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Starting my Son (5 Yrs) on RC - Tips/Thoughts

#1
I am looking at starting my 5 Yr old son on RC flying. My initial thoughts are definitely have him play on the Sim (phoenix RC) to start to get the idea. The other thought is setup a buddy box. I currently have a DX6, so here's my excuse to buy a DX8. So I buy a DX8 and have my son on the DX6 on buddy. My question is what plane to start him buddy on. I have a Bixler 1.1, but setup for FPV, Visionaire (no way). I am thinking perhaps the Parkzone Firebird Stratos but I believe it won't bind to the DX8/6. What other planes can I buddy on the DX8/6 that will "grow" with my son ie go from buddy to save solo (for a 5yr Old), and that will survive crashes.
 
#2
The ParkZone Super Cub LP is a pretty nice plane to learn on. It looks scale, is three channels, the wing dihedral makes it pretty forgiving, it can fly slow or pretty quick, the EPO foam takes a beating, and the more you fix damage with hot glue and tape the stronger it gets. Comes with a brushed gear reduced motor and a 1300mAh 3S good for 10-12 minutes of flight. There are plenty of options to get aluminum motor mounts for the Cub to mount a brush-less motor and you can cut in ailerons for a fourth channel when he is ready. Oh and you can get float skids for water and snow.

 
#3
Funny, I asked this same question last night on Facebook when they requested questions for the next pod cast. I have a son who just turned 6 and any tips or suggestions would be great.
 

colorex

Rotor Riot!
Mentor
#4
Maybe you could build something like the nutball or FT flyer, that would be perfect for him as they can be easily fixed and are very cheap. If you want to go with something factory-made, the Bixler is a nice beginner plane and takes a beating, and it is also quite safe. If you are not plagued by windy conditions you might even consider the Mini Super Cub by Horizon which he will eventually outgrow or the Super Cub which can be modded for more fun as he learns.
 

tramsgar

Senior Member
#5
I tried the nutball as a 5 yo's first plane, and I cannot recommend it - too twitchy and wind sensitive. Perhaps a reinforced FT Flyer is better or that Apprentice if you can afford it. Sim is a good start, it's fun and helps to learn how the controls work, but it'll only take him half ways.

It depends a great deal on the kid, of course, but some kind of success and lots and lots of encouragement is probably a very good idea for the first flight... So whatever you're flying, a crash and burn should be able to pass as a partial success... Hmm, I guess that rules out the Apprentice =).
 
#8
Could always look into a whip plane. Blackhawkmodels used to sell them. It's not RC per say but it can progress into some basic control line. Made out of Coroplast he can whip that sucker around all over the place and not tear it up much.
 

DDSFlyer

Senior Member
#9
The super cub is a great trainer. Three channels and dihedral wing, easy to repair or cheap to replace parts at the LHS. I have my first super cub plane that I learned on and after what some people would call two or three catastrophic crashes, it still flies with the best of them. I've used it as my test bed for learning flyin, repairing, and upgrading as I've put LED's on it (111 of them!) and converted it to brushless. I the future I will probably do an Aileron mod on it as well. Tons of information on rcgroups.com
 

rcspaceflight

creator of virtual planes
#10
All I can really think of to add to this conversation is get him a 3 channel plane but only let him use the elevator and rudder/ailerons. That is, you control the throttle while he controls the rest. At least at first. It really depends on how well he does with the sim. But his first time with a 'real' plane will probably make him nervous and he won't be able to handle doing as much as he could in the sim.

Also, scratch building will be cheaper and is another aspect of the hobby that you two could bond over. Yeah, he won't be much help building it, but you could let him help as much as he can and watch you do the difficult steps. It depends on the kid, but letting him decorate it with markers will help make the plane his own and help him feel like he's a part of the build.
 

rcspaceflight

creator of virtual planes
#11
All I can really think of to add to this conversation is get him a 3 channel plane but only let him use the elevator and rudder/ailerons. That is, you control the throttle while he controls the rest. At least at first. It really depends on how well he does with the sim. But his first time with a 'real' plane will probably make him nervous and he won't be able to handle doing as much as he could in the sim.

Also, scratch building will be cheaper and is another aspect of the hobby that you two could bond over. Yeah, he won't be much help building it, but you could let him help as much as he can and watch you do the difficult steps. It depends on the kid, but letting him decorate it with markers will help make the plane his own and help him feel like he's a part of the build.