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Thread: Flight School: Let's get ready to FLY!

  1. #1

    Flight School: Let's get ready to FLY!

    Like everything else, today's radio controlled (RC) airplanes have evolved. You are starting to explore a wonderful array of easily set up, easy to fly, very stable and forgiving aircraft that bring joy and amazement to everyone. It is a sport. Everyone knows you "start out" in a sport with a path to progress and eventual greatness. Let's get started!

    This sport is grounded in a rich history of hand crafted kits, model aircraft builders who invested countless hours in a labor of love, looking forward to the "flying season" when they would see for themselves how their airplane would perform. Fast-forward to this moment, when the beginner and first-time flyer is opening a box filled with flight tested, ready-to-fly technology. New materials and designs make this flying experience easy. Modern radio controlled aircraft can be smaller, lighter and quieter, with powerful electric motors that eliminate messy and loud glow engines and practically spring out of the box, ready to fly. With slower top speeds and more forgiving flight dynamics, recreational pilots and their families have fun in local parks and smaller areas like baseball diamonds and football fields. Called "park flyers" these sport pilots can fly in any open space like a pasture, field, or school playground. RC is finally for everyone.

    The designated RC aircraft flying field is where an organized Flight Club and more experienced pilots gather. Anyone is welcome, and Club members want to include you in their passion. Here you find the large scale RC aircraft, which because of their size, complexity, and speed can test your talent and create quite a show. These beautiful scale models give you a vision for just how far you can go in this hobby.

    But today, you're a beginner, about to have a great experience and enjoy the thrill of flight for many years. With safety as a priority, our Flight Advisor Notes are designed to expose you to simple secrets that will open the potential of this sport to you and your family.

    Flight Advisor Notes:

    Picking the best plane to start with - so many choices!
    When shopping for RC aircraft, keep this in mind: if it looks fast, slick, and sporty, it probably is. Like an untamed horse, it will have lots of spirit and be harder to control. New pilots should be focused on developing a new set of reflexes, which requires experience, and experience is a function of time. First time flyers invest time to learn what the aircraft is doing, time to respond with the correct input into the transmitter, and time at the controls to hone their skills.

    Flight Advisor: For your first RC airplane, don't buy a scale model war plane, skip the aerobatic "foamie" and ignore that RC Jet, because they fly like they look (fast, slick & sporty) and they don't know that you are NEW to the sport! Many of these sleek and aerodynamic models can be purchased Ready To Fly (RTF). Getting them into the air is easy, but controlling them is a challenge without prior flight experience and those all-important reflexes.

    Flight Advisor: Your first RC airplane needs to be a flight friendly trainer. An aircraft that will give you time to react, time to learn and lots of time at the controls. It's so much fun! Consider these important aspects when choosing your first RC plane.

    Can You Fix It? We learn when we crash and we all crash, at least for a while, then experience kicks in. The question is, how fast and how inexpensively will you get flying again? You learned to ride a bicycle. You know that it took some bumps and bruises to get good at it. Your training airplane will get damaged at some point. Pilots don't get frustrated, they become modelers.

    Check out our answer to that "Crash Anxiety" that keeps some from starting in RC. "Fear of making mistakes" is experienced by everyone new to RC flight. The Hobby Lobby Always Flying™ Guarantee means you can just get out there and fly! NO FEAR!

    Flight Advisor: The best choice for trainer aircraft share these attributes: a lighter aircraft means less damage in a crash, go for the fewest parts possible, something made of durable materials that are quick and easy to mend or replace - and, you need easy access to spare parts to get your airplane back in the air.

    Flight Advisor Review: Choose a plane to learn with that meets these requirements:

    * Fewer Parts - Less to go wrong or get broken while learning to fly.
    * Durable/Repairable Materials - Survive crashes better with tough materials and in the case of damage, return to flying with a little glue.
    * Lighter/Less Mass - Big aircraft and large mass means higher impact. Learn to fly on something lightweight.
    * Parts Availability - It is likely that at some point a part will not be repairable and will require replacement. That needs to be easy to do. A spare wing, landing gear, or wheels will keep you flying. No need to replace your whole plane - just the parts!
    * Safety - Make sure that you have a battery safety bag for transportation and storage if the plane you are flying uses LiPo batteries.

    Aircraft Stability
    Based on the fundamental design of a plane, some fly easily and others don't. If you know other RC pilots, you can ask their opinion based on their experience, but if you don't have access to experienced model pilots, you can still make very good assessments of the stability of a model based on your own examination. Just look at the main wing and the length to the tail: if the wing angles up from center (where the wing meets the fuselage) to tip off at 5 degrees or more AND the length to the tail is good and long, you can be confident you are looking at a solid candidate for your trainer. Higher performance aircraft have more control options and that means more control surfaces, which might make you think it will be easier to fly, but it usually adds complexity. Keep it simple. Learn to fly.

