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Post  jbanes1961 on Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:18 am

Hi all, just recently watched a video posted by one of our members. He was flying an rc plane with a glow engine.  I've got to say, I was impressed. Loved the way it sounded when it screamed by, and not being tethered by a control line. So I was kinda wondering what the cost of getting into a very basic RC plane might be. I have limited funds and don't know if I can afford it. Have no idea what I'd need either, as far as transmitter( think that's what its called) or any other accessories.  Maybe some one can point me in the right direction.
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Post  balogh on Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:51 am

I am flying rc planes only that I build myself so may have the main  cost numbers for you in the right ballpark:

1. COX 049 engine 20$ (used Bee or similar)....100....150 $ (new TeeDee) from ebay or Cox International or Exmodelengines, US shipping included
2.Balsa airplane kit 40$ (simple kit of nowadays)....150 $ ( vintage Sterling kit from 60'-s.....70's) with building materials included, from Cox International or ebay or local hobby shop
3. Radio transmitter 100$......500$ depending on make and parameters from local hobby shop (LHS)
4. Receiver 40$...80$ depending on make and parameters from LHS
5. Servos 10$...30$ per piece LHS, you will need at least 2 or 3 for a beginner's plane
6. Various other components (fuel tank, pushrods, servo horns, landing gear, wheels, hinges, bolts, nuts etc.) maybe 30$ altogether. LHS
7. Fuel...I blend it myself from components bought here and there because castor based fuel is no longer available in my area... some threads here speak about fuels sold in the US..an ounce of fuel may keep your plane in air for 3...4min (TEE DEE 049 engine) to 6..8 minutes (Bee or similar reedy)

Note that these are Central European prices that may be higher than in your local hobby shops in the US.

You may use the lower-tier numbers for a beginner's entry cost and the higher numbers for a regular flier..professionals may spend even way more than shown for top notch quality stuff.

So it is not a cheap hobby. An unplanned landing may cost you much more than for the C/L community members. I would suggest you begin with the less expensive but equally obsessing  control line or free flight hobby and only when you have fallen in love with aeromodeling (you will, no doubt) decide if you want to spend the bigger $-s that RC flying costs.
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Post  aspeed on Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:03 am

+1 on the control line. I like the .15 size myself because they work better in the wind. Having said that, I have a whole basement full of RC planes of many sizes from .049 to .90 that often come with radio with servos mounted although they are usually FM. Most planes were less than $100 and many of the .049 ones were around $40. It is possible to do it for less if you want to skip the actual fun building process. Often there is something wrong like tank height or wing twists, motor problems... As far a fuel prices, I think I spend way more on the gas in the car to get to the field. The .049s really don't use much. even with the high test top fuel it is minimal for the cost of doing business.
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Post  jbanes1961 on Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:21 am

thanks guys, great info.. This free flight method, what do you do, fire plane up and toss it in the wind and just hope you find it? sorry if that is a naive question
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Post  balogh on Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:37 am

I am not an expert of free flight, but understand that a timer flips the rudder to the side some time after the take-off, thus pushing the plane into a circular motion and keeping it within a circle of a large radius when landing. Requires a large flying field, I assume.
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Post  aspeed on Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:22 am

I think they are trimmed for a large circle accounting for the engine torque making a left turn. A timer is used for engine run time. 10 to 20 seconds for whatever rules are set. Some of the contest types have a fuse that burns out at the max time which also depends on the contest. Usually 3 minutes. It burns through an elastic band and the stab pops up so the plane stalls down safely. I made a Viking "contest" type as a kid, and it flew away on the first flight. Never made another flea fright one for outdoors. It is kind of relaxing to watch, and exciting when things go wrong. The odds of finding a contest are slim. There are very few fields around here at least.
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Post  fredvon4 on Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:35 pm

model aviation has so many aspects it is astounding...literally SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY

I only ever participated in:
indoor free flight....ultra lightweight rubber powered
outdoor free flight  cox power pod gliders with fuse de thermalizers
control line sport...just fun freestyle....many many figure 9 maneuvers for which I consider myself expert at
control line combat....sucked but others sucked more so I got a bunch of local wins n prizes
control line precision stunt....never past beginner...hate following a choreographed routine
Remote control beginner training to solo.....bored me to tears....no hate...just me....as kid flying u contro I was jealous of the RC dads n rich kids
when I retired affluent I spent a small fortune on the best of the best RC planes, engines and control gear....joined a club, learned to fly and solo...

