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Teaching My Children To Fly - The Diary

mayan

Well-known member
#1
Some might know and some not but I started in the hobby looking for something that I can use to bond with my children. You can read about that here, if you’d like.

Long story short we moved from balsa gliders to RC planes. However balsa gliders unlike RC planes are easy to launch and don’t require much handling. I quickly got addicted, and started building and flying like there is no tomorrow, I started a diary on the forum so that people with more experience can help me with every step I made using that I taught myself to fly. You act read more about I learned to fly here. Today I am on the second part of my journey flying more advance models and designing more advanced builds.

Recently I started feeling that there is something missing, something else that I need in order to be able to enjoy this wonderful hobby even more than I am already doing, but I couldn’t put my finger on what was missing. Until my son came up to me one day a while ago and said that he misses the balsa gliders and I asked why, he said because you would let me fly them. I was stunned, actually I just got stabbed in the stomach I realized what I was missing I was missing the goal of why this all even started which was the bonding.

I realized that for me the bonding is not for them to watch me fly a new plane that I built or model that I designed, it’s for them to fly with me. I tried lying to myself that I haven’t let him touch the control because I didn’t know to fly myself so how could I teach someone else to fly. Let’s be honest that is one lame excuse! What is the real reason by now I don’t care, what I care about is what next? How do I get my children to fly with me?

I’ll tell you how! I’ll open a thread about it and have you walk the journey with me. You’ll read, see and feel what I do and what my children do and it’s all starting tomorrow morning. I have decided that if they want to learn to fly they are going to have to learn to build or at least help with it a lot. If they won’t put time and effort into the plane the fly they won’t care a damn if it crashes and breaks. I want them to understand that mistakes happen and that’s ok but you are going to have to repair or rebuild the planes you break. Hope it’s the right way to go?

So what I did tonight is prepared, what did I prepare? I prepared the puzzle pieces of the plane that taught me to fly the TT and tomorrow they’ll be building their own plane.
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Looking forward for tomorrow and the start of this experience.
 
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Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#2
Some might know and some not but I started in the hobby looking for something that I can use to bond with my children. You can read about that here, if you’d like.

Long story short we moved from balsa gliders to RC planes. However balsa gliders unlike RC planes are easy to launch and don’t require much handling. I quickly got addicted, and started building and flying like there is no tomorrow, I started a diary on the forum so that people with more experience can help me with every step I made using that I taught myself to fly. You act read more about I learned to fly here. Today I am on the second part of my journey flying more advance models and designing more advanced builds.

Recently I started feeling that there is something missing, something else that I need in order to be able to enjoy this wonderful hobby even more than I am already doing, but I couldn’t put my finger on what was missing. Until my son came up to me one day a while ago and said that he misses the balsa gliders and I asked why, he said because you would let me fly them. I was stunned, actually I just got stabbed in the stomach I realized what I was missing I was missing the goal of why this all even started which was the bonding.

I realized that for me the bonding is not for them to watch me fly a new plane that I built or model that I designed, it’s for them to fly with me. I tried lying to myself that I haven’t let him touch the control because I didn’t know to fly myself so how could I teach someone else to fly. Let’s be honest that is one lame excuse! What is the real reason by now I don’t care, what I care about is what next? How do I get my children to fly with me?

I’ll tell you how! I’ll open a thread about it and have you walk the journey with me. You’ll read, see and feel what I do and what my children do and it’s all starting tomorrow morning. I have decided that if they want to learn to fly they are going to have to learn to build or at least help with it a lot. If they won’t put time and effort into the plane the fly they won’t care a damn if it crashes and breaks. I want them to understand that mistakes happen and that’s ok but you are going to have to repair or rebuild the planes you break. Hope it’s the right way to go?

So what I did tonight is prepared, what did I prepare? I prepared the puzzle pieces of the plane that taught me to fly the TT and tomorrow they’ll be building their own plane.
View attachment 128398
View attachment 128399
View attachment 128400

Looking forward for tomorrow and the start of this experience.
I have only one thing to say about this!

