Jeff hartley 2012-04-28 19:39:17
I’ve lurked for a while and a few of my questions seem to have been
answered but I have a few I’d like expert advice on.
The last time I was actively building RC aircraft models was over 20
years ago and I left because of the hassle of living in a big city and
travelling long distances (without a car) to fly. Finally I am in a
position that I have acres of land of my own to fly in and I want to
get back into the hobby again. The problem is that the technology has
changed so much in the time I have been away, I am a little lost.
After reading a few mags, googling to find some reviews etc I have
settled on the following kit
ARC Cessna 177 ARTF
OS .70 four stroke
JR 378 radio kit
I will want to try Heli’s later on and I have been told that the JR378
is a decent beginners radio that will also allow me to transition on
to a heli later.
Now, the questions 🙂
Would you recommend the above kit to someone like me, returning to the
hobby ( I have flown RC before but only the old balsa and doped tissue
What type of fuel is recommended for the OS .70, the variety is
bewildering, when I was in the hobby, you bought a can of glowfuel and
that was that.
Is there a FAQ for this newsgroup or a site you would recommed to
someone like me where I can get “up to speed” on all this new stuff
(things like PCM and the differences between it and PPM etc)
Many thanks for the help, I can’t wait to be up and away again,
espescially as I have the blessing of “er-indoors” 🙂
Satman 2012-04-28 19:39:19
I was in your possition 5 years ago and I would say your choice is good . I
would use a fuel which has mainly sythetic oil like formula Irvine 5% from
Model Technics and fix the steerable nose wheel as they tend to damage
rudder sevos . PPM is just simple FM and perfectly good , PCM is still FM
but the signal is encoded with failsafe data and many including myself have
mixed emotions regarding the use of PCM . Buy or download a free simulator
to get back into the swing of things it is always cheaper than a crash and
on unflyable days you can still get your fix . Get Insurance even if you are
flying over private land as 23 a year is well worth it , here are some
usefull links http://www.bmfa.org/ ,
http://www.modeltechnics.com/ , http://www.osengines.com/index.html , the
list is endless but i find these quite usefull .
Robert spilleb 2012-04-28 19:39:21
For a 4 stroke you need roughly 10% nitro : do not forget it !
Please steer your front weel, but use a “servo-saver”:
– a simple one is a CAP with a “Z”
– much better : I use always a Dubro saver.
Look at http://www.dubro.com/DU-BRO/DUB_CAT/Dub_cat_Frameset.htm
The name is Control over-ride servo saver No 120
If you can join a club, do it to learn flying.
Jeff hartley 2012-04-28 19:39:23
You can be assured that I will be fully insured before I take to the
skies again. I remember back in the old days, planes can easily become
“runaways” and fly off to do damage all on their own. I suppose with
the radios of today it is less of a problem but best to take no
I am and avid Microsoft Flight Sim’er and have been for many years
now. I use the tower view to sort of simulate R/C but if you know of a
freeware or cheapo R/C simulator, please do tell.
Jeff hartley 2012-04-28 19:39:27
Hi Robert, thanks for the advice re: the servo saver, it never entered
my head although I have used them in the past. I’ll get one on order
There are no clubs here on Arran I’m afraid so I will have to re-learn
by trial and error. This is why I chose the ARC kit, they are reputed
to be above average in robustness. I think this newsgroup will have to
be my “club” as far as help and advice goes 🙂
Many thanks for your time.
Satman 2012-04-28 19:39:30
There is a link for a free sim in my original post .
Robert spilleb 2012-04-28 19:39:32
A nice simulation freeware is FMS :
– download the software from site
– the second problem is the interface
I use my own radio (Graupner mc24) with smartpropo and a little cable,
easy to make. The signal from the radio goes to the audio input of the
this soft comes from Smartpopo
I use it with windows xp
For all the interconnections , look at
(there is an english text too)
Xntrick 2012-04-29 18:43:21
That cessna is a lovely plane and engine choice fine……and the radio but
i like most go for the Futaba stuff as you can “Buddy lead” from one to
another. Go for it !!!..You could talk till the cows come home about pcm and
ppm and who ever uses which one will sell you the idea to have that.
Technical 2012-04-29 18:44:14
See now why you have lots of land.. heh..heh!!
Does it not get quite windy out there!!
Wha you have suggested seems a good start.
Good luck.On Sun, 16 May 2004 13:50:03 +0100, Jeff Hartley
Sailor 2012-04-29 18:44:17
Just read the series of posts started by you on the uk models newsgroup.
Mostly good advice given to you.
I have flown models since I was 10 – I am now 45 – you name it I have flown
it – but I have taken breaks like you – when the kids needed lots of
attention – when I was ill etc and the sport changes beyond belief in a few
years – usually for the better – reliable radio etc and the prices have
tumbled. ( I remember reed non proportional radio sets made by Galloping
ghost and wind up rubber powered escapements in single channel
If you want to email me to chat please do so(I have tried to email you off
group but couldn’t beat your antispam system!) – even better I get up to
fairly regularly on business so if you wanted to meet for a pint and a
natter I would be delighted to help you – even better lets get something in
the air. I usually stay at Auchrannie is that near you??
I fly helis reasonably well and fixed wing very well (he says immodestly!)
—– Original Message —–
From: “Jeff Hartley”
Sent: Sunday, May 16, 2004 10:27 AM
Subject: Returning to the hobby, help needed.
