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Returning to the hobby after 15 years - need advice!

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Ant Mullins17/11/2018 16:17:46
1 forum posts

Hi Everyone, I first started flying in 1989 at the age of 12. I was ok - did my A, B and I badges and was a regular at the Ashbourne Club. My last flight was around 2003. In 2018 I have found myself missing the hobby I once adored. I have decided at 41 to return; but I see a lot has changed since the days of my Futaba Challenger and Field Force 6! Over the years I had a lot of models; but need a decent model and radio gear to return with. Would anyone recommend a good re-entry model? I'll list my previous models below so you can gage my past! lol. (SMC Splot, Flair Hooligan, DSM Saphir, CF Phase 6, Vertigo, Sukhoi 40, Avicraft Panic, Black Horse Speed Air 40, Black Horse Super air) and loads more I have forgotten!) Any advice appreciated!

Bruce Collinson18/11/2018 01:09:51
376 forum posts


Can you do worse than a Wot 4, either ARTF electric or even the foamie? Get stick time whilst watching what’s hot and what lights your fire this time round?

Many happy returns!


David Davis18/11/2018 06:42:26
3346 forum posts
577 photos

+1 for the WOT 4. Everybody should have one.

Peter Miller18/11/2018 08:34:25
10008 forum posts
1164 photos
10 articles

Never flown a Wot 4 but you can still use your radios. I still use my FF8 on some models

Of course a nice shiny new radio with lots of buttons and switches will be very temptinglaugh

Frank Skilbeck18/11/2018 08:37:27
4418 forum posts
101 photos

If your local club has a trainer on a buddy box it would be good to pop down and have a quick flight or two, you'd probably find that in a couple of flights that it's all come back so you could buy what you want.

But +1 for a Wot 4, but we've just had a new member who last flew 30 years ago turn up with a 20cc low wing Nimble aerobatic model, no problems flying it but judging the landing at our site is taking a little practice.

Percy Verance18/11/2018 08:47:04
8109 forum posts
155 photos

Hi Ant

I'd echo Frank's comment above. We had a chap whom returned after a 14 year break, and he simply went out and flew one of his old models straight off. Ok, he was shaky, but he did get it down without damage. Subsequent flights improved each time, so by the time he'd done 15 or 20 you wouldn't have known he'd been away from it.

It's really down to how you feel. A couple of flights with the club trainer can't be a bad thing in these safety conscious times. I wouldn't be 100% sure about your old gear until you've had it checked out. It will almost certainly need new battery packs. If you decide to buy new stuff, just check out what's popular at the club you fly with. Lots of choice out there now, with the big brand names you may be familiar with no longer the default choice......

Oh, and some of the models you listed are still available if you fancy flying them once more......


Edited By Percy Verance on 18/11/2018 09:00:55

Denis Watkins18/11/2018 08:59:34
3728 forum posts
177 photos


There has been a revolution of improvement in flying gear and propulsion these past years

But flying, and models are just the same

So follow the lads advice and get out and enjoy yourself

Peter Christy18/11/2018 09:35:40
1482 forum posts

Ant: Flying is like riding a bicycle - you may get a bit rusty, but you don't forget! Looking down your list of previous models, I reckon one flight and you'll be away again! Get someone to do the first take-off, then hand over the Tx, and it will be like you were never away!

As others have said, there has been something of a revolution on the radio side of things, but that doesn't mean your existing gear is useless. If you still have your old radio gear, and its been kept in reasonable conditions (NOT a damp shed or garage!), simply replace the batteries and carry on using it while you make your mind up where to go next. I'm still flying some radio gear that I built back in the 80s!

The Wot-4 is a reasonable model to reintroduce yourself to flying, but personally, I'd avoid the foamy one. I've got one, and although its quiet and performs reasonably well, the tail surfaces are very floppy and this makes it somewhat unstable in pitch. Its fine for stick banging, but not much else!

Best advice is to seek out a local club, and see what's being used there, both radio and model-wise. At least then you'll have some local knowledge to call upon. However, with your history, I suspect you won't need that much!

Welcome back!



ken anderson.18/11/2018 09:50:46
8415 forum posts
772 photos

hello ant,buy a cheap 4 function foam model c/w motor,esc and servos...add a battery and have a go,see if you still get the satisfaction element from the hobby...if you do the world is your oyster compared to all them years for a radio set,you're spoiled for choice,check out some of the threads about radios on the forum here....budget around about £200 for a decent set,you get all sorts of different advice......


ken dept.

Edited By ken anderson. on 18/11/2018 09:52:55

alex nicol18/11/2018 10:06:31
261 forum posts
13 photos

if you still have your original radio equipment it'd still be OK to use it, while the vast majority are on 2.4 theres nothing wrong with 35mhz. Only thing I'd advise is bin any old batteries (inc tx) and replace any model switches, just incase there's been any -ve lead corrosion

wot 4 would be absolutely perfect.......and it is just like riding a bike........first couple of flights might be a bit rough, but it'll all come flooding back after that

Welcome Back

Dave Hess18/11/2018 12:09:08
301 forum posts
18 photos

I came back to the hobby a few months ago after a break like yours. I've already flow more than a dozen new planes and a couple of my old balsa ones. I have two Wat4s - an original balsa one and the Foam E one. If I were doing it again with what I know now, I'd go straight for the Flitetest Sportster. It has a very wide flying envelope. On low rates and low throttle, it's more docile and controllable than most trainers. Turn the rates up and it can do some crazy things. It's really a lot of fun to fly. You can build one in about three evenings from the free plan even if you don't have much building skill. Also, they're really cheap at about £7.50 for the board, less than £20 for the motor and ESC, £4 for the servos and £4.70 for a suitable receiver, so about £50 for the whole thing You can get all the electrical stuff from Hobbyking UK in 48 hrs.

Flitetest also sell kits and electrical packs, but these things are so easy to make that you don't really need them.

Here's the build video. Skip to the end to see the demo of it flying.

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