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My third first airplane.

#1
I don't want to get into a long story, but at least twice before I've attempted to get into flying. First time I had zero help and the plane lasted 5 seconds. Second time in college wasn't much better despite having a friend who was an experienced pilot...once it crashed I was out of money.

Now I'm really wanting to try again. But I'm torn between my desire to have an aesthetic airplane and my inability to fly, as I really prefer mid or low wing aircraft but those usually are NOT trainers. I have seen it mentioned that even the FT warbirds handle like trainers which is encouraging but I thought I'd look for some input from the community before I make a choice.

So, for a very new beginner who has just registered with the AMA and will likely soon be heading out for the first time to a local RC flying field and doesn't want to embarrass himself -- what are your recommendations for FT kits?

Next:

I do have some components I found that I salvaged from my college crash in 2004. I have a voltage regulator (I think 5V output for the receiver but the label is mostly gone), an ESC, 60 Amps, and a few servos...Please advise if any of this would be considered too old/useless at this point. I do have a BLDC motor but it looks sketchy. I also just recently purchased a flysky radio that came with a 10 channel receiver.

Lastly:

I think the most important thing I've learned since my last attempt at flying is to use small inputs, but as I have maybe 45 seconds of total lifetime flight experience (at a cost of about $5 per second), I am looking for advice. Any advice that might in some way reduce the frequency and/or extent of damage to my aircraft is greatly appreciated. I'd really like RC flying to cost LESS than actual flying.

Thanks everyone!
 
#2
Well ftest airplanes are unique, because they are built by you, which means they can be repaired or even completely rebuilt by you. A friend of mine just rebuilt her FT mini scout for the second time after about 6 violent crashes. So those 6 crashes cost her a total of $1 for a new sheet of foam board.

The other cool thing about flite test airplanes, is there is no reason you cant gut an airplane once your done with it, and move electronics to something new. I would recommend something like the FT tiny trainer, because it can grow with you easily. you can start at a chuck glider, and go all the way up to a sporty 4 channel. With a more beefy ESC in the initial build, all that will need to be changed when you move to something else is an appropriate motor and battery.

Trust me, successful flight on an ugly plane is way more fun than crashing something that looks cool. ;)

A decent list of FT planes to look into. I do not have experience with all of these, so others can give further recommendation
-FT Tiny Trainer
-FT Mini Scout
-FT Simple Storch
-FT Simple Scout (maybe?)
 

quorneng

Well-known member
#3
Cypress
Teaching yourself to fly is a very frustrating process and as you have found out, likely to be expensive too!

Forget the look of the plane. Just imagine you are a budding 1935 RAF/US Army Air Corps entrant desperate to fly the latest sleek mono plane fighters. What did they put you in? A low speed biplane and with a instructor in the back as well.

Despite our big brains flying is not a natural skill to humans. It requires a specific eye/hand coordination that the brain has to learn and flying a plane has specific limitations that have to be understood. It all takes takes time and practise. Crashing does not teach you much about flying!

The existing RC bits from your crashed planes may be of use in the future but certainly not in a plane to learn to fly on. You need something that is known to fly properly, then any problem is down to you!

By far the best route is to find a local model flying club and ask if they can teach you to fly. They may well have a dedicated trainer, an instructor and possibly a buddy Tx capability too.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#4
Or you can buy a $40 WLtoys Cessna 3channel and fly anywhere, then build a Tiny Trainer or similar.
I see you have the Flysky, there’s an excellent 4 channel plug n fly from Hobbyking that will work with that, the AXN Floater Jet which has everything with it except the battery, for about the same price as building an FT pre cut kit and getting all the electronics.
Plenty of time to build some dollar tree foamboard planes too, you can never have too many. The plans are free and materials are not much at all. I just use the cheap 5g Hobbyking servos in everything, then it’s just motor and ESC choice based on the plans.
 

Merv

Well-known member
#5
I agree with list of planes @Kbat11700 suggested, I would add the Simple Cub and the Explorer to the list of FT trainers.

Regarding using you old stuff. It may be of value, but the new stuff is cheap. You already have the Tx & Rx, so everything else on a plane will be less than $50.

It will be far easier for you to learn if you join the local club. All of us were new at one time. Don't be afraid to ask for help at your local field. Flite Fest Ohio is next week, it would be well worth your time to attend if possible.
 
