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Newbie with some starter trainer plane balsa IC questions please.

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Nu Me 110/07/2019 21:08:13
51 forum posts

Hi all,

Having just joined, and via the introduction section, I would like some help please. You may want to make that cuppa, open that beer or use the loo before you read on........


I am an old bloke who has never flown a model RC plane before. I did make a balsa, dope and banded plane kit in the 1970's but after crashing on the first run I haven't dabbled since. I am handy, having a background in furniture making and and am technically minded having restored a number of 2 stroke motorcycles. I have space to leave things safely half assembled.

Where I would like to be

Having spent a while searching the Tinterweb, I have found a nearby model flying club. I would like to buy a kit (balsa??) where I would get enjoyment out of the build before I learnt to fly. This, so far, has narrowed my search to kit trainers and 2 are looking good to me; a SIG KADET LT-40 or a Ben Buckle Junior 60 I.C. I think I am looking at IC power.

Am I heading for a world of pain or on the right'ish tracks please?

Am I making the right choice with IC over electric?

Are the 2 planes I have mentioned above OK, the right choice or is there something better?

I could go out and buy a foam kit and bits but the thought of making something I can fly does appeal to me (At the moment at least!!)indecision

I will leave it there for now but do have some questions on other bits once my mind is clear on the type of plane.

Thanking you in advance.


Percy Verance10/07/2019 21:39:36
8108 forum posts
155 photos

Hi Nu Me

Welcome to the forum. You've done absolutely the right thing finding a club. Of the two models you've named, my choice would be the Sig LT40. I'm not and never have been a Junior 60 fan despite building two of them over the last 40 odd years. A far superior alternative is the Super 60, also a Ben Buckle kit. The S60 is a sound choice as it flies well, is a tough as old boots, and is easy to repair - particularly if you built in the first place. Another good choice might be the Mascot from D B Sport & Scale. It's a very well proven design by a well known modeller. 

Don't completely discount electric. It has it's attractions, and is the *fuss free* option if you don't like setting up and adjusting engines. Speaking of engines, the manufacturers of these seem to be going through a tough time just now, with another major manufacturer going to the wall. An option worth considering could be a well looked after secondhand engine.

Edited By Percy Verance on 10/07/2019 21:42:12

Don Fry10/07/2019 21:42:12
4150 forum posts
48 photos

You are into pain territory.

Go down the club, sort out a SENSIBLE guru, i.e. A practical person who flys rather that gobs on. Follow the advice.

Sig Kadett looks better as a training plane, but an electric motor in it will get you a whole lot less grief, while you learn to fly. Then migrate to proper power plants. It's not an easy skill, one step at a toime.

Mind you might just think, why bother to migrate.

Best of luck. Bye the bye, build your own airframes. A bit of love and blood makes them fly better.

Nigel R10/07/2019 22:03:54
3174 forum posts
487 photos

If you like bikes and engines, the glow route may not be so hard.

Find a club, definitely, find someone who flies a lot and has planes with engines, ask if they can assist.

The guys doing a lot of flying, and to quote another forum member,, the guys who take home the same number of intact airplanes they arrive with,they're the ones to talk to and learn from.

Kadett is a good choice. Mascot also good choice.

I agree with percy, a super 60 is better than junior 60. Kadett / Mascot I would suggest above both though.

Would suggest you find a copy of the old david boddington book, "radio control primer" - usually goes for a couple of pounds on ebay or amazon. Aimed at beginners in the era when all beginners built a trainer airplane from wood and used glow motors. Very good learner information. Has a lot about installing radio gear as well. Will be relevant for the route you are suggesting. Lastly, it contains drawings (small, but with dimensions) for 'pronto'. Easy build balsa trainer. Would also be a very good choice.

Do consider that buying a cheap electric foam trainer allows you to get flying and get experience quickly. While you build a bigger IC powered airframe at home.

