK to use 2 servos with a "Y" harness to reduce weight and even costs. An additional advantage is that if I have damaged a cheap steering servo and it later fails in flight at least I do not loose rudder control. I just have to face a difficult landing!

have fun!
 

PoorManRC

Master member
#10
OK... That makes perfect sense!! :cool:(y)(y)
A squirrelly Nose Wheel is definitely better than a lost Control Surface!
NEXT, Mini or Micro? That's not really clear in some Stores...

Since you're being SO helpful, something else was on my mind.
IF all I can get is a 3 Channel Radio.... I've heard of some people locking the Rudder, and ONLY use the Stabs and Ailerons for Control.
How often is THAT done!!

I remember flying (1:1), and the Rudder Screw Worm FROZE. (Fortunately, STRAIGHT!!)
I was able to get back home, under complete control, with just the Stabs for Attitude and Altitude - and the Ailerons for Pitch and Roll, effectively being able to steer just fine!

Question is, in RC, would Throttle/Elevator/Aileron be a Help, or a Hindrance??
Should I even BOTHER?
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#11
I would avoid mini and also the large builds. Minis tend to be very hard to control in all but the calmest air and the bigger models make a big dent in both the ground and your wallet. Something around 1 metre wingspan is a good place to start.

As for 3 channel without rudder it has been around since mid last century. They can fly very good and be a great way to learn. Actually one of my most successful designs uses 3 channels and 2 servos. (No tail at all, see: https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/collaborators-build-1-800-mm-kfm-flying-wing.54085/).

I normally only use rudder for trim, landings and taxiing. I do use it also for properly balanced turns and the like but I like to fly extreme freestyle including combat!

It is a robust plane but perhaps a large step for a first plane unless you have a modern radio and someone to help you test fly it.

Have fun!
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#12
Welcome to Flite Test fellow vet. I was a squid that started out in the air and finished shipboard. Aviation has always been in my head in some form or other.

That configuration is commonly called bank n yank. You roll with the ailerons and pull up on the elevator to complete your turn.

Most every fixed wing could be flown like that.

For me... I have quad brain. I MUST have all 4 channels and even then I still struggle with simple coordinated turning as I fly with over 45 degree camera tilt. That makes the yaw and roll axis be reversed to be coordinated once I pitch forward beyond 45 degrees.
 

jamboree1

Active member
#13
Welcome to FliteTest. As i understand it, you have no flight experience. While FT does have some good trainers I have found this one to be the best and cheapest to learn to fly on and get parts for. www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?1174874-EzFly-free-plans-for-great-trainer-plane It's a very easy build and several sizes available and TONS of support on it. I built a 55 inch version and it's super stable, slow, lightweight and predictable, short maiden vid here. www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAaE8oGQG0I&t=40s
 

PoorManRC

Master member
#14
Welcome to FliteTest. As i understand it, you have no flight experience. While FT does have some good trainers I have found this one to be the best and cheapest to learn to fly on and get parts for. www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?1174874-EzFly-free-plans-for-great-trainer-plane It's a very easy build and several sizes available and TONS of support on it. I built a 55 inch version and it's super stable, slow, lightweight and predictable, short maiden vid here. www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAaE8oGQG0I&t=40s
I'm going to look at the Plans and the Video in a few....
My "Experience" may be questionable...... I have flown 1:1 Real Aircraft, from a Cessna 172, to a T-38 Talon, to an A-10 Warthog..... :sneaky:;)(y)(y)

I've been told, that the Experience I HAVE, might make RC flying a little more difficult, in that some of the maneuvers that I'm accustomed to, could induce a flat spin, washout stalls, up to SHEARING a Wing off!! o_O:eek::ROFLMAO:
Now I realize that the consequences of colossal Failure in an RC Aircraft, often results in little more than brused Ego - and Wallet!!

..... So, am I to assume that there's going to be some unlearning in the process?
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#15
@sprzout
Seriously, my only real problem, is the RX/TX... Just 8 years ago, I would have jumped for joy over $50-60 4+ Channel Radios!! However, I'm in a serious Hole... Even that little, is unobtainable at any point soon....
The idea of Model Memory, so I may only need ONE Transmitter, at least gives a little hope for someday.
Model memory is worth it. Pay attention to the radio that you pick up and how much model memory it has, and also be aware that, even though the radios may broadcast on 2.4 Ghz, they're not all compatible. JR/Futaba isn't compatible with Spektrum, Spektrum isn't compatible with FrSky, etc.

I myself use Spektrum, and I will warn you that the Spektrums have some rather large variances in price. For example, you can pick up a Spektrum DxE radio, which is a really solid 4 channel transmitter, for approximately $70. This radio has, IN THEORY, an unlimited amount of models that you can store in it. But, when I say in theory, that's because you're saving each of those models out on a cell phone and reprogramming the radio each time you want to switch between models. A Dx6i, which is a Spektrum 6 channel radio, might run you $100-$150. It'll hold 10 different models in its memory, and allow you to switch between them internally. But if you start building a bunch of Flite Test planes, 10 really isn't that many, and you'll find that you have to remove a plane or two to configure for one of the others.

Stepping up to the next level, like a Dx6, you can get 250 model memory, with 6 channels, plus you get diversity antennas, which makes your signal more reliable, as it can switch between two different antennas for broadcast strength on the fly, resulting in fewer failsafes and crashes. The Dx6 also comes with voice announcements rather than just beeping, so it'll tell you, "Flight mode 1", or you can have it count down from 10 sec. to 1 sec on a timer.

