Thursday, June 15, 2006

RC Airplanes Being Used For Survelliance

St. Petersburg, Florida - At the Model Flying Field in St. Petersburg, radio operated airplanes soar through the skies. Jim Alman has been doing this since he was a kid.

Jim Alman, Cyber Defense Systems:
“Probably ten or 11 years old flying models."

But he's not flying just any old model airplane, it's a Cyber Bug.

Jim Alman, Cyber Defense Systems
“They're unmanned air vehicles they have cameras on board and they're used primarily for surveillance.”

The light weight planes have come in handy for the military. Jim has sold several to government agencies. The Cyber Bugs cost around 30-thousand-dollars each.

Jim Alman, Cyber Defense Systems
“Actually what they're used for is intelligence gathering and that's what the airplanes are designed to do.”

Jim's also trying to talk to local law enforcement and television stations about the benefits.

Jim Alman, Cyber Defense Systems
“Just recently there was an accident nearby we took video of the accident, a helicopter would have taken an hour to deploy to the area and we were right there.”

David Shelton, Cyber Defense Systems:
“It's constructed mostly from carbon fiber and fiber glass so it's very light and durable.”

David Shelton works for Jim as an aerospace engineer at Cyber Defense Systems.

David Shelton, Cyber Defense Systems:
“The aircraft cruises at 26 mph and can fly for more than an hour.”

The Cyber Bug's operated through a portable computer system.

Even the controller is like a video game.

Jim Alman, Cyber Defense Systems
“The u-a-v operators of tomorrow are the kids that are playing games today and we really wanted to make it as user friendly as we could for the future pilot, so the natural way to go was with a Gameboy controller.”


Thursday, May 25, 2006

RC Cars, RC Boats, RC Planes, RC Helicopters, Radios and all

For all the fun and excitement that the RC Hobby has to offer,
Global RC land delivers. Simple Cars for family fun to full out
competition and everything in between Global RC Land has it all.

Global RC Land is your RC Supercenter. We have RC Gas Cars,
Electric RC Cars and Trucks as well as RC Planes (both gas and
Electric), RC Helicopters (both Gas and Electric) and radios for
cars, trucks, planes, and helicopters from single channel to 10
channels. Plus we have all the parts and accessories that you
need to keep your favorite buggy running in tiptop condition. If
it is RC we have it.

With RC cars starting for under $15.00 we will have THE RC
vehicle to fit your needs. If you are looking for the prefect
Gift for Graduations, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Christmas and
Special occasions or just as a Surprise or for Fun, the RC hobby
have a lot to offer. Cars for indoor use or outdoor use, for fun
or completion, RC cars are fun, fast, challenging, and even
educational for improving eye had coronation and even teamwork.
For family fun, bonding and enjoyment check out the RC hobby.
Great clean fun for everyone.

When it comes to RC cars we have the absolute best selection
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At Global RC Land you will find the best selection of RC cars,
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Check us out for the best products, best selection, best service
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Onwer, CEO of Global Dimensions,LLC. Onwer of Global RC Land.
The worlds largest Virtual RC Hobby Shop.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ornithopters Less Than 6 Inches Wide!

Flapping its mechanical wings, a hummingbird-like "ornithopter" built by Brigham Young University students is at once an engineering feat and a sign of things to come in unmanned surveillance technology.

The tiny flying wonder, along with other fix-winged micro air vehicles less than 6 inches wide, took to the skies near Saratoga Springs on May 20 as part of the 10th Annual Micro Air Vehicles Competition.

For senior Erin Reed, designing tiny, radio-controlled aircraft is not only an engineering challenge, but also a way to impress friends and family.

"My plane fits inside my hand. When I tell people it's that small, they are blown away," said Reed. "They ask me, 'How does it get in the air?' Amazingly, it does."

Jerry Bowman, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and faculty adviser to the BYU team, said the competition gives students a chance to showcase their ingenuity.

"Working within set guidelines, students take engineering principles they've learned in class, come up with innovative designs and turn their ideas into working models," said Bowman. "The chance to take the project from start to finish really adds to their educational experience. Plus, it's a lot of fun."

Miniature planes have many potential applications. For example, police could use them to track fleeing criminals, journalists could enter difficult-to-access areas for live footage, or search-and-rescue teams could pilot a plane into a tight spot to better assess emergency situations.

"Video capability is really only the surface," said Bowman. "Attach a microphone or a chemical sensor to the plane and you can collect many other types of information."

