RC planes ... to full-scale

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Peter Ha, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. Peter Ha

    Peter Ha Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hey folks,
    How many of you transitioned from flying RC planes to full-scales?
    My first Horizon Hobby Apprentice crashed on my second flight; I learned to repair and flew multiple planes since. Got into FPV drone racing which taught me about electronics and HAM frequencies. I remember one day a Stearmen from nearby airport flew 200 feet above our RC field while we we flying. I promised myself I'll find that pilot and give em piece of my mind... still don't know who. LOL
    Since my PPL, i've learned so much more about what a plane can do.
    I just finish Durafly Tundra last night and going field to maiden it.... hmm, how many full-scale pilots can say that? :rolleyes:
    Going practice some stalls, and slips. Keeping the fire burning :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
  2. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    Started flying R/C with Dad in the '70s. Glow engines and Kraft yellow boxes, I can still smell that castor oil. Dad stuck to R/C because Mom wouldn't allow him to take flying lessons... but she encouraged me to learn to fly.
     
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  3. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    EAFE1EF3-8A1E-4004-BD1B-9DB85DA97489.jpeg 8637E95E-7ED6-4F80-B2DA-A2D74219841F.jpeg I did it backwards. Full scale to R/C. Full scale helped with learning the aerodynamics and CG of R/C but really had nothing to do with control, electronics, etc. Many crashes at first but over time developed a control touch and came to enjoy the hobby almost as much as full scale.
     
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  4. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    As a kid, we wuz po. So RC was out of the question, but I did a lot of control line flying. All my friends had planes and we’d commandeer the basketball court at the local park and fly all day.

    One of these days I’ll pick up a Cox PT-19 and fly it in our pasture, just for the nostalgia.
     
  5. Kent Wien

    Kent Wien Pre-Flight

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    I was lucky to be surrounded by aviation in Alaska. But I was too young to fly, so at age 9 I started flying R/C gliders and shortly after airplanes. By the 7th grade I built and flew a Cricket R/C helicopter. I continued to fly models while training in the real thing. The knowledge the hobby gave me was invaluable.

    R/C helis helped tremendously when learning to hover a Robinson.

    That R/C addiction led to becoming an airline pilot although just yesterday I bought an R/C Husky, so I’m still addicted. The hobby is so much less expensive than in the 70s and the selection and technology is far better.

    Every pilot should learn to fly R/C! It’s a blast!
     
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  6. champ driver

    champ driver Line Up and Wait

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    I flew CL planes first and then full size, never flew RC and probably never will.
     
  7. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Might be fun to get some four-engine CL time....

     
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  8. painless

    painless Pre-takeoff checklist

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    From North Pacific glider and rubber powered, to stick and tissue, to control line, to RC to full scale.

    Yup. I have a real problem......
     
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  9. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait

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    Hand launched gliders, Nordic A2, FAI free flight, indoor penny plane and peanut scale, R/C gliders (Kraft, R/S and Heathkit radios). A break for many years and now some electric park flyers. Flew one this am down at the HS ball diamond (alone and socially isolated)
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
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  10. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    I started in R/C, or I should say my dad started in R/C when single channel was state of the art. We progressed in the hobby thru 6 channel, Ten channel then proportional.... I was probably 8 years old when he got started (around 1963) and started building and flying them myself around 11 years old. Got my first airplane ride at 9 years old. I started flying lessons in full scale at 16, in civil air patrol, soloed at 17. 65 years old now and still at it. Dad passed away a couple of years ago but never stopped scratch building balsa models... he was a master builder and won several trophies.
     
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  11. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson En-Route

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    I too started in RC with my Dad and his buddy. Kids didn’t/couldn’t really do it back then. Even getting a single channel escapement model in the air took some adult help. They were deep into reeds and galloping ghost but when digital proportional appeared, they started instructing my younger brother and I in the hobby. We were the only kids in the 100 member RC club.

    I regressed and did hand launch, indoor rubber and microfilm while my Dad repaired the weekend’s RC damage. Even played around with Jetex (anybody remember that?) and model rocketry. Built and flew and crashed an indoor single channel model with a Cox .010 and a club prop. In the end, I taught myself RC soaring before going off to school. My brother had the eye/hand coordination and stayed with Acro eventually becoming the AMA National Pattern Champ.

    I was gifted 20 hours of full scale instruction and soloed at 17. After school I once again migrated to racing sailplanes doing little else for 15 years. Quit that, got a Maule and tailwheeled for awhile before finally building a full scale RV10. Still flying at 66 with a model or two laying around the shop.

