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I Want To Make/Fly 10 Aircraft/rotorcraft for the price of 1

  1. May 13, 2015 #1
    I'm an aircraft designer who is getting into the R/C airplane flying game. I want to learn how to fly both fixed wing and rotorwing vehicles. By my last count, for me to level up from the trainer aircraft and rotorcraft to the aerobatic/racing aircraft/rotorcraft I'll need to go through anywhere from 5 to 10 airframes. I'm just out of college, and paying off debt, so I'm looking for something that is affordable on my budget. (at or under $400) I've looked online, and the best ways I've found for doing this are the following.

    1. Buy a multirotor kit and a conventional layout fixed wing kit myself and assemble both. Then divide up the
    fixed wing kit into standard blocks and the multirotor kit into power blocks similar to what the folks over at
    FliteTest have done. Then start reshuffling the blocks to make more challenging configurations to learn
    both fixed wing and rotorwing flight.

    2. Get CAD models for a list of open source aircraft and rotorcraft plans, then 3D print all of the mechanical
    airframe components and buy one set of motors, speed controllers, recievers, servos, and batteries, then
    shift the set between the aircraft and rotorcraft.

    3. Find a set of modular parts that when assembled make a flyable aircraft or rotorcraft, similar to how LEGO
    mindstorms lets kids make a myriad of working robots out of the box. The parts have standardized
    electrical and mechanical connections so that building flyable aircraft is as easy as snap fitting parts. (Kind
    of like Kerbal Space Program in real life)

    I REALLY want something like option 3 because it would take the building experience out of the airframe assembly and let me focus on mastering the flying.

    My question is to the forum, does anyone else have this wish? Does this already exist and I don't know about it? (Also I am asking this on multiple forums so I apologize if you've already seen this)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2015 #2

    rcgldr

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    You should start off with someone that knows how to fly RC models using a "buddy" box system, where you both have transmitters, but the other person can take over as needed. If this isn't an option, then some type of simulator would be good. The main issue for new RC pilots is orientation, mostly when an aircraft is approaching you, since the aircraft's left is your right and vice versa. Helicopters are trickier still when trying to hover, since orientation is more of an issue. You don't need to get one of the expensive RC simulators. If you have something like Flight Simulator, flying an aerobatic plane from tower view and chase view (looking back) can be helpful.

    You can buy a small multi-rotor model for less than $50. These are much easier to fly than RC helicopters, although some of the RC helicopters now include a high self stabilization mode to make them easier to control. You can buy something like a Parkzone Radian RTF (ready to fly) which includes a transmitter for less than $250 online or at most hobby shops. It's an electric powered "glider" (you run most of the time with the motor off), with rudder + elevator. The rudder combined with the effective dihedral in the curved wings provides roll control. It's a foamy and not as delicate as a wood frame based model.

    There are some "convertable" aircraft models that allow you to switch from what should be an easier to fly high wing setup to a mid or low wing setup, but in my opinion, this is more of a gimmick that something practical.

    Some of the smaller multi-rotor models can be flown indoors, but for most RC aircraft, you'll want to fly in a fairly large field free of objects that it could collide into.
     
  4. May 14, 2015 #3
    Thanks for the advice rcgldr! I've looked at buddy boxing, but I don't have anybody I know that is experienced enough to teach me how to fly. I have a couple of nanoquads I got as birthday gifts, but nothing substantial in size, and while they are fun, I wanted to explore other configurations (trirotor, tilt rotor, etc.) and the current quad layout is fixed. I wanted a platform that could morph, so the trainer gets converted into a more advanced configuration. Are there any airframes or training systems that morph the trainer aircraft into advanced aircraft? (Because that is what I'm looking for, getting the 10 aircraft/rotorcraft for the price of 1)
     
  5. May 14, 2015 #4

    rcgldr

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    The only "morphing" models I'm aware of just relocate the wing placement, sort of like building a bi-plane model but only using one wing at a time.
     
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