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A horizon of new possibilities

QuentinFr

New Member
Dear all,

To introduce myself, I am 28 yo and that is (re)discovering old toys.

Few months ago, I found a F6F-3 Hellcat balsa kit from Guillow's that I hadn't seen for years.
I immediately started to assemble it, remembering that I wasn't mature enough to do so when I received it for my 12th birthday.
Not especially made to be geared with a electric motor, I contacted a club nearby and obtained loads of interesting information concerning the huge gap between my lovely little Hellcat and the currently used models, made of polystyrene.

I got that the Hellcat would require much more knowledge, tools and equipement than I thought, and also that I should surely start flying a polystyrene model before attempting to crash fly my Hellcat (which took already 25 hours of my time at this stage).

At this stage, I am gathering the parts for a Sky Surfer X8 that I am planning to fly with an FC and in the future a video system.

So I am here to enjoy this new passion with others :)
 

RandyDSok

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the forum...

What we recommend most before you start flying anything... foamy, balsa or whatever... Is to get a decent flight sim such as Real Flight or other and practice there before you start committing to a real physical vehicle. The savings on repairs will more than pay for whatever flight sim you go with.

Just some info and tips to start you off....

Guillow's makes some nice smaller sized planes and I've considered getting one several times, for instance they currently list a F6F in both a 16" and 32" size, I'm uncertain what sizes they had in the past. The 32" is considered small if you plan to fly it outside in any amount of wind over about 10 mph. In fact, larger planes not only handle wind better, they also fly more stable in general and are a little easier for beginners to control because they aren't as twitchy as smaller models.

Super glue, CA or cyanoacrylate glues are typically not recommended on most types of foam. Many foams will simply melt if using the wrong type of glue. So be careful what you use to assemble these types of vehicles with.

Balsa, fiberglass and other stiffer building materials will make a stiffer more accurate flying plane if built properly. There isn't anything particularly wrong with a foamy plane but they do give more which makes them feel a little floppy or wiggly in the air.

Take your time while building your F6F... it will pay off in the end with a much nicer flying model. You'll likely find you end up with a sense of pride in having made the plane yourself which just enrichens the hobby. Of course, like the foamies out there, there are also ARF and RTF ( almost ready to fly and ready to fly ) models available in balsa and fiberglass etc.

When you are flying, you may find an issue when the plane is flying back towards you because your left/right controls will seem backwards. If so, turn your back towards the model and look over one shoulder or the other back at it. That will keep the stick movements in coordination with the airplanes movements. Over time, you can slowly turn back towards the plane once your muscle memory is in place. PS... the same is true when flying inverted when your up on the sticks is actually down for the model. I don't recommend standing on your head for that one to counter it, just remain aware of it... lol.
 

QuentinFr

New Member
Welcome to the forum...

What we recommend most before you start flying anything... foamy, balsa or whatever... Is to get a decent flight sim such as Real Flight or other and practice there before you start committing to a real physical vehicle. The savings on repairs will more than pay for whatever flight sim you go with.
Thank you all for your warm welcome :)

I got the AeroFly RC 8 simulator and I am currently waiting for my radio to arrive to start. What do you think about this software?

The Hellcat is a scale 1:16 (wing span 32 3/4) and I really enjoy assembling all these little pieces :) And I believe that it is compulsory to be super cautious. I already had disassemble some parts just because it wasn't perfectly positionned.

"In fact, larger planes not only handle wind better, they also fly more stable in general and are a little easier for beginners to control because they aren't as twitchy as smaller models." is a great advice. The Sky Surfer x8 that I have is 55 inch, do you think it is appropriate?

Thank you again and a lot for all these great advice :)
 

RandyDSok

Well-Known Member
I haven't tried the AeroFly software... perhaps someone else here may have.

The size of the Sky Surfer is certainly appropriate... I'm uncertain of it's build quality or flight characteristics so can't say much here either. The style it's designed off of has a lot of good reviews, so if it's engineered properly, it will likely be a decent flyer to start with.

About whatever radio you have coming or will have later. Set it up in the same stick mode that is most commonly used in the area you are in. In the USA it's mode 2 and a lot of Europe flies using mode 1. This way, if you find others to fly with, it will help with any instructions you may get from them... not to mention if you fly their aircraft or they get to fly yours. When practicing on the sim... just do a lot of take offs and landing... do it so much that you get completely bored with it and then do it more. You can also play around doing other stuff, but when beginning the take offs and landings are where you'll need the most practice actually flying.

My first plane was a 58" P-51D Mustang ( terrible beginners plane ) and then after a while I ended up with a hangerful between 40" to 51" all made from balsa. The 40" Edge I own is nice in that I didn't have to take it apart to transport but wasn't the best if we had any wind to contend with. I think my favorite was a cross between a pattern and 3D flyer called a Vyper that was around 47", until an aileron failed in air and it spun into the ground spectacularly. I also have a relatively tame 3D flyer that is a 48" Extra that is what I flew the most, I actually crashed two times and rebuilt each time. I wish they still made that one, it would be a good one for almost anyone. My bigger one that I'd just got before I stopped flying ( a long story about budget vs the situations surrounding flying here ) is a 51" Slick that I only got a few flights out of.

Sorry about the reminiscing.... the idea was to give you an indication that I think something in the 4 foot wingspan range is a good one for both flight and transport reasons.
 

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