    Never flown a drone.


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  12. RonP

    RonP Pre-Flight

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    My Dad started control line flying in ‘48 on ignition engines. In the 60’s my brother and I cut our teeth on control line also. Then Testors came out with the Skyhawk. $99 ready to fly pulse rudder only. Eventually we all mastered rudder only. To those not familiar with rudder only that is exactly what it is, just left and right rudder, nothing else. With just rudder you can perform loops, rolls, Immelmann and split S. Of course every landing was a dead stick since you flew until the engine stopped. From that we transitioned to Galloping Ghost. That gave us rudder, elevator and throttle. What a difference in flight control that was over rudder only. Finally moved to 4 channel proportional and gave rudder, elevator, aileron and throttle. Now we were really flying! My Dad eventually transitioned to electric power. Shame dementia has stolen from him his life long past time. My brother and I both became pilots later in life (50+). Dad never pursued a pilot’s license and enjoyed going up with us from time to time. It was thru Dad’s love of model aviation my brother and I developed our own love for it.
     
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  13. Brad W

    Brad W Line Up and Wait

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    i have often thought of trying RC... in fact at one point probably while in college but definitely before I started flying for real I seriously considered getting into it as a less expensive way to dip my toe into the aviation pool. Didn't know if I could ever afford or would be able to do it for real at that point. Eventually decided it would be an expensive hobby and I'd be better off to go for a discovery flight.
     
  14. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    I never did RC planes as a kid, but finally built and flew some in my early 30s. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Then we moved homes and I wasn’t able to go to the field anymore. A few years later a Pilatus pilot got me all excited about becoming a professional pilot. That was 1.5-2 years ago. I now have CFI and am working on CFI-I. I’m aiming to make it to Envoy Airlines.

    RC helped me understand the 4 forces of flight, Basic flight maneuvers, gliding power off, CG, and also technical details of aircraft design. I still struggled with maintaining altitude (Like most student pilots) and navigation was all new to me.
     
  15. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    upload_2020-4-14_8-42-6.png
     
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  16. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Cleared for Takeoff

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    I tried R/C early on as a teen and then earned my PPC in my 30's. I'm now back to flying (and crashing) R/C planes as attaining a new medical (or even self certifying) may be an impossibility. I guarantee the 10 mins or so you are up flying any R/C aircraft will require 100% of your attention. Does the experience help with the skills required to fly full scale? I believe so as you'll find it's actually easier to fly a full scale aircraft than an R/C aircraft. The hand flying skills and terminology of maneuvers will transfer right over full scale, though it does nothing to improve navigational or emergency procedures when you're in the left seat.
     
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  17. jimhorner

    jimhorner Line Up and Wait

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    Roger that! Several years ago I got into RC with a Wingo, a speed 400, 3 channel styrofoam park flyer. I had my PPL, but it had been a number of years since I’d flown. Once a pilot, always a pilot, though.

    And, of course, since I am a pilot, this simple little slow flying toy foam plane should be a piece of cake to fly, right?

    Wrong. I rekitted it within 30 seconds of it leaving my hand in a spectacular explosion of foam.

    I eventually mastered it and flew RC for a number of years before getting back into the real thing. Don’t have that much interest in RC any more. Would rather fly for real.

    [​IMG]



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  18. Peter Ha

    Peter Ha Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had Mooney IFR pilot friend who gave me discovery-flight with many hours... who couldn’t fly RC planes/drones at all. He said it was harder then flying full-scale?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
  19. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait

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    My grandfather crashed my Windfree R/C sailplane in about 2 minutes. At that point he had nearly 27,000 hours in the 727 plus a whole lot more in the classic prop airlines. That whole "reverse controls coming towards you" is just something wired into me now.
     
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  20. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    Then there's this...

     
  21. Larry Vrooman

    Larry Vrooman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I built an Ace High glider when I was 12, using an Ace single channel pulse proportional radio. It flew pretty well, and it taught be a lot about trim, loss of altitude in turns, etc.

    I self taught myself to fly R/C from books at the library, and that was the main reason I chose a single channel model - less for me to deal with.

    It was a good introduction to the oddity of controlling an airplane in roll coming toward you that paid off when I skipped ahead to 4 channel R/C.

    I initially used the technique of tilting the radio transmitter antenna in the direction you wanted the aircraft to go as it was approaching you and then moving the aileron stick in "up" direction on the tilted transmitter to roll into the turn, or if it was banked and you wanted it to be wings level, move the aileron stick "up" to roll wings level. It worked just fine until I stopped thinking about it and just moved the stick where it needed to go.
     
