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Pumpkin drop event

Starting into Nitro planes

Smithy11

Junior Member
#1
Hi,

I am thinking about moving onto nitro planes. I currently own the hobbyzone champ and the Parkzone Ultra Micro P-51D Mustang and have only flown these two along with the Parkzone Radian 3 channel. I have had a lot of fun with these planes but I want to fly something more 'real'. And by real I mean bigger and better. Something with a one to two meter wingspan. So I am thinking I will buy a balsa ARF nitro plane from hobbyking and put it together myself.

First off, I hear a lot of people saying online that Electric is better and Nitro planes are going to die out because they are slower, noisier, and more effort. But the more effort in getting the thing to run kind of appeals to me and I just think flying nitro would be a lot more rewarding.

These are the ones I am looking at atm (the last one is my favourite)
http://hobbyking.com.au/hobbyking/store/__35932__Aero_Subaru_FA_200_Balsa_EP_1040mm_ARF_.html
http://hobbyking.com.au/hobbyking/store/__12610__Extra_300L_EP_36inch_ARF.html
http://hobbyking.com.au/hobbyking/store/__18837__Zlin_42_Glow_Balsa_1650mm_ARF_.html

So here are my questions:

Should I go ahead and buy a nitro plane despite my minimal RC experience?
Are any of those planes good planes to move onto?
What extra tools and knowledge do I need to be able to get into Nitro?
What should I look for in an engine and are the Hobbyking ones good enough quality to last a long time?
What is the difference between gas and nitro? Gas is more expensive but is it a better quality engine that will last me longer?
How much more is all this extra gear going to cost as opposed to getting set up with an electric ARF plane of similar size?
Is it worth the extra cost?
I don't exactly have a huge amount of money to blow as I am currently studying full time at Uni But I have a little bit saved up to get me started in the hobby.

Sorry for all the questions But thanks in advance to anyone that can help me out here. It would be much appreciated as I currently have no clue as to what to do for my next plane.
 

pgerts

Old age member
Mentor
#2
Hello Smithy. If you only have been flying Ultra Micro then i would suggest something not as sexy but a lot more fun to toss around in the sky as a first nitro - the Discovery..You need a fuel pump like http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__3875__Turnigy_Hand_Fuel_Pump.html?strSearch=fuel pump and a glow driver like http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=11456 with a charger. A fule filter like http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9481 or similar is always handy.

Do you have a charger, rx battery and indicator ?
 
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rcspaceflight

creator of virtual planes
#3
You don't need gas to fly big. Hobby King has some monstrous electric motors that are designed to replace a 10 horsepower gas engine.

Since it sounds like you've only flown small, I suggest buying/building a foam plane about the size you want, with an electric motor, first. Sometimes you have to build up to something. Once you feel like you can handle that plane without a problem, which I'm sure you can, then get into balsa builds. Nothing worse than spending all that time building a plane just to break it in half right away.

I've never flow gas, I also want to get into it, but it might be good to start with an electric motor on the balsa plane you want. My understanding is that gas/nitro has a slow throttle response time. And you have to goose the throttle once in a while to prevent the engine from killing. Basically, get comfortable with the plane, then switch it from electric to gas/nitro.
 

pgerts

Old age member
Mentor
#4
Glow is not slow in any way. A well tuned glow can idle for ever and then go to Power in no time. Foam is not any better then balsa. There has been a lot of RC with glow and balsa planes in decades long Before Electric and foam without any problems. If you like combustion - dont hesitate. There is certainly a lot of charm in IC powered models. Just choose a good first plane and Engine.
 

Smithy11

Junior Member
#5
Alright thanks guys. Some good points. But I was thinking of going either one way or the other, at least in the mean time because I didn't want to spend the extra money on getting all the equipment for both types. Like for electric I would need a charger and a balancer and a bunch of batteries and an ESC. And then for nitro I would need that other stuff Pgerts said.

And no I don't have a charger, rx battery and indicator (I don't even have a receiver, haha). I basically have nothing except my two ultra micros and a Spektrum DX5e which was given to me. I do also have a simulator (also given to me) so I am not all that concerned with buying a balsa plane because I can always practice heaps on the simulator so that I am confident before I take it on its first flight.

