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Really jumping in to the hobby: My holiday purchases

Vimana89

Well-known member
#1
It's been a long and hard road for me getting into the hobby of flight the way I chose to do so, basically learning to build, design, and fly my own planes all at one. A lot of it is my stubbornness;), but it has yielded some success, and I have learned a great deal very fast, but with quite a bit of difficulty and quite a bit of frustration too. I'm very close to having a truly flyable build of my tandem wing design, but I'm going to set that aside for a time when I can build it slowly to perfection. For the holidays, I'm taking a slight detour from the mad scratch builder's corner and jumping into the hobby full on.I've decided to cover all my bases; Fixed wing, multi rotor, and something random and fun. I went with products that are reasonably priced and beginner friendly, with generally positive reviews, and that I liked.

Here's what I went with for fixed wing:
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It's a good size, not tiny and not huge,3ch, 7.4v battery, clean simple design with a very nice high mounted pusher. This is roughly in the size range I want to build and design in, and it looks like a fun plane to train on.

For multi-rotor, I went with another reasonably priced, beginner friendly product, which will allow me to also mess around with FPV. I went with this little guy, reputable brand, newer iteration of a well liked design. I bought a kit with a little prop guard that fits all the way around, and spare props. Got some spare batteries as well.
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For my third purchase, I went with a product that I had considered and asked a couple questions about before: the power up kit to turn paper airplanes and small gliders into rc planes. Why I opted to stay away is because somebody specified to me that it didn't give you much control, and was more of a powered glider than flight-and that whatever I built would not really have the flight characteristics of whatever I was going for. This was a good piece of advice, but I believe they must have been referring to an older model, because this is the power up aerobatic, and THIS looks to be like actual flight. It can perform tricks, and take off from the ground with landing gear. I'm under no delusion that this will give me as much control and variability as I could achieve building with larger power packs and multiple control surfaces, but it seems to be more than powered glide, and a great place to start to test lift and flight capabilities of certain wing shapes and designs. Here is the video of the aerobatic version:


Let me know what you guys think, I think it looks like an awesome bit of fun that will let me build small scale versions of whatever design I can imagine, with no real time or money lost if a build doesn't work. It can loop, barrel roll, take off from the ground...looks good to me. I can test the lift and capabilities of some of my designs with this to see if they will even fly before investing in a full scale build.
 

Vimana89

Well-known member
#2
Hubsan x4 arrived today, a bit smaller in person than I expected. Noob tip I learned;these things don't hover perfect out of the box, they are a bit "hairy" and need some trimming to make the drift manageable, mine is now controllable but still cannot hover perfectly still, and has a slight drift. I'm recharging so on my next run I can actually fly around a bit. My power up paper airplane kit and prop guards for my quad are due to arrive tomorrow, and my sky king should be here Wednesday. Will update with my experiences learning these products, and review them in more depth when I'm more familiar with them. So far, what I like about the x4 is actually that it is not perfect out of the box and doesn't have a one button app for everything, so I actually have to learn to adjust the trim, take off, land, and maneuver with no real shortcuts. I didn't come with an sd card either, but whatever. Learning to fly is my concern now and video later.
 
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Vimana89

Well-known member
#3
The x4 plus is proving to be great for training how to fly quads. It is a bit annoying that the battery lasts 6 minutes and has an 80 minute charge time, but I have spares coming. For its tiny size, 6 minutes is decent though. Propeller guards still haven't come, my props are scuffed up but still working. I've learned to fly it around and hover, though I'm still learning to use the rudder function more and turn rather than just going back and forth and side to side. My biggest complaint is the landing gear, no rubber nub or anything, just a thin concave ring of plastic. Mine was starting to get scraped a bit from rough landings and I didn't want to damage it more and make it uneven, so I found some really old unused felt pads and glued them in place in the hollow ring. Will test with these when recharged.
 

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#4
My first toy quad was the JJRC H33. My son and I actively crashed them against each other and had an absolute ball. They fly super, and are seemingly indestructible. My second toy quad was a Furibee F36. We fly them outside, but mostly in the house. Bounce them off the walls, off the ceiling, off each other. They're still good and a blast to fly.

My favorite toy quad by far was my last. JJRC H21. Supposed to be waterproof. It flew so well, I glued stuff to it. An FPV cam and four Q-tips to protect the antenna. Then I had to get some upgraded antennas for my headset. So I could fully support the dual diversity of the cam. What an awesome FPV flying experience that was. Then I just had to make it better. I got some three-blade props for the H21.

In moments it launched up over my head, behind me and I dropped it in the woods to never be recovered. :( That long story? The HJ33's were like twenty bucks. The F36 I think was ten. The H21 was like 30 dollars. All the batteries to power those things are about three bucks each. I've got all the bats sitting in an ammo can. I bought lots.

They still sit in that ammo can, because I discovered FT foam planes, and I have yet to look back. Enjoy your journey, my friend. It's not worth tracking down all the links for one random post, but if you've a serious interest, I can go through my email and find you the links of where I got the stuff from.

Your Journey Continues.
 

Vimana89

Well-known member
#5
The sky king is not a good product. I could overlook the nonsensical, unreadable instructions in completely broken English if the plane worked, but the rudder has no range of motion whatsoever and although it flies and climbs, it is completely uncontrollable. Poor design with tiny servos and mega long push rods, very flimsy, and unresponsive handling.
 
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Vimana89

Well-known member
#6
Veered straight into a yard (because it would not respond to yaw)and pushed in the motor mount of all things, the one place I least expected to damage this plane. Too bad I didn't save the whole box, I'll try to return it somehow if I can. To be fair, I may have just gotten a lemon that deviated from normal quality standards. Maybe something was busted inside. Still though, I liked the price point, I liked where the motor was mounted, it was a good design on the outside, but the control surfaces and corresponding parts were done really bad, it was a terrible, flimsy design from that standpoint.
 
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Headbang

Well-known member
#7
The basic idea is solid. I was helping out some one this year who had their best success with an FT Explorer. Same basic design as as the sky king. I liked the design so much, I had to scratch build one for myself. Turned out to be the easiest build so far.
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Vimana89

Well-known member
#8
Not a bad idea honestly. It was made of styrofoam too. Not hobby grade foam of any kind-foam board is a lot sturdier than this thing was. I'm not really liking a lot of what I see in the rtf fixed wing market so I might just get a kit, and the explorer was one of the ones I was looking at.