The competition, which is sponsored by NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory, among others, consisted of four events – a surveillance test to see which planes can successfully transmit video from the air to home base, an endurance test to see which plane can go the longest distance and a design competition in the form of a written report.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Megatech Freedom Flyer Cessna - 3 Channel RTF

The Freedom Flyer simply has all the right stuff required for a fantastic beginner to intermediate radio-controlled model. The combination of the high-lift wing and powerful motor, energized by the latest technology NiMH battery pack, get this sharp looking little airplane to altitude fast!

A beginner flyer needs to focus one thing—learning to fly! Since Megatech’s Freedom Flyer comes with absolutely everything needed in one box (only AA alkaline batteries are required for the transmitter) and it comes built, there’s no need to worry about anything like soldering, cutting or gluing. It’s all done for you and ready to go. Even the charger for the NiMH battery is included. All structures are formed from rugged PolyNylolene™ and can really take some abuse—again, a great feature for the beginner.

The included PF4000 4-channel radio is of true hobby quality in that all the flight component: servos, receiver and electronic speed control, are separate components making this radio perfect for future use in other models as your flying skills advance.

Unlike other small electric powered models, with its power and high-temper sprung landing gear, take-offs and landings are something the Freedom Flyer does with grace and ease from pavement or a hard-packed surface. Of course, it can also be hand-launched too if you plan on flying from a high-grass field.

Freedom Flyer has all the ingredients for success the first time out. Plus, when you are ready to advance, the Freedom Flyer performs loops, rolls and other stunts!

- Speeds of 50+ MPH with the Speed 400 high performance motor

- Can take off from the ground and be flown inverted and looped!

- FM 4CH radio with over 1500ft range

- Super stable design makes first time flying easy and fun

- High density Dura-Plax construction for added strength

- 10 minutes from box to flying field, simply attach the wing, charge the battery and go!

- Radio system includes micro servos, speed control and micro receivers that can be used in other RC applications


- Construction: foam and plastic

- Wings: One-piece foam core, attaches to fuselage with included rubber bands

- Decals: Factory applied red, white and blue

- Battery Compartment: Easily accessible on fuselage bottom

- Cowling: ABS plastic

- Landing Gear: Fixed wire with foam wheels

- Nose Gear: Pre-bent wire with foam wheel

- Radio: 4 channel with two micro servos, 10 Amp ESC, battery LED.

- Battery: 7 cell 8.4V NiMH flat pack with connector

- Battery Charger: 6-7 cell capability

- Building Time: Ready to fly in only 1 hour or less

Friday, May 19, 2006

Hangar 9 Alpha Trainer R/C Airplane

Learning to fly a radio control airplane is one of the most exciting and rewarding challenges you can undertake. It's a hobby you can enjoy for a lifetime and will open doors to new experiences and friends you might have never known otherwise. This is why success during your first few flights is so important. It lays the groundwork for a lifetime of enjoyment. With the ready-to-fly Alpha Trainer from Hangar 9, your success is all but assured, thanks to its gentle, beginner-friendly flight characteristics and an ingenious Evolution Trainer Power System® that makes the Alpha the easiest-starting, smoothest-running trainer available.

A successful first flight doesn't start until the engine does. Yet many ready-to-fly trainers that claim to be for beginners come equipped with engines that demand a level of experience most beginners don't have. This is the magic of the Hangar 9 Alpha's extraordinary Evolution Trainer Power System. Every Evolution system's engine is test run and tuned at the factory so a novice can easily get the Alpha flying right out of the box. No break-in period. No tedious trial-and-error with the carburetor settings. Just fuel it up and, with a few flips of the prop, you're flying.

No matter how gentle a ready-to-fly trainer's flight characteristics, learning to manage speed and power is one of the biggest challenges for a beginner. The Evolution system uses a specially designed, three-bladed prop that provides superb climb performance and slower level-flight speeds at high power settings. It's a lot quieter too-nearly 4db quieter than a typical 10 x 6 two-bladed prop. What it all adds up to is a trainer that reduces the beginner's workload by letting him focus more on flying and less on managing the throttle.

Nothing can rattle the nerves when you're learning to fly like losing the engine in-flight because you can't seem to find the right carburetor setting. That's why the Evolution system uses a unique crankshaft flywheel that helps keep the engine running at low throttle settings by preserving crankshaft momentum. The carburetor settings are also limited to prevent relatively new pilots from making tuning mistakes.


- Completely built and ready to fly in minutes

- Hassle-free Evolution Trainer Power System installed

- Top-quality J-Line Quattro radio from JR installed

- Super-stable, self-righting flight characteristics

- Compact .40-size airframe

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Model Airplane Kills Two, Injures 4 More

Budapest, May 13 (MTI) - Two people died and four others were injured when a model plane crashed into a crowd of spectators at an international model builders' show at Ocseny Airport, SW Hungary, on Saturday, police reported.