Jon - Laser Engines10/07/2019 22:22:08
4899 forum posts
188 photos

a super 60 with a 50 size 4 stroke would get my vote. While some will argue there is more faff to ic than electric i find it totally the opposite as charging enough batteries for a days flying was far more inconvenient than wiping up a bit of oil. Longer flying times and more or less unlimited flying in a day are big plus points for ic as well.

My only note of caution on the super 60 is that you may not find many instructors who are well versed in that type of model. The S60 is a real stick and rudder machine and while easy to fly it will not fly arrow straight all the time. Personally i think this makes it a great trainer as you dont learn anything if its too easy but others may disagree and instructors not used to that type of model may find it harder to teach you.

The electric vs ic debate has raged long and hard over the years. There is no right answer really, so dont let the opinions of others influence you too far. By all means listen to all the opinions and do your research, but if you want an ic model then by all means go for it.

john stones 110/07/2019 22:27:23
10762 forum posts
1481 photos

Super 60 sounds good to me, built with aileron wing, sounds even better, stick a nice 4 stroke up front.

P.S Hello Nu Me.

Nu Me 110/07/2019 22:34:10
51 forum posts

Thanks for the quick replies.

Percy, I looked at the Mascot but prefer the Sig LT40. Given all three of you think the Sig Kadett is a good choice, I think that the plane is decided - thanks.

IC vs electric - I think Nigel has hit the nail on the head as I love the smell and sound of a good engine so, whilst I appreciate clean and quiet, A IC it is going to be.

Foam vs wood - Don has it here, Splinters and blood can only add to the "enjoyment" of a kit, can't it?? I can always get a foamy when I have less fingers.

Nigel - I will have a look for the book, thanks. I do have a radio question.....

I have got an online supplier to give me a list of what I would need to build the two kits I originally mentioned. I do appreciate that they would suggest items they stocked. They suggested Futaba T6L Sport 2.4G T-FHSS R3106GF P-CB6L with Futaba S3003 Servo's. I didn't give them a budget so they may have suggested this to keep the costs reasonable. I am happy to spend a little more on a TX - on the premise that it may be used for one that one model in the future. Any better suggestions at circa £200 TX only range please? Is 6 channels enough or should I go for an 8 - just in case? Also there doesn't seem to be any power in the plane. I have read somewhere about a controller but am not sure how the reciever would be powered. Can someone explain please?

Thanks again in advance.


Dad_flyer10/07/2019 22:47:37
167 forum posts
175 photos

In my experience of still being a beginner, vintage style models like the Super 60 are the way to go. They are designed to fly on early radio equipment, three channel, some actually for single channel, then modified to 2, 3, 4 channel. This means that they had to be pretty stable on their own, which corresponds to giving plenty of time for a beginner to think.

Build it yourself is fun, if you have time to complete it before really really really wanting to fly. Everyone says you will crash, if you built it you can mend it.

There will be good advice if you post your progress and questions on this forum.

Steve Hargreaves - Moderator10/07/2019 22:52:27
6728 forum posts
191 photos

Radio choice is a very difficult one....there are so many choices. Ask 10 modellers & you'll probably get 11 answers. I'm a Futaba man...have been since the 70s but even I have to admit they are a little bit behind the curve these days. For starting out I think a cheap 6 channel set will be fine.....then as you get more into the hobby look to upgrade to a more capable system. If more vintage flying is your thing then it could be that a cheap 6 channel set will be all you need. Like mobile phones transmitters often have much more functionality that most flyers need....

Your on board radio will need a power supply....for IC models this is often a small 4 AA cell rechargeable battery pack & will come with the radio set usually. The "controller" you read about was probably an ESC or Electronic Speed Controller...these provide the "throttling" of an electric motor & have a built in circuit that bleeds a little power off the large motor battery to feed the radio. This circuit is termed a BEC or battery elimination circuit.

Enjoy your new hobby....

