Learning to Fly Model aeroplanes
Model aeroplanes have been a popular hobby for decades, offering a unique and exciting experience for hobbyists of all ages. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just starting out, learning how to fly model aeroplanes can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. The following is a guide on how to get started in this exciting hobby.
Step 1: Join a Model Airplane Club
Before you start your journey in flying model aeroplanes, it is highly recommended to join a local model aeroplane club. You can find a model club in your area by searching on Google or visiting websites such as https://www.samaa.org.za. This will give you the opportunity to speak to and learn from experienced hobbyists, as well as to see different models and styles of flying in person. By joining a club, you’ll also be able to ask questions and receive guidance from other members, which can be invaluable when starting out.
Step 2: Use a Simulator
Once you have joined a club, the next step is to start practising your flying skills using a flight simulator. One highly recommended flight simulator is the Phoenix Flight Simulator. This is a great way to get a feel for how model aeroplanes fly and to develop your control skills before you actually start flying a real model. Flight simulators are widely available and can be used on a computer or even on a mobile device.
Step 3: Purchase a Model Airplane
After you have gained some experience using a simulator, it’s time to purchase your first model aeroplane. When choosing a model, consider your skill level, budget, and the size of the flying area you have available. There are many different types of model aeroplanes to choose from, including electric-powered, glow-powered, and gas-powered. Electric-powered models are typically the easiest to fly and are ideal for beginners, while glow and gas-powered models are more suitable for experienced pilots.
Step 4: Assemble Your Model Airplane
The next step is to assemble your model aeroplane. If building model kits are not your thing, you can always purchase ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) models, which require only minimal assembly, or even RTF (Ready to Fly) models, which come ready to fly out of the box. However, if you choose to build a kit, this can be a challenging process, especially for first-time builders. There are many resources available that can help you through the process, including step-by-step instructions that come with the kit, online forums, and YouTube videos. A great way to get into model flying is by building foam-based planes, like the Totem Rapid Build Series. These are forgiving in their build, and easy to repair, and the radio gear is compatible across multiple models.
Step 5: Check the Flight Worthiness of Your Model Airplane
Before you fly your model aeroplane for the first time, it is
important to ensure that it is flight worthy. A member of your club can help you check your model and make any necessary
adjustments to ensure it is safe to fly. They can also maiden the aeroplane for you, which is the term used for the first flight of a new model.
Step 6: Receive Training and Assistance
Finally, it is recommended to ask a member of the club to train you and assist you with your first flights. If your club has a buddy box system available, this can be a great way to get started, as it allows you to fly the model with the assistance of an experienced pilot. With their help and guidance, you’ll be able to gain confidence in your flying abilities and start enjoying this exciting hobby.