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Mike Hussey 125/02/2014 16:41:40
6 forum posts

Hi all,

Just joined this forum in hope of reviving a very old hobby. I used to do a little RC modelling with my Dad many years ago, we tried gliders and planes with little success. Over the years I have tinkered with boats a little, and with my own children, cars - lots of cars.

Now the boys are themselves adults, I have time on my hands and I want to spend a good piece of it flying planes, or at least attempting to. Having been researching my first plane, a lot has changed, in fact, pretty much everything has changed. I have an end game, not quite sure how to get there yet, so will start a thread in the appropriate place when I find it unless I can find the information already.

John F25/02/2014 17:00:10
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1316 forum posts
51 photos

Welcome Mike. They are a very friendly bunch here who will be able to advise you no end.

What is your goal?

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator25/02/2014 17:01:34
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15748 forum posts
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Hi Mike,

welcome to the forum! smile

Here is as good a place as any for your questions about getting started - fire away!

BEB

Mike Hussey 125/02/2014 17:21:26
6 forum posts
Posted by John F on 25/02/2014 17:00:10:

Welcome Mike. They are a very friendly bunch here who will be able to advise you no end.

What is your goal?

Thanks.

My goal initially will be to get a plane off the ground, closely followed by keeping it in the air and bringing it down safely. I am not keen on my feet leaving the ground but was prepared to have a go at micro lighting and getting my licence to pursue my photography hobby. Just for fun one day I googled to see if anyone had made an RC flexwing microlight. Not only had they done so, but they had a video camera on board and were taking some beautiful videos.

This all got me thinking, then I discovered FPV and realised that a limited form of it would allow me to see what I am recording as I fly around.

After that long winded explanation, I think my goals are:

1. Purchase an EPO plane which is both stable at slow speed and able to carry a camera.

2. Learn to fly it.

3. Fit some camera equipment.

4. Take stunning videos of the countryside.

So I will be needing airframe advice, FPV advice, lots of sanity checks and encouragement.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator25/02/2014 17:34:50
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15748 forum posts
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For what you want to do Mike my immediate suggestion would be buy a Bixler. Very robust, very easy to fly. If you are going to teach yourself to fly this is probably the best path.

Now, having said that there is something I would very strongly urge you to do - you really should get insurance from somewhere. Its not a legal requirement to be insured to fly model aeroplanes but in my view, and I'm sure that of the vast majority of R/C flyers, you'd be daft to fly models uninsured. Accidents are rare, very rare thankfully, but they do happen and the potential liability risks you could incur are into the "house losing" scale! The BMFA are probably the easiest way to get insurance - millions of pounds cover for just £32 per year. In my view its a "no brainer".

For the future, you must understand that under the Air Navigation Order, as interpreted by the Civil Aviation Authority, there are legal requirements on FPV flying. Its quite detailed and still somewhat down the road for you - so I don't think its worth going into detail just now. But you do need to be aware that they do exist and that at some point you'll need to "gen up" on them.

Finally, although you can teach yourself to fly, and many have, there is no doubt that the easiest way to learn is with an instructor on a buddy lead (a sort of co-pilot system for R/C). Most clubs offer structured free instruction programme. So maybe you would consider joining a local club? If so we can show you how to find such a club.

BEB

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 25/02/2014 17:36:13

Mike Hussey 125/02/2014 17:54:47
6 forum posts
Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 25/02/2014 17:34:50:

For what you want to do Mike my immediate suggestion would be buy a Bixler. Very robust, very easy to fly. If you are going to teach yourself to fly this is probably the best path.

Now, having said that there is something I would very strongly urge you to do - you really should get insurance from somewhere. Its not a legal requirement to be insured to fly model aeroplanes but in my view, and I'm sure that of the vast majority of R/C flyers, you'd be daft to fly models uninsured. Accidents are rare, very rare thankfully, but they do happen and the potential liability risks you could incur are into the "house losing" scale! The BMFA are probably the easiest way to get insurance - millions of pounds cover for just £32 per year. In my view its a "no brainer".

For the future, you must understand that under the Air Navigation Order, as interpreted by the Civil Aviation Authority, there are legal requirements on FPV flying. Its quite detailed and still somewhat down the road for you - so I don't think its worth going into detail just now. But you do need to be aware that they do exist and that at some point you'll need to "gen up" on them.