The accident was caused by a 2-2.5 metre-long, remote control model built by a German pilot that went down behind the fence into a group of spectators, organiser Gabor Biro told MTI on site. Two people died, a couple from nearby Szekszard, who had come to see the show with their grown-up children.

Four others were taken to a hospital in Szekszard with slight injuries, the ambulance services said.

It is assumed that the model became uncontrollable due to a technical interference problem, Chairman of the Hungarian Modelling Federation Andor Harmath told MTI.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Megatech Skyliner - Electric

You’ll enjoy instant radio controlled fun with Megatech’s all in one and completely built Skyliner package. The Skyliner requires no tools or glue for assembly and the reinforced wing arrives in one piece and ready for fast, rubber band installation. Within minutes of opening the box, the Skyliner will be ready for 50-mph low passes right in front of you. Charging the included battery actually takes more time than fi nal assembly does!

Skyliner’s 34-inch, high-lift under-cambered wing design delivers the stability needed by novice pilots yet allows experienced pilots to perform rolls and other stunts! The highly resilient fuselage is made of a lightweight PolyNylolene™, while the wing & tail surfaces are manufactured of lightweight foam composite. A comprehensive owner’s manual guides you through fi nal assembly, pre-fl ight checks and fi rst fl ights, while the included peak-detection charger accurately charges the 8.4 volt battery pack and conveniently plugs into the cigarette lighter socket in any automobile. All that’s needed is 8 “AA” alkaline batteries for completion. Radio controlled fl ying has never been easier and more fun.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Outdoor activities for parents and their children

An outdoor activity is something that everyone needs and should do. Watching to much TV or just sitting inside is boring, unhealthy and has no reward. Many people go outside and walk or jog, but that too is pretty boring and unrewarding. So what can you do outdoors that is both fun and healthy?

Many adults and young adults have forgotten that the best way to exercise outdoors is to play like they did when they were a kid. But how does an adult play outside? The best way is to start a radio control hobby. RC hobbies like airplanes, boats, cars, and helicopters are both fun and very rewarding. Imagine building and then flying your own creation, or ripping across the waves in your own little gas powered boat.

An RC hobby can also give you something fun to do with your kids, who don’t exactly always want to hang out with their parents. But trust me; if you are flying a radio controlled jet then they will come running. You will also have something to pass onto your children, like an airplane that both of you built together, or a boat that you and your child have enjoyed many times together.

By far the best RC vehicle that can be purchased is of course an R/C airplane or helicopter. If an airplane is what you are going to go for, then I recommend an Almost Ready to Fly plane or a kit. This will allow you and your kid(s) to put it together with you, giving you something extra to do with them and give them some knowledge of building something. Then after you build it you can fly it with them, which makes the flight twice as rewarding.

Another RC flying toy that is fun would be a remote control helicopter. Radio controlled helicopters are unique because they hover and allow more control from the pilot. They are also harder to master, so for the people who are looking for a quick thrill you might not like it, but other’s who have a dedication to it will love it. RC helicopters also offer a neat experience at night since they can hover and can be equipped with lights.

If you want to experience the thrill of a speed boat on the water, but don’t have the money to afford a real one, then a radio controlled boat is perfect. With R/C boat engines available in electric or gas powered, a beginner or an expert could operate and maintain a RC boat. This is ideal since you might not always be around but your children want to go outside and have fun with it. A remote control boat is really the easiest, but most rewarding, of all radio control hobbies.

The most popular R/C toy in the world is of course the remote control car or truck. RC cars can be operated by virtually anyone at any age, are easy to maintain and operate and are very inexpensive to own. If you do plan on getting a R/C car or truck, then I recommend an electric powered one to begin with, then gradually progress towards a nitro powered engine. Just to let you know, nitro fuel cars are hard to maintain and require some experience and knowledge prior to operating.

My favorite outdoor activity out of all of them are model rockets. Model rockets are of course not remote controlled (I guess they could be) but none the less they are very fun and should be considered. I love model rockets, and the reason is because they are very realistic and not expensive. The engines that blast them off really shoot out burst of flames and leave a smoke trail behind the rocket, and the rocket’s cost around only $20. Very cheap for such a realistic thrill and they are pretty safe to operate.

