Like Robbie said, I started off with the Radian (his suggestion and a good one) two years ago. I was tempted to try and fly her myself but the Gods intervened and I ended up with a dead battery because I left it plugged into the plane overnight and the battery was sucked dry and ruined (thats your first tip - unplug the battery after the flight as the receiver in the plane will still be sucking juice out of it, even at rest on the ground). I came onto this forum to see what was wrong with the battery and Robbie sussed it. He then offered to give me a lesson and so we met up.
Now the Radian is a large plane, with a 2 metre wingspan but I thought she'd be a doddle to fly (she is, once you know how
). However I was very glad Robbie was on hands to take over when I did silly noobie things like stalling her, sending her into spiral dives etc. By the end of the lesson though, I was getting the hang of it and I landed her in one piece, which is the aim of flying
Flying model planes is a great hobby but unfortunately, starting out is the most expensive time for new flyers as you have to buy a transmitter which will cost you about €70 for a basic one like the DX5 (or buy the "ready to fly" package which includes the plane, transmitter, receiver, battery etc). I started out with the DX5 but eventually bought a DX6i as it not only lets you store up to 10 airplanes in its memory but it is a computerised radio and lets you do a lot more like set dual rates, expo, differential etc, which will mean absolutely nothing to you right now so thats why the DX5 would suffice for your first couple of planes. Once you have the transmitter bought, getting your next plane is cheaper as you can get an "almost ready to fly" plane which includes everything except the transmitter (which of course you'll have). Then later you can go even cheaper by buying a "plug and play" model where you get the plane but have to install your own receiver and of course transmitter.
Later on, we can introduce you to the wonderful Chinese emporium of "Hobbyking" where for a fraction of what you'll pay elsewhere for branded items, you can pick up planes, batteries, receivers etc.
I know Robbie is out of action at the moment but I'd be willing to give you a few pointers if you'd like. I usually fly in the Phoenix Park before work when I have it all to myself
. However I'm moving to a new job next week outside Dublin so that'll be out, unless we meet up at weekends. The one piece of advice I'd give you is to go and watch guys flying their planes, and hopefully talk to them. Flying is not easy, you WILL
crash at some point, but with some lessons, you might be abale to keep the crashes to a minimum. With the modern electric foam planes, they are actually relatively easy to repair and parts are cheap.
Last thing, you will need a fairly large area in which to fly any rc plane, unless you buy a micro one which can be flown in a large sports hall. However they can't be flown outdoors unless the wind is dead calm. The area you fly in should be away from buildings, powerlines, and trees. Even a football pitch would be a tight squeeze for flying in, especially when learning. The Radian takes forever to land as she is a glider and she just keeps on gliding
. Other planes like my warbirds fly at between 40 and 60 mph and would cover the length of a football pitch is a few seconds. I have a new motorised glider, more a hotliner I suppose, called a Kinetic that can fly at 100mph on full throttle. Thats why I fly in the Phoenix Park.