Finally, although you can teach yourself to fly, and many have, there is no doubt that the easiest way to learn is with an instructor on a buddy lead (a sort of co-pilot system for R/C). Most clubs offer structured free instruction programme. So maybe you would consider joining a local club? If so we can show you how to find such a club.

BEB

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 25/02/2014 17:36:13

Thanks for the advice.

The Bixler 2 is one of the planes on my list. My problem is though that I don't think I want full FPV (goggles) and so perhaps a ready to fly solution like the Hubsan Spyhawk may suffice.

Insurance I am quite happy to get, thanks for the info on that. I have read the FPV rules many times over and am pretty aware of them. This is another reason I don't want full FPV as I will not always have a spotter with me. I won't be flying over 1000ft, 400 to 500ft will be ample I think, neither will I be intentionally losing sight of the plane.

I might look into joining a club, will see how I get on. I live in a rural location so have plenty of open fields where I can practice with the farmers permission without too many concerns.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator25/02/2014 18:53:53
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Ah that simplifies things a lot Mike if you are not using Goggles and staying in line of sight - strictly speaking then you would not doing FPV - you are just flying a model with a video camera on-board - something nearly all R/C flyers do at some time.

The SpyHawk is quite similar to the Bixler - the "problem" though is the screen. You see you can either look at the screen or you can fly the model - its pretty well impossible to do both without entering the restrictions of FPV. When flying a model line-of-sight you cannot really take your eyes off it - doing so is a recipe for disaster!

Frankly, if I was in your position I would not go for the Hubsan, I would get a conventional 2.4 transmitter, a plane to learn to fly on, then fix any of the many after-market video cameras on it such as the Go-Pro. That way you get a better model, a better transmitter and probably a better camera in the end. Yes, its extra work setting stuff up, and it will cost you a bit more, but it will give you a more flexible platform in the end.

BEB

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 25/02/2014 18:55:13

Steve Goodwin25/02/2014 19:38:27
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160 forum posts
15 photos

Hello Mike and welcome

As you can see BEB gives great advice. I am in exactly the same position as yourself, played before, kids, life, etc but now it's time for us to have fun, MAKE SURE YOU DO that's what it's all about, but as BEB recommends keep safe.

All the best Mike, Steve

Richie Carey Maddog Designs UK25/02/2014 19:49:42
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338 forum posts
747 photos

Hello Mike, welcome to the forum.

Richie

Mike Hussey 125/02/2014 20:23:07
6 forum posts

Thanks everyone, seems like a great place to be. I really want to order a plane but have no idea which one to get. I like the idea of a plane without a camera initially, but I also like the idea of a complete package which takes just moments to get ready to fly.

I forgot to mention I recently purchased a little Hubsan H107D quadcopter as I was going down the quad route. I am finding it quite hard to coordinate everything and the more substantial ones are pretty expensive. I like the idea of a EPO plane where gliding can contribute greatly to an extended flight time.

What sort of range do the cheaper 2.4ghz Tx's achieve?

John F25/02/2014 20:45:10
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1316 forum posts
51 photos

Your first plane, Mike, may well end up doing cartwheels on more than one occasion as you learn so it is best to buy one that isn't necessarily camera ready.

When you say cheaper 2.4ghz Tx's, which ones are you talking about? I don't think there is much in it with regards to range, they're all much of a muchness.

If you're teaching yourself to fly you will learn loads from a flight simulator without the inherent costs of crashing every ten minutes.  Some use Phoenix or ClearView flight sims but there are others out there.  The plus point with Phoenix is that you get a real Spektrum Dx5 Tx with the package that plugs into the PC but can also be used to fly for real later on.

Edited By John F on 25/02/2014 20:50:22

gliggsy25/02/2014 21:04:26
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103 forum posts
4 photos

Bixler everytime in my opinion. No landing gear to rip off, big enough to see at a distance, will glide with the best of them, tough, prop that isn't going cause any grief, tough, carry a payload, cheap and did I mention tough as well as easy to fix, cheap spares, comes in whatever colour you're willing to paint it......g

Josip Vrandecic -Mes25/02/2014 21:29:47
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2993 forum posts
260 photos

Hello Mike , welcome and enjoy with us.....face 1

Greetings from Adriatic Sea

Joe

Mike Hussey 126/02/2014 16:50:07
6 forum posts

Thanks again for all the replies. After much deliberation (around a month!) I think I am going to stick with the quads, I think they are better suited to my photography quest. Back to practising!

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