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Beginners - begin here !

some thoughts, suggestions and pointers

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10 things all beginners need to know!

10 things all beginners need to know!

New to the hobby? Read our beginners guide here!

Tim Mackey22/06/2008 08:19:00
20919 forum posts
304 photos
15 articles

My original thread for beginners became very unwieldy with well over 300 postings - I have therefore extracted the relevant parts and created this new version.

It's "locked" against adding comments directly - please start a new thread as recommended later on.

We get many people posting here who have little or NO experience of flying model aircraft. We welcome all responsible newcomers to the sport, for without them the sport is doomed.
However, this is a complex hobby and must be viewed as such in order to enjoy it correctly. There are many factors to be taken into account and you should firstly ask yourself the following.
How much money are you able to spend ?

Where will you fly - Is it grass or another surface?

How big an area is it compared to say.... a full size football pitch?

Do you have permission to fly there - are you sure??

What do you know about radio control systems?

There's a huge choice of aircraft available these days, from many different sources – WWW has seen to that!
Unfortunately many of them are no more than fragile toys, or suited only to the experienced flyer.
Adverts promise “easy to fly” “crash-proof” “perfect beginners plane” etc.
These are designed to make you part with your money, and in most cases the claims are complete nonsense.
                                     There is NO SUCH THING as a crash-proof aeroplane.
Some are easier to fly than others, but all CAN crash. Generally, most of the “all–in-one” packages are just toys. Usually fragile, undersized, lightweight foam “models” with radio control equipment installed, and often this equipment is unsuitable and illegal to operate in the UK!
I am not against the whole “foamy parkflyer thing” -there are good ones available, but I believe that the user of most them fall into one of the following two categories.
1) The experienced flyer who wants a chuck-about for a calm quiet day in the garden / park.
2) The complete novice, who thinks that these are proper model aeroplanes. They soon find out their limitations, and almost ALWAYS end up crashing and breaking the thing to pieces. As stated, there a few exceptions, and though not connected with the company in any way you could honestly do a lot worse than check out this model here ( click the red link ). Please check the other forum partners out too, and let us know if something takes your fancy and we can advise on its suitability - or not. Do not be seduced by that lovely scale model Spitfire or Hurricane etc...these are definately NOT for beginners!! At this stage, it would help to know a bit more about your circumstances, so here’s a few more questions!

1) Is there a model shop nearby?
2) Who will be teaching you – are they experienced?
3) Is it something you are serious about…. or just a passing whim?
4) Is there a model flying club nearby - check out the website of the organisation responsible for most matters relating to model flying - the BMFA ( British Model Flying Association) -while your there, checkout the many pages of information designed to help people just like you!

Second part of this topic below.

Tim Mackey22/06/2008 08:41:00
20919 forum posts
304 photos
15 articles

There is no doubt that the best way to start for most people is to find a model flying club, and get someone there to give you a “taster” on the club trainer. Also you will often find somebody there has a 2nd hand ‘plane for sale. This can be an excellent and cheap way to start. Personally, even though I am a big fan of, and have many electric ‘planes, I still feel that “fuel” type trainers - known as IC ( Internal Combustion ) often offer the best all round kit for a beginner….PROVIDING there is a proper model club flying site to operate it from. ANY model aeroplane – especially these larger fuel based ones can be lethal missiles, and flying them – especially a beginner, in a public park is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Proper model flying Insurance must be obtained and is usually available quite cheaply through a club associated with and affiliated to, the BMFA.

XX Flying model aircraft is not easy. Crashing them is. XX

For you to enter this hobby, and have a good, enjoyable and successful experience is what we all want.
It takes time, patience, lots of practice and a certain amount of skill, and in almost every case TRAINING.
Now, if I have not put you off, visit the BMFA site, start a new thread in this forum section, not this actual thread and start by posting answers to the questions I posed earlier. We will then see if we can, together, get you sorted out with something that will reward you, and set you off on the road to becoming a true “model flyer”.

P.S. If you have not already done so, please fill in a little bit of information about yourself on your profile page - I guarantee that this will get more response to your questions from other forum members .

Also, check out some of the other many threads on the forum which are aimed at beginners.

Edited By Timbo - Moderator on 07/09/2009 16:04:40

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