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James 128/08/2018 16:22:52
19 forum posts
5 photos

Hi , newbie here !

Just wanted to say hi to you all as i have created an account and thought i would get involved with the forums...I have been reading the forums and threads for about a week now before deciding to jump in, so i have a bit of knowledge already from what you guys discuss ... let me tell you, all of your builds are incredible ! i really hope i can get to that level of engineering !

I am an engineer myself (electric and gas) so the idea of crafting/building planes appeals to me more than flying (although it still excites me - the thought of building my own flying machine and being able to watch it soar through the skies!)

Like i have said, i have started from no knowledge of building planes but just from reading the forums i have a little knowledge now regarding techniques and resources, and hope to start practicing on foam and balsa in the next few days (when it arrives!) I already have a few different glues/adhesives from work which will help.

I do have a plane which i use now and again, but its only a cheap park flyer which gets carried away with the wind so isnt the best to practice with haha

I have always had a keen interest in Warbirds, especially WW1 and WW2 ... i often go to airshows and aircraft museums ....

anyway ... this is starting to sound more like a CV haha !

I really want to make a Spitfire ( i know, doesn't everyone!) but there's a bit of a connection... i live on, what used to be, a very big airfield during the war and we housed many aircraft . There is also a Spitfire on a podium on a local roundabout which everyone is real proud of ... so i want to use this design

Image result for thornaby spitfire

so there it is, and hopefully i can do it justice !

if anyone has any tips for me which i may not have seen on the forums please let me know ... would be appreciated .

i am gathering materials at the moment, im using EPP foam ... i did try to find EPS but it seems really hard to get hold of . Plus , in this part of the country (North East) there doesnt seem to be many model shops in the area

I am also going to get in touch with a local club when i get chance ( having a 1 year old takes up most of my free time ! haha ) so hopefully can make some friends there along the way, and hopefully on here too !

Thanks Guys


Simon Chaddock28/08/2018 20:30:02
5406 forum posts
2824 photos


My advice is build it by all means but don't even try to fly it until you have considerably more experience in RC flight and with different planes.

Even then it is a good idea to get someone with the serious flying experience to test fly it for you.

Building a plane from scratch that flies well requires a particular set of skills and experience. Flying such a plane requires completely different ones!

I am not trying to be negative but just trying to avoid almost inevitable disappointment.

cymaz28/08/2018 21:05:27
8531 forum posts
1150 photos


Good idea to join a club. The advice and expertise will serve you well......find one that greet you with a warm welcome. That’s a bit of a give away that it will be a friendly one hughug 2

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator28/08/2018 22:05:19
15748 forum posts
1460 photos

Hi James,

welcome on board!!

Some great advice there. Basically I think your best plan of action would be:

1. Join a club - always a good idea

2. Start to hone up those building skills - how about building trainer to learn to fly on?

3. Research your Spitfire, what mark was it (there were 24 differnt marks of Spit I think), what was its record, where else did it fly from? Also research the SPitfire in general.

4. As you do that try your hand at designing a simple replacement for our trainer - making a Spit the first plane you design is a tall order!

5. Fly, fly and fly some more. Spits are tricky beasts to fly, you will need to be a good pilot to handle her, you're going to need a lot of practice.

6. Start designing your Spit - you're on your way!

Its a journey - all that might take you 2-3 years, ecen more. But its a great journey and you can enjoy getting there as much (if not more) than being there!


Josip Vrandecic -Mes28/08/2018 22:20:59
2984 forum posts
259 photos

Hi James and welcome, there's nothing in modeling and RC flying that you could not achieve in the UK.thumbs up

Greetings from Adriatic Sea-Croatiaface 1


Ace29/08/2018 08:47:36
260 forum posts
15 photos

Welcome James, the forum is an excellent starting point full of knowledgeable helpful people thumbs up

A couple of good clubs not far from Thornaby and if you haven't looked already the BMFA website has a club finder **LINK**

David Davis29/08/2018 09:38:55
3349 forum posts
580 photos

Welcome James from the middle of sunny France! It's actually raining as I type this but that's only the second time it's rained here since June.

Certainly join a club, you'll find lots of help in a good club in both the building and flying aspects of the club. Experienced club members may have serviceable equipment they want to sell so you may well pick up a bargain and most clubs have at least one trainer you can use under the guidance of a competent instructor.

Decide whether your main interest is in electric motors or internal combustion engines. Good secondhand two-stroke glow motors are available pretty reasonably as many people don't like getting their hands dirty and everybody is buying electric motors for small to medium sized models and petrol engines for the larger ones. Electric motors are also popular with the lady of the house as they do not drip oil onto the floor! You said you had a one year-old...