Michael Cottier has enjoyed outdoor RC hobbies since he was a child and can help you get started in many remote control hobbies with his website. Just go to:

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hobby Zone Aerobird Challenger - Ready to Fly Aerobatic

The Hobby Zone Aerobird Challenger was created for the express purpose of giving experienced HobbyZone pilots, or any one who flies R/C, a ready-to-fly experience unlike any other. It's powerful motor, proportional 3-channel control system and big, highly effective control surfaces will have you flying circles around most any ready-to-fly right out of the box. Loops, stall turns, whip stalls - the Aerobird Challenger can do it all.

As with all HobbyZone airplanes, the Aerobird Challenger can be assembled and flying in under 15 minutes. Everything needed to get flying is in one box, including a 3-channel transmitter, rechargeable battery pack, variable rate DC peak detection charger with an auto-plug adapter and an easy-to-follow manual and instruction video CD. HobbyZone even includes the 8 "AA" batteries needed for the transmitter. There is literally nothing else to buy.

The Aerobird Challenger’s Multi-Mode flight control software gives you two ways to fly. You can get the feel for the Aerobird Challenger using smooth, stable Sport Mode that combines HobbyZone’s Flight Trak control system with the added function of pitch. Once you’ve mastered Sport Mode, you can unlock Pro Mode for extreme V-tail maneuverability that’s perfect for aerobatics or aerial combat.

The Sonic Combat Module (sold separately) emits a sonic "blast" with an effective range of up to 80 feet. To score a hit, get within 80 feet of another SCM equipped HobbyZone plane, lock onto their tail, and fire. When hit, the victim's Sonic Combat Module will emit a high-pitched tone and disable their motor for 10 seconds. During this time they will still have directional control so they can maneuver into position for a counter attack or make a safe landing.

It ’s powerful motor,proportional 3-channel control system and Challenge friends to target practice or see who can get the longest parachute hang time with the Aerial Drop Module. The ADM (sold separately) uses an innovative electro-magnetic release mechanism that lets X-Port-equipped HobbyZone airplanes drop a streamer bomb or parachute, both of which are included


* Fully proportional single stick controller with slide throttle and X-Port activation button
* Rechargable battery pack
* DC Peak Detect Charger
* "Flying the Aerobird Challenger" video CD
* Specially designed one-piece wing
* Added X-Port allows accessories like the Aerial Drop Module and the Sonic Combat Module
* X-Pack tail with larger controls is standard
* Powerful 380 Motor for outstanding aerobatic and climb performance

Friday, May 12, 2006

How to get started flying RC helicopters

Remote control helicopters is another fun outdoor flight hobby that will give you that same great feeling that airplanes do. If you are an RC airplane enthusiast, you will find this information useful to help you get started with RC helicopters.

RC helicopters have become a very common RC toy lately and come in a variety of prices and types. Many problems that beginners face are what type of helicopter to choose, power source for it and whether they want an indoor or outdoor one. With many more options on top of those you can imagine how difficult it is for beginners to take off, literally. First let's talk about the different power sources that a RC model helicopter can have, and which one will best suit you.

If you are a beginner RC helicopter pilot, then the best power source for you is electric. Electrically powered chopper engines are still very fast, but yet still quiet, and can maneuver just as good a full sized fuel powered one! Another main attraction to electric helicopters is the fact that you don't have to deal with messy fuels or with tuning the engine at all. Plus fuel cost money and electricity is much cheaper. If you are a beginner then I definitely recommend that you get an electric powered RC helicopter and then progress your way up to a glow powered one.

Glow engines have been used in RC airplanes for some time now, and have made there way over to helicopters. Glow engines have a simple ignition system that uses a glow plug rather than a spark plug. The glow plug is heated by a battery operated glow starter, and meanwhile the modeler uses a starter to turn the engine over. When fuel enters the combustion chamber, it is ignited by the heated glow plug and the engine starts up.

If you want to seriously get into the RC helicopter hobby, then a glow engine chopper is perfect for realism, building, maintaining and flying! You will be able to personalize your chopper exactly the way you want it, like hover time and rotor speed. Once you get a feel for your helicopter, and have everything adjusted perfectly, your helicopter will fly just the way you want it and not the way some factory decided it should.

The next challenge beginner helicopter pilot's face is learning how to fly their chopper. This is a big problem since a helicopter is the hardest aerial vehicle to fly and having a miniature version of one doesn't make things easier. If you have no helicopter flying experience and you try to fly it, most likely it will crash into the ground. To save yourself frustration you need to learn how to properly put it together and fly it.

I recommend that you read the instruction manual, front to back, before you attempt to put it together and when you actually do, make sure you tighten every bolt and include every screw. One missing screw or loose bolt can throw the whole helicopter off and send it crashing to the ground because it is unbalanced.