About @#$%#$ time!:p

Your real fun is about to begin!

have fun!
 

mayan

Well-known member
#4
I have only one thing to say about this!

About @#$%#$ time!:p

Your real fun is about to begin!

have fun!
@Hai-Lee when you are right your right! It’s about time and tomorrow it’s starting and I need your help. The help of all the wonderful people on this forum that spend their valuable time to share their experiences and help each and every one of us learn something new everyday.

Hey man, check this one out. I've gone through a couple with my son so far, as he's much younger than your kids. It's a great design though, easy to build, and would be super simple to add 2ch RC to.

https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?resources/ft-ez-glider.56/
Can it also be turned into 3/4 channels later? I didn’t manage to see and pretty much need to get some sleep if I want to do anything tomorrow apart from being a zombie :).
 

Arcfyre

Well-known member
#5
No it's a straight chuck glider that you can fit RC to if you want to. It's just a very kid friendly build, as you can build it without any razor blades or anything. They did a great job with the build video.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#6
@Hai-Lee when you are right your right! It’s about time and tomorrow it’s starting and I need your help. The help of all the wonderful people on this forum that spend their valuable time to share their experiences and help each and every one of us learn something new everyday.


Can it also be turned into 3/4 channels later? I didn’t manage to see and pretty much need to get some sleep if I want to do anything tomorrow apart from being a zombie :).
As usual my help is yours for the asking!

From the "2 channel" statement I assume you are going to have them doing some gliding first! GREAT move!(y)

Would actually make a suggestion when they start on 3 channel! Make the motor power available or the thrust JUST enough to keep it flying to start with. As you and the "buzzbomber" would have realized is that at high power and speed things can happen so fast that you have little time to react or even learn!

Have fun!
 

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#8
Some might know and some not but I started in the hobby looking for something that I can use to bond with my children. You can read about that here, if you’d like.

Long story short we moved from balsa gliders to RC planes. However balsa gliders unlike RC planes are easy to launch and don’t require much handling. I quickly got addicted, and started building and flying like there is no tomorrow, I started a diary on the forum so that people with more experience can help me with every step I made using that I taught myself to fly. You act read more about I learned to fly here. Today I am on the second part of my journey flying more advance models and designing more advanced builds.

Recently I started feeling that there is something missing, something else that I need in order to be able to enjoy this wonderful hobby even more than I am already doing, but I couldn’t put my finger on what was missing. Until my son came up to me one day a while ago and said that he misses the balsa gliders and I asked why, he said because you would let me fly them. I was stunned, actually I just got stabbed in the stomach I realized what I was missing I was missing the goal of why this all even started which was the bonding.

I realized that for me the bonding is not for them to watch me fly a new plane that I built or model that I designed, it’s for them to fly with me. I tried lying to myself that I haven’t let him touch the control because I didn’t know to fly myself so how could I teach someone else to fly. Let’s be honest that is one lame excuse! What is the real reason by now I don’t care, what I care about is what next? How do I get my children to fly with me?

I’ll tell you how! I’ll open a thread about it and have you walk the journey with me. You’ll read, see and feel what I do and what my children do and it’s all starting tomorrow morning. I have decided that if they want to learn to fly they are going to have to learn to build or at least help with it a lot. If they won’t put time and effort into the plane the fly they won’t care a damn if it crashes and breaks. I want them to understand that mistakes happen and that’s ok but you are going to have to repair or rebuild the planes you break. Hope it’s the right way to go?

So what I did tonight is prepared, what did I prepare? I prepared the puzzle pieces of the plane that taught me to fly the TT and tomorrow they’ll be building their own plane.
View attachment 128398
View attachment 128399
View attachment 128400

Looking forward for tomorrow and the start of this experience.
Mayan, my friend, I think you have found it. That is a beautiful thing you are doing. There is not a child on this planet who wouldn't wish their dad was spending time with them and teaching them to build and fly RC Aircraft.