Percy Verance11/07/2019 05:51:41
8108 forum posts
155 photos

Hello again Nu

I'd hold off on the radio purchase for now Nu. You won't require it to actually build the model. Do visit your new club a good few times to get to know who's who. You'll also get to meet the registered Instructors, including the chap who will teach you to fly. And it sounds daft, but it's actually at this point radio selection may start. Note what brand of radio the Instructor is using, as he will teach new flyers by electronically hooking up his transmitter to their's, in "buddy box" mode. He will then instantly be able to regain control of the model should anything go amiss while you are learning Nu. In a nutshell, the trainer system needs both makes of transmitter to be the same to work without complications. It's a system which works extremely well.

I'm sure the club will allow you to have some flight experience using the trainer system before you take the plunge with your own radio.

CARPERFECT11/07/2019 06:59:59
493 forum posts
7 photos

The Seagull Boomerang trainer comes in two types. ARTF. and as a kit. Boomerang is a great little trainer, and are easily mended . The kit is available for £99 and in stock at Kings Lynn models, Leeds model shop. The ARTF version is £112.. The SIG Kadet is £140

Nu Me 111/07/2019 07:58:49
51 forum posts

Morning all,

Thanks for the advice and updates. This is where I think I am at this morning:

80% SIG Kadett but I will take another look at the Super 60. Carperfect - I researched the Seagull Boomerang trainer and can see some advantages with things like not having to cover the frame however, TBH, I don't like the colour scheme. I have read through the online assembly manual - which I found really good. I was in Kings Lynn last week on my way to Hunstanton for a weeks holiday.

Steve - I think the shop guy who listed out what I would need left off the battery. No big deal but It did appear to me that the receiver would need power from somewhere. He also forgot to add a prop to the list.

Percy - Good advice, I guess at some point I will need to buy and fit the servos, receiver and battery but it doesn't have to be day one.

Thank again for all of the advice.

David Davis11/07/2019 08:47:46
3472 forum posts
622 photos

Nu Me 1, welcome to the forum!

I learned to fly on the Junior 60, in fact I've built two, and I've still got the original model though it's a bit like Trigger's broom these days. I love its slow flying characteristics and massive stability.

junior 60 in flight.jpg

junior 60.jpg

That said, I agree with Percy that the Super Sixty is a better r/c trainer. It may be built with or without ailerons, it goes where you put it and handles gusts of wind better. I've had two of those.

super 60 squadron 2.jpg

However, my favourite vintage aircraft for training beginners is the Radio Queen. They are larger than the other models so far discussed, they are easy to see and don't require a great deal of power. I've seen one fly on an Enya 40 four-stroke.

radio queen and T240, Forton, 2007..jpg

Strange that the Boomerang has been mentioned. This is my favourite ARTF trainer, its semi-symmetrical wing section allows it to fly in a stiff breeze, and you can finish it with a tricycle or conventional undercarriage. I was going to suggest that you buy one of those, put a good 46 in the nose and learn to fly on it while you built a vintage model. I'd forgotten that it was available as a kit. If I were in your position and you didn't want an ARTF, I'd give this model some serious consideration.

The SIG Kadett LT 40 has a good reputation but I've never flown one. I think an old friend had one but I never got to fly it because I am a Mode 2 pilot and he was Mode 1. He died of leukaemia in 2004 and after all of this time I cannot be sure that it was in fact an LT40.

A brief note on engines. I love fourstrokes but even experienced fliers sometimes crash. I crashed a simple three-channel model a fortnight ago. I was using carbon fibre pushrods for the first time and didn't realise that you needed to secure the clevises with locking nuts. blush As a result the rod unscrewed itself and I had no directional control. Lesson learned. However, my much-loved OS 52 FS was damaged in the crash. Anyone got a spare cylinder head for an OS52? So, I'd recommend that you started with a two-stroke, they are more cheaply replaced or repaired.

Final note. Please join a club and get an experienced pilot to train you on a "buddy box," a system which links two transmitters. The instructor holds down a sprung button or lever to give you control and regains control once you have started to make a horlicks of things and believe me, at first, you will. Later on you will be able to recover from your own mistakes without the instructor's intervention unless he leaves it too late of course! blush

enya 50 and boomerang.jpg

Best of luck to you whatever you decide to do.

