I think RTF Packages are a great way to get started. You?

AEAJR

Looking for Lift
I fly mostly gliders, electric gliders and electric airplanes. I have a few micro helis too. My comments come from that background and part of the hobby.

I have found that RTF packages that include EVERYTHING the pilot needs to get started is a great way to bring new people into the hobby. The cost is typically low, compared to buying the pieces separately and every thing is matched and built.

Naturally there are "good" and "bad" RTF packages but I find the good ones to be a great path to success. My criteria is to recommend the package that will get that pilot into the air and successful as quickly and as easily as possible.

Whether foam or wood or whatever, the plane is nearly ready for the sky. You still have to read the instructions and check a few things to make sure the plane is ready, but for the most part that should be fairly easy.

So many are coming into the hobby and learning on their own. Many use simulators and that is a great tool, but I find it is always best to work with an instructor, coach, advisor to help the new pilot with things they don't understand. Even someone on the forums can make a huge difference to a new pilot.

After the new pilot gets good with flying and fixing that RTF, and is committed to the hobby, then they can move foward with "investment" grade purchses for radios, chargers or whatever is needed to grow in the hobby.

So, that is my view. What is yours?

If you like RTFs? Which ones do you recommend?

If you don't like RTFs, why? What is your preferred way to bring people into the wonderful world of flying?

Inquiring minds want to know.
 
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notthatsmart

Junior Member
Well, cheap RTFs and ARFs (I already have a 4-ch TX) were what brought me back to the hobby after 10yrs away.

If someone has self control and doesn't buy outside their skill level, I think they can be great.

Not having really flown much successfully, I can't comment on their quality. My problems have all been operator error.... :)
 

BRUTUS

Plank Junky
Lifetime Supporter
He had us- but that didn't save his plane!

I think RTF packages are excellent. It's an easy, low-cost way for a beginner to get their feet wet. The Sensei trainer is a fantastic learning platform with good performance. The Park Zone Super Cub has taught thousands how to fly. Any decent LHS can help to get them set-up and flight-worthy. Plus, there are many other SUPER cheap alternatives out there like Dynam that can satisfy any ones foam addiction on the cheap!
 

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kaveman

Well-Known Member
but watch out on some hobby stores they will over sell you stuff and sometime beyond your abbility
 

Tired Old Man

Staff member
If small I agree with the concept. In no way do I believe anyone should start out with an RTF gas giant or one pre-built for them by someone else. I found the Hanger 9 Apprentice to be a pretty fair training platform. Gliders can be sort of difficult for a beginner to self teach. That's where I started and I did make any headway until I came across people that would help. I rebuilt more than a few gliders in the beginning....
 
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AEAJR

Looking for Lift
If small I agree with the concept. In no way do I believe anyone should start out with an RTF gas giant or one pre-built for them by someone else. I found the Hanger 9 Apprentice to be a pretty fair training platform. Gliders can be sort of difficult for a beginner to self teach. That's where I started and I did make any headway until I came across people that would help. I rebuilt more than a few gliders in the beginning....
You should try the current crop of RTF foam gliders. Some of them are excellent.
 

Tired Old Man

Staff member
In the beginning for me it was 2 meter thermal duration style gliders, but that was a long time ago. The Square Soar was a "hot ticket" back then, the Wanderer had yet to be designed. The carnage got even worse when I added a .049 power pod to the top and had the incidence angle wrong. What's incidence angle? I didn't have a clue back then.

Gliders can be easy or hard. Putting a newbie on a Hotliner is asking for too many kinds of trouble. Even a slow thermal plane will be hard for someone without instruction or a lot of time on a sim. The launch could be a catastrophe, hand launch or winch/bungee. Slopers are probably the easiest way to start but doing that wrong makes for some tiring climbs up and down the slope, and failing to understand the rotor behind the slope can make for some really bad landings. You aren't going around with a glider after it's in the rotor a ways back from the edge.