If I were in your position I would buy a ready-to-fly trainer rather than build my own. I tend to get attached to the models I build but regard Almost Ready To Fly models as disposable! Perhaps I'd buy an ARTF and build my own trainer! There are plenty of suitable plans on sites like "The Outerzone." **LINK** They are mainly traditional balsa and ply jobs but I'm sure that your engineering skills will allow you to convert them to EPP foam as that appears to be your main interest.Two good ARTF foam trainers which I have flown are the ST Discovery and the E-Flite Apprentice. Either would be suitable as a first model. There is also the We-Can-Fly which I use as part of my trainer fleet but you'd need to order that from Horizon Hobbies in Germany.

Once you can take off, fly and land a basic four-channel trainer and perform basic aerobatics, I'd recommend that you buy a low-wing model such as the Acrowot. This will be a bit more demanding to fly than a high-wing trainer but a good second stage before you move on to the Spitfire.

After all, the real Spitfire pilots started on Tiger Moths then moved onto Harvards before they flew the Spit so you'd be following in their footsteps!

club lunch journee des planneurs 2018.jpg

Edited By David Davis on 29/08/2018 10:08:55

James 129/08/2018 09:49:05
19 forum posts
5 photos

Thank you for all your replies and advice

I think I will start by building a practice flyer and getting to grips with it before I go and attack the ground with a spitfire, what sites do you guys use for plans ?

ace are you from the north east ? I have already had a look at the different clubs in the area mate and going to make contact this week

Also , what is your preferred build materials ? I’m going to use EPP with balsa to strengthen the fuselage , then use a mixture of EPP and carbon rods for the wings ? That seems to be the advice given through the forum as I’ve been scrolling through

James 129/08/2018 09:53:29
19 forum posts
5 photos

Thanks for your reply David , only just saw it after I had posted my reply !

I would certainly be interested in the IC engines but I was going to start at electric to understand the basics of it ... plus I imagine the IC engines would mean the planes are a lot harder to fly ?

I’ll take a look at your links tonight mate , I’ll have a good look over them

Pete Collins29/08/2018 10:02:49
96 forum posts
2 photos

Hi James

You might like to take a look at the Flite Test website. They do a foamboard Spit and the plans are a free download. It's not full scale by any means but it could give you the Spitfire experience without a huge investment of funds or time before you build the ultimate one. Its still no trainer - You'll need some flying under your belt before you tackle it but it does fly well and the foamboard construction is an interesting diversion from trad building methods.

David Davis29/08/2018 10:45:32
3349 forum posts
580 photos
Posted by James 1 on 29/08/2018 09:53:29:

Thanks for your reply David , only just saw it after I had posted my reply !

I would certainly be interested in the IC engines but I was going to start at electric to understand the basics of it ... plus I imagine the IC engines would mean the planes are a lot harder to fly ?

I’ll take a look at your links tonight mate , I’ll have a good look over them

IC engines tend to be fitted to balsa and ply models which usually have a higher wing loading than foam models so fly a bit faster. I also believe that glow fuel attacks foam. Be that as it may, two jolly Slovenians over on YouTube, Robert Petrincic and Captain Blush, fitted a small OS glow to an ARTF foamie and filmed it. Unfortunately I cannot find the link but here's one of them flying an ARTF Mustang. **LINK** Your superior IT skills may enable you to find the relevant video.

To return to the point. Quite a bit of my time is taken up with teaching nervous elderly novices how to fly. I usually go through a four-model process with them. I start them off on an E-Flite Radian three channel foam electric glider in calm conditions then move them on to a three channel vintage model called a Junior 60, pictured in flight below. Although this model has a comparatively heavy wing loading it is capable of slow flight probably because it has an undercambered wing section. Once they can fly the Junior 60 satisfactorily I move them on to the We-Can-Fly foamy four-channel trainer then an i/c powered four channel model. All of this process takes place using a "Buddy Box," a method of linking two transmitters together so that the instructor can always regain control instantaneously. Having got them to this stage I hope that they've bought their own trainer.They can use their own trainer to practice the landings rather than wreck mine! Younger beginners learn to fly much more quickly.

General specs for a trainer? High wing monoplane, some dihedral, five foot wingspan although the Ripmax Foam-E WOT 4 has been successfully used as a trainer and it is smaller and and has no dihedral. You would need an experienced instructor with you though if you chose this approach.

junior 60 in flight.jpg

Cuban829/08/2018 10:45:49
2581 forum posts
12 photos

Welcome James. All good advice given, especially joining a club, where if nothing else you'll get to see people making various costly mistakes so you'll learn from them and (mostly) avoid them yourself. You'll also see others who are good at the hobby and make it look easy, learn from them as well. Just one other thing....IMHO, try to avoid doing everything at once or at least in an unrealistic time period. Most of us here have been at the model flying lark for decades and the level of knowledge thus gained has built up gradually over that extended time.

