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A Novices' Primer - 1

By Kevin Morgan, Nottingham Radio Control Society

Newcomers to the hobby frequently ask for advice on what to buy if they want to learn to fly a model aircraft. The advice given below is based on experience gained in teaching people to fly over a period of 20 plus years and whilst not guaranteeing success will help you avoid unnecessary expense or heartache at the start of what will hopefully develop into a lifelong pursuit.

There are three major items that need to be bought as a minimum and these are:Flair Piper Cub - A Good Trainer Model

(1) A suitable trainer type model aircraft on which to learn to fly.

(2) A compatible engine to power the model.

(3) A set of radio control equipment.

Suitable examples will be outlined in more detail on the next pages. My advice to a newcomer would be to purchase all of this equipment new if financially possible. At current prices (circa. November 2000) all of this can be purchased for between 250 to 350. There is a danger in buying second-hand equipment in that it might not be suitable for learning with i.e. radio equipment unreliable, engine seen better days etc. Leave the fun of bartering to when you need to purchase your next model. If however you decide to proceed via this route try to get the help and advice of a knowledgeable colleague before you part with your money.

Finally you will need to get help in learning to fly. NEVER be tempted to have a go on your own. Join a club. Most model flying clubs have a policy for new members to get them up in the air as quickly and safely as possible. If you want to learn to fly at NRCS all we ask is that you join the society and become a member of the British Model Flying Association (BMFA) in order to avail yourself of the insurance cover they offer.

On a philosophical note: when you are learning it is not a question of if the model is going to crash and get damaged but more of when! If this offends your sensibilities then maybe you should consider cross-stitch! It can happen to the best of us, myself included, but in a perverse way is one of the attractions of the hobby.

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