You embraced this hobby by learning to build and fly. You advanced to the next level by designing, building, flying and crashing your own aircraft designs. Then you embraced the Spirit of the hobby when you learned it was OK to have fun and the crashing was part of it.

I have followed your Journey the whole way and you never failed to inspire, even when you felt lost. You never let personal hardship get you down for long and before I knew it you were right back to being a building and flying maniac.

I thank you for letting us be a part of that Journey. Honestly, though? I think your real Journey is about to begin. "Teaching My Children To Fly" Yes. You are. And not just with airplanes.
 

Jimun

Well-known member
#10
Some might know and some not but I started in the hobby looking for something that I can use to bond with my children. You can read about that here, if you’d like.

Long story short we moved from balsa gliders to RC planes. However balsa gliders unlike RC planes are easy to launch and don’t require much handling. I quickly got addicted, and started building and flying like there is no tomorrow, I started a diary on the forum so that people with more experience can help me with every step I made using that I taught myself to fly. You act read more about I learned to fly here. Today I am on the second part of my journey flying more advance models and designing more advanced builds.

Recently I started feeling that there is something missing, something else that I need in order to be able to enjoy this wonderful hobby even more than I am already doing, but I couldn’t put my finger on what was missing. Until my son came up to me one day a while ago and said that he misses the balsa gliders and I asked why, he said because you would let me fly them. I was stunned, actually I just got stabbed in the stomach I realized what I was missing I was missing the goal of why this all even started which was the bonding.

I realized that for me the bonding is not for them to watch me fly a new plane that I built or model that I designed, it’s for them to fly with me. I tried lying to myself that I haven’t let him touch the control because I didn’t know to fly myself so how could I teach someone else to fly. Let’s be honest that is one lame excuse! What is the real reason by now I don’t care, what I care about is what next? How do I get my children to fly with me?

I’ll tell you how! I’ll open a thread about it and have you walk the journey with me. You’ll read, see and feel what I do and what my children do and it’s all starting tomorrow morning. I have decided that if they want to learn to fly they are going to have to learn to build or at least help with it a lot. If they won’t put time and effort into the plane the fly they won’t care a damn if it crashes and breaks. I want them to understand that mistakes happen and that’s ok but you are going to have to repair or rebuild the planes you break. Hope it’s the right way to go?

So what I did tonight is prepared, what did I prepare? I prepared the puzzle pieces of the plane that taught me to fly the TT and tomorrow they’ll be building their own plane.
View attachment 128398
View attachment 128399
View attachment 128400

Looking forward for tomorrow and the start of this experience.
That is awesome @mayan, It is great that you could see this opportunity that could have easily been missed. Children are a blessing and you are blessed to have them. Enjoy every moment with them now. Can't wait to see this unfold. Bless you
 

messyhead

Active member
#11
Can't wait to see how this goes. Your experience almost mirrors mine.

Last night I was cutting out plans in the kitchen, and my son was making things from cardboard on the kitchen floor with. My wife said we were like peas in a pod :D

I then put Phoenix RC on my laptop, selected the TT model, and gave the Tx to my son, and he just flew it without much guidance.

I can't wait till we have a model built that he can try flying. As I got a Flysky i6X for a really low price, I might get another to buddy box so I'll not be worried about crashing too much
 

bracesport

Well-known member
#12
@mayan - I here you brother - I did the same with my son (5), we have been doing art projects since age two! I started this thread a while ago https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/xanders-first-flight.56323/ and it’s fallen behind - I have a video yet to post with Xanders first RC flight (short and sweet) and it made me proud regardless - he is actually quite good on the SIM, but as you know real life is real life!

All the best!
 
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mayan

Well-known member
#13
From the "2 channel" statement I assume you are going to have them doing some gliding first! GREAT move!(y)
True. Just not sure how I give them enough glide time though, because hand launching it doesn't give enough height to practice plane gliding control.

