Learning to fly radio controlled airplanes can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. However, it can also be one of the worst experiences as well. The purpose of this article is to give tips and tricks to those new to or considering the hobby. I will cover the equipment needed to get started with the hobby. Where to go flying R/C airplanes at. Also, I will cover safety tips for safe learning for you and your spectators.
One of the first things you need to do is check for a local AMA flying field. There you can find many people who are eager about sharing their knowledge of the hobby with others. Many of the hobbyists will offer to help you get started and are a good resource as what works and does not work well within the hobby. Almost all of us will gladly help you with your first flight. We love to teach someone new how to fly and it brings the passion of the hobby back to us old timers to help out a fellow hobbyist.
Next, locate a local hobby store to purchase an R/C airplane or check out the Daily Deal at Hobbytron. If you can’t find one, ask one of the guys at your local AMA flying field. Most R/C hobby stores have an R/C airplane trainer kit. These kits usually include an R/C airplane, 4 to 6 channel Radio, .40 two-stroke engine, rechargeable batteries for the transmitter and radio, and instruction manual for around $350.00 to $600.00. Almost everything you need to start flying. Additional items needed are glow plug igniter, glow fuel, starter or chicken stick, glue, 5-minute epoxy, and tape. These are most of the items needed to get started. These additional items will run you about an additional $50.00 to a $150.00 depending on your choices.
After you get the required items, carefully read your instruction manual assembly instructions thoroughly before beginning construction. Know what you are going to do in each step before doing it on your model. Most models can be constructed in as few as 3-4 hours. Take your time and enjoy yourself. This will become one of the best parts of the hobby. When it is completed then you have to break in the engine by following the manufacturer instructions. Mount the engine to the airplane after break-in and your R/C airplane should be complete.
Safety is always a big concern when learning to fly radio controlled airplanes. Here are a few things that are always a must when flying R/C airplanes. Make sure Batteries are charged and in good working order. Always range check the airplane before each flying day and after any repairs. Remember radio on first and off last. Never leave airplane running unattended. Always make sure no one else is using the same transmitter frequency. Follow all manufacturer safety instructions.
You’re ready to learn to fly. Go to your local AMA R/C airfield and talk to one of the pilots there. They have a buddy cord and can teach you the basics of R/C flight. Do not try to learn to fly alone. This will be a costly mistake. Remember there are only two types of radio controlled airplanes. Those that have crashed, and those that are going to crash. Have fun flying and keep the wheels down.