Welcome to Jazzy's Flight Deck!

Are you a beginner RC airplane flier? If you are, I hope to provide valuable information to help you get off the ground! RC flying can be very frustrating, and this is quite normal, so don't let it stop you from enjoying this wonderful hobby! Once you get your plane up there, I promise you will be happy you did it! Please let me know if there's anything you'd like to see here or if you have any questions.

Aircraft listed in bold now have mini-reviews and/or videos.

Over and out!
jasmine2501 at "don'tspamme" netzero dot com

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Getting Started

OK, hopefully you came here before you bought anything. If you were smart like that, you should look into getting the GWS Slow Stick or the HobbyZone Super Cub. Those are the two best trainers out there and your local hobby shop should have them. The Super Cub is RTF(Ready to Fly) - meaning everything you need comes in one box. The Slow Stick is ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) - meaning you will have to buy a radio and a few other parts (this is detailed in my build log section - link on right side)

Before you buy anything, you should also check out the RCGroups beginners forum (link, right side of this page). Go there and register and read the "sticky" threads before you post. Don't ask what plane to start with... it's been asked and answered hundreds of times, and the answer is either Slow Stick if you want "real" stuff that you will be able to use on other planes in the future, and if you like building. The Super Cub is good if you don't like building and just want one complete plane that will get you up in the air fast. There are still some issues that you need to learn about before you toss it up in the air though - it is not "charge and fly" and many Super Cubs fly like crap out of the box - you will have to trim and balance it, so go to the forums and learn how to do that, or you will crash within seconds of takeoff. These things aren't easy to fly, and you should be prepared to crash, fix, crash, and fix again. If you're easily frustrated, this isn't a good hobby to get into. If you like to challenge yourself and learn something extremely rewarding, then it is a lot of fun. The Slow Stick will take a lot more abuse than the Super Cub, and once you finish building it, you'll know how to fix anything that you break.

You're going to spend about 200 bucks to do this right (probably more) but it is worth much more. If you want to go with the toy planes that are $40-$100 then pick any of the ones mentioned on the right side of this blog. I have tried some toy planes that aren't mentioned on here, and there's a reason why... they aren't worth buying. There are some VERY BAD toy planes out there, and all they do is crash and break, and I really wish that companies would stop making them. They scare people away from a hobby that can be very fulfilling if done right.

If you've already bought a plane, do yourself a favor and go to the forums mentioned above and get help to get your plane set up correctly before you try to fly it. If you've crashed it already, you know why I say this. If you haven't crashed it yet, you don't want to know why. If you are having trouble with a new plane and want to know why, the experts on the forums can tell you... just make sure you follow the rules when you post, be clear about what happened and exactly what plane you have. We'll get you all straightened out.

One last thing - if you know an experienced pilot who can train you, or if there is a model airplane club in your town - GO THERE and have them help you. A good trainer can teach you anything you need to know, and they should be willing to help set up your plane for you, they may have a plane of their own for you to fly, or they may simply teach you on your plane. They should not charge you for this, and if they ask for money, find someone else. There is no substitute for in-person help. Please don't get frustrated and trash your plane before you try these things!

Over and Out!


mtdoramike said...

WOW, great site and very helpful information. I sure wish I had found this site before crashing my first plane.

Also a very nice hanger also!

Happy flying,

udogigahertz said...

I agree: Very good and helpful information. Well done, jasmine.

Enjoy flying

docflash said...

excellent. so glad i found this page.

the last time i flew a model plane was in '59: a gas powered line controlled model i spent a month building that flew for about 4 seconds before doing 3/4 of a loop into the ground.

i've been bitten by the RC bug, and am about to buy my first real plane (bored w/ the aero ace) and the info here is very helpful. i'm looking for something maneuverable and stable enough for a small park (a triangle about 80 yards on each side) near my home in san francisco.

thanks for taking the time to do this, jasmine. good work!!

Frankinsmoke said...

thanks for the great article Jasmine. How would you rate the Multiplex EZ*(Easy Star)vs the Slow Stick

Jasmine said...

I don't actually have an Easy Star, but I think it is a good plane and flies like any other trainer. I think it might be a little easier to build because it is already built for you.

PinkLava said...

HI Jasmine!

I am not a flyer, but my hubby is a jet pilot and I always see him show interest in the "toy" planes/heli whenever we see them. I would really like to get him one for Christmas. I have read your suggestions on the Slow Stick and the Super Cub, I am just wondering if you would still suggest these to a Jet pilot? Basically I am wondering if I should get something a little more advanced or if it a totally different concept?

Jasmine said...

Full scale pilots generally love this hobby and do quite well with it, but they can be difficult to teach at first. I recommend starting with a trainer plane - there are some better ones available now (article is old). Full scale pilots have some advantages over regular folks, but they have some disadvantages too, and still benefit from starting with trainer planes, and getting instruction. Ask your husband what was the first plane he ever flew - his first RC plane should be similar in design (a Cessna 172, Piper Cub, etc). We are discussing this issue currently at RCGroups - see the link... Full scale pilot discussion