• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Tips for a newbie (experience talking)

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#42
Wow. What a great resource this has turned out be @mayan!

Pretty much everything has been covered at this point. Synopsis?

- It is wise to start with a Trainer model. Yes, it says trainer on the tag. That doesn't mean it's boring or slow to a new pilot. You'll find just the opposite, I assure you!

- The build is important. Make sure your right angles are right angles or that bird won't fly.

- SHARE! Sharing pictures of your build, and videos of your flights will not only allow others to help with something you didn't even realize was a problem, it well help others later, as well. Besides, you might actually inspire someone.

- Do NOT ignore safety. Common sense goes a long ways here. If you're thinking "I really should remove the prop first" then you should. If you're thinking "This is not a safe area or time to fly" then it is not.

- The throttle is not a switch. Your right thumb is going to be really busy, but don't neglect the left. Throttle level can change your entire flight experience.

- Do not forget that is an airplane! Check and double check angles on control surfaces, everything else and proper control surface movement. A simple adjustment can turn an instant crash into a full-battery flight.

- Learn to use your tools. Programming a decent trans is a learning process. Accept the fact, and be willing to learn it and your flying experience will be MUCH improved.

- Have spare parts, tools and tape on-hand. Having to drive home with full batteries just because you broke a prop or firewall really sucks.

- Don't be afraid to try! That may be the hardest tip of all of them to actually absorb. Remember that it is only foamboard, you can replace anything you are going to break for just a few bucks and the whole point of the endeavor is to have fun!

- If you are not having fun, you are doing it wrong. Throw up a thread, ask why, and we'll help you out.

Finally is my own personal tip. Get out there, fly the darn thing and Get Stupid With It! Get "three mistakes high" Do some circuits around your flying area, do some figure eights. Do nothing else your first couple times out. Then see what the darn bird can do! You are out there to have fun! Do loops and rolls and just throw the sticks around and pull out of it. Is that a recipe for disaster for a new pilot with a new plane? It can be. Most assuredly, it can be. But it is just so much darn FUN, and THAT is why we do this to begin with.

Don't be afraid to crash. It's going to happen. You'll have to fix stuff and maybe even rebuild. The electronics will most likely survive. The rest is just foamboard. Foam. Board. $1 a sheet and some glue and time. Get stupid with it and have some fun! That's my tip:

- Get stupid with it and have some fun!
 
Last edited:

mayan

Well-known member
#43
What a great resource this has turned out be @mayan!
First thanks, it was @Hai-Lee's idea :) so the credit is his. Not only that you've all pitched in to help :).

Don't be afraid to try! That may be the hardest tip of all of them to actually absorb. Remember that it is only foamboard, you can replace anything you are going to break for just a few bucks and the whole point of the endeavor is to have fun!
I left that one for you. I knew you'd throw it in :). Love you man.

So now you all also met the crazy guy (@buzzbomb) in the gang :).
 
Last edited:

kilroy07

Well-known member
#44
Most of my ideas and/or suggestions have already been covered, but I will add.

Feel free to add decorations to help you with orientation.
I personally like to use colored packing tape on the leading edge with Green on the right (Starboard) and Red on the left (Port) as international standards suggest.

Sometimes I simply add a stripe (or two) to one wing (always the same to be consistent, Left in my case.)

This especially helps when you are flying at yourself to remember which wing is which.
 

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#45
Most of my ideas and/or suggestions have already been covered, but I will add.

Feel free to add decorations to help you with orientation.
I personally like to use colored packing tape on the leading edge with Green on the right (Starboard) and Red on the left (Port) as international standards suggest.

Sometimes I simply add a stripe (or two) to one wing (always the same to be consistent, Left in my case.)

This especially helps when you are flying at yourself to remember which wing is which.
Absolutely! I forgot about that one. I like to use red and blue, down the length of the wing on the top and front to back on the bottom. Red is right. It works so well, you don't even realize that's how you are keeping orientation. It just works. (y)
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#46
Just 2 tips today!

Firstly when you have trimmed your plane and landed it after the maiden, you need to see what your plane is telling you! If the ailerons are not centred the plane has lift imbalance unless the rudder is trimmed to turn in the opposite direction. I have seen some horrible trim outcomes where the rudder has so much deflection that the ailerons are seriously deflected in opposition just to get it to fly level.

