If you are new to the hobby and would like some help learning how to fly we encourage you to come to our scheduled training sessions. They are listed on the home page.
Fixed Wing Training:
Tuesday evenings from approximately 5pm until dark at the field during the warmer months. Other
training times can be established on an individual basis by contacting an instructor and arranging a time to meet. The HOME page will show training days if they are scheduled; otherwise, click on the CONTACT link in the menu above to send a message to an instructor.
Saturday Mornings 9-12 AM or till the last student is done. Individual training can be done by contacting an instructor and setting up a time to train.
Recommended RTF Kits for Beginners :
All kits include a factory-installed receiver and 2.4GHz transmitter, and the Radian and Apprentice require nothing else other than what is in the box to get in the air in minutes.
The important things when picking a trainer is typically they are planes with high, flat bottom wing with some dihedral. We DONT recommend you try to learn to fly with a model of the plane you love, because it may not be a high wing Cessna type airframe, AND it won't look the same when you are done training.
E-Flite Apprentice S
The Apprentice 15 S is an excellent electric aileron trainer. Unlike the Radian, the Apprentice is more like a traditional aircraft for flying at the club field. Controls include rudder, elevator, aileron and throttle. Made of CA-safe foam, it is tolerant of “less than ideal” landings, and parts are not expensive and readily available. We have had several folks with the Apprentice show up at the field, and have been impressed with it’s performance out-of-the-box. Everything is included in the box – nothing else to buy to get in the air. Horizon now sells a Mini Apprentice that is less expensive. We recommend the full-size Apprentice because its easier to see, and understand orientation at distance in the sky.
“The Timber is marketed as a short take off and landing plane. It comes with navigation lights. Because its a stable high wing plane, it is starting to be appreciated for its ability as a trainer. It comes with floats which is lots of fun. This model will require a transmitter and battery but Aero Hobbies and help you get setup with what you need. Just tell them you are buying as a trainer.
The Radian is a very easy to fly electric sailplane right out of the box. It utilizes RE control (rudder and elevator), in addition to throttle for “climb out”, and “self stabilizes” if you throttle back and just let go of the controls. Made of easy-to-repair CA-safe foam (CA is commonly known as super glue), it is very tolerant of “less than ideal” landings, and with it’s folding prop and electric motor there is no need for the winches and high starts required for non-powered sailplanes. Many flyers who are expert sailplane flyers of much higher-end models also have a Radian for gentle, relaxing flying. Everything is included in the box – nothing else to buy to get in the air. Many of us with other planes also have a Radian just because it is a really “fun flying” plane. ….
We HIGHLY recommend new pilots invest in a RC simulator. There are 2 brands that offer realistic versions of RC planes from different brands. Real Flight and Phoenix. I prefer the Phoenix sim because it contains the Eflite / Horizon models that I mostly fly. It has a model of the Apprentice Trainer listed below. The benefit of the simulator is the ability to practice with transmitter similar to the one you will use OR the same one. It gives you the practice in understanding how the aircraft controls are opposite when the plan is flying away and when its coming back. Its MUCH quicker and cheaper to hit the reset on the Sim after a crash than to crash your new plane.
Notes on learning to fly:
Buy a spare prop and a spare battery for your plane. Most of us have 2 or 3 batteries of the right size and voltage for our planes. That way you can charge one battery while flying one. The Apprentice S will fly for 15 min on one battery so with 2 batteries you have 30 min of flying time. You will easily get 90 min of enjoyment from 2 batteries since you will want some downtime between flights. Props tend to break pretty easily during training, but they are inexpensive and easy to replace.