Learning how to fly a RC helicopter is a challenge within itself, and could never be fully taught over the internet or through some book. The best way to learn is to get real flying experience with an instructor at first, and then on your own later. You can find an instructor at a local RC airplane and helicopter club. RC airplane clubs are most common and exist in just about every state and country, and since most of them will have experience with planes they most likely will also know how to fly RC model helicopters too.

If you want to learn more about RC helicopters, and see some recommendations, then check out Michael's RC model helicopters page. Interested in R/C airplanes? Then take a look at his RC airplane website.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Megatech Nitro Airstrike

Following on the heels of our most successful electric plane (Air Strike), Megatech is proud to introduce its fi rst truly ready-to-fl y,nitro-powered aircraft.The 61 ”wingspan Nitro AirStrike is an all-wooden trainer made from only the highest quality balsa and plywood.

The aircraft is ready for fl ight in 15 minutes without the use of any tools! With the Nitro AirStrike ’s large wing area and lightweight design,it has a wing loading of only 17.92-oz./sq.ft.The extremely low wing- loading makes this design a truly outstanding trainer.

The aircraft includes a pre-installed Airtronics VG400 4-channel radio system and our proven M-46 ball bearing engine,which provides enough high-end power for the intermediate fl yer while still having the reliability beginners need for low-throttle flight.

With the low wing-loading and fl at bottom airfoil your new R/C model airplane customers will love the gentle fl ight characteristics and ease of landing offered by Nitro AirStrike
  • Unique Simple 7 System: Install 7 Wing nuts and you're ready to fly in 15 minutes!

  • No tools required

  • Super Stable Flight Characteristics

  • High Quality all Wood Construction

  • Super Lightweight Wing Loading

  • High Perfromance 1.4HP output M46 - engine installed - Twin Ball Bearing - True ABC Construction - SureTemper Hardened Steel Crankshaft - Twin Needle Accu-Flo Carburetor

Monday, May 08, 2006

Silverlit X-UFO - 4 Motors

The remote control Silverlit X UFO is a 4 Motor Flying Machine and a "Technology Award Winner" at the Nuremberg toy fair!

R/C X-UFO is an extraordinary and unique new flying object, which is probably the most amazing and original flying machine you have ever seen anywhere!

This eXciting, Unbelievably Fun “Object” dramatically surpasses all ordinary flying toys. It can fly up to 100 meters away. It can hover like a helicopter. It can maneuver around any interior room with amazing precision and agility. And if it contacts any other object, it simply bounces off and just keeps on flying!

The UFO incorporates the latest miniature technology, which comes with a unique electronic control system. It utilizes powerful electric motors with two pairs of counter-rotating propellers and an innovative gyroscope for incredible stability.

Made of ultra lightweight carbon fiber and EPP foam, it can fly up to 100m indoors, or outside in calm conditions. One red and three blue flashing LED lights not only assist orientation and indicate when the gyro is up to speed, but also make it look like a real UFO, especially when flown in the dark! The X-UFO features 4 channels proportional radio control, with individual trims to finely balance each function for optimum performance.

Digital 4-channel Radio: Control all aspects of flight: throttle, pitch, roll, and yaw! Fantastic radio range of 100 meters (109 yards) means you can fly outdoors on calm days up to the limits of visibility

Gyro Stabilized! To help you fly like a seasoned pro, the X-UFO has an advanced gyro system

Silverlit UFO Video

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Low-Wing, Mid-Wing, High-Wing, Bi-Wing

There are many different wing configurations for RC model airplanes. The placement of the wing can drastically change a model's flight characteristics. Low-wing aircraft have the wing attached underneath the fuselage and are best suited for more experienced pilots. Mid-wing aeroplane designs place the wing directly in the center giving the airplane a very symmetrical look. High-wing and biplane configurations place the wing on the top, which makes for very stable flights. Hence, these models are best suited for the intermediate to beginner pilots. Low-wing RC airplanes, such as WWII fighter model planes and many aerobatic models, can be very difficult to master. By having the weight of the entire plane located above the wing, the maneuverability of the plane is increased. Because of this characteristic, models in this category require more skill to fly than your basic trainer aircraft. Attempting very basic maneuvers can quickly put a low-wing plane out of control if the pilot does not have the necessary experience to complete them.

