You have been lurking here for awhile, eh?
> Being a newcomer, I have a few questions;
> Is it possible to learn to fly on your own without an instructor? I don't
> think I can get that much out of an instructor that I can't learn by
> myself. I am very good at video games, so I think it should be fairly easy
> to pick up flying the models. Besides, I can fly the MS Flight Simulator
> really good, even doing instrument approaches, and its so good that even
> the FAA allows you to learn on for flying the real planes. So if I can fly
> a real one, I should have no problem with a toy plane.
I am a full-scale pilot, as well. It doesn't help. You may have
smoother hands, but that's all that might help.
I suggest an instructor, especially since you are on a budget.
If you can't find one, then get ALL AVAILABLE information before
you start that engine. Comming here is a good start, but you
need to do a face to face with someone knowlegdable, too.
> I would like to start with a sports plane, move to an aerobatic plane, then
> on to helicopters. There is really no sense in starting with a trainer, and
> I am past that point already since I can fly the flight simulator from the
> tower view, and never crash. I hope to move on to flying helicopters and
> doing those cool 3D maneuvers by the end of the season.
Problem with a sports plane first off, is they have no self-righting
characteristics that a trainer psosses. They have a high wing loading,
therefore stall sooner, and land faster. They go where you point them,
which in the case of the neophite flyer...is often the WRONG way.
Make it your second plane. After you master basics with a trainer,
you might actually find it easier to fly than the trainer, since
it won't tend to fight you as you maneuver it.
Get the helicopter now, if you wish. You will pretty much have to
learn that on your own, as "active" instruction techniques aren't
really compatable with learning helis. Get the training gear, or
make a set of your own. This you can practice in your field there,
and do it even on hazy days when you can't fly your airplane very
well. Small steps, here. Also, little learned from flying an airplane
will help flying the heli. They are very different machines to fly.
If you don't think you can handle learning both at the same time,
learn the airplane first. There may be debate over this, but you
> So, what is the best sports plane, engine combination to buy. There has to
> be one that clearly stands out in the crowd. I was thinking of maybe a
> Super Sportser for the first plane, then move into something like an Extra
> or CAP. I don't have a lot of money, so I don't want to buy a trainer with
> a small engine, then have to move up and buy another plane and engine. What
> is the best engine to get started with. I was thinking of a 4 cycle model,
> maybe an Saito or a YS for the Super Sporster.
My second plane was the SIG Four-Star 40. I bought an OS 46FX for it,
knowing I would need a powerful 40 for down the road. Later, when I
built my Extra 300, I just swapped it over. That Extra flies like
a bat outta hell, too. You really should suck it up and get the
trainer, even if you put the 46FX in it. You will just have to learn
throttle management, if you do.
> Is Futaba better than JR? I've heard that the majority of the winners at
> the Top Gun competition last year were all using Futaba. What about HiTec?
> Since I don't have a lot of money to spend, HiTec and Airtronics seem to
> have a better feature to cost factor. I might even go used, and buy some
> FMA direct servos to save a bit more. Any comments?
All your choice. You can't really go wrong with todays radios. Buy
used, however...that's a different story.
> I will probably build my first plane, so I have a few questions here as
> well. I was going to go with CA hinges, but I have heard that they fail
> after a few flights. What is a better way of doing this then? I was going
> to use Z-bends with EZ connectors for pushrods. Should I use CA, epoxy, or
> white glue? Is monokote better than ultracote, and which weights more?
Used CA hinges on my lat two planes, including the abused Extra 300.
The only failure I had was when I banged the elevator into the side of
my truck, ripping one. They don't pull out, if you SLOT and glue
> I've also heard about the AMA and SFA here in the NG. It appears that I can
> fly at more clubs with the AMA, then I can with the SFA. Since with the
> AMA, I can fly at the AMA sites, as well as the SFA sites. But with the
> SFA, I can only fly at SFA fields, which there are very few of. Is this
> true? And if so, why would anyone want to join the SFA?
I was a member of the SFA. The holier-than-thou AMA, as you stated,
wouldn't let SFA on their fields. That was impracticle where I lived,
so I had to join the AMA. Kinda snobby of the AMA, eh? The SFA's
philosophy is that a model flyer is a model flyer, and insurance is
insurance, and allow AMA members on their fields.
> Last question. Should I join a club, or just fly from the field across from
> my house. I don't have a lot of time to devote to the hobby, so I don't
> want to get involved is all the politics, socializing, or events a club
> usually has. Can I just freeload, or is that frowned upon? However, I want
> to make sure that I have insurance since I will probably kill someone by
> learning on my own. I want to make sure I am covered. I will also increase
> my life insurance for my wife.
I wouldn't be so drastic. Check out the club, and see what THEY can
YOU. It's not the other way around. Clubs have to offer something to the
membership, or they cease to exist. You may be asked to give a little
time, but it's not expected of you, unless it's in the rules. Many clubs
require you to mow once a year, or some such.
You're welcome, and good luck with you flying career!