    Control Configuration And Setup
    The ability to control and direct your trainer plane depends on throttle control and the angles that the control surfaces can make (called control "throws") at the elevator and rudder. If the surfaces of the elevator and rudder are small or they don't pivot very far, then they will make the trainer aircraft less responsive and more difficult to control. Choose a model that has competent control angles as a first priority. If you are considering aircraft that have the added aileron control, know that, while not a bad thing at all, aileron controls add complexity to the learning experience. On the positive side, they can help prepare you for the more sophisticated airplanes you will fly in the future.

    Accessories (Bundles, Kits, and Bargains)
    Before you buy, look for the bundles, combo-packs, or kits for the aircraft you like best. When you can get everything you need in one package, it gets you flying sooner and costs less overall. You will find that many trainer airplanes include:

    * Basic 3 or 4 channel radio control transmitter
    * Electric motor
    * Forgiving flight requires the correct pitch propeller
    * Electronic Speed Control (ESC)
    * Servos (they move the elevator, rudder, and ailerons)
    * Switch harness (On/Off switch for the radio system)
    * Battery Pack
    * Battery Safety Bag
    * Battery Charger

    Learn To Fly! Don't waste time and money on silly toy store "kid safe" RC-For-Tots. Get your first REAL RC plane with the Always Flying™ Guarantee exclusively from Hobby Lobby - the leader in Radio Control Sports!

    Flight Advisor: On your flight day, check to make sure your transmitter and receiver batteries are charged up (top-em-off!). The transmitter has an indicator light confirming that your radio controls are flight ready and it should show ready. Be sure to perform a Range Check on the radio system before your first flight, by turning on the transmitter and turning on the plane. Collapse the antenna and walk away from the plane (about 25 yards), moving the sticks as you walk away (except for the throttle stick!). You are making sure that you are not getting any interference in the signal. Have fun.

    Well, that's what you need to know to make your decision on trainer airplanes. Naturally, Hobby Lobby has incorporated all the best practices in creating our Always Flying™ package below. Our commitment to your success shows in our Always Flying™ First Year Guarantee. For the first year of flight, Hobby Lobby International will give you any part you break on your Always Flying™ set up, free of charge. Of course, there is a catch! We want a photo and the story behind your crash. We want to be there with you. We want to experience that first crater job. That means your Flight Advisor approved story is good for some FREE parts! You pay only for shipping WHEN you tell us the story of the wreck, the wind gust, moving tree or rapidly rising ground surface that broke your aircraft (we know it's not your fault!). Visit our Crash Photos and Details Section below (coming soon!) to send a photo and your interesting sob story. If you have video of the crash, you get FREE SHIPPING! To get your replacement parts, all you have to do is tell everyone how it happened.

    We are your Wing Man. We are in it for your success and enjoyment. Nothing is as thrilling as your first sweet 3 point landing after a dizzying flight. We are committed to your continued growth in this sport and enjoy welcoming you to the flight line.

    So join in and start your flight experience now!

    Flight Advisor: Choose the package below that is right for you:

    Are you ready to get started in R/C?
    Beginner RC Flight Simulator with Airplane Coupon Beginners Trainer RC Airplane with Guarantee RC Flight Simulator with Wing Dragon HL Always Flying Combo

    Always Flying™ Guarantee

    For the first year of flight, Hobby Lobby International will give you any part you break on your Always Flying™ Airplane, free of charge. Of course, there is a catch! We want a photo and the story behind your crash. We want to be there with you. We want to experience that first crater job. That means your Flight Advisor approved story is good for some FREE parts! * You pay only for shipping WHEN you tell us the story of the wreck, the wind gust, moving tree or rapidly rising ground surface that broke your aircraft (we know it's not your fault). Visit our Always Flying™ Section to send a photo and your interesting sob story. If you have video of the wreck, you get FREE SHIPPING! To get your replacement parts, all you have to do is tell everyone how it happened, call us to order your parts and email photos of the crash. Standard shipping charges apply unless you have video!

    Customer Testimonials

    Thank you for your service

    I'm deployed to Afghanistan with the U.S. Army. I ordered a Wing Dragon HL from you only 10 days ago and I already received and have flown it. When I'm not on a combat patrol, being able to escape to my hobby is a really good way to feel like I'm at home. Thank you for the great and prompt service. I fully intend to continue shopping with you as my hobby progresses. Thanks again.

    John R.


