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Where have all the GOOD trainers gone?

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Peter Christy02/05/2013 12:58:42
1666 forum posts

Yesterday (Wednesday, 1st May) my club had a bit of a get-together for the first really nice flying day this year. We have one long-standing member of slightly advancing years who has been struggling to master flying for some time. Part of the problem is that the models currently posing as trainers are actually "lead-sleds" that not-too-many years ago would have passed as advanced aerobatic models!

The model he was flying yesterday was sold as a trainer, and it is certainly robust. But there any resemblance to a trainer ends, as it has absolutley no inherent stability whatsoever, and diverges as soon as you take your eyes off it! It also comes in to land far too fast for even a youthful beginner's reactions, never mind a more mature pilot!

What he really needs is something like a Frog Jackdaw, Veron Robot, or - best of all - a Goldberg Falcon, but nobody makes anything like this anymore!

All those models were robust enough to take some abuse, but had enough inherent stability to allow the pilot to relax, and simply steer them around the sky whilst he learned to fly. They were all also capable of aerobatics in the right hands, whilst still giving the pilot time to think.

Someone is going to leap in and say "what about the Super 60", to which I would reply that it was probably a bit too floaty and stable to make a good trainer.

Can anyone suggest a currently available model that would match the benign handling of those 60's models, whilst still being able to cope with the British climate and landing strips?


00102/05/2013 13:16:27
2212 forum posts
1 photos

Super 60.

David Molineux02/05/2013 13:31:00
123 forum posts
18 photos

If a bit of building isn't an issue then the TN sky 40(SLEC) is very good. Mostly ply so it's tough and I went from never having flown to passing my A within a couple of months with mine. I find it very forgiving too. Only issue I've had is I built mine electric and because of its weight (about 3 kilo's) the flight times are limited to about 5 mins with the 4s setup I have fitted which wasn't ideal whilst learning.

Great model though.

Martyn K02/05/2013 13:39:11
5041 forum posts
3677 photos

I (re) learned using a Tutor 40. I couldn't fault it as a trainer, nice relatively low wing loading, very stable and predictable and you could really slow it down for landing. The only recommendation would be to throw the plasticene undercarriage away and replace it with piano wire/

You can download the plans for the Goldberg Falcon 56 plans from Outerzone however that was sold as an aerobatic trainer IIRC.


Richard Wood02/05/2013 15:06:46
1094 forum posts
164 photos

DB Skyrider (plan pack) or Mascot (kit).

fly boy302/05/2013 15:14:02
3593 forum posts
21 photos

Our club uses"Arising Stars" a 46 or even a 40 wiill be ok. Easy to assemble, easy to repair, but above all easy to fly. Cheers

Martian02/05/2013 16:31:19
2295 forum posts
1091 photos

I have a STICK 1500 from Hobby King arf but some work to do looks good not to heavy can be glo or electric allthough with electric requires lipo4s and about 8oz lead. yet to was a very modest price and looks as though it will take some knocks the design has been kicking round for years I believe


Concorde Speedbird02/05/2013 16:33:32
2721 forum posts
632 photos

A bit off topic, but the best trainer I have ever flown is my Father's own design 'Camera plane' as we call it, as it was designed to carry a camera. Dad built it when he was at Sixth form for a subject, and it is a three channel (R, E and T) high wing model, not very large (about 20 two stroke power), designed to carry a camera to take air shots. These days that is easy, but in the 80's it wasn't! Anyway, we still have it and I learnt to fly on it. Great little aeroplane that has never let us down (and it took some great air shots).

So if you want a good trainer, why not design your own?! I think with someone experienced at your side and reduced rates, these days you can start off with a SLEC Funfly or Wot 4 pretty successfully (although I would still recommend using a proper trainer). Your average ARTF trainer is fine, but if you want something strong maybe an Uno Wot (kit) or SLEC Sky 40.


ericrw02/05/2013 16:42:47
994 forum posts
19 photos

Arising Star.

John Muir02/05/2013 16:56:04
375 forum posts
1 photos

Somebody was trying to revive the Kamco kit line, including the excellent Kadet trainer, but nothing seems to have come of it. I loved my Kadet. I also had a Mascot (Chart made it back then) and that was lovely as well, so a vote for that. Otherwise, what about any of the many variations of the Sig Kadet. They look like they would fit the bill.


P.S. or a Super 60?

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator02/05/2013 16:59:14
15748 forum posts
1460 photos

I think the Arising Star and the Boomerang are both good trainers in the classical mode. Stable - but not too much so - and very rugged. The WOT-Trainer isn't bad either - but I feel the elevator is a bit suspect once the learner gets some condfidence and starts "throwing it about" a bit!

One thing I have noticed lately is the increasing number of beginners coming with very small and light (less than 1kg) foamies often with some form of stabilisation or "anti-crash" technology. They seem to think that a smaller model is a good place to start and that "small" means "easy to fly". Well, as we all know, that very often is not the case! And frankly I really don't think that stabilisation technology is the way for learners to go. Its great later - to help you fly something light in the wind given that you can actually fly it you just want a bit of help to stop it bobbing about unrealistically. But it doesn't help beginners in my view - they are better in direct link to the model so they can develop a feel for what's going on.


Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 02/05/2013 17:01:10

edwards flyboy02/05/2013 17:11:53
60 forum posts
29 photos

Kamco Kadet is a very good trainer,plans are still around .Another good one is the R.M.Trainer plans from my hobbystores.

Ernie02/05/2013 17:26:32
2516 forum posts
21 photos



Nev Haycox02/05/2013 17:32:15
327 forum posts
20 photos

I echo what Martyn K says about the Tutor 40. I found it to be a great trainer that can be electrified if you wish.


Bill_B02/05/2013 17:50:13
1145 forum posts
11 photos

Arising Star, brilliant value and great flying attributes. yes

Or for a Foamie, ST Models Discovery.

Simon B02/05/2013 18:35:20
1936 forum posts
284 photos

BEB, the Parkzone stabilisation stuff does very little, it just nudges you out of a steep dive. As for foamies, my Super Cub (once I ditched the nasty radio gear) was a great model to learn on, as it was light, large enough (4 footish) and easy to repair with some glue and tape and was about 1.5lb (715g in modern money). I've now been flying for 6 years and I think we'd be foolish to say it's wrong to learn on a foam model, as breaking a large balsa model can be extremely off putting to a beginner.


Edited By Simon B on 02/05/2013 18:38:45

Percy Verance02/05/2013 20:28:35
8108 forum posts
155 photos

You'd have to go a long way to beat (or even match) the Telemaster. One of the best around imho. David Davis on this very forum has the details, and can supply the plans for several different sizes up to a whopping 12 foot span (yes really).

Website here.....

I have no connection other than being a happy customer. yes


Edited By Percy Verance on 02/05/2013 20:32:05

Josip Vrandecic -Mes02/05/2013 20:33:21
2993 forum posts
260 photos

Hi Peter , , WOODEN and ABS series...very usable and classic trainers...yes



Edited By Josip Vrandecic -Mes on 02/05/2013 20:34:20

lakey02/05/2013 21:14:04
7 forum posts
8 photos

You could try a Nova 40. Really nice to fly and the bright yellow covering makes it easier to keep oriented. It also converts very nicely to a tail dragger.

ben goodfellow 102/05/2013 21:24:31
1069 forum posts
41 photos

i have just built a coachman with my little lad , and i tell you as far as trainers go this things brilliant stable , the right size is a proper balsa ply airframe no foam in it . and land amazingly slow almost walking pace , the only maybe down side from a newbie point of view is you have to build it off a plan but me i think thats a good thing .

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