Literally gave away most of the RC stuff....

I know not true for every club or group, but I think the RC airplane crowd generally is a bunch of hateful primadonna rich butt heads that are not very welcoming....

On the other hand Control line folks, and specialty sub groups like CEF, are very accommodating and helpful without much if any haughty taughty nose in the air arrogance....

The few of you in a RC clubs that are good to go need not argue with me...I know they exist...I just think the cool clubs are the exception...I lives a LOT of places.... Gun clubs, Square dance clubs, Train clubs, RC plane clubs, RC car clubs....IMO many/most are filled with arrogant butt heads


Last edited by fredvon4 on Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  rsv1cox on Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:54 pm

Woody Allen — ‘I'd never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.’

First club I ever joined was a Corvette Drivers Club. Still got the Polo shirt.

Joined a R/C club in Florida. Didn't enjoy it. To serious, lot's of rules.

Best club I ever was in was the Hernando County Sportsman's Club. Just a lot of regular guys. Rules actually meant something.

Bob
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Post  rsv1cox on Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:54 pm

Hmm, Double pump. Out of practice.
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Post  balogh on Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:37 pm

Excuse me for building and flying RC..but I am at least a loner amateur with no club association.
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Post  Dave P. on Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:10 pm

RC can be pretty expensive.  There's a lot of ways to waste money too if you're not careful.  I'd plan on spending a bare minimum of $500 to start if you want to start out with glow power.  It's also a complex hobby with a whole lot of different avenues to explore.  

I would expect that where you are, there are several full hobby shops and at least a half dozen clubs within a 45 minute drive.   I'd start by going to a local hobby shop that carries model airplane fuel.
They will be more likely to be serious enough about flying to be willing and able to help you out.  They will also be able to guide you to the right club as most of their customers will be members.

You can also go to the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) website and do a search for nearby clubs.  Look for the ones that have a serious training program that includes a club trainer airplane.  If it's not listed on the club's website, they probably won't be all that welcoming to a full-blown novice.

Be advised that the membership dues for most clubs will be over $100 a year and will require you to be a member of the AMA and that will add another $85 a year, I think it is this year.  You will also have to get an FAA number, although that's not a lot of money and is good for a long time.  Just another hoop to jump through.

A good club will let you fly their trainer with an instructor a few times before you'll have to commit to membership.

The main thing is don't just start buying stuff on your own with no one experienced to guide you.  You will almost certainly be disappointed.  

RC is a blast, but it can be a real challenge to get into.  Find a good hobby shop.  They're getting pretty rare these days but they're still around.
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Post  jbanes1961 on Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:02 pm

thanks to everyone, a lot of good info,i really appreciate it
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Post  Marleysky on Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:10 am

jbanes1961 wrote:thanks to everyone,  a lot of good info,i really appreciate it

If you want to try Free Flight, “Cheap”. Try these,  available from Estes

Remote control planes 0c95b110
Remote control planes 0ef05510
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Post  fredvon4 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:39 am

Dear sir BALOGH

you said :"Excuse me for building and flying RC..but I am at least a loner amateur with no club association."

I sincerely hope my mild rant did not spark any need for you--- or any modeler---- to defend the mode/method you prefer





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Post  getback on Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:22 am

Daved P has some good info but i would add Look/ask about swap meets , you can pick up planes already built sometimes with radio equip. in them for cheap Very Happy
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Post  KariFS on Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:35 am

Lots of good info here already, but I would like to point out that piloting an R/C model airplane takes quite bit of practice, and most nitro planes are pretty fast which makes it challenging to control.

Back in the old days it was recommended that you start with a glider, maybe with a power pod to keep both the initial investment and the flying speed low, and go gradually from there to faster and more demanding models. Nowadays it’s different as you can buy inexpensive foam planes that are ready to fly and easy to repair.

To learn the basics of R/C, I would recommend a ready-to-fly electric plane. The electric power allows you to just fly without the need to fiddle with an engine, the plane is slow and quiet, so you can practice flying just about anywhere. And if you have some glue and tape with you, you can fix the plane right there in the field and be back in the air in 15 minutes Wink

I am pretty much a beginner, here are my planes that I practice with:

This is a SIG Riser sailplane equipped with an electric motor and a folding propeller. I bought it used for about $50 (it was a deal). It is hand-built from a kit. Very Slow flyer but need a lot of space to land as it just keeps on floating and the turning radius is quite big.

