What RC Airplane Instructor Questions do you have

Discussion in 'RC Aircraft & Watercraft' started by wtb3886, Dec 9, 2003.

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  1. wtb3886

    wtb3886 New Member

    I have been teaching new pilots to fly for the last 10 years, I am not an expert my any means but I am offering my advice to those that ask or want to know.
  2. wtb3886

    wtb3886 New Member

    Where can I find a flying club in my area?

    1-800-I-Fly-AMA:

    http://www.modelaircraft.org/ scroll down and look on the left of this page and click on Charter Club Locator.
    Enter either your Zip or State.

    Your best source of information for what type of model is best suited for training, engines that give the least trouble, field equipment needed, FREE flight training Most clubs, members that may have models for sale, building tips, model setups, is the clubs.

    This hobby is not (Self taught) although many have had success, if you were to ask them how many models they had to go through before they reached SOLO status then you can decide for yourself if this is the route you want to take,

    There are many factors that come into play before a new airplane can be launched so that you will not have problems.

    1st an foremost is your safety and the safety for those around you.
    2nd Insurance in the event something goes wrong.
    3rd an Instructor to assist you in learning the correct way to get started.
    4th a Club where you will have the experiences of vetren flyers so that as you grow in this hobby and you see what others are flying you can seek their views on how their airplanes handle.

    Check out one of my sites for information to assist you on your journey:)

    http://www.geocities.com/yosemite/cabin/1931/
  3. wtb3886

    wtb3886 New Member

    Which trainer airplane should I startout with?


    http://www.easyrc.com/airplanes/index.html
    1st we want to select a top mounted flat bottom wing with diehedral.

    Choose a model that does not have low temp covering, we are looking for monocote something that can easley be repaired.
    Pay attention to how your firewall is glued inside an out, ask a vetren flyer to look it over for you.
    Make sure the radio has the buddy cord attachment if the club you are going to join uses this setup.
    I would choose any OS type engine that has the high and low end carb setting valves ONLY.
    I would choose tricycle landing gear setup for starting out.
    The size of the airplane would depend on your eyesite an agility, I would suggest no smaller than a .40 size airplane for the young pilots and a .60 for us others :).
  4. wtb3886

    wtb3886 New Member

    What field equipment will I need?

    Props, prop wrench
    Fresh fuel
    Fuel pump
    Hand towels an cleaner like windex
    Screwdriver to fit the low end carb needle valve
    Allen wrenches for your wheels so that you can tighten them as needed
    Freshley charged starter battery and a electric starter, glow battery
    Battery checker so that you can know the status of your airplane batteries
    Glow plugs
    GLow plug wrench
    CA glue
    Clear tape
    Rubber bands for the wing
  5. wtb3886

    wtb3886 New Member

    How do I tune my engine?

    Looking down on the engine from the front view on the right side is your high speed needle valve adjustment screw.
    **GENTLY** turn this to the right all the way in, then turn it 1 & 1/2 full turns to the left. (always start here for tuning starting point).
    Fill your fuel tank and replace your fuel line to the carb.
    Make sure that you have properly setup your radio and plane so that when you pull your throttle all the way back and your throttle trim tab is about mid ways so that your carb opening is just barely cracked open.
    Have someone hold the airplane while you prepare to crank it (ALWAYS)
    **ALWAYS make sure that you have your tag on the frequency board BEFORE doing this**
    Turn on your transmitter then your airplane.
    Check the carb opening for just barely open.
    Put your glow driver battery on the glow plug.
    Using your starter spin the prop and listen just for a few seconds. **Make sure that we do not have bubbles in the fuel line to the carb. It is best to use padding around the fuel tank to prevent this from happening.
    If your engine pops or starts let it warm up for a few seconds.
    Move your throttle stick forward and listen to your engine.
    Remove your glow battery, **USE caution around the prop area ALWAYS ALL THE TIME**
    Do not allow anyone to stand to the sides of the prop area.
    If your engine fires up and you can move your throttle stick all the way to full open then we are ready to finish tunning your high side needle setting.
    If your engine will not stay running then you need to turn the high speed needle valve to the right just a few clicks and try again to crank it.
    Once your engine is warmed up, take the throttle to full open and pinch the fuel line just for a second and listen.
    If the engine speeds up we are too rich, throttle back and turn your high speed needle valve to the right just a few clicks and return to full throttle, do this until there is no change in sound then throttle back and turn the high speed needle valve to the left just a click, we always want our engines a little rich so they will last and we will not burn them up from running too lean.
    Once this is done, we need to have our holder pickup the airplane and tilt it nose up gently as we apply full power to simulate take off. If the engine stumbles then we need to readjust the carb setting for the high speed needle valve setting.
    If we are dealing with a new engine then we want to run a few tanks through before we send her on her maiden flight. We want the high side needle valve real rich so we can keep the engine kool while seating the insides of the engine. We also want to vary the throttle setting while we are breaking in our new engine.
    **Remember facing the high side needle valve adjustment screw turning RIGHT is rich, TURNING left is lean. While the engine is running and you pinch the fuel line if the engine speeds up we are rich, if the engine stalls we are lean.
    Before we attempt our maiden flight we need to ensure that our engine has a smooth transition from idel to full throttle, if we don't have this DO NOT attempt takeoff until we have this.
    **It is best that we do not adjust the low end needle valve setting if this is a new engine until everything is broken in.
    If we have smooth transition from idle to full throttle then we are ready for the maiden flight **Provided that our trims are properly setup or we have a vetren flyer look things over.
    If we do not have smooth transition from idle to full throttle then we need to check the low end setting.
    With the engine running at idle pinch the fuel line just for a second and listen.
    If the engine speeds up gradually this is alright, if she picksup fast then we are too rich, **when we make adjustments to the low end needle valve settings we need to take longer before we continue, give it some time before we make any more adjustments and LISTEN to what your engine is telling you. If she is rich then turn to the right **just a little then recheck using the pinch method. If the engine dies right away then we are lean, turn to the left then recheck and listen.
    **If we have to make adjustments to the low end needle valve setting then we must go back to the high side needle valve and readjust it same a before. **Check and recheck**
  6. wtb3886