In RC airplane models of mid-wing design, the wings are placed in the center of the fuselage. Because the mass of the airplane is evenly distributed around the wing, there is no mass, either high or low, to pull the plane in any direction. This allows the aircraft to respond to input controls much faster. The symmetry of this design also increases the ability of your plane to stay in any given position; inverted flight, knife edge, or level flight. Increased control response and sustainable attitude are just two of the reasons you will find fighter jets and sport planes in this category. These particular RC airplanes are considered the most difficult to master and should not be flown by novices without supervision.

RC models that have wings attached to the top of the fuselage are considered to be of high-wing design. Having the majority of the weight distribution below the wing gives this design very gentle flight characteristics. Biplanes also fall into this category. This is why trainer type model aircraft will glide so predictably. Many high-wing RC models have what is called "dihedral" added to the wing. Dihedral wings are slightly bent upwards from the fuselage with the wing tips being higher than the center of the wing. The word dihedral means "open book" in Latin. A front view of a wing that has dihedral will resemble the shape of an open book lying flat. Aircraft with this design have "self righting" capabilities. This ability will allow a high-wing RC airplane model to correct its attitude by just letting go of the control sticks. The gliding and self righting characteristics of high-wing RC model airplanes are why it is so popular on trainers and gliders. Novice pilots will find them much easier to master.

Knowing how wing placement and weight distribution can affect an RC model airplane's flight performance is something every RC pilot should take into consideration when getting a new plane. A little knowledge can go a long way and can be the difference between having an enjoyable flight, or a trip to the field to pick up what's left of your airplane.

Bruce Bird spent a lifetime in professional aviation before returning to aeromodelling. Stunned by the choices of model airplanes on offer, he researched the subject for his own amusement before putting it into his ebook Model Airplane Secrets. His blog frequently contains hints and tips for model airplane enthusiasts.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Where to fly your new RC Model Airplane

Choosing a safe location to fly model airplanes is important.
There are a lot of possibilities depending on what kind of
airplane(s) you have and particularly the laws in your country
and any regulations relating to local facilities. Taking these
into account, you can check out your local RC flying club, the
park down the street, a vacant lot, or even a public sports
complex. For varying reasons, not all of these environments are
safe for flying your model airplanes.

Most RC airplane pilots that are serious about the hobby get a
membership at their local flying club. The cost involved with
joining a club varies from one club to the next, but the dues at
most clubs are reasonable and the best reason for doing this is
to gain the advantage of the insurance cover available. Many
clubs have strict safety rules that govern the way you can
operate your RC models. It is not uncommon to have the "pit"
area completely separated from the landing strip, and often
times there is space set aside just for pilots to stand while
their model airplanes are in the air. With this total separation
of the flying field, accidents to bystanders and spectators from
crashing planes are greatly minimized.

Some RC enthusiasts find that flying model airplanes at the RC
flying club site is too time consuming. They want to go flying
in their spare time without having to pack up a bunch of
equipment and drive to a remote location. Electric "Park Flyer"
model airplanes can easily be flow in any mid sized park that
has relatively few trees or obstructions. Most airplanes in this
class are fairly slow, and weigh much less than a glow powered
model. Since parks usually have people in them, it is a good
idea to either wait till the park is sparsely populated or find
yourself a corner of the park where your flying activities will
not endanger anyone else. In any case, you need to check on the
local regulations and make sure your personal insurance covers
any risks as you are unlikely to be covered by any club

One location for flying RC model airplanes that is often
overlooked is the parking lot at the local mall. This
environment is best suited for small electric powered aircraft,
and only at night when the lot is empty of vehicles. Most
parking lots of this nature have light posts that keep the area
fully lit, 24 hours a day. Since smaller RC model airplanes can
safely fly under 40 feet, even while doing tricks and
aerobatics, a bit of midnight flying at the mall is something
every pilot should try at least once.

Many cities have large public sports complexes that can be
great for flying small to mid-sized RC model airplanes. The best
time of day to check out a sports complex for a possible flying
location is the middle of the day when most children are in
school and not using the sports areas. Local regulations may
prohibit you from flying any gas powered aircraft here, but
there are usually no restrictions for electric powered models.
Since it is not safe practice to fly model aircraft over a crowd
of bystanders, it's best to wait till there are no sports
activities going on before taking to the skies. No matter where
you choose to fly your RC model airplane, always be wary of
others around you and check out the local regulations.

Bruce Bird returned to modelling after a lifetime in
professional aviation. Stunned by the choices of model airplanes
on offer, he set about researching the possibilities for his own
use and then published the result in his ebook Model Airplane

You can also find his blog here

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Electric RC Airplanes: Beginner's Luck Everytime

Flying an electric RC airplane is like having beginner's luck every time you fly. The first remote control airplane I ever got was electrically powered, I had no flying skills whatsoever, and I still managed to fly it perfectly without even crashing. Why you ask? Because electric RC planes like the one I had are so simple, they only have two control options, power and steering. You go as fast, or slow as you want and just choose your direction.