    Aloha from Hawaii

    I entered this hobby on a whim when I saw an ad for the HL WingDragon trainer. I happened to pick up a copy of FlyRC magazine at my local WalMart almost 4 years ago and was amazed at the technology of RC aircraft. I decided to try to teach myself to fly. So I picked up the phone and ordered my first RC airplane ever! The gentleman from HL assured me that the WingDragon was a smart choice to learn on. Well, as I didn’t have a single clue as to how to actually fly, even the WingDragon was tough. My first flight lasted a whole 8 seconds. I kept trying and got the thing to do 2 complete circuits around the park. As expected, I beat this thing so badly it would not fly anymore. I had damaged a servo beyond repair. I called HL to inquire about a replacement servo. The same gentleman said he’d send out what I needed to get back in training. Well, 3 days later the box shows up... This amazing customer support for a brand new flier not only happened once but twice. Yes, twice I received the parts I needed to get back in the air... Not only that, I made countless calls to tech support and their encouragement and technical advice kept me from giving up from my frustration to teach myself how to fly. Now here I am 4 years later and I’m a certified RC nut. I’ve built my own foamies, and flown many HL aircraft including helicopters (that’s a completely different story in itself)... Hobby Lobby continues to amaze me with the extent they are willing to go to satisfy the customer. If Hobby Lobby has an item I need or want, they will always have my business first. Occasionally I may find a similar item cheaper elsewhere, but I never had the same level of satisfaction from anyone else. In the end, I’m still in this hobby because of Hobby Lobby. Exceptional customer service, you can never place a price tag on that. Thank you Hobby Lobby, definitely the “best stuff for over 40 years”.

    Stephen S.
    Kauai, Hawaii


    Happy 13th Birthday

    I wanted to thank you for your help and focus in getting the WingDragon sent out and delivered to me... It was my son's 13th birthday present, and it arrived literally right after dinner on his birthday. We cut it so close, and he is completely thrilled and can't wait to go out together with me and learn to fly. I very much appreciate it.


  2. #2

    Re: Flight School: Let's get ready to FLY!

    Good stuff Jason

  3. #3

    Training Instructions

    YOU can fly a Radio Controlled model airplane NOW
    if you will follow these instructions.

    YOU will learn how to fly INSTANTLY if you choose the right airplane and follow a few suggestions!

    Someone might have told you that you need an instructor to teach you how to fly RC airplanes. You don't! The guy who gave you that advice probably learned to fly all by himself. You DON'T need an instructor if you choose the right airplane to start with. There are plenty of true "beginner" airplanes. They are usually electric powered gliders, slowflyers, and parkflyers. And these beginner airplanes are such good flyers that most of them are bought by long-time RC experts, not beginners!

    1. Understand how an airplane flies. Here’s how airplanes fly: When the wing moves forward the air lifts it. Too slow, no lift and it falls out of the air -- it stalls. So, it needs flying SPEED either from a motor and propeller, or by descending and gliding. The wing is lifting all the time it's moving forward -- whether it’s upside down, in a turn, inverted, or doing acrobatics -- there is always lift from the wing even though the lift might not be straight UP as it is in level flight. The airplane makes right or left turns by tilting in the direction of the turn so that some of the wing’s lift is angled partly to the left or right. To turn an airplane you tilt the wings with the ailerons or with the rudder in the direction you want to turn. To make the airplane go UP you give an UP command to the elevator. The elevator surface angles UP and the air that’s hitting it blows the tail DOWN and the nose UP. When the airplane goes UP it slows down. If it goes too slow the lift stops and the airplane falls -- stalls.

    You turn an airplane differently than a car or a boat: when you tilt the airplane’s wing in the direction that you want it to turn, the airplane will continue to turn as long as the wing is tilted in that direction. But you will NOT be holding the control stick in the direction of the turn (as you would on the steering wheel of a car) -- you will have the control stick near NEUTRAL during the turn. To STOP the airplane from turning you move the control stick in the opposite direction from the turn so that the wings level out. "Beginner's" airplanes have a built-in tendency to automatically come back to level flight if you let go of the control stick.

    2. Pick out an airplane that can fly all by itself without you controlling it. Don’t pick a low-wing, aerobatic airplane. The best choices are slowflyers, parkflyers, or gliders that use electric motors for power. Gliders can glide straight ahead all by themselves (if they do not have a warped wing -- see below) without you doing any controlling from the radio transmitter. If you want to fly without an instructor these glider type airplanes will fly themselves while you are trying to figure out how to make them go some other direction. You need this stability while you learn how to fly. The second best choice is a non-glider (powered airplane) that has the wing on the top of the fuselage and which is advertised to be a good training airplane.

