Saturday, July 15, 2006

Flying Tips for Electric Rc Airplanes.

I've been flying electric rc airplanes for awhile now and there's one thing a beginner pilot can always count on, you will crash many many many times. Its not a question of if, but when. In order to save you a lot of money in repairs or replacement planes, here are some flying tips I've found useful.

1. Always fly in an open field. Soccer fields, football fields, school yards and your local park are great places to fly. When you don't fly in open fields you risk crashing into tree branches, buildings, on rooftops and even the pavement. All of those things are very unforgiving to a plastic airplane.

2. Never fly on windy days. The best days to fly are when there's no wind or very little. The bigger the plane you have, the more stable it will be. The wind can knock around smaller planes more easily than larger ones.

3. Never fly into the sun. You'll almost always lose sight of your airplane.

4. Wait until you've climbed a good 40-50 feet before executing turns. Sometimes when you turn, the plane will lose altitude, execute a turn to low and you may not be able to pull it up in time.

5. Try not to fly your plane over rooftops or trees until you become more experienced. Often times you'll think your high enough to pass over them, but your not. The farther your flying away from you, the harder it is to gage how high you are.

6. Flying electric rc airplanes is a lot like driving rc cars, but a little more difficult. Often times when your trying to turn, the plane doesn't respond right away. Give it a second or two and then it should start to turn.

7. Give yourself plenty of distance for take offs and landings. It takes time for a plane to climb and descend..

8. Flying electric rc airplanes is a lot of fun, but its difficult to learn on your own. If you want to get good fast, take lessons from an instructor. Most clubs have experienced flyers that are more than delighted to help out beginners.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Flight Story that Ended in Tragedy.

Last weekend I took my aerobird challenger out flying. The weather conditions were perfect. I have two aerobird challengers and I couldn't get one to fly. I spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out whats wrong with it, but it never left the ground.

I got out the other plane and it took off immediately. I must of had that plane close to 100 yards in the air above me. I was flying it in circles, but when you get up that high its hard to tell what the planes doing. It could have been flying upside down for all I knew.

Then it happened. For about 5 seconds, I noticed the plane was not responding to my controls. And then it went into a nose dive and came crashing into the ground. The impact was so loud, I think the neighbors across the street probably heard it.

I figured out the battery pack went dead and of course when that happens the propellar stops spinning and you have no control over the steering functions.

Needless to say, it was a spectacular site. It stinks that I have to get a new plane, but I'll just take it as a lessoned learned the hard way.

Tip: Carry a stop watch with when your flying. If your battery pack only last about 12
minutes, bring your plane down soon after 10.

Never fly to high where you can't see what the planes doing very well.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Rc Airplane Links

Here are some rc airplane resources you might find useful.

Thirty Thousand Feet - Aviation Directory RC Plane Guide--Extensive guide to learning to how to fly and how to select your first rc plane,helicopter,jet,car truck & boat.An informative general rc site,good for reviews, How To, and sources of value priced RC products of any type !"

Recreation and Hobby Directory Directory listings of radio controlled modelling and hobby related websites broken down into categories
of boats, dollhouse miniatures, horses, rairoads, radio controlled,
rockets and more.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Hobbyzone Electric Rc Airplanes

If you’re buying your first rc airplane, you may want to consider getting a plane made by Hobbyzone. Most of the hobby shops I’ve visited carry their models and their relatively inexpensive compared to other manufacturers. Their cheapest plane, The Firebird Scout only cost $45.00 and from what I’ve heard, it flies pretty good.

I got my first plane from them. It was the Fire Bird Commander 2 and it cost $99.00. Their last two planes are the Aerobird Challenger and the Aerobird Xtreme. Both are capable of acrobatic maneuvers and sell for $110.00 and $190.00 respectively.

One of the coolest things about their planes is that you can buy additional accessories for them. One accessory they offer is called a drop module. It’s a paratrooper that attaches to the bottom of the airplane. While you’re in flight, theirs a button on the remote control that when pressed, releases the guy from the plane. His shoot opens and he comes gliding back down to the earth.

They also have bombs you can drop to practice hitting ground targets, but one of the neatest modules they offer is their aerial combat module. With it, you can engage in air warfare with another Hobbyzone airplane. It works by shooting out a sonic signal when you’re behind the plane you’re engaging temporarily shutting down your opponents engine.