Now yes, there are electric RC planes that you can buy or build, that have many control channels and all the works, like flaps, ailerons, etc. Those types of electric airplanes are basically made for advanced flyers who don't like the mess that comes with the use of fuel. Most hobbyist start with an electrically powered plane, then move onto fuel powered ones once they have mastered it. But like I said, some people just don't like the mess and added expense that comes with a fuel powered engine, so they stick with electric motors. Fine, do whatever makes you happy, but I am just going to talk about getting a good electric RC plane for a beginner pilot.

Now first off you should note that electric airplanes can come in a few different types. Basically there are only park flyers, slow flyers, regular electric planes and advanced electrically powered RC airplanes.

Park flyers are mainly for parks and small areas similar to that outdoors. Slow flyers are just the opposite, since they move slower they are for indoors. These can be great for the winter or when it is just plain to windy outside to fly.

A regular electric RC airplane is the best for beginners and is exactly what I flew as my first RC airplane. Usually these planes are priced around $50 and they have just two controls, so it is ideal for beginners. This type of airplane is usually made of Styrofoam, and very little metal, so you need to be careful when flying it. Even if you do crash and damage something, usually a little duct tape will fix anything on it. I kid you not, I still have my first electric RC plane, which I broke the wing twice on, and it still fly's!

An advanced electric RC airplane is ideal for advanced pilots who don't like the mess of fuel, like I said before, but it is also great for areas where noise is a concern and you still want the full experience. Advanced electric R/C airplanes are more full bodied then regular ones, usually made of all plastic and balsa wood, plus they also have around 5 or 6 channels of control.

All in all, buy a park flyer if you just want a quick little flight every once in awhile, get a slow flyer if you want to fly indoors, purchase a regular electric RC plane if you want to get into the RC airplane hobby seriously, but are just a beginner. Last but not least, once you master an electric RC plane, move onto a more advanced nitro methane fuel powered one, or an advanced electrically powered plane.

I hope I have helped you in making a decision on purchasing an electric RC airplane. If you want more in depth help on RC airplanes, just visit my RC airplane website.

How to get started flying RC airplanes

For thousands of years man has dreamed of flight. Nothing has amazed people as much as flying machines have in the past century and there is still more to come. What is even more amazing though, is the progress in personal flight toys. You can fly everything from a miniature helicopter, to a one 20th scale Cessna, which you can build at home yourself.

The more amazing thing about today's RC airplanes is the fact that anyone can fly them, and some airplanes are very easy to fly. For example, I bought a $50 Hobby Zone airplane and the controller had two controls, one that could steer the plane left or right and then the second was throttle (speed) control. How can you get any simpler then that!

As easy as it can be, it still can be difficult for beginners to get started in this hobby. Since I now have the knowledge that every beginner should know, since I was a beginner once, I wanted to share it with other people so everyone can enjoy the RC airplane hobby.

The first thing a beginner needs to know is their power sources. RC airplanes can be powered either electrically or by an engine that runs on fuel called nitro methane. This is very important when deciding on purchasing your first radio controlled airplane. You need some knowledge of both power sources, as they both have their pros and con's. First I would like to state that for all beginners' I recommend an electric RC airplane over a gas RC airplane. Why? Because an electric airplane is cheaper, like under $100 cheap, and much easier to operate. In fact, all you have to do is plug in the battery and flick the ON switch. They are also much quieter and produce no fumes in the air. Plus not much maintenance is required besides keeping it in a cool, dry place.

A gas powered RC airplane has its advantages to of course. If you are a realist and what an authentic looking and sounding remote control airplane, then an airplane with a gas engine is what you want. An RC airplane with a gas engine is bigger and bulkier then an electric R/C airplane, so it is more to scale and realistic. It also sounds like a real airplane does, and is kind of like a real little miniature airplane since the engine requires fuel, tuning, and other adjustments. These types of airplanes cost a little more and take longer to assemble. Plus, they require much more maintenance and you have to continue to spend more money since you need special fuel, oil and some other small accessories.

Now that you pretty much know what type of airplane you want to purchase, let me help you get it running and teach you some tips and tricks that you will find handy out on the flying field.
If you have never flown a model airplane or a real airplane before, then you might have some trouble taking off, flying and landing. The first thing to remember is that you need a good open field to fly at, unless of course you have a slow flyer or park flyer, which can be flown in small areas like indoors or parks. A good local flying field can be located online by searching through a search engine, like Google, for a local club. Flying fields always have a club, and they are usually full of friendly people who are willing to help you learn.