#8
I would also recommend the tiny trainer! It is an easy build / rebuild. I would suggest that you start with the full 4 channel set up, since you have the radio and servos to already do it, as it is still easy to learn, and fly. Make sure that you follow the directions in the videos, have your CG set correctly, and the tiny trainer will fly good and take a beating.
 
#9
Mid wing trainer, build a simple scout. Probably one of FTs sweetest flying planes. You can likely reuse some of your existing electronics, although a 60A ESC is overkill.
On the ESC - will the high Amp rating decrease the resolution using smaller motors?
 

Arcfyre

Well-known member
#10
On the ESC - will the high Amp rating decrease the resolution using smaller motors?
No it's just extra weight that you don't need. It should work just fine, assuming it's a brushless ESC and you're using a brushless motor. You could get the job done with a 30A ESC though and see an increase in performance due to a decrease in weight. Every ounce matters.
 
#11
It seems like strong and resounding support for the tiny trainer, so in the cart it goes. I went ahead and ordered the recommended motor just to be sure I have something that will work. I've identified a local RC club but haven't really started communication yet, would like to get the plane built first I think. Definitely would prefer to let someone more experienced maiden/trim the plane for me...that way when I flip it on the runway and the lipo catches fire I know it's my fault...
 

Arcfyre

Well-known member
#12
The TT is a solid airframe, I think you'll like it. The reason I was recommending the simple scout was because it is just a touch larger and easier to fit batteries into. It also comes stock with landing gear, which can prevent broken props in the event of a less than awesome landing.

The TT fuselage is pretty tight on the inside, so I hope you ordered a small lipo to go with it?
 
#13
The TT is a solid airframe, I think you'll like it. The reason I was recommending the simple scout was because it is just a touch larger and easier to fit batteries into. It also comes stock with landing gear, which can prevent broken props in the event of a less than awesome landing.

The TT fuselage is pretty tight on the inside, so I hope you ordered a small lipo to go with it?
I've got a few lipos so hopefully one of them fits :S Looks like the recommended is 850 mah, I've got a couple 1000mah so fingers crossed.

I've added the scout to cart - I really like the look of it, and that cockpit is just begging for a camera. It'll be on deck for when I either get confident with the TT or destroy it.
 

Berekiah

Well-known member
#14
It seems like strong and resounding support for the tiny trainer, so in the cart it goes. I went ahead and ordered the recommended motor just to be sure I have something that will work. I've identified a local RC club but haven't really started communication yet, would like to get the plane built first I think. Definitely would prefer to let someone more experienced maiden/trim the plane for me...that way when I flip it on the runway and the lipo catches fire I know it's my fault...
I highly recommend taking a trip out to the local RC club and even calling them first if you can get a contact number. Many times they have instructors and trainer planes just ready for someone like you to come along. This is the best way to get started and save you on your new plane so that you can get the experience you need to be successful without destroying your own equipment. Note that they will most likely use a buddy box system so that if you get into trouble they can save their trainer for you. No worries and have fun!
 

Merv

Well-known member
#15
I've identified a local RC club but haven't really started communication yet, would like to get the plane built first I think.
Be sure and ask for help at the club. If you just show up, nobody knows if your a professional 3D flyer or a newbie. Hopefully there will already be some FT planes there. They may be able to give you some pointers on building.
Definitely would prefer to let someone more experienced maiden/trim the plane for me
Your plane will be much easer to fly when you get it trimed out.
 
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#16
Be sure and ask for help at the club. If you just show up, nobody knows if your a professional 3D flyer or a newbie. Hopefully there will already be some FT planes there. They may be able to give you some pointers on building.
Your plane ill be much easer to fly when you get it trimed out.
Perhaps then I will contact them sooner rather than later.

Thanks!
 

FDS

Well-known member
#17
1000mah is a bit big in the TT, I fly mine as light as possible, some people do fly the 1000 packs, but I run a load of cheap 500-850mah 2s packs, they give a solid 5-7 min flight time and keep the plane from being too nose heavy. Mine runs a tiny 9g receiver and a light $5 1806/2400kv motor. That runs off a 20A esc with 3A bec.
 

mayan

Well-known member
#18
1000mah is a bit big in the TT, I fly mine as light as possible, some people do fly the 1000 packs, but I run a load of cheap 500-850mah 2s packs, they give a solid 5-7 min flight time and keep the plane from being too nose heavy. Mine runs a tiny 9g receiver and a light $5 1806/2400kv motor. That runs off a 20A esc with 3A bec.
A 1000mah 2S battery will give him a good experience. That’s how I started and know others that have too.