For my maiden I leave the rudder centred and do not trim. I let the ailerons tell me where any issue is and if it wishes to roll or turn. From the result I can inspect and possibly correct any warps or misalignment, if indicated. If it is just a wing profile issue I might introduce a little rudder trim to help bring the aileron trim back a little. What you do is your choice but the info is invaluable.

Similarly it the elevator is not centralised it could be that you are flying too nose or tail heavy BUT it could also be an indicator that the main wing incidence is not accurately set and you need to increase or decrease the incidence to return the plane to proper setup. Remember the main wing needs to support the weight of the plane and it does so by generating lift. A wing can generate more lift when its incidence angle is increased. So needing to trim in up elevator could mean that the main wing isn't generating enough lift for level flight at its current incidence angle. This needs to be considered in relation to how the plane flies flat and level. If it is flying with the tail slightly down or up then it is an incidence issue but if it flies perfectly level with a serious amount of trim offset on the elevator then I would revise the CG point I was using!

Secondly! Most wing stripes and the like appear black when the light is behind the plane or the plane is at distance. Make your tape markings for orientation different in layout on each wing not just simply different colours. Ideally the top of the wing and the bottom of the wing should be different colours also. For beginners I use a single band of black tape on a single wing, (top and bottom), and I paint the wings white on the underside and a high visibility colour on the top, (normally bright yellow). Once the Newbie learns the colour difference and the side where the stripe is located loss of orientation is severely reduced!

Just my thoughts and what I do here!

Have fun!
 

mayan

Well-known member
#47
Just 2 tips today!

Firstly when you have trimmed your plane and landed it after the maiden, you need to see what your plane is telling you! If the ailerons are not centred the plane has lift imbalance unless the rudder is trimmed to turn in the opposite direction. I have seen some horrible trim outcomes where the rudder has so much deflection that the ailerons are seriously deflected in opposition just to get it to fly level.

For my maiden I leave the rudder centred and do not trim. I let the ailerons tell me where any issue is and if it wishes to roll or turn. From the result I can inspect and possibly correct any warps or misalignment, if indicated. If it is just a wing profile issue I might introduce a little rudder trim to help bring the aileron trim back a little. What you do is your choice but the info is invaluable.

Similarly it the elevator is not centralised it could be that you are flying too nose or tail heavy BUT it could also be an indicator that the main wing incidence is not accurately set and you need to increase or decrease the incidence to return the plane to proper setup. Remember the main wing needs to support the weight of the plane and it does so by generating lift. A wing can generate more lift when its incidence angle is increased. So needing to trim in up elevator could mean that the main wing isn't generating enough lift for level flight at its current incidence angle. This needs to be considered in relation to how the plane flies flat and level. If it is flying with the tail slightly down or up then it is an incidence issue but if it flies perfectly level with a serious amount of trim offset on the elevator then I would revise the CG point I was using!

Secondly! Most wing stripes and the like appear black when the light is behind the plane or the plane is at distance. Make your tape markings for orientation different in layout on each wing not just simply different colours. Ideally the top of the wing and the bottom of the wing should be different colours also. For beginners I use a single band of black tape on a single wing, (top and bottom), and I paint the wings white on the underside and a high visibility colour on the top, (normally bright yellow). Once the Newbie learns the colour difference and the side where the stripe is located loss of orientation is severely reduced!

Just my thoughts and what I do here!

Have fun!
I have a tip in regards to this. When you get an answer from @Hai-Lee read the answer and then reread it and then do it again. So much valuable information in his answers that sometimes you have to read the answer a few times to grasp all the information he tossed at you.
 

Fluburtur

Cardboard Boy
#49
Don't put too much effort in some planes, breaking a plane that tooks weeks to build and looks beautiful is still rather annoying but smashing a beater that took a day to build and can easily be repaired isn't much of an issue (I need to work on that myself, I spend more time and effort than I should on some projects)
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#50
Most of my ideas and/or suggestions have already been covered, but I will add.

Feel free to add decorations to help you with orientation.
I personally like to use colored packing tape on the leading edge with Green on the right (Starboard) and Red on the left (Port) as international standards suggest.

Sometimes I simply add a stripe (or two) to one wing (always the same to be consistent, Left in my case.)