    3. Make SURE that these following things are correct BEFORE each flight:

    A. The balance point MUST be where the airplane’s designer intended. Don’t be afraid to add lead weights to either the nose or the tail to MAKE the airplane balance where it is supposed to. If you think that the required weight to achieve the correct balance point (sometimes called "CG" -- Center of Gravity) is too much, you’re wrong -- USE WHATEVER WEIGHTS ARE NECESSARY TO MAKE THE AIRPLANE BALANCE WHERE IT’S SUPPOSED TO!

    B. The wing must not be warped, and it helps your flying if the wing should have something called "washout". Fasten the wing onto the airplane. Set the airplane on a table and walk off to the rear of it. Look back at the airplane from an eye position where you can see just a bit of the BOTTOM of the entire wing. If you see MORE bottom wing surface on, let’s say, the left wing, then your airplane will tend to turn left even when you have the aileron or rudder control in neutral. Remove that warp before you try to fly the airplane.

    "Washout": this is an intentional and desirable warp of the wing near each wing tip. Usually this warp is done to the outer 20% of the wing toward each wing tip. From the rear of the airplane you should see a little more of the BOTTOM of the wing near both wing tips. Why is this "washout" good? It helps the outer parts of the wing continue flying straight ahead during the beginning of a stall. This means that your airplane will stall straight ahead instead of rolling over on its back or side when it stalls and that rolling over might be impossible to recover from.

    4. Choose a BIG flying field for your first flights. Don't try to fly in your street even if the airplane is capable of flying in such a restricted area. You will need lots of open and unobstructed space for your first flights.

    5. Always takeoff and land your airplane into the wind.

    6. If you hand launch your airplane throw it hard into the wind and throw it straight ahead, not up.

    7. If you take off from a ground roll let the airplane build up so much speed on the ground before you signal "UP" elevator, that you KNOW that the airplane has enough speed to fly. When it leaves the ground try to climb at a very small angle, not abruptly upwards which could cause loss of airspeed and a stall.

    8. Give very little UP elevator as your airplane starts to take off. Most beginning modelers try to climb too steeply which makes their airplane slow down, stall, then crash.

    9. Don’t try any turns until the airplane is very high. Mostly climb straight ahead with only gentle turns.

    10. Practice gentle turns high in the air before you try to land. Practice "landings" while high in the air so you get a good idea of the airplane's stalling (fall-out-of-the-sky) speed. If the airplane stalls just give a bit of DOWN elevator and the airplane will be flying again.

    11. When the airplane flies TOWARD you, turn your body a bit so you can imagine "right" and "left" from the airplane's point of view. This will prevent you getting confused about which way to turn your airplane.

    12. Don’t try to land in a specific spot, avoid turns when the airplane is low. Just let your airplane glide into the ground straight ahead. The bigger the field for your first flight, the greater will be your chances for success.

  4. #4

    Re: Flight School: Let's get ready to FLY!

    Hello all,
    Im really excited to get back into flying RC Planes, the last time i did this was almost 25 years ago.
    I was a young Marine in Okanawa Japan. A friend got me into the hobby. I stick built my first plane, i believe it was a telemaster. Had a small gas eng. and was R/E controled. Well i bought a Mini Telemaster which looks like the one i had 25 years ago. I am going to start on it soon so wish me luck. Im sure i will have many questions.
    Chopper John.

  5. #5

    Re: Flight School: Let's get ready to FLY!

    Sounds great! Welcome to the addiction.

  6. #6

    Re: Flight School: Let's get ready to FLY!

    Ok i need some help, does anyone have step by step photos on how to put the elevator and rudder together on a mini telemaster. the paper plans and the written instruction realy dont show me anything. im confused, please help.
    Chopper John

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jay Burkart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Smithfield KY

    Re: Flight School: Let's get ready to FLY!

    SAM Grand Champion 2004.07,10,12

  8. #8

    Re: Flight School: Let's get ready to FLY!

    Thanks Jay, Good info there, everything already had the covering on it, and im stick building, and unsure of what holds the elevators on the the stabilazer. and the rudder too. the plans say something about hinges but im lost. i work better if i can see photos. like the old saying a photo is worth a thousand words.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jay Burkart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Smithfield KY

    Re: Flight School: Let's get ready to FLY!


    I'm sorry but we do not have a photo instruction set for any of the Telemasters.
    That is not a very good beginners building kit.
    The hinges that are used are something like these: ... 5_prd1.htm
    There is a good beginners forum on showing and helping with the basics
    of building.
    Here is that URL: ... lectric-8/
    The AMA library also has some good books on basic building too, you can look there.
    Jay Burkart
    SAM Grand Champion 2004.07,10,12

  10. #10

    Re: Flight School: Let's get ready to FLY!

    Thanks again Jay, i will order some hinges, I built one of these about 25 years ago, but had someone there to help me, I do like building these, all most as much fun as flying them. Thanks again, and im sure i will have more questions.
    Chopper John

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