Edited By David Davis on 11/07/2019 08:50:27

Edited By David Davis on 11/07/2019 09:16:19

Peter Miller11/07/2019 08:53:28
10330 forum posts
1231 photos
10 articles

Just a few comments to possibly help or confuse!

Sig Kits are extremely high quality with excellent instructions. You should be able to down load the instructions from the Internet so you can study them (A club member downloaded a set fo another Sig kit.

Super 60 is a great model and once set up will fly hands off very easily. You would only need a .40 four stroke or a .35 two stroke for edequate power.

Kadett will be less fiddly to build but still be interesting unlike any foamie (Yawn)

I.C power is great and is my first love but the gear needed is heavier to lug up to the flying field. Not a problem if you can off load by the pits. a bit of a pain if you have a couple of hundred yards up a hill! But then I am getting (Getting?) old.

Electric needs less to carry.

Good four strokes are available at reasonable prices on EBay. Pay attention to sellers feed back!

Have fun!!!

Here is a link to the Kadett manual.


Edited By Peter Miller on 11/07/2019 08:54:51

Edited By Peter Miller on 11/07/2019 08:59:57

Nu Me 111/07/2019 11:05:49
51 forum posts

Nigel - Book ordered.

David - thank for the information and great pictures. The last one I, I guess, is par for the course. I have decided on a IC 2 stroke now. Thanks.

Peter - You have helped me confirm that my first plane will be the SIG Kadett. As mentioned above, there will be some questions on what one a little later in this post. I had already downloaded a manual for the Kadett but I do appreciate the link. Thanks.


OK, so this morning my first plane choice has been made. Partially due to all of your advice (thanks) and partially as it seems to be a quality kit and a little more comprehensive than some of the others - although this is reflected in the price. My choice is the SIG Kadett LT-40.

The next thing is to make sure I get the right power. It will be an IC. and it will be a 2 stroke. My workshop smells of 2 stoke anyway due to the number of bikes I have in there over the years.

All gone now!

Anyway, back to the plane. A site I have looked at says " Engine Required: (not included) 2-Stroke .40 - .46 cu. in. (6.5 - 7.5 cc), 4-Stroke .40 - .54 cu. in. (6.5 - 8.8 cc)" and the guy has recommended the OS Max 46AXII Engine with E-3071 Silencer. Any views on that please? Also, any views on a prop size and material? Thanks!

Last question of this post; will the plane box fit under my jacket so the better half doesn't realise I have smuggled it through the house?

Thanks for all of the input, and about time for another brew/beer or loo break.





Edited By Nu Me 1 on 11/07/2019 11:09:13

David Davis11/07/2019 11:17:24
3472 forum posts
622 photos

You will not go wrong with an OS 46AX. My club has a couple of trainers fitted with those and they have proved to be excellent. Several new members have gone on to buy their own ARTF trainers and all but one have chosen the OS and he would have bought an OS if he had had the budget.

These are very fine engines if a little expensive. Your LT40 is larger than the average ARTF trainer but you won't find yourself lacking power if you go with one of these, neither will it overpower the model.

Edited By David Davis on 11/07/2019 11:20:33

Don Fry11/07/2019 11:20:01
4150 forum posts
48 photos

Nice engine. One thing about radios, you club will have people who will help to to fly. Before you buy, make sure it's a brand that has a good following in the club, so if you get stuck, there is someone with an answer. You can't expect someone to learn to program a transmitter they will never use again.

And no you can't hide it. Negotiations are necessary. Mine settles for shoes, handbags, and diamonds.

Edited By Don Fry on 11/07/2019 11:21:17

Cuban811/07/2019 11:20:04
2810 forum posts
1 photos

Is that an RD 250/400 bottom right?

Nu Me 111/07/2019 11:25:02
51 forum posts

Both yellow are RD400's and the red one is a Suzi TS250.

Fun Flyer11/07/2019 11:31:49
293 forum posts
38 photos

Welcome to the House of Fun Nu Me 1

You won't go wrong with a 4ch. Super Sixty powered by a four stroke engine. I'm sure you'll enjoy cutting all the 1/4" strip.

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