Would actually make a suggestion when they start on 3 channel! Make the motor power available or the thrust JUST enough to keep it flying to start with. As you and the "buzzbomber" would have realized is that at high power and speed things can happen so fast that you have little time to react or even learn!
When I get there, I plan to set them up with a 2S battery, and limit their stick movements using something that will sit over the gimbles. Have time though before I get there.

To keep it simple as they learn build the TT glider first and just change the nose to the powered version when they can glide reasonably well!

Have fun!
I plan to take them the same route I went with a few changes in the middle, stay tuned and find out :).

@messyhead, @bracesport I wish I had a SIM working for them to practice with a real Tx, unfortuntalty I don't. I did give my son to fly a on my iPhone with some app that I found for free but it's not the same. I am soon to buy the i6x as well and that Tx isn't expensive as much as others so I might get 2 instead of one, to be able to train them better without risking crashes. Crashes that can lead to damage to electronics or lost of interest because of fear from failure that they might feel.

We started the build today so I'll share more about that in a bit, on a seprate post, but first I have to answer all those that replied to threads I am watching :).
 

mayan

Well-known member
#14
Mayan, my friend, I think you have found it. That is a beautiful thing you are doing. There is not a child on this planet who wouldn't wish their dad was spending time with them and teaching them to build and fly RC Aircraft.

You embraced this hobby by learning to build and fly. You advanced to the next level by designing, building, flying and crashing your own aircraft designs. Then you embraced the Spirit of the hobby when you learned it was OK to have fun and the crashing was part of it.

I have followed your Journey the whole way and you never failed to inspire, even when you felt lost. You never let personal hardship get you down for long and before I knew it you were right back to being a building and flying maniac.

I thank you for letting us be a part of that Journey. Honestly, though? I think your real Journey is about to begin. "Teaching My Children To Fly" Yes. You are. And not just with airplanes.
I thank you for following my journey/journeys and hope that you enjoy them and keep following them. Thank you for being part of my ongoing journey.
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#15
@mayan ...I will do my best to follow your journey with this as I am curious to see how things go, see the bonding, and everything else. I am also very inspired by your posting this as sort of a diary (almost like a blog too I suppose), not only for yourself but for others to see as well in the "newbie" section of the forum. I think that makes it a great thing for any new pilots who have stumbled upon Flitetest and the forums to be able to see these kinds of posts/threads. This way new pilots can see that we are all human and that we all can face struggles sometimes with learning to fly...and in the case, teaching your kids to fly. Didn't the forums or the FT website used you have a blog section? Wish you the best in your journey and I will try and pop in on progress updates. ;)

Your post is almost inspiring me to do a sort of progress/diary post as well.
 
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mayan

Well-known member
#16
This morning I woke up after having only a 4 hours of sleep and had 30+ alerts on the forum to go through. I didn't answer the alerts until just a few moments ago, because I like giving special attention to each one, replying to everyone on a personal level. Hope I didn't miss anyone and if I did I apologize for it.

Another part of the reason why I didn't go over the alerts or reply to any, was because I wanted to start the flying boot camp that I mentioned yesterday. I felt that going over 30+ alerts giving each one the proper attention would waste a lot of the free time I had with the kids this morning, that would lead to them losing interest and the momentum I had to get started.

Boot camp started with a podcast that I found about planes and how they work one that was suitable for kids, but I quickly realized that they are not paying attention and are losing it. I realized that I have to change something before I lose them completely and can call it a day, so I turned off the podcast and ran to the room to get a plane that I had laying around. I figured that there is no better way to explain how a plane works than to actually show them the things on the plane itself, and that's what I did. I explained to them how the shape of wing effects the lift created, I explained what the elevator, rudder and ailerons do and what effect they have on the plane and the direction of it's flight. Once I felt that they understood the point, I decided to try make a game out of it and acted as a control tower giving them orders of flight, letting them move the elevator and rudder to fit the flight orders that they got from the control tower.

