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How you learnt to fly - Feel free to add your experiences!

  • 01-12-2004 9:37pm
    Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 3,455 Mod ✭✭✭✭

    As requested by pm message gone, look lower to see Coolwing's story :)



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,958 ✭✭✭Fobia

    How Fobia learnt to fly
    Started flying on a bog with the oul' lad, neither of use knew how to fly really so we crashed alot and were always sure to bring the binoculours - having no landing strip meant it the only place you could try to land was....not in the ditches!

    Then found out about the old flying club here, but most people had stopped flying in the field by then, and after learning for a bit taught by a flyer who'd just moved here. Then that field was lost.....

    Next came more training with the superstar 40 trainer, on an island out in the country surrounded by water. Then I bought a gambler, learnt to do a few stunts (after successfully flying the trainer inverted :D ) but then crashed it twice and it simply couldn't be repaired again.

    Did the A cert with the old trainer and bought an extra 300s. This did me for nearly 2 years, it saw many sites......crashed into a lake....seen many a front flip on landing :) . Then I lost interest in flying for a while, the early weekend mornings became too much...

    Now I'm flying a Razzle 3d fun fly, and tis great craic, though the engine (an MDS 68 2-stroke) isn't really good enough for prop hangs (simply doesn't respond fast enough) :(

    all in all, the people in Galway are grand and no-one should learn to fly without crashing at least twice, it's just not natural.

    So buy whatever you want, just be prepared to fix it when you crash ;)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 219 ✭✭Cindy Love

    i dropped mitsubishi,washed it down with a half litre of Absinthe,smoked some Sativa,fell over,cocktail and a pinch of zombie dust :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,958 ✭✭✭Fobia

    Cindy Love wrote:
    i dropped mitsubishi,washed it down with a half litre of Absinthe,smoked some Sativa,fell over,cocktail and a pinch of zombie dust :D

    It should be deleted but I like it.....

    I'm gonna let this one fly (have been saving that'un!) :)

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 3,455 Mod ✭✭✭✭coolwings

    Combining that recipe with flying could make for an interesting sight !

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,031 ✭✭✭lomb

    attempted fixed wing - never had any success, started with a hi-boy then a hi-fly, the hifly was overpowered with a paw diesel incorrectly supplied

    moved on to rotory but bought a sim first, started with a robbe moskito, then moved onto a raptor 60, also dabbled with electric but never had any success.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4 Wings&Things

    It is unfortunate that so many beginners end up buying a Hi-Boy "Trainer". I use that term loosely as I have been flying for many years and have yet to find a Hi-Boy that flies well. :mad: The problem as I see it is that the wing chord (distance from front to back) is very small relative to the overall dimentions. This means that the overall wing surface area is quite small compared to the weight of the model. The overall effect of this is a high wing loading, which equals bad flight characteristics. :(
    One of the common factors in a good trainer is a light wing loading with good stabillity. Most ARTF trainers these days have this. If you're looking for a good trainer with a bit of building involved, try to get your hands on a Yamamoto or a Cosmo King (though I doubt these are still available) or something equivelant. I flew a Cosmo King during my learning process and can thouroghly reccomend it. :D

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 3,455 Mod ✭✭✭✭coolwings

    I went to the local club. I was told “get a Hiboy, a 4ch radio and on OS 46 LA engine”. The HiBoy was heavy and the OS weak … bad combo that tended to run into the long grass at end of runway, instead of lifting off. I hated it and sold it 6 weeks later.
    I decided to do it my own way. Got a tiny Pixie glider, stuck a speed 400 motor in the nose with a battery/speed controller and taught myself to fly with the helpful hints of a few good glowfuel flyers. First RC success at last.
    Next a Mini Daisy 3, slowflyer.

    Then a Daisy, the best model plane I had by far at this stage. I got the aileron version and learned to fly properly with my Daisy.

    Saved my beans, sold my 4ch radio , tried a RD600 computer radio,but bought a MC-24 Graupner-JR 12 ch computer radio. It has a bigger batery suitable for longer flying sessions.

    Small Speed 400 planes are cheap, and foamie gliders are very cheap, they don’t break much when a mistake is made. The same battery can fly all the models. The engine is € 8 so in the next year I flew …. Flying Wing, Alphajet, a hot delta called Dry Egg, Skyraider and Mustang from the Dublin Mountains slopes.