Remote control planes 740a2010

The other one is a Slow Stick, a ready-to-fly, also bought used and an old transmitter I used. This one flies as slow as walking speed, and you can get it to maybe 20mph, and it is light so if you crash it you’ll probably just break the propeller or get a dent on the wing.

Remote control planes Cfbcd010

Anyway, welcome to the forum and good luck with whichever path you choose Very Happy
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Post  MauricioB on Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:50 am

Mr. Let me give you healthy advice.
If you are not determined on what type of flight you want to do, then do nothing until you are clear about what your personal taste is, because otherwise you will divide your money into several projects and not finish any and it may become frustrating.
If you really have an interest in radio control flight, then do the following:
Build a 1400 mm/1500 mm minimum Carlg Golberg Eagle kit, build it yourself, that way you will really begin to relate to this Hobby and in the future it will be easier to solve something of your model.
Use an engine of .40 cubic inches, not less, that will give you many advantages, days with wind can really fly without surprises.
Use a 4-channel radio control, not less, so learn to manage your fingers with the 4 basic points of the radio control.
This is the plane and engine size really indicated for a beginner. Then if you are excited they will come bigger and if you prefer them smaller, then you will find a beautiful segment in the 1 / 2A and 1 / 4A, but until then remember, a 1400 mm /1500 mm model, a .40 engine and a radio control 4-channel will give you the security and learning you need. Good luck!
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Post  MauricioB on Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:58 am

Here I am at my two extremes:
Cox .010 rc


PITTS M-12S - ENGINE 50cc - Great Planes
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Post  aspeed on Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:13 am

Some great flying skills there.
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Post  balogh on Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:32 pm

fredvon4 wrote:Dear sir BALOGH

you said :"Excuse me for building and flying RC..but I am at least a loner amateur with no club association."

I  sincerely hope my mild rant did not spark any need for you--- or any modeler---- to defend the mode/method you prefer






No offense taken Fred, I forgot to add a smiley to my note Very Happy . In fact I am much happier to be a non-legit loner than flying in a registered club. Used to fly in the past with folks who were real bureacrats and wanted to enforce their arbitrary flying rules by obliging me to sign papers in a field that was not an officially approved flying field just some no-one's land anyway..Luckily they have gotten the fork outa that land and I do not have to assimilate myself to anyone or anything..like a club would also want me to do.
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Post  NEW222 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:15 pm

If I may intervene here. As I have not seen it mentioned yet, may I suggest a RC Simulator. One of the best training tools. Can be found used cheap. If you crash, just hit the reset button! While not the real thing, it is great for learning on. Had one years ago, and gave it away when no loner was using it. But, it taught me the basics for sure. Now while getting back into it, bigger nitro stuff, I had once again aquired a used sim cheap with the transmitter. I also downloaded a free sim to my laptop here so I can use it while watching TV as well......
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Post  MauricioB on Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:18 pm

the clubs
There is everything, all kinds of people ... today the only reason for a club is to maintain the desire to fly among several.
Relationships are not easy and it is still a mixture between those who really live this with passion and those who are only going to demonstrate their purchasing power.
I would have liked to share this hobby with my father, but as I told you once, I lost it when I was 5 years old. What I achieved, I accomplished with much sacrifice, what made you great.
There is a world rule, no matter where you come from, no matter where you live, no matter what you have, the results of the sacrifice and dedication that come from deep within your heart, well, there is no money to buy it. ... I have made my own planes for many years, I had no resources to buy them and I am grateful for that ... my best school: lack of resources, my best tool: my heart.
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Post  Marleysky on Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:23 pm

Mauricio, You couldn’t have said it better....from deep within your heart. Beautiful!

Hugs to you!
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Post  --Oz-- on Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:00 pm

I agree, find a local club with trainer plane, learn to fly, then figure out what type of plane you want to fly and put your money toward your first plane. At my field they will train you till you can solo, no club dues, but if you fly regularly, you need a permit and ama. I mostly fly at parks before work and at lunch without dues.

Weather you want to build or buy and add Rx, I personally would go with Frsky Tx/Rx (less cost, better preformance, more features, like 24ch for $60, full telemetry, yea you dont need 24ch, but other popular systems are $160 for simple 6ch). Also the Frsky radios act like a joystick when plugged into a windows PC without extra hardware purchase needed (simple USB mini cable), then download a free flight simulator. https://alofthobbies.com/taranis-x9-lite.html

Have fun.
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