Jeff hartley < 2012-04-29 18:44:52
Hi Declan, Yes it can get a tad breezy here. Last January I took the wifes Rover into whiting bay to pick up a bottle of propane, as I opened the tailgate a gust of wind ripped it out of my grasp and completely off the car 🙂 It's not too bad here at the south end of the Island and the farm is in a natural dip in the land with the forest behind so we are pretty sheltered. I would estimate that in winter, I may get to fly every 2 weeks or so, in summer it could be most days, I will be out there every evening possible 🙂 Regards, Jeff.
Blagard 2012-04-29 18:45:03
Jeff, An alternative to MS Flight sim - well rather different really! look at Aces High. http://www.hitechcreations.com/htcindex.html
Its free software to download use and free on line for a couple of weeks.
after that you either subscribe or fly for free in head to head which is
nowhere near as much fun as when a few hundred of us are online in the same
arena. With voice comms its great working in small groups calling out when
danger to a friends six!
If you do try it – Watch out for a Spit on the Bishops side – Pilot handle
“Blagard” no less!
Djindivik 2012-04-30 19:02:46
All the above is sound advice. I can only re-itterate. One piece of advice
is the soundest JOIN YOUR LOCAL CLUB. One other thing, this has not changed
since time began, The principals of flight, they remain the same, weather it
be for the Wright Flier, or a Jumbo jet, or a model aircraft, they are, &
will remain, the same.
The natural ph 2012-04-30 19:02:52
Personally I disagree.
IF your local club welcomes you with open arms, and is happy and free
with sound advice, thats great. My experience is most are not.
My counter advice would be to say get your hand on a simulator, fly the
pants off it, but something cheap small and fixable and preferably
electric, and THEN when you can fly, join the serried ranks of grumpy
prop flickers and engine tuners at the club. But in my experience they
won’t even give you the time of day till you can fly, and, indeed, will
probably warn you off for being a safety hazard if you wobble your plane
around and dunp it in the long grass.
Joining a club is no guarantee of assistance, flying time, friendship,
respect, or instruction. Joiming a club merely entitles you to fly there
when the officials let you, under their suite of rules, which may
include you not being allowed to fly without passing a test. And no
instruction whatsoever – or possibly ‘two hours every tuesday night,
weather and availability of (unpaid grumpy) instructors permitting’.
Which amounts to the same thing.
Catch 22. I remember the last time I went up the club they talked about
‘that bloke who came here 5 years ago, crashed his plane, and
disappeared for 2 years and then came back. Flew fine then. Apparently
he was a farmer and he just went through 4 planes and taught himself on
his farm somewhere’. Yeah. Right. I think that was the time someone also
nicked a bag of crystals from my flight box too.
I took the hint, and haven’t been up the power field for 3 years. I have
used the electric site a couple of times in the last three tho. Nice
guys. No rules apart from sensible ones. I bought myself Realflight G2,
and some electric planes, and I could almost certainly pass the test
now, but like the electric guys say ‘why bother’. I am having more fun
flying in and out of the back garden and surrounding fields. Or the
local village green for smaller stuff.
I still support the club by being a member, but I have learnt that its
no automatic ticket to friends and help. Its just a place to fly if you
can’t find anywhere better. And believe me, waiting for a frequency tag
and having to dodge all the other idiots makes it no good place to fly
either. I would only go back there if I had a model too large to fly
Jeff hartley < 2012-04-30 19:03:22
Skip, I've tried to email you twice now but I don't think it's getting through 🙁 We are at the very south end of the island Skip, the Auchrannie is about 45 minutes from here depending on which way you go. Regards, Jeff.
Banks family 2012-04-30 19:03:24
the address is skipper(underscore)firstname.lastname@example.org - it is working OK
K 2012-05-01 19:46:32
In your circumstances Jeff, one word is paramount. Simulator. Save yourself a great deal of frustration and grief by acquiring and using use one prior to attempting to fly solo. You don't need to spend up big on Realflight et al. Just download FMS (free) and buy yourself either a PIC from the likes of http://www.rc-electronics.co.uk/ for
16, or alternatively a 3.5mm mono to mono pin (JR trainer) cable and
download Smartpropo. I would suggest the former for the reduced
OS-APP-JR Tx potential problem/frustration ratio.
Despite its limitations, FMS serves very well as a procedural and
orientation trainer for ab and post initio. Importantly it gets the
mind, fingers and thumbs working as they should. Its weakness lies in
its limited approach and landing perspective (don’t they all) and a
total lack of rudder authority though the latter makes little
difference in practice in learning to fly a trike trainer.
It is a very useful training aid. Used as such it will accelerate your
learning curve, and importantly, effect a major risk reduction on the
probability of you demolishing your trainer in your initial airborne
attempts if you are seriously intent upon learning to fly R/C without
My advice would be to practice like mad on FMS, then contact the
closest club and explain your unique circumstances to a sympathetic
instructor. Arrange to meet him if you can for at least one morning of
intense airborne training sessions. You will probably find 2x 50min
flying sessions comprising eg; a succession of 4x 12min flights ea
will find you saturated even if you have a good attentions span and a
rapid knowledge and skill acquisition rate. Even so, this approach
will immeasurably improve your trainer’s chances of surviving disaster
during the first dozen flight and landing attempts.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.