Trying to stuff all that experience into a few short years may well lead to frustration, unnecessary expense and can lead to becoming a bit jaded when you feel that you're not making progress because of being so thinly spread across the many disciplines.

I only say that as I've come across some new club flyers who start off wanting to get their Spitfire going at all costs but without the fundamentals in place, so everything gets rushed, lessons don't get fully learned and the inevitable crashes puts them off.............. and they turn to model boats instead.

Ace29/08/2018 11:17:30
260 forum posts
15 photos

James, No I live a little south on the West/ North Yorkshire border but know the area well.

One things for sure, there are so many different types/styles/building materials, powered and non powered, I grantee you will love the journey of discovery smiley

Keith Evans 329/08/2018 11:31:23
366 forum posts
48 photos

I think there should be a government health warning sticker on all plans ,kits and ARTF's of WW11 fighter planes ."NOT FOR FIRST TIME FLYERS" . I jest .

Nigel R29/08/2018 11:53:04
2935 forum posts
470 photos

Welcome aboard!

Lots of good advice above.

A big, wood spit is an advanced project in so many many ways.

On the other hand, a Flitetest style foam board spitfire is a straightforward enough thing to do, you could fly that after soloing any high wing trainer and the build process is quick and simple and low cost.

Most of the spitfire comments above would also apply to anything fast, aerobatic and with a small(ish) wing and high(ish) weight. Doing a foamboard spit avoids the high weight, and some of the high speed, which makes it easier!

Websites... have oodles of newer, smaller, foam board type builds. Loads of stuff here is light and quite easy to build and fly. is my first port of call for anything older - full wood or builds dominate the older style plans here. Wood builds tend to take a bit more time. Most RC stuff here is much larger than the flitetest builds, all from the days before electric motors and tiny servos appeared.

Danny Fenton29/08/2018 17:00:40
9082 forum posts
3928 photos

Welcome aboard James



Robert Parker29/08/2018 18:20:56
885 forum posts
1135 photos

Hi James,

Welcome to the forum.

Yes we all want to fly a Spitfire, I too tried to fly one too early in my flying career and paid the price of my inexperience, the pieces are still in the attic I can't bear to throw them away, just keep them as a reminder that patients is a virtue and kinder on your pride and pocket.

There is a lot of good advice above.

I have recently started teaching my 12 year old son to fly and we maidened a Chris Foss designs UNO WOT trainer last weekend and it flies great, wished I had one when I started out.

All the best with the design and happy flying



Piers Bowlan29/08/2018 18:43:57
1804 forum posts
44 photos

Posted by James 1 on 28/08/2018 16:22:52:

i am gathering materials at the moment, im using EPP foam ... i did try to find EPS but it seems really hard to get hold of . Plus , in this part of the country (North East) there doesnt seem to be many model shops in the area

EPS/EPP. It is normally the latter that is hard to get hold of as EPS is available from builders merchants generally.

Outerzone is a good resource for plans, particularly lightweight (balsa) vintage designs which are generally easier to fly in the right conditions, owing to their low wing loading, abundant stability and slow flying characteristics (e.g. Super 60 - the plan is also on Outerzone). The downloads are free and the PDF files can be printed by most copy shops if you don't fancy tile printing them and glueing the sheets together. Get someone else to check it out and do the first flight as any model you build will normally require some trimming and fettling to get it flying right. Learning to fly on an out of trim model is a short lived experience - for the model! If you can't get modelling supplies locally take a look online at the SLEC and The Balsa Cabin websites for starters, but other people will tell you their favourites!

If you just want to get something to fly quickly you could consider a cheap 'foamy' like a HobbyKing Bixler, rather than building a model from scratch. The flying and building side of things are almost two separate hobbies.

Designing your own model is fun and it is your hobby so fill your boots. Generally, proven designs tend to fly better and are less frustrating. Some people find a model Flight Simulator on their computer can help with learning orientation which some people struggle with. My son taught himself to fly model helicopters largely on a flight sim. I was impressed!

Have fun James yes


Edited By Piers Bowlan on 29/08/2018 19:02:09

Mark Kettle 129/08/2018 20:59:50
2292 forum posts
1337 photos

Hi James 1 and welcome to the forum, some good advice on these threads, ps I've sent you a PM.

James 129/08/2018 22:34:02
19 forum posts
5 photos

thank you all for your great advice, i am going to give this a bit more research before i commit to a certain material/plan .. you guys have given me a lot to look into haha (in a very good way)

seems the best way to start is to visit a club, which i will be doing when i can

i will find a plan first, then chose the materials and get started

i shall post progress etc in the forums for you to see yes

thanks again

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