    Wingo was my first aerobatic glider, and Skyraider is just pure pleasure to fly, both of these two favourites have many dozens of flights up. Skyraider does 15 minutes from the flat field with engine on, and hours on a slope, and flies fast.

    The slope makes a flight last up to 1 ½ hours if you want. A recent Skyraider flight timed at 98 minutes of looping, rolling, fast passes and stall turns.

    From the club field I flew the Twinspeedy, a twin engine vee-tailed foamie, for 2 x speed 400s, which also slope soared nicely, and it was a lot of fun until a mid-air collision at Kestrel MFC finished it off last summer. I replaced it with the Easy Street and a brushless motor. Very hot but the plane is quite basic, and prone to wingstalling if you slow down. So you don’t.

    I built a CAP21 with a MVVS 50 engine. The weather was dire last winter so I built lots, and have new airframes ready for later this year. Red Arrows Bae hawk, A-10 Tankbuster, Fairchild Dorniers Do-328 airliner. Trouble is … now the old planes don’t get broken, so there is no receivers and servos to move into a new model and I have to get servo sets for new models.

    I strongly advise newcomers to try to get into slope flying. Ireland has the wind, and mountain or coastal slopes. The longer flights make your flying time add up far quicker than in a club, where a flight is 10 minutes. Mountain long grass, heather and peat is a softer landing place. The odds are tilted in your favour while you learn on the slope.

    Other suggestions ….
    If you are planning to teach youself to fly, you can not do it with an aileron plane, ailerons must be plane number 2 in this case.
    With an instructor, start with the aileron plane. He will save you from the first silly mistakes.
    An instructor is definitely a good idea. Real ones teach for free, if he asks for money politely say no. He will have a reason to hold you back, instead of bringing you on. Most fl;ying places have someone, who does the teaching, like I said, for free.
    Novice instructors tend to advise the beginner to learn on the model they learned on. But there has been progress in models. New models are stronger and lighter. So the best instructors will stay up to date in what is the best trainer. If in doubt, talk to the guy in the hobby shop who actually flies himself. He will be up to date.
    Epoxy models cost more, but are stronger.
    A simulator (that uses your RC radio) is also good for practising new maneuvers without needing to get glue out for repairs.

    Happy flying. It's a brilliant hobby.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4 Wings&Things

    I have to agree with Coolwings on the glider thing; I learnt to fly with a 2 channel ridge soaring glider - a Veron Impala to be exact. Thouroghly enjoyed it and learned a lot. Progressed from there to a 3 channel slow flying powered model using an OS Max 25. Spent many an evening pottering around the sky with this model, delighted at myself with some nice slow touch & go's. Although there is less control with no ailerons, you certainly learn how to use the rudder, which is something that many model flyers never learn to do properly when they start with a 4 channel machine. The dissadvantage is that you are more restricted in the wind conditions that you can fly in, and then you have to go through a short process of learning again when you advance to a 4 channel model, although this is the easy bit really.
    I guess the main trick is to advance slowly and consistantly rather than 'diving into the deep end'.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 62 ✭✭dillon_the_rabb

    Well, it all started for me about five years ago when a guy I worked with was selling a piper cub, complete with an OS 52 FS, servos, radio, flight box, starter the whole lot, for 100 pounds (I lived in the UK until a year ago). No one was interested, so I had the lot off him. At that time I didn't really konw what I had gotten hold of. That said, I went to the local library, and checked out just about every book on RC aircraft. I brought all the aero mags I could, and from these, I managed to get a basic understanding of what I had, what it all did, etc. I was especially shocked to find that the four stroke powering the cub was worth well over the 100 quid I'd paid for the job lot!! :D

    So, I had everything I needed to go flying. "This is gonna be a walk in the park" I thought. So I went to my local flying site (I was lucky to have a council owned site, so I could fly at any time, and it was quiet!), and started the plane. I lined it up, nose into the wind, and opened the throttle. Off she went. The cub lifted off, and I lowered the throttle. I flew some circuits, and I couldn't help thinking to myself, "this is so easy! I don't need an instructor!" Yeah right! Then it was time to land. I knew this because the cub went dead stick, and I froze. I didn't has a clue as to what to do now. I tried to keep the cub level and glide it in. As you can imagine, the resulting crash did cause a huge amount of damage to the cub. I managed to get 99% of it into the car, and went home. Most people had given up at this stage, but I wanted to go again!