So you recommend a high winged trainer such as the discovery for a first nitro model but how do I choose a good engine, and which is better, nitro or gas?
 

pgerts

Old age member
Mentor
#6
You need a charger for your radio, receiver battery and glow starter. Some radios and glow starters come with chargers. The motors with least problems for smaller models (less than 80" span and 8 lbs) are the 40-size glow Engines. Most are really reliable and easy to start and run. On bigger models (plus 10 lbs) you might consider gas Engines. I would go for an OS Engine but there are lots of good cheaper Engines.
 
#8
I might suggest a different way

BigPlaneRetrievalAvatar.jpg

The linked Picture is an Ultra Spad Stick. The building materials will set you back about 40 bucks if you buy virgin material, less if you scrounge your local convenience stores for coro. The motor can either be a converted weedeater/chainsaw motor OR a new bought HobbyKing motor. If you buy IC, You're going to spend 80-120 on a 46 size engine new. Whats a couple more bucks.

Built per plans the plane is a gentle giant that is also quite rugged. You should seek help learning to fly/start your engine and such. I won't kid you, the later on that has quite a bit of chances for injury. You will essentially be hand starting a lawn mower. Heck, one of the props I use is an inch bigger in diameter then my lawnmower. However, it starts easier then most 40 size glow engines and 40's start easy. You also can fly forever on a gallon of 2 stroke mix.

Now, that may still be too much investment for you, let me suggest ebay for an engine and going to http://www.spadtothebone.net/ click on the free plans link and click on the trainers tab for the BUHOR or 25 size, or the Debonair. These planes fold out of Coroplast (plastic cardboard really, you'll see it mostly as campaign signs, advertisements from Cola, beer and cigs at the gas station or those pesky 24x20 "Lose Weight" adds on the side of the road) but the material is fuel proof, durable AND if you talk with the convenience store folks that throw out the old signs for the new ones every month, free.
You can have a lot of fun with trash.

My favorite sitting in front of my USS, aka Big Plane
Something Wicked.jpg
 
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Smithy11

Junior Member
#9
From looking at glow engines, OS seems to be a in a similar price range to evolution. How do these two compare and also how does the hobby king brand hold up because they seem to be about half the price.

I mean I can pick up a OS MAX-46LA-S (Silver) Control Line Engine for $125 at my local hobby shop which is a .467 sized glow engine.
Or I can pick up the Evolution 10cc Petrol RC Engine (0.61 cu.in) for $250. That would mean I would need a bigger plane wouldn't it? But the advantage would be in would be a million times cheaper to run because is it correct that it can run on unleaded 91 which I can get from my local service station for $1.50 per litre as opposed to $40 for 3.8 litres of nitro. Or have I got that wrong?
Finally my last choice would be to go for a INC .46 Glow Engine with Muffler (ABC piston/sleeve assembly) from hobbyking for $70 which seems like a huge saving provided it will last as much as the others. They also have ASP ones for even cheaper (around $50). And of course Hobbyking have their own gas engines and their smallest one is NGH GT9 9cc Gas Engine With Rcexl CDI Ignition for $127.

Hobbyking just seems so much cheaper but I understand that an engine may not be something that I would want to just get the cheap one out of because quality would be really really important with these.
 

Smithy11

Junior Member
#10
MrClean, thanks for that link. It looks really interesting and I will definitely have a good look at it. I would just worry that due to my limited building experience it wouldn't fly. But because the materials are so cheap, it would probably be worth a shot also.
 
#11
When you go to these models, which will seriously leave a dent, make sure and get in touch with other pilots that have gone there before to help you over the hump. Other then that, they fly the same. Better even as they are less affected by wind and little gusts that will smack a foamie around don't even register. I maidened Big Plane in 15 mph winds.
 

Smithy11

Junior Member
#12
I don't really have any nearby contacts which I can contact. There is a club not too far away but I wasn't planning on joining up with them just yet due to the extra cost involved. I think I should be okay but given that fact would you recommend buying an ARF for my first nitro just to make things easier? I am kinda of keen to try one of these scratch builds though.
 