This especially helps when you are flying at yourself to remember which wing is which.
To add to that, our trainer planes that we have in the club all have a bit of colored tape on the leading edge on top of the wing, but not on the underside of the wing. This is done to help new pilots see that the plane is coming down level or even on a down slope. So many new pilots have a hard time seeing that the plane is on a downward angle, and can't figure out why they're coming in high for shooting their landing. Having the visual cue to see 50 yards away that the wing is, indeed, on a downward angle, makes a huge difference in landings. It might seem like a silly little thing, but believe me, when you're learning to land for the first time, it makes a WORLD of difference. :)
 

Jimun

Well-known member
#51
I am thinking of doing is making a cheat sheet - a check list - for when I change setups and when I check my CRAP. I need to slow down and not be in a hurry to get back up and miss a setting or damage to my plane and then fly uncontrolled like I did a few times in this series of videos:
Flite Test Tiny Trainer 1st Time 4 Channel Flying, this will take you to the first video of 1 of 7.
I offer this tip per @mayan 's encouragement.
 

mayan

Well-known member
#52
I am thinking of doing is making a cheat sheet - a check list - for when I change setups and when I check my CRAP. I need to slow down and not be in a hurry to get back up and miss a setting or damage to my plane and then fly uncontrolled like I did a few times in this series of videos:
Flite Test Tiny Trainer 1st Time 4 Channel Flying, this will take you to the first video of 1 of 7.
I offer this tip per @mayan 's encouragement.
I’d love to see what you come up with.
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#53
Something else that I want to add to this thread that I have experienced.

Make sure you pick the right type of prop for your motor. My experience from this centers around the use of drone props on airplanes using electric motors. There is nothing wrong with using a drone prop on a motor that you are using on an electric RC plane. Drone props may not be as durable as some props for RC planes, but they are a dime a dozen most of the time so it's good to have a nice stash when you break one. Nothing sucks more than to break a prop and not have any spares, having a bunch of drone props is a good thing. However there is one thing to watch out for when using drone props:

AVOID the dreaded bullnose style drone props. I found this out the hard way. Luckily before it could've caused any damage. A bullnose prop is a prop where the tip is flat with a slight roundness to it...like that of a bull's nose. It won't be pointy like we commonly see on plane propellers. In comparison a bullnose prop will use more amps and generate more heat on the motor than a standard plane prop of the same size/pitch. So much more potential to fry something. Here is a link to a bullnose prop so you know what to look for:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B1GLRV2/?tag=lstir-20
 

Vimana89

Well-known member
#54
Great tips! Glad to hear you will be getting a proper transmitter soon, it will make the planes you already fly run so much smoother and give you more control of how they handle, plus open up a bunch of other types of planes you just couldn't fly before. I may write a guide or article for all the newbie stuff I've learned soon. Here's a couple big ones for me I'll add here: 1.) If you are very new, try a free sim! Crashing costs nothing, try different styles of plane, and get good. It won't be 100% like flying in real life but close enough to get a huge head start.2.) Basic training and trainer planes are best without safe mode.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#55
Great tips! Glad to hear you will be getting a proper transmitter soon, it will make the planes you already fly run so much smoother and give you more control of how they handle, plus open up a bunch of other types of planes you just couldn't fly before. I may write a guide or article for all the newbie stuff I've learned soon. Here's a couple big ones for me I'll add here: 1.) If you are very new, try a free sim! Crashing costs nothing, try different styles of plane, and get good. It won't be 100% like flying in real life but close enough to get a huge head start.2.) Basic training and trainer planes are best without safe mode.
Sims are great because you can practice in ANY weather - if it's snowing outside, you can get a flight in. If it's storming or breezy, you can fly. If it's too dark to see outside, you can put a bird up in the sky in full daylight in the sim. As you said, it's not 100% perfect, but it's a lot easier to "repair" in the sim and at least gain muscle memory, especially when it comes to orientation (i.e., when flying upside down, down is up, and up is expensive!)
 

Vimana89

Well-known member
#56
Here's one. When something goes wrong with a maiden launch, and it's not some fluke or brain fart like put the prop on backwards or didn't save channel reversals, it is almost always one of the "big three" issues. 1.) weight/wing loading,2.) CG, 3.) Thrust angle. These are the three places I always start when I troubleshoot a bad maiden.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#57
I have had three channel reversal maidens. I thought I had set them all up right on the bench, but I had been up too late or looking at them from the wrong direction. DOUBLE CHECK and TRIPLE CHECK control directions. I nearly lost a plane due to channels being reversed then going back again when I switched it to a new transmitter.
When I worked in an air traffic control training college (not in any important position at all) there was a sign that read “assume makes an ass out of you and me.”