    The following day, I found a model shop, and this time blew 70 quid on a Ripmax Trainer 40. The guy behind the counter asked me what club I flew with, and I informed him that I didn't belong to a club. He asked me if I knew how to fly, and I replied "sort of, I can't land yet though!". He told me that there was a new club opening and thier flying site was ten minutes from where I lived. That Saturday I went up there, and joined on the spot. 6 moths later, I successfully completed my A certificate.

    Then, beleive it or not, I started to get bored with aeroplanes. Enter the Raptor 30! I had the heli just 2 weeks, and some scumbag broke into my house, and stole the lot. "It" knew what he or she was looking for. I was heartbroken, and having been made redundent a month before, I couldn't afford to go a re-kit myself. I gave it all up until 2 months ago.

    I was surfing the net, browsing Ebay as one does, and I saw an Hirobo shuttle plus for sale, complete with radio, OS engine, gyro, etc. I won the auction, and now I am well on my way again. I havn't got any planes at the moment, but I can hover my shuttle at about 40 feet, and I am now just learning how to do circuits.

    Thats my story, I hope you have enjoyed reading it! :)



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17 F-Corp

    Bought a Twister CP V2, Hoverd it without incident in my front room.
    Thought this is easy so i brought it to a field.
    Went up about 40 feet , slight breeze is like a gale force in scale to a micro heli chopper heads out to sea. Manage to bring it back but the lights fading fast on this winter day.
    Cant see the angle of the chopper. think im level but im in a hard bank right.
    choppers like to dive fast when banking unlike planes.
    the result was €60 in damage. Which I fixed with super glue instead of buyin parts. Chopper flew a while more but then the super glue failed because as i found out its brittle when it cures and is sensitive to shock. So I bought my self some Epoxy glue which takes knocks much better.
    I learnt the basics on a simulator which was usefull but theres no reset button when you crash a real heli in a real field.

    This first crash nearly broke my hart, but I in honesty bit off way more then I could chew. There is a set way to learn how to fly a heli. And I wasent following it.

    Hay, but good fun.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3 cvanscho

    1. Started with this all by subscribing on impulse to the DeAgostini Spitfire serial magazine...........

    2. Realised a Spitfire is a bad way to learn........., but there is no club or any help available out here in Co. Kerry.

    3. Bought a GWS Slow-Sitck on advise of some (American) forums. Bad idea - could never fly it............

    4. next got a Multiplex EasyStar. What a pleasure, learned to fly first on a bog (nice soft landing), then in the field next door. Crashed it to pieces many times, finally retired it when ca started to exceed foam content:)

    5. Discovered helicopters, bought and built ARK X400. Never really got to fly that one either, too twitchy - for experts only.

    6. Invested in a Logo 10 electric heli. A real Mercedes of helis - stable but responsive. Easy to learn helis on your own in your front yard as you don't need a hell of a lot of space to hover - just "hop" short distances at a time.

    7. Now moved on to first airleron fixed wing model - Multiplex Easy Gilder (real macho names they give these planes, don't they:) ).

    8. Getting a bit lonely out here in Kerry, but it seems that this is not really the sort of thing a "real" man should be doing, judging from the reaction of most locals...............:D :D

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26 trudnai

    Well, I thought I could share my bumpy way to learn flying. As the matter of fact I was about ten when I first met with some flying models. At the very first time I got some planes from Germany, which were free fly gliders so once you throw it you have never had the chance to control where to fly and when to land. That was so boring and that’s why I have had lost my intension on modelling by that time. But because my grand father was a flying engineer and I was the only boy in the entire family I was always pushed into modelling. Well, they bought me a 2 stroke engine with a propeller but without any instructions. By that time there was no internet and no any such way to get some information. As the matter of fact in Hungary it was also a kind of controlled hobby by the government so only those could belong to the club who was politically correct. (That’s why Mr Gyorgy (Georges) Benedek who was a Hungarian pioneer on designing wing airfoils that conformed with lower Reynolds numbers -- the famous “B” series for example -- and who made lots of world records on distances and altitudes with free flight models could not belong to the Hungarian model club for over 30 years.) So I could not get run that 2 stroke engine at all, did not know how to start it, what kind of fuel does it take etc. And for 25 years my modelling carrier suspended by this.