Most of these clubs have flying instructors that will either help you for free, or charge you a little money. Either way you will have a guide that can teach you a lot. You also can be sure that if something goes wrong with your airplane, people will be there that have the knowledge to fix it.
Another way you can learn to fly is of course teaching yourself, but that can be costly if you crash a lot. If you are going to teach yourself, I suggest you start off with a cheap $50 electric RC airplane that has only left and right steering control and throttle control. These types of airplanes can take off from a flat surface or can be easily hand launched into the air by applying full throttle.

After you get started, there will be no stopping you and the rest will come naturally. There still is some other much needed accessories that I suggest no beginner go with out. Like a good RC airplane book, a field box, a car charger for an electric plane, and extra batteries for your transmitter. With all these tips in mind, start your flying experience right and keep the wind at your back.

Michael Cottier has been flying RC airplanes most of his life and can help you get started in the hobby with his website, no matter what age the pilot is. Just check out his RC airplane website.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

3 Simple Steps to Choosing the Right Radio Frequency

When the RC frequency spectrum was first introduced to provide controlled facilities for radio control (RC) modelers, it was limited to a set of just six. These frequencies were not labeled with channel numbers as they are today, but were represented by multi-colored flags; purple/white for 72.320 MHz (megahertz), red/white for 72.240 MHz, etc. Having only 6 frequencies to choose from was quite restrictive and meant a lot of RC airplane pilots had to be grounded, waiting to take their turn on a given frequency. The RC model airplane frequency spectrum today is much broader, consisting of 50 separate 72 MHz channels for general use, a few 27 MHz channels for park flyers, and a handful of other more specialized channels reserved for licensed amateur radio operators.

So now you've decided to buy your RC model and radio equipment you also need to decide which radio frequency you are going to operate on. Unlike most other features of the sport, choosing a popular channel which is used by lots of other people is not a good idea. Choosing a standard 72 MHz frequency for your radio can be as simple as going to the local hobby store and purchasing one with a standard radio setup. But randomly choosing a channel can result in a problem if you don't do a little investigation first.

Firstly, decide whether you are going to be a park flyer using 27 MHz or going for a more advanced setup on 72 MHz. The 27 MHz channels are primarily dedicated to what are considered "park flyers". These pre-packaged systems usually come with everything you need to get up and flying and are intended for the casual flyer that just wants to get out, get in the air, and not mess with the higher cost of a more complex airplane and radio setup. Choosing a RC model airplane park flyer package with a pre-set frequency needs little to no investigation since you have little choice as the packages give you a choice of only 3 or 4 channels, some FM(frequency modulated), some AM(amplitude modulated).

Channel conflicts in a RC park flying situation are less common due to the large number of parks and flying areas available to the casual pilot. But if you do invest in a park flyer then be aware that there may well be other pilots out there in the park using the same frequency as you - and that can mean expensive trouble when you lose control of your airplane because of someone else's signal, or even worse, if some stranger accuses you of causing his airplane to crash.
Second, if you are going for 72 MHz then visit your flying field and find out what other people are using. Imagine arriving to your favorite RC model airplane flying field only to find someone else already using the channel you have just paid out good money for. Some clubs have rules pertaining to what happens in this situation. As only one pilot can operate at a time on a given frequency this usually means pilots having to switch off and take turns using the frequency - and some means of the club controlling the changeover process either by physically taking control of the transmitter or just having a procedure written into the club rules. If you are flying at a busy site that is not a sanctioned flying club with rules and bylaws, you might find yourself sitting out and unable to fly for the day.

The smartest way to choose an RC frequency for your radio is to do some legwork first. Visit the field where you will do most of your flying. Investigate what channels are already in use and which channels are seldom used. Finding one that is infrequently used or not used at all will allow you to buy, secure in the knowledge that you will be able to fly with minimum interruption.

Third, make sure you can change the frequency after you have bought the equipment. If you take care to check before you buy whether the system will allow you to do a manual crystal replacement then if you run into a problem you can change later to a channel which is less busy. Some crystal changes you can do yourself while others have to go back to the factory to have the work done. Regardless of your current situation, if you already have an RC radio setup, or just thinking about getting one, doing a little footwork up front can go a long way to ensuring you get maximum enjoyment and flying hours out of your RC model.

Bruce Bird makes it easy for the beginner to quickly get a grasp of the broad range of exciting activities that make up airplane modeling. To receive his free 5 part mini-series visit