a guest post by Eddy Murano
There are very few things as enjoyable on a nice sunny day as taking out your remote control airplane and having a nice leisurely flight. If you happen to take your kids along they will have a great time and it will also make for a great family experience as well.
Some people think of RC airplanes as toys and some of them are. But other RC airplanes are complex and state of the art machines that rival the performance and appearance of their real life counterparts. From small 2 channel basic airplanes to full function jet engine fighters, the hobby has them all!
Contrary to popular belief, flying one of these airplanes is not difficult. It does take some practice and it helps if you have a little upfront knowledge and insight as far as what you are going to encounter and that is where this book will come in handy.
A lot of people spend a lot of money on their planes only to have them sit on a shelf because they don’t have the first clue how to get them up in the air and back down in one piece. Well, we are going to show you how to do all that in this article. By following the simple tips provided on this page you will get a great start on great hobby and leisure activity
First, you should buy a trainer that is easily repairable, in case of damage. To have a crash is common, especially in the initial days of training and learning. Hence, your plane should be easy to repair and not take away the fun from your hobby. Secondly, buy a trainer, whose parts are readily available, so that in case you need to replace a part, you don’t have to wait till you lose interest in flying, before getting the spare part.
- Get lots of practice with an RC flight simulator that uses your RC controller, and it will be almost a non-issue. For about $100, you can own a realistic training aid that can teach you all the basic tasks of flight. Although flying a model airplane might look easy, it isn’t. In fact, flying an RC plane is in some ways harder to learn than flying a “real” plane. That’s because when the plane is flying toward you, you’ve got to reverse the stick commands – you need to turn “left” to make the plane go right- and so on. Practice on a simulator, and it will be second nature after a few hours. Buying a simulator can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in crashes that won’t happen. I’ll recommend the best simulators in this book.
- Start with the basics before attempting difficult stunts like loops, rolls or inverted flying.
- Get lessons from an experienced hobbyist. Believe it or not, you can get flying lessons absolutely free at RC clubs across the United States. I urge you to join your local chapter of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, the AMA. More on that later.
- Find a proper flying field with safety protocols or a very large empty car park and ‘fly’ the plane without letting leave the ground. In other words, you are just steering it and getting used to adjusting speed and operating the control surfaces. When you are confident at that take it to a large flat park and fly it. Landing is the tricky part but you can practice flying in low and level a few times beforehand. Also google for any RC Flying Clubs in your area. Here’s the biggest reason to join the AMA-you’ll get access to a dedicated flying field. Plus, membership in the AMA includes an insurance policy covering you for liability, medical expenses, fire and theft.
- Read the instructions properly, before assembling the parts together, if you are planning to assemble your RC plane. This will enable you to learn without crashing your plane often and it will also be affordable for you to replace the plane in case of a major crash.
- Test and re-test your batteries before putting your electric RC plane in the air. Without battery power, your plane will transform into a pilotless glider–and a poor one at that. You do not want to risk engine failure. Check your batters and be certain that their fully recharged before taking off. Otherwise, you may be a witness to a costly and thoroughly disheartening RC plane crash.
- Determine wind direction by throwing some pieces of grass or light material into the air. Fly remote control airplanes into the wind for optimal performance.
- When landing remote control airplanes, first take note of the wind direction to land into the wind. Reduce power slowly, allowing the airplane to almost glide on its own. Cut the throttle when it is 5 feet from the ground.
- Never fly on a very windy day. Determine approximate wind speed by tying a ribbon to the end of the transmitter’s antenna. Hold the controller parallel to the ground. If the ribbon is parallel to the ground, it’s too windy. If the ribbon is less than 30 degrees, then it is okay to fly.
- If launching by hand, a friend can launch the plane for you so you can keep your hands on the controls at all times.
BONUS TIP Crashes are inevitable. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get it right the first few times. Just keep practicing to improve your flying skills.