    Then one of my friends bought a Piper Club with a 6.5cc engine in it. I remember, we spent months to get started it by reading lots of descriptions, books and other sort of information on the net. In the meantime we started to practise with simulators to prepare to fly the model, but we just could not fly the Piper Club very well. 80% of the times the model crashed while landing. We did not want to crash the real one, so decided to get a trainer, and bought a SPAD model with a proper lifting airfoil. I remember for the first take off, that was so exciting! Had to make lots of work with the ailerons and also with the elevator and ruined the undercarriage by the very first landing (well, the centre of gravity was too far to the back). Fortunately the SPAD built by two pieces of “L” shaped aluminium bars and by carbonplast so the whole structure was just strong enough to take the hardest landing shocks. Once it crashed to the ground from 50 meters and only the motor mounting had to be repeaired. Well, 2.5 kg of material with “only” 1.6 m wingspan, has to be something like a flying tank :-)

    For a long time I practised with the SPAD, built several other same type of models with different size of engines and slowly learned how to fly and how to set up the centre of gravity and then how to fly inverted, make American and Immelman turns, loops etc. There was the time to fly the Piper Club! Well, I was the pilot, and tried several times, but the model did not want to accelerate up to be able to take off the ground. Was running long on the field, did not touched the elevator but the plane started to lifting up, but all the times the wing dropped into the side. Most of the times the plane was reparable, but the very last time we decided to set up a negative flaperon to make sure the plane will not take off while accelerating. The idea was that when I feel that the speed is ok, just have to flip over the switch and the wing will produce enough lifting forces to fly. Well, it worked, it took off at 3 meters altitude! But lost the speed and the wing dropped again... That was just too much for that balsa model and we collected the pieces to save what we could.

    Now I am here in Dublin, unfortunately could not carry any of the SPADs with me, so decided to build an electric depron model. The idea was to have the model as quiet and clean as possible to be able to fly around my house. The plane was very good, very stable and highly manoeuvrable, however, several days ago when I flew inverted the elevator servo came off from its place and the model immediately crashed into the ground. I feel I still have to learn a lot (for example how to fix servos into the fuselage and what to examine before taking off, but of course still practising the acrobatic figures). Now I am back to the simulator until my new model is ready and hopefully will not make any such mistake in the feature.

    PS: You are crazy if you read through this long message :p

  • Registered Users Posts: 351 ✭✭loopingfred

    Ok, so, I'm crazy that's official now !! :p

    Very interresting story here !


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 3,455 Mod ✭✭✭✭coolwings

    I think we are all a bit crazy too .....
    It helps make us better fliers :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,958 ✭✭✭Fobia

    Yup, can't crash a plane you've spent so much time/money on, then go out and buy/build another only to crash it again, without being at least a little bit crazy. :)

    Back on topic?
    Nice read trudnai, certainly one of the...different ways of learning!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26 trudnai

    Cheers guys! This weekend I learnt why not to use 90 sec epoxy for building a wing :-) 5 min was OK, but this was just a bit faster than my hand :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,248 ✭✭✭Plug

    Yesterday I thought it was all ready, about 5 hand launches later the tail section fell off:eek: (didnt mention that in the other thread) They were only short flights up the garden just to get the hang of it.
    I glued everything back together and used screws and brackets, so now I,ll try and see how I get on today:) More info tomorrow, hopefully I dont make a ar5e of things;)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,040 ✭✭✭odonnell

    My first ever flight is nearing....and having read all your stories - i cant say im feeling confident of bringing my plane back home with me! Jaysus.... what have i done :)

    Anyway - hopefully once ive gone along to the club in a few weeks (possibly less at my current rate of build and weather permitting) and i can add to this thread with my OWN wee story.

    I do, however, have various propellor cuts already from fitting the damn thing . I forgot how sharp props could be from my control line days.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 460 ✭✭milkerman

    From the earliest age I was fascinated with flying and still am.
    Started a few years back with a plan and a pile of balsa, 4ch radio & a webra engine. Built the plane, read the boks, flew for 9-10 seconds, built the plane again, flew for 30 seconds, built the plane and so on.
    I could rebuild that trainer wing in about 3 days with all the practice.
    I kept plugging away and mowed a strip in the field beside my house. Crashed the plane into my own house, built the plane again.
    Years later I have an artf P51 and my trainer.
    I still fly off my own field.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,248 ✭✭✭Plug

    I got pissed off so I burn't my glider(my friend has a picture of it burning), also if anyone wants to buy a 2 channel radio system give me a bell.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,674 ✭✭✭Skatedude

    i used to love building the older full wood kits years ago, takes ages but it was a lot of fun just building them. wanted something that could actually take a knock as the old kits were nice but never survived the initial flight/crash . could just about fly, but normally messed up every second landing or so. and a lot of traveling to places where would could actually fly them since i was in the middle of the city.
    decided get a simple electric park flyer so get back into it so bought p51 3ch parkflyer, left the kit in the car while i got redy for work, came out 20 mins later, er no kit and no car window either, :mad:

    Now got to get another one on payday, just want something simple and robust to get the hang of flying in the local park before builing up a more complex kit

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,460 ✭✭✭workaccount

    I'll add my experiences here at some stage when I have something interesting to add.