I do still truly appreciate gliders. True gliders are the purest form of model flying there is. You're good or your not flying. Hang a motor on the front and what you have is a quiet power plane with a lot of lift.
 

Classclown

Well-Known Member
My opinion? Those stupid RTF toys do nothing but bring in riffraff, would be hobbyists, into our world, crash, WTF???, then riddle the forums with stupid questions, and stupid threads about, "Why did my pos rtf toy plane crash?" threads...
And then, most of the time, they turn out to be mangy mutt spammers all along....
 

AEAJR

Looking for Lift
Are you talking about the more hot-liner-ish electric sailplanes?
RTF packaged foam gliders are introducing a LOT of new pilots and current electric flyers to the wonderful world of soaring. And some of the packages are quite good.

Pure and electric gliders made of all kinds of foam
EPS (Styrofoam)
EPP (very popular for slope gliders)
EPO
Elapor (a multiplex brand foam)
ZFoam (a parkzone brand foam)
others

Chuck Gliders that fly really well!

Winch and hi-start launched thermal duration gliders up to 2.5 meters (100 inches)

Foam wing hand launched gliders

Foam Slope gliders are pretty much standard in anyone's slope fleet.

Flying wing gliders are very popular in foam.

Electric launched versions of the above

Then add electric powered warmliners (not quite hot liners) and I guess you could call some foam gliders hotliners.

The foam gliders of today are quite good and many are available in RTF packaging.

There are competitions being run that are focuesd just on the 2M Parkzone Radian which is available RTF or as a PnP where you add your own receiver and battery.

A whole class of soaring competition has grown up around the electric launched gliders called ALES, altitude limited electric soaring. A lot of the people in those competitions are flying RTF electric glider packages. You can stop at the hobby store, drive to the field, charge the battery and be in the contest. :)

ALES Group launch - Most of the pilots are flying RTF Radians
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLzsAlrQ2rM[/ame]


This photo is of a RTF Electric Parkzone Radian that has been converted from electric launch to winch launch. Look at the bend in those wings!
http://www.parkzone.com/Search/Default.aspx?SearchTerm=Radian
 

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BRUTUS

Plank Junky
Lifetime Supporter
Clown- DOWN BOY! Thank God you're on this forum- Imagine if you were still on FG or RCG! That said- everyone needs to start somewhere. I don't know if you were born with a TX in your hand and two fingers super glued together, but yes, there are a TON of kids that have a passion for RC airplanes and zero guidance besides daddy's checkbook, and whatever they guy at the hobby store tells him. LHS's are great, but they are typically populated with, for lack of a better term- hobbyists. Some with very little real practical knowledge, just like the people that sold the MXS to NTS. The way I see it- RCG is for newbie pilots, FG is for aspiring pilots, and Team Flying Circus- well, this is where the old hands hang out!

Aeajr- I don't know who's bright idea the high-start conversion is, but I think it's time for them to re-evaluate certain choices they have made...
 

psycho-patch

Well-Known Member
Clown- DOWN BOY! Thank God you're on this forum- Imagine if you were still on FG or RCG! That said- everyone needs to start somewhere. I don't know if you were born with a TX in your hand and two fingers super glued together, but yes, there are a TON of kids that have a passion for RC airplanes and zero guidance besides daddy's checkbook, and whatever they guy at the hobby store tells him. LHS's are great, but they are typically populated with, for lack of a better term- hobbyists. Some with very little real practical knowledge, just like the people that sold the MXS to NTS. The way I see it- RCG is for newbie pilots, FG is for aspiring pilots, and Team Flying Circus- well, this is where the old hands hang out!

Aeajr- I don't know who's bright idea the high-start conversion is, but I think it's time for them to re-evaluate certain choices they have made...
Team Grizzled Flying Circus!!!
 