The only complaint I have about their airplanes is they can’t be flown in windy conditions. This applies to most planes, but Hobbyzone planes in particular should only be flown when the wind speed is 5 mph or less. Any more and you’ll have a difficult time controlling their planes.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Getting Started with Electric Rc Airplanes

Your first plane doesn't need to cost a fortune. The first plane I bought cost $99.00. I haven't done much research, but I don't think you'll find one much cheaper than that. But it was $99.00 well spent. My first plane had a range of half a mile. Imagine being able to fly a plane a half a mile away from you. It also had a computer chip inside it that would level out the plane if it entered a steep dive preventing it from crashing. That's an excellent feature to have for beginners.

Never buy electric rc airplanes from a toy store. Always buy them from a hobby shop. If your local hobby shop doesn't carry them, they can also be bought online.

Ready to fly electric rc airplanes are a great choice to start out with. They call them ready to fly because they come with everything you need to get started: the plane, remote control, charger, and batteries. Another nice thing about them, is ready to fly electric rc airplanes only take about 5 minutes to put together.

Its best to start out with a two-channel plane. Electric rc airplanes come in three channels, two channel, three channel, and four channel. Three channel and four channel planes give you more control and you can perform acrobatic maneuvers with them like barrel rolls and loops, but there more difficult to fly. The are best left to more experienced flyers.

When you buy your first plane, you may want to consider getting a second battery pack. Flight times vary depending on the type of plane you buy, but usually the batteries only last about 12-18 minutes.

One more thing, always fly your plane in an open field. The reason is, while your learning to fly you will crash many many many times. It's not a question of if, but when. At least in an open field you don't have to worry about crashing into rooftops, tree branches, or into the pavement. Electric rc airplanes are designed to withstand crashes, but they can only take so much. This can be an expensive hobby when you don't fly in open fields. I find that soccer fields, football fields, schoolyards and even your local park make ideal flying places.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

My First Experience with Electric Rc Airplanes

I remember it like it wasy yesterday. It was a Saturday afternoon and my dad was telling me about a guy he had met a couple of days ago named Barnard. He said Barnard has a couple of electric rc airplanes he flies at the elementary school down the road and that if we wanted to we could come out and watch him. I didn't have anything else to do, so I agreeed to go.

Prior to this, I didn't know much about electric rc airplanes. My dad bought me one several years ago from Toys R Us, but I could never get it to fly. I would hand toss it and it would immediately go into a nosedive and crash into the ground. So I wasn't expecting much from Barnard's planes.

We arrived at the school and I met Barnard and he showed us this beaten up little plane he had. If I recall, it was called the Fire Bird. It was a fierce name for a plane that looked so beaten up. The tail wing had been replaced and was remade out of ballace wood. The nose had dents on the sides indicating it had crashed on several occassions. The wingspan was about 2 feet long and it had a funny looking propeller behind the wings. From the sight of it, I didn't think the plane would ever leave the ground.

Barnard talked to us about the electric rc airplanes he had for a few minutes and from his enthusiasm, you knew he loved flying them. Shortly after that he started the propeller and hand tossed the plane a couple of seconds later. I couldn't believe my eyes; this little beaten up plane was actually flying. At first, it was about 20 feet off the ground and it was circling us overhead, but a short time later, it was towering above the treetops. I thought this was the coolest thing ever. This little plane is actually flying. Unfortunately, after a couple of minutes of flight time, the plane crashed into a tree branch and got stuck. We had a heck of a time getting it down. We spent more time trying to get the plane out of the tree, then the plane had been in the air. But I didn't care, I was hooked. I remeber thinking these electric rc airplanes are amazing.

I knew at that moment I had to have one. I figured they must be expensive, after all, I've had rc cars that once they've gone 20 feet away from you, they no longer respond to the remote control. There's no way that electric rc airplanes that can fly as high as the treetops and 300 yards away from you are going to be cheap.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Electric Rc Airplanes

Welcome to the exciting world of electric rc airplanes. If your like me, the first time you see one in action, you'll be hooked. If you like to learn more about them and read some of my funny flying stories along the way, then please stick around and buckle your seat belt, because will be flying in no time.