    wtb3886 New Member

    What do I need to do in order to be prepared for my first flight?

    Have a vetren flyer take a look at your setup inside and out of your airplane and electronics so that if detected problems are present then your first trip to the airfield will not be wasted.

    If you have a brand new setup or new to you we need to ensure that our batteries have been properly conditioned.

    We need to put a 24 hour charge on our glow battery, transmitter & flight batteries.

    If we do not have a battery cycler we need to turn on the transmitter and airplane batteries**at home not at the field** and drain the charge off.
    You can move the sticks or just check it every once in a while if the servos start to jitter or make noise then we are ready to reapply another charge, for 14 hours for a full charge, check your instructions for the correct time for the batteries that you have. You can also leave the batteries connected to your charger **BUT unplugged from the wall socket this will drain the batteries as well.
    It would be best if you do this 2 times before your first flight so that your batteries will be properly conditioned before your maiden flight.
  7. wtb3886

    wtb3886 New Member

    What can I expect on my 1st flight?

    Your Instructor will examine your airplane and radio inside an out for proper setup or anything that may no be correct.
    Your Instructor will check the setup of your engine to ensure that she is ready for her 1st flight.
    Your Instructor will ask about the condition of your batteries, how did you prepare for the 1st charges of your batteries.
    Your Instructor will then began covering the operation of your controls and explain stick movements, if they use the buddy cord they will explain the setup, and prepare the 2 radios for the first flight.
    Your Instructor will take the airplane up and check out the trims so that she flies true, then he will check to make sure that your buddy box trims are working properly or he may have to land to make adjustments so that you inputs will be correct to ease your introduction to the inputs.
    Once all this is done and all adjustments are made then it's your turn to give inputs to the airplane.
    Our 1st few flights all we will be concerned with is the stick on your right, gentle inputs are always BEST**
    As long as the engine is running and our wing is level life is good, and with proper trims this is what we will have UNTIL we have to make a TURN.
    In order to make a turn all we have to do is GENTLY apply a LITTLE left or right and slight back pressure on the elevator then release the stick to center.
    As we watch what that input caused the airplane to do then we need to take out some of that by applying opposide direction of the stick to relevel the airplane.
    Pretend you are setting in the airplane when you apply inputs, what direction do you need to apply in order to have the plane go in the direction that is needed.
    This is alright until the airplane is coming back to you, then if an when a wing is not level apply aeleron input so that you put the stick under the low wing to prop it up, gentle input and look.
    Once we are able to fly level and not lose altitude during our turns, this is lesson 1.
    Make sure that before you leave the flight line that your airplane & transmitter are turned off.
    After your finished flying for the day it's time to learn how to properly cleanup, and store your airplane/engine.
    Remove all fuel from your airplane, use afterrun oil to help your engine last.
    Clean your airplane of excess fuel spray.
    When you get home drain the batteries only if you only had a few flights for this day, if you had a full day of flying do not discharge, just remember to put the batteries back on charge for the full amount of time that you batteries need for a full charge.
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