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  22. 40YearDream

    40YearDream Pre-Flight

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    Have been into r/c since the late 70s. Mooched a few full-scale rides with college buddies, but never had the money to pursue a PPL, until some unexpected funds arrived (after a motorcycle crash!)
    The biggest r/c challenges have been helicopters and scale warbirds. Flying ‘goofy’ stuff is a unique challenge e.g. flying clothes iron, flying chicken, Snoopy dog house etc.
    As one of my r/c club’s instructors, some of the worst students I’ve had have been experienced full-scale pilots: (2nd worst are old retired guys who don’t fly enough to get the reactions down).
    As a newbie with only 7 hours in the log, my strongest impression from the left seat was that a 172 has a very benign stall - no dropping a wing into a spin like my warbird models will do. There are, though, a whole lot of other things to be learned, though; with a model, you can try stupid stuff, and the worst is that you have to go pick up the pieces!
     
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  23. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    No, it took real flying to realize those 4 forces. I thought it was cute at first.
     
  24. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Wow, those are some slick models
     
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  25. JonH

    JonH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Anything that flies is cool in my book. Right now the indoor stuff is a big part of my life lol. I just upgraded my Nano S2 heli to a three-blade system. I love helicopters. I have some dual time in the big ones. I would have my heli PPL but you can't rent them like you do airplanes, and there's no way I'd be able to buy one. So my RC addiction led me to fixed wing, and that is plenty good enough for me.

    IMG_1415.JPG
     
  26. Aviatorbrew

    Aviatorbrew Pre-Flight

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    I learned rc way before I started flying full scale. I still fly a little rc, I make planes from dollar tree foamboard, www.flitetest.com
    It’s cheap and since I don’t own a plane and the flight school rental is closed, it’s helping me get through the quarantine
     
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  27. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait

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    What happens when Pugs is stuck in VTCs Pugs doesn't really care about but has to be there? Brown truck arrives a few days later. :D Retracts... good thing I have a complex endorsement.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    You are a bad person for reminding me of the existence of microheli.
     
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  29. Peter Ha

    Peter Ha Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I myself been looking at Horizon's Cessna 150... I hate you! :D
     
  30. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Still haven’t been able to get the mains down on my latest project. Looks like it’s going to turn into an expensive static display. 33E37C66-86EB-458A-926D-2334C757E9EE.jpeg
     
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  31. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That was my experience, as well. We had a group at work who would go out at lunch and fly RC. The two times someone was dumb enough to give me the controls I promptly crashed. Never have had the problem with full scale.
     
  32. jimhorner

    jimhorner Line Up and Wait

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    Very nice model. Ritchie’s bird?
     
  33. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yep. Former one post Vietnam.
     
  34. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    I tried to start in CL as a kid with the Corsair advertised in every comic book at the time. Being out in the country with no smooth surface anywhere to launch from, and no cousins close enough in age to help launch it, I never did get a lot of flight time. I did crash it enough that I then tried the junior A&P route with an engine transplant into some CL home made balsa flying wing things a couple of school friends were building. With their help I flew a bit but never went any further than that with the RC stuff.
     
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  35. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    I started with models when I was a kid; control line, both plastic and kit-built, plus scale balsa static models from kits or scratch. Model rockets, too. Flash (?) forward a few decades and I enjoyed flying RC, mostly 4 channel .40 size glow models built from kits, plus a Zagi Electric, and much bigger model rockets, up to Level 2 in the rocketry certification hierarchy.

    I pretty much stopped flying models about the time I started flying full-scale, but that was due to time constraints and no longer having access to flying fields for the models. I'd still be flying both models and full scale if I could.
     
  36. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    One of the things I've enjoyed lately are the simple, small RC helicopters. A few years ago I bought my son a Blade 120 and myself a WLToys v911. No real flying field required; these things make great backyard fliers. We have a little acreage, which is nice but not really necessary. The v911 is small enough to be flown indoors, if you have a large den.

    Heck, that little v911 is so cheap there's no good reason not to have one. https://www.gearbest.com/r-c-helicopters/pp_62519.html
     
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  37. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    Interesting. How much flight time do you typically see on a charge?
     
  38. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Oh, I'd guess it's 6 or 7 minutes. I bought some larger batteries that give it a couple more minutes. It's real simple to swap batteries, so I carry a pocketfull when I go out to fly.

    There's a video review of it here: .
     
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  39. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks--I'll check it out.
     
  40. Peter Ha

    Peter Ha Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I stayed away from heli ever since I read about an RC heli pilot being decapitated years ago. :eek: