Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Like any leisure activity, R/C has some one time costs. The initial investment in airplane and related equipment might seem high to the newcomer, but once you are established with a model, engine and radio, the cost should stabilize and can be as much or as little as you want to spend. The startup cost for a new .40 size trainer airplane, 4 channel radio, engine, support equipmen, and membership fees is about $550.00. This can be less if you are able to locate good used items.
Q: How far do they fly?
A: Modern radio control systems have an effective range of one mile. It is very rare that a model airplane is flown that far away. A model with a wingspan of 60″ will become a small speck in the sky in one half mile distance. To maintain effective control the model should be kept within 250 yards. This means that you are almost constantly turning the model.Q: How fast can they fly?
A: A typical trainer flies around 60 MPH. More advanced aerobatic type models will fly faster, in the range of60 – 100 MPH. Expert class R/C racing models and jets will go over 200 MPH.
Q: What happens if the engine quits?
A: A common misconception among the general public is that control of the model is lost. This is not true! The radio system will continue to function since it is powered by its own on-board battery pack. You simply glide the airplane in for a landing.
Q: Can I buy an airplane that is ready to fly?
A: Yes you can. There are many fine ARF (Almost Ready To Fly) airplanes on the market. These can get you flying with around ten hours of assembly time. Some of these ARF’s come with the engine and electronic equipment pre-installed.
Q: Are model airplanes hard to build?
A: No, they are not. Balsa wood model airplanes are not difficult to build by someone who can master a few basic woodworking skills. These skills consist of the use of adhesives, a modeling knife & sandpaper. A typical kit includes all the parts to build a model and step-by-step instructions for assembling the airplane. Average construction time is 50 – 100 hours.
Q: Do I need a license to fly R/C airplanes?
A: No license is needed. There is an organization that sets rules and guide all model aviation activities. The organization is called the “Academy of Model Aeronautics” or the “AMA” and is based in Muncie, Indiana. The AMA works closely with the FCC to see that certain radio frequencies are set aside for the exclusive use of modelers. Our club requires new trainees to become members of the AMA before they can fly at the club field. Membership in the AMA also gives the member liability insurance coverage.
Q: Why do I need an instructor?
A: An instructor serves two purposes. First the instructor will check and fly your model the first time to make sure it is performing properly. The second reason for an instructor is is to correct any mistakes you might make when you take over the controls. While training, a radio with a trainer cord connected to a “Buddy Box” is used and the instructor can take over control of the airplane when the trainee gets into trouble. DON’T TRY IT ALONE, YOU WILL MOST CERTAINLY CRASH!!! Our Intro-Pilot Intructors
The sky is the limit!!!
Soon you will be flying by yourself with little thought to the moves required. It will come naturally, something like riding a bicycle. Your reflexes will take over as you learn to fly R/C airplanes. After you become accustomed to your trainer you will want to step up to faster and more agile aerobatic type airplanes.