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Older Learner, First Kit Build, Electric - suggestions please

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Jonathan M01/10/2020 17:27:15
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Recently-joined club member in his early 70s, quite nervous and currently learning on a foam Fun Cub (I know, too light etc, but that's what his mate who has been teaching him started with and he's comfortable with that, whereas he's still too nervous with my IC Boomerang) has asked me to recommend him a first proper kit to build for electric power.

My first thought was a 4-chan Ben Buckle Super 60 kit (he'd need my help adapting it for a modern electric powertrain). The alternative is the 3-chan BB Junior 60 kit (although, as he's already learning on the 4-chan Super Cub, I wonder whether this might just be too much of a 'step back' towards a guided FF design for his longer-term progress and enjoyment?).

The other options that sprang to mind were the DB Sport and Scale Mascot or the Chris Foss UnoWot kit, both of similar wingspans - but I don't know if these would also need more skilled modification from their original IC design to electric?

Aside from any feedback on the merits of any of the above ideas (including opinions on the wisdom of a 3-chan type for a first build after basic training?) are there any other kits of the stable (aileron) trainer type suitable?

Jon

Edited By Jonathan M on 01/10/2020 17:47:58

Ron Gray01/10/2020 17:45:32
2517 forum posts
1008 photos

Whilst I may receive lots of criticism for this suggestion but I would go for a veneered foam kit as that is a nice 'gentle' introduction into building and ensures accuracy of (at least) the wing construction. As such, the UnoWot definitely fits the bill, it also performs really well.

Andy C01/10/2020 17:54:26
171 forum posts

What about one of the 4ch Cub's from The Vintage Model CO, as featured and advertised in this month's mag?

Jonathan M01/10/2020 18:41:14
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Thanks Ron. I don't know what the reputation of the UnoWot is as a flier, but Chris Foss' kits are very well made and do make robust models (based on my own experience of building and a lot of flying of the Middle Phase aileron kit).

Andy - Re the VMC offering, while I'm sure this is well designed and laser-cut (I've built three of their rubber FF models), I've long since stopped believing the hype that small light models (whether foam or balsa) ever make "ideal trainers"... certainly not at our exposed, slightly-turbulent flying site, where proper sized models with at least medium wing-loadings are the only way to go, even for more experienced fliers!

Actually, thinking about this, I'm half way to ruling out the Super 60 as a choice for him: lovely idea but probably only suited to the calmest of days and not sure about the robustness of the fuselage construction.

Edited By Jonathan M on 01/10/2020 18:42:10

kc01/10/2020 18:52:44
6914 forum posts
175 photos

All the people who have had a UnoWot seem to think the plane is a great flier and suitable as a trainer or a good everyday model.

Look for the electric conversion for UnoWot and Wot4 on Chriss Foss website if it's not included in the kit instructions.   It's a bit unusual as it uses a ply tray which slides in from underneath and fixes with a wing bolt

Edited By kc on 01/10/2020 18:59:39

Robin Colbourne01/10/2020 19:20:33
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Before committing, is there any chance that the pupil could have a go on a buddy box with at least some of the models mentioned before committing the buy and build? I'm not suggesting close to the ground, just some circuits at medium height.

The two requirements with models for older learners are:

  • Big enough to see clearly
  • Speed range that allows it to be flown slow enough for their responses to keep up.


A big model with a semi-symmetrical wing, so it copes with turbulence, but not so heavy that it can be slowed down would be my choice.

The Sky 40 by Tony Nijhuis ticks a lot of the boxes, although it may come out a bit heavy according to this build thread, which also refers to electric conversion: Sky 40 build thread

Another thing with an older learner is to be selective with the weather conditions, either choose calm days or fly at the ends of the day (light permitting) when it is less turbulent.

The Sky 40 is available as a plan from Sarik and a kit from SLEC: SLEC Sky 40 Kit

SLEC Sky 40

Another possibility, although it doesn't have dihedral as supplied, is the 66" span Ugly Stick by RBC kits.  I've taught people on funflys without dihedral, so providing the speed is kept under control and the instructor is paying attention, it could be an option.

RBC Kits Ugly Stick

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 01/10/2020 19:29:41

Robin Colbourne01/10/2020 19:54:07
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I couldn't put a picture of the RBC Kits Ugly Stick in the last post, so here it is:

RBC Kits Ugly Stick

GrumpyGnome01/10/2020 19:58:25
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+1 for UnoWot - lots of air time is important, and many of the other suggestions won't be as easy to fly in a breeze

Other opinions are available

GG

Zflyer01/10/2020 22:21:15
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Uno Wot is good, Boomerang good as is Arising Star. All for electric as well

Redex01/10/2020 22:41:19
172 forum posts

Check out the E-Pioneer too, also been the subject of some articles in RCM&E.

john stones 1 Moderator01/10/2020 23:11:45
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70 year old, nervous flyer, I reckon the Super 60 is a good choice myself, I doubt he'd fly much on windy days anyway, enjoyable build as well.

David Davis02/10/2020 07:13:48
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My partner and I are currently building a three channel Super 60 which will be powered by an electric motor. I will post pictures of the installation later. The kit comes with very comprehensive instructions.