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Next I spread out all the puzzle pieces that I have cut out yesterday on the table, and had the kids try to figure out what piece belonged to what part of the plane that we were going to build. They managed to figure out what most pieces belonged to, and of course I helped with the ones that they didn't know. Once we got past recognizing the pieces of what we were about to build, I decided it's time we start building. I pulled out the fuselage related pieces and the building began. It is very important to me that the kids do the building so I let them do as much as I could without risking them getting cut or burned. They learned what a B fold is and started folding up the fuselage, to give it the shape of the plane. At some points they lost focus and started looking else where, when that happened I tried keeping calm and said, "if you don't want continue building it's OK but those who don't build can't fly", and that made them come back to help.

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We wrapped the day when I had to go to the super market to get some vegetable for dinner, but did some nice progress. This is what the kids managed building up until I had to wrap everything up for the day.

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I can't say how the kids felt about the day, because if I'd ask I'd get an answer around the lines of "OK", but from what my wife said to me earlier it seems like they were having fun. My wife also mentioned that my son ran up to her and told her what we've managed to build so far, so I hope they were having a good time. What I can say is how I felt about today's boot camp. Well it was hard! It's not easy to keep kids focused these days especially when they are used to watching TV, YouTube and other fast moving medias, that keep them on edge very easily. Let alone kids with A.D.H.D issues like my kids, which have a hard time staying still. My daughter also has a developmental delay, which makes it hard to know what she understood and what not. To sum up today I think that the trick to keep them interested lays in the ability to keep them active and busy in game like manner. Have to think about that for Thursday which will be the next time they build :).

I am also having a bit of a dilemma here with something so please share your thoughts about it. I want to make sure that they understand what the elevator and rudder does to the plane. So I thought of installing some broken servos first to let them change the positions of the elevator and rudder and chuck the plane to see what happens. I thought of using broken servos because they will work for this and can't get damaged any more than what they already are. What's you take on this?
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#17
True. Just not sure how I give them enough glide time though, because hand launching it doesn't give enough height to practice plane gliding control.
Well if you were to make yourself a launcher then you could give them a longer flight than you could by throwing them.

See: https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/the-best-20-i-invested.53587/

Make it longer with a little ramp made with a few bits of PVC pipe and you could easily give them flight times of around a minute and possibly far far longer.

It works for me!

Have fun!
 

mayan

Well-known member
#18
Well if you were to make yourself a launcher then you could give them a longer flight than you could by throwing them.

See: https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/the-best-20-i-invested.53587/

Make it longer with a little ramp made with a few bits of PVC pipe and you could easily give them flight times of around a minute and possibly far far longer.

It works for me!

Have fun!
I was thinking of either doing a launcher or a carry plane drop. Have some time to think it over though.

I am also having a bit of a dilemma here with something so please share your thoughts about it. I want to make sure that they understand what the elevator and rudder does to the plane. So I thought of installing some broken servos first to let them change the positions of the elevator and rudder and chuck the plane to see what happens. I thought of using broken servos because they will work for this and can't get damaged any more than what they already are
What is your thoughts about this?
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#19
What is your thoughts about this?
It might help as might a servo driven flight stand. This would allow the plane to pitch up and down as well as yaw with a wing drop and turn all on the top of a support pole. It could be set up in the home for them to practice at night and get used to some of the handling responses to control inputs!

Just a thought!

Have fun!
 

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#20
I thought of using broken servos because they will work for this and can't get damaged any more than what they already are. What's you take on this?
I think it's a great idea. The broken servo will hold the control surface at the place it's been moved to and the effect on flight should be immediately obvious. That's a fun and simple way to demonstrate effects that different surfaces have. I wouldn't worry too much about stressing flight theory, though. When my son was that age it would have been enough for him to learn that right rudder makes the plane turn right because the wind is pushing on it. Much more than that, and I'd lose his interest. He had to be constantly be "doing" to stay engaged.