I'm talking about these settings specifically on Spektrum, because I know these settings are available there; I'm assuming they may have similar features on Graupner, or Frsky, or other radios. On that, however, I'm not sure; I've not played with them, but assume that they have similar price points for various features. It's probably nothing new since you probably see this within the car/truck world, but it's food for thought.
 

PoorManRC

Master member
#16
Welcome to Flite Test fellow vet. I was a squid that started out in the air and finished shipboard. Aviation has always been in my head in some form or other.

That configuration is commonly called bank n yank. You roll with the ailerons and pull up on the elevator to complete your turn.

Most every fixed wing could be flown like that.

For me... I have quad brain. I MUST have all 4 channels and even then I still struggle with simple coordinated turning as I fly with over 45 degree camera tilt. That makes the yaw and roll axis be reversed to be coordinated once I pitch forward beyond 45 degrees.
GREETINGS Fellow Vet and Squid!!! :p:ROFLMAO:
Yeah, I was a "Pampered Flyboy"!! As a Kid, I used to be offended when Jarheads and Grunts would call us that....

We had it rough too........ I mean, sometimes we would get out to the Golf Course, and find it NOT MOWED!! :cry::cry::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:;)
A couple of times, our Steaks were over cooked in the NCO Mess!! LMFAO

Seriously, Desert Storm, "the Mini-Series", was serious business. And it didn't matter which Branch you Served in, if you Served, you're in the Club! (y)(y)
And Brother, anyone who can Land a Jet, on a pitching Postage Stamp, deserves my utmost Respect!
And no matter what Branch you Served..... MREs SUCK and someone is GOING to pick up an itchy STD from an ugly desert flowers!!! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

Flying was ALWAYS in my blood! Joining the USAF when your Dad was a Full Bird and a TOP Echelon Pilot (HE flew the superlative SR-71 Blackbird!!!!!), you often got to see some of your blood, to verify that fact!
I was a NCO (E-6). I completed Flight Training, and they even let me occasionally FLY a Jet or two. And they might call the T-38 a TRAINER.... but make no mistake, it's a shithot Jet!!

Ya know? Any time up to 8 years ago, I COULD'VE gotten into RC Flight. WHY I waited until I couldn't afford it - will remain a mystery to me. I've really always wanted to do it. I was heavy into RC Ground Vehicles and Model Railroading.....
Every freaking time the thought crossed my mind, something else came along.

Well my new Friend - the wait is OVER!! (y)(y)

~ Carmine
 

PoorManRC

Master member
#17
I would avoid mini and also the large builds. Minis tend to be very hard to control in all but the calmest air and the bigger models make a big dent in both the ground and your wallet. Something around 1 metre wingspan is a good place to start.

As for 3 channel without rudder it has been around since mid last century. They can fly very good and be a great way to learn. Actually one of my most successful designs uses 3 channels and 2 servos. (No tail at all, see: https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/collaborators-build-1-800-mm-kfm-flying-wing.54085/).

I normally only use rudder for trim, landings and taxiing. I do use it also for properly balanced turns and the like but I like to fly extreme freestyle including combat!

It is a robust plane but perhaps a large step for a first plane unless you have a modern radio and someone to help you test fly it.

Have fun!
Sorry, I didn't clarify that well enough.... I meant Servo! ;)
Yeah, even though some people tell me not to start too large with an Aircraft, I did already think that one meter would be about right. For the same reasons you and others have mentioned. Some little thing flopping all over the place like a scrap of paper, just doesn't sound like fun to me!!
 

PoorManRC

Master member
#18
Model memory is worth it. Pay attention to the radio that you pick up and how much model memory it has, and also be aware that, even though the radios may broadcast on 2.4 Ghz, they're not all compatible. JR/Futaba isn't compatible with Spektrum, Spektrum isn't compatible with FrSky, etc.
<br>

.........It's probably nothing new since you probably see this within the car/truck world, but it's food for thought.
I absolutely agree with you!! I WANT a GOOD, 6-9 Channel Radio, someday... My disposable income situation currently is something that very few people can understand (which I'm glad for), and I Pray that NOBODY ever has to have it that bad.

WHEN I finally get out of this MESS, I'm going to have an unusually compassionate view of people who may have fallen on SEVERELY Hard Times, without warning, and without Understanding and Help! I know now, that I will give whatever I can - even if it's a little something to put a smile on their faces.
In this unenviable situation, a smile goes a LONG WAY! I can now verify that, because you guys have supplied me with a few smiles in the VERY short time that I've been here!

Back on point, yeah I've experienced the incompatibility issues in RC Ground Vehicles with Radio Gear. As long as you can stick within a certain protocol (i.e. FASST), I've been able to mix some Brands with the same Protocol....

I've never used Spektrum before. Except for the upper escelon (sp!), the Radios for Ground Use, had "issues".
However, since moving up to flight, it appears that many of you prefer Spektrum!! That's worth another look for me. ;)
Sadly, it will STILL be quite a long time until I can even try to afford one, but it IS now on my list.
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#19
If you're mobile and there are some good clubs nearby, one of the best ways to get into flight inexpensively is to visit a clubs flying field. The club I go to has our own trainer plane for new pilots interested in learning with club owned radio gear. All one has to do is show up after making arrangements with one of the flight instructors. Some people bring their own gear, but for those wanting to see if they even want to dive into the hobby, we'll provide them with everything needed to get up in the air. If they get the bug, then they go shopping!

Welcome to the hobby, from another vet, of the terra-firma variety, though my first duty station was garrisoned at LRAFB and we got more plane rides on hercs than some of us really wanted ;)