AEAJR

Looking for Lift
Clown- DOWN BOY! Thank God you're on this forum- Imagine if you were still on FG or RCG! That said- everyone needs to start somewhere. I don't know if you were born with a TX in your hand and two fingers super glued together, but yes, there are a TON of kids that have a passion for RC airplanes and zero guidance besides daddy's checkbook, and whatever they guy at the hobby store tells him. LHS's are great, but they are typically populated with, for lack of a better term- hobbyists. Some with very little real practical knowledge, just like the people that sold the MXS to NTS. The way I see it- RCG is for newbie pilots, FG is for aspiring pilots, and Team Flying Circus- well, this is where the old hands hang out!

Aeajr- I don't know who's bright idea the high-start conversion is, but I think it's time for them to re-evaluate certain choices they have made...
The Radian launch is actually a winch launch, which is much more powerful than a hi-start. That photo was taken of a Novice contest pilot's launch at an Eastern Soaring League contest. So he was flying that in competition, in Novice class.

As for the TFC being where the old hands hang out, this is the Beginner forum. So this would be the place to talk to new pilots and to those interested in new ideas, I would assume.

Wouldn't you agree?

As for "kids" with RTFs? Most of the kids I meet with RTFs are in their 40s or older. Some are in their 70s. Perhaps those are the kids you are talking about. I started with an electric RTF airplane at 49. Wonderful experince. Today I fly mostly competition sailplanes off winches.

I find RTFs the best way to get new pilots into the hobby. Quick, easy, all matched up and no deep personal investment in a plane they built and are afraid to fly because of the time invested.

Since I am primarily a glider and electric pilot I recommend the Parkzone Radian for those new pilots interested in soaring. If they want to fly airplanes then it is the HobbyZone Super Cu or the the Hitec Sky Scout among others.

If you break something you fix it or buy a new part. Once they get flying then they get into ARFs, Kits, scratch building and some design their own planes. But I usually start 'em on RTFs.
 
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BRUTUS

Plank Junky
Lifetime Supporter
Aeajr- I'm with you 100%. RTF's are the only way to go for a pilot just starting out. Hell, you can buy an RTF electric airplane new in the box for what a single servo costs in our big gas planes-

But, besides NTS, most of the guys on this forum are... As Psycho would put it- Grizzled lol!
 

Classclown

Well-Known Member
Clown- DOWN BOY! Thank God you're on this forum- Imagine if you were still on FG or RCG! That said- everyone needs to start somewhere. I don't know if you were born with a TX in your hand and two fingers super glued together, but yes, there are a TON of kids that have a passion for RC airplanes and zero guidance besides daddy's checkbook, and whatever they guy at the hobby store tells him. LHS's are great, but they are typically populated with, for lack of a better term- hobbyists. Some with very little real practical knowledge, just like the people that sold the MXS to NTS. The way I see it- RCG is for newbie pilots, FG is for aspiring pilots, and Team Flying Circus- well, this is where the old hands hang out!

Aeajr- I don't know who's bright idea the high-start conversion is, but I think it's time for them to re-evaluate certain choices they have made...
I am on FG, and everybody knows it. That place is a friggin' joke. Full of idiots asking the dumbest questions, left and right. Hence, my statement about RTF junk bringing in riffraff into the hobby. When I was a kid getting into this hobby, I had no guidance at all, as out of everyone in my family, I was the only one with an interest in aviation. But before I got into rc airplanes, I was already building scale models, not just airplanes, but also cars, motorcycles, and armor. I see these RTF toys as the reason so many noobs get into this hobby, and do some of the dumbest things, especially the FPV twits that don't think about consequences for some of the stupid things that they do. Seems like the number of hits they get on YouTube is all that matters. I know the RTF crap also brings in decent people, but for the main part, I think that kits or arfs should be a requirement, in which a person who will fly it, actually has to know how to properly set up a flying model, sort of a reason for the person who will be flying the model, to actually have a respect for it, and others. Thought I'd spice the thread up, been slow around here, and FG puts me to sleep.... For God's sake, tell NTS to smarten up, stop buying from NitroPlanes.crap for Christ's sakes!!! JUNK!!!
 
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