The Junior 60 was my first successful r/c model but if I it was the Flair kit based on the stronger 1957 version of the Junior 60. If I were to build another I would buy the Belair Kits Junior 60 parts set. **LINK**

The Unowot was my second r/c model and a fine flyer which I regret selling. Not a traditional build but a very sound aeroplane with a good instruction booklet.

Nothing wrong with a light foamie as a first aircraft for for an elderly beginner and nothing wrong with a three channel model either! wink

maiden flight.jpg

Jonathan M02/10/2020 07:19:53
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Interesting feedback, thanks.

Robin - Unfortunately there aren't any examples of the models shortlisted in the club for the guy to have any 'taster' flights. The closest I've got him towards a proper heavy trainer is my IC Boomerang on the buddy-box a few weeks ago, but in a moment of personal inattention coinciding with his own moment of sudden confusion and radical loss of height downwind, I failed to take control back fast enough to prevent a fuselage-shattering accident, which of course set his confidence back somewhat! However I've almost finished putting it all back together with a replacement fuselage, and intend to get him back on it as soon as the weather allows.

Thanks also for the SLEC Sky 40 suggestion. I would group this in the same category as the Mascot (sheet fuselage, built-up wing, nose-wheel, etc), so it would come down to which of the two takes his fancy if he goes down the proper trainer-type route.

Else the Uno Wot (aileron version I assume) seems to meet with approval here, although we'd need to ensure he chooses just the right power-train: CF's electric conversion sheet suggests a 2820 on a 10x5 with a 35A ESC and a 3s 3300mAh, whereas 4-Max specifies a 5055 on a 13x8 with a 60A ESC and a 4s 3700mAh - quite a difference!

Zflyer/Redex - these are good suggestions but the guy want to build from a kit rather than assemble an ARTF.

John - you're very possibly right about the Super 60, which was my own original instinct for him, even if it would limit flying it to really calm days only.

David - always good to hear your measured voice of experience and inclusion!

Perhaps the answer is that there isn't going to be just one model that ticks all the right boxes for him. Maybe the Super 60 would simply be a good choice as a first-kit building activity for this winter, resulting in a finished model he can be proud of and keep for safe, eventual solo flying in gentle weather. In the meantime he can continue to train on the foamie with his mate in quieter conditions, alongside more time on my buddy-boxed Boomerang to add to his stick-time and bolster his confidence.

leccyflyer02/10/2020 07:26:23
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If he's interested in a superb flying machine that can be as stable or as aerobatic as you like and is a great introduction to a basic kit build to end up with a solid, robust, well rigged, all weather aeroplane then the Uno-Wot certainly fits the bill. If he's more interested in a more intricate, much more traditional build to spend the winter on, but would probably f;y on high days and holidays then the Super 60 is one possibility, It depends which aspect is the most important.

David Davis02/10/2020 07:38:54
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Posted by Jonathan M on 02/10/2020 07:19:53:

Interesting feedback, thanks.

Robin - Unfortunately there aren't any examples of the models shortlisted in the club for the guy to have any 'taster' flights. The closest I've got him towards a proper heavy trainer is my IC Boomerang on the buddy-box a few weeks ago, but in a moment of personal inattention coinciding with his own moment of sudden confusion and radical loss of height downwind, I failed to take control back fast enough to prevent a fuselage-shattering accident, which of course set his confidence back somewhat! However I've almost finished putting it all back together with a replacement fuselage, and intend to get him back on it as soon as the weather allows....

I did that! I gave the trainee too much time to correct his mistakes. blush Beloved Enya 50 survived.

enya 50 and boomerang.jpg

Slightly left field suggestion would be a DB Sport and Scale Skyrider, though perhaps that would be more suitable as a third model. Certainly cheap enough. https://www.dbsportandscale.com/skyrider---full-plan-pack-7793-p.asp

Edited By David Davis on 02/10/2020 07:58:45

Edited By David Davis on 02/10/2020 08:05:02

Jonathan M02/10/2020 08:17:11
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Quelle horreur! My own fuselage looked from afar to be vaguely intact, but on closer inspection every single joint, keyed part and several sheet areas from just forward of the fin were either shattered or significantly fractured - so much so that the only solution was to order a new fuselage. Like your Enya, mercifully my OS Max 46 was unscathed.

I wonder how a traditionally-built model would by comparison have fared in identical circumstances?

leccyflyer02/10/2020 08:18:37
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You would have had a nice robust doped nylon bag to carry the smaller bits home in.

Jonathan M02/10/2020 08:20:15
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Posted by leccyflyer on 02/10/2020 08:18:37:

You would have had a nice robust doped nylon bag to carry the smaller bits home in.

😂

Tom Gaskin 102/10/2020 08:42:35
50 forum posts
5 photos

The Uno Wot conversion was done using an AXI motor, which uses the rotor dimensions, rather than the outside dimensions. I think that the 4max recommendation is for the Wot 4, as that setup is close to 70 four stroke territory!

I had one of the original conversions and it was great - eventually I got too silly, too close to the ground, and the UW was no more...

The battery fixing method works really well. Make up a couple of plates and fix the batteries to them for fast change-outs if you are so inclined.

 

Tom

Edited By Tom Gaskin 1 on 02/10/2020 08:46:41

Jonathan M02/10/2020 09:44:38
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Thanks for that detail Tom, appreciated.

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