    In the meantime what's the a certificate?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,248 ✭✭✭Plug

    I'll add my experiences here at some stage when I have something interesting to add.

    In the meantime what's the a certificate?

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 3,455 Mod ✭✭✭✭coolwings

    We are in the wrong thread for this ....
    The A cert is a flying proficiency test given by club instructors

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,380 ✭✭✭derry

    odonnell wrote: »
    My first ever flight is nearing....and having read all your stories - i cant say im feeling confident of bringing my plane back home with me! Jaysus.... what have i done :)

    Anyway - hopefully once ive gone along to the club in a few weeks (possibly less at my current rate of build and weather permitting) and i can add to this thread with my OWN wee story.

    I do, however, have various propellor cuts already from fitting the damn thing . I forgot how sharp props could be from my control line days.

    control line that dragging up history

    which ones you had the cox 049 or flying wing combat 19 paw ??

    if you know how to that black art converting to RC is more easy then

    whats the new rig outfit you got


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,338 ✭✭✭hobie

    This is the Plane coolwings suggested as a possible training a/c last summer and I love it .... :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 951 ✭✭✭StRiKeR

    I started learning Jan this year, bought a small Honey Bee King II to start off and after reading from research on the net, had it all set up properly and hovered the first time with training gear, fly once or twice a week and once or twice a week on the sim, now practising inverted hover with a Trex 450 SE V2, saving up for a Trex 600E :)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,422 ✭✭✭✭Bruthal

    I started with the hi-boy as well, and 40 engine, it did take a fair run to get in the air as said already, but it did the job, it was 3 channel, so i got the aileron version after a few weeks, then a few weeks later i got a galaxy mystic, had that a couple of years and next was p51 mustang which i still have. I started on that first hi-boy in 1988 and stopped flying the mystic around 1993, and did`t fly anything until the p51 in 2001. Started flying a trex 450 helicopter in nov 2007 and a trex 600 in march 2008 and am still flying them.

    Never tried the slope soaring, id say its great though,

  • Registered Users Posts: 624 ✭✭✭boatbuilder

    I got my first plane back in 1997 when I went to college in Limerick. I bought an ARTF "World Trainer" with a Thunder Tiger .40 engine. Thinking back, it was a really bad quality weak plane and engine. I bumped into a fella in college who knew how to fly, so he showed me the ropes. We flew at the rugby pitches in the University of Limerick. When I moved back home, I got her stuck in the top of a tall tree on the first takeoff. I eventually damaged her a bit on a few heavy landings and decided to scrap her.

    A few years later, I bought an "Arising star" trainer with an OS 40LA. What a great plane that was! I converted it to a tail dragger and put big wheels on her for landing on my grass strip (in my brother's field away from tall trees). I pretty much taught myself everything again using this plane. I downloaded FMS (flying model simulator) and this really helped to reinforce my reflexes especially levelling out the plane on a landing approach. I tried a few other planes as well....a Sturdy birdy for example (supposed to be indestructible)
    . It was a horrible heavy plane and flew very fast so it crashed a lot.

    I decided to stick to flat bottom wing trainers since I enjoyed flying them more. I saw the Kadet Senior kit and couldn't resist the urge, so I bought it and built it from the kit as a tail dragger. Its a lovely looking plane, only 3 channels (no ailerons) but relaxing to fly! I put an OS 46FX in her. I modified her to put in a camera pod.

    Then I got interested in boats and built a little wooden speedboat

    This week, I've blown the dust off my kadet senior and have decided to start flying again. Unfortunately it got damaged in storage, so I have to repair the tail and the wing. I'm going to remove the camera pod as well, because I think it affected the aerodynamics of the plane.

    I'm based near Carrickmacross (Co. Monaghan), close to Shercock by the way, so if there is anyone nearby interested in this stuff, let me know and we could try to set up a club:):):)

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24 Bless You

    Great stuff, good idea