#13
Money spent wise is money saved. Nice thing about where I trained folks was we would use my field box, starter, things till the student figured out what worked for them. It's mostly the same but there are personal taste issues. I rarely use a starter. Others that's sacrilidege. I use a nicad others like power panels. Bunch of variables you can make your mind up on while using availble free stuff. Adds value to joining the club. Then again, my club dues are 25 a year so it's no big deal.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#14
Clubs around here are $150 a year, but it's still money well spent. You don't have to join to go talk to the guys. Go there, get to know them and tell them what you want to do. Trust me, the guys at the club will be happy to give you suggestions!
 

pgerts

Old age member
Mentor
#15
I mean I can pick up a OS MAX-46LA-S (Silver) Control Line Engine for $125 at my local hobby shop which is a .467 sized glow engine.
..
Finally my last choice would be to go for a INC .46 Glow Engine with Muffler (ABC piston/sleeve assembly) from hobbyking for $70 which seems like a huge saving provided it will last as much as the others. They also have ASP ones for even cheaper (around $50). ...
You do not want a Control line enginge (without throttle) but the OS46 LA is my first choise of general purpose trainer glow.

I have a video when letting the club juniors start the motor bu themselves. It is in Swedish but turn of the sound ;-)
[video]http://www.viddler.com/v/7d7ae3de[/video]

The budget ASP is not a bad motor. I use them in "20-size" for 1/12 combat models.
 

Smithy11

Junior Member
#16
Okay well in that case I might just go for the OS46 LA then buy all my supplies from hobbyking to save money. Not sure whether I will do a scratch build for my first plane or buy an ARF. I should probably talk to some people at the club about it I guess. The problem is the club near me has a club fee of ~$195 a year (and that is a student discount! Normal member is $240) and then I have to pass some test before I am able to fly by myself (and I don't know how much that would cost) which means less money for planes but I guess if it is worth it it is worth it. Would you recommend getting proper lessons too? I am just afraid of how much those would cost... I feel as though all up, getting into a club is going to cost me just way too much. Which is why initially I thought I should try and figure it all out myself.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#17
Most clubs have an instructor or a few instructors that will help you out somewhat at no charge. It's part of what you get for your membership. Like I said a few posts ago, just go to the field and talk to some of the members. They should be able to tell you if they have instructors, when they are available, etc. Some clubs even have a club trainer plane that they will let you use for getting certified to go solo. Lessons are above and beyond though, so they will probably cost you extra. With a decent simulator, a very stable forgiving plane, and a decent instructor, you probably will not need lessons...
 

Smithy11

Junior Member
#18
Alright, thanks for all of your help guys. I will probably buy an OS motor for sure and probably go for an ARF model at least for my first nitro but I guess I will have to talk to someone at a club first. Cheers
 
#19
Smithy, I don't know where you are located, but you would probably get more bang for the buck by picking up a complete used glow trainer. Around here they can typically be found in the $100-200 range, many of them with a radio and all the accessories you will need to fly it. You'd be surprised at how many people start the hobby and get disenchanted when it isn't as easy as a video game. I'd be willing to bet that for less than the cost of a new engine, you could be into a complete setup, with very low hours. I might have gotten lucky, but I have had two planes given to me... one of them even came with a nice Hobbico torque master starter. Even if it's crashed, it gets you the radio and engine to build a SPAD. The SPADET looks to be a great plane and would accept the running bits from any .40 size trainer out there. Plus, if you go the used route and decide you don't like it, as long as it's not smashed to bits and residing in a grocery bag, it will probably still be worth about what you paid. Just my two bits on the subject.

EDIT:

And I absolutely LOVE flying nitro, but then 30+ years ago when I started the hobby, that's all there really was... After nearly a 30 year hiatus I came back into the hobby with scratch built foamies, but there's nothing like a glow plane ripping through the sky with all the glorious sounds and smells! Just the other day at the RC field, we had three glow planes in the air at one time. It was heavenly!!
 
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#20
I am pretty sure I will stay in the hobby for a while and I have a DX5e transmitter but how would I go about locating a used plane? A quick look on Ebay yields nothing. And I am located in Brisbane Australia.