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For Beginners

Resources presented for those wanting to learn about flying model aircraft.

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Eric Johansen - Blog Author

Connect with Eric at ericj@atlanticbb.net

Lastest Beginners Blog Post

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Discover Flight Website Announced

Discover Flight Website Announced

Next year, AMA will celebrate its 80th birthday. This is a great accomplishment, and one that AMA staff, its leaders, and strongest supporters are very proud of. Our members have been instrumental in ensuring that our organization and the model aviation hobby continue to grow and advance. For some, model flying has been a lifelong passion. For others, its introduction led to a career or to pursuing full-scale flight. For many, the hobby is brand-new and something they are eager to start learning more about. Each story is unique and special, and AMA wants to share the different facets of these stories with the public. Your AMA leadership team thinks it’s important to share the message that AMA continues to grow because of these stories, and to remind everyone that our passion is fueled by ideas and imagination that have impacted so many. Please visit www.discoverflight.org to view AMA’s new video and informational website, developed with the general public in...
Before you get into the air

Before you get into the air

Hello readers and welcome to my blog. It is my hope to share first hand suggestions to pilots who are looking to start flying R/C planes for the first time. When I started flying, the computer flight training tools were primitive at best to today’s simulators. Slow speed computers and poor graphics compounded the complexities of take off and landing, but with anything new like that, it was extremely fun. Most importantly, “reset” got us a brand new airplane. Simulators are your best hope of learning how the transmitter functions, and develops a feel for the sticks. Most of my best students had a lot of computer time before coming to the field, and this helped with flying immensely. But flying a real plane at the field is so different than the simulator, and much more costly if you rush into getting into the air. An important consideration before take off is a good choice of aircraft. As a guide, the “cooler” the plane looks, the harder it may be to fly. Start with a 40 or larger trainer, fat wings, big dihedral. I can’t advise on tricycle gear vs. taildraggers, as I find no real challenge between the types. If you already have that first plane, do yourself a great favor and practice ground skills first. Take the wing off to avoid accidental take offs, and drive the airframe around the yard or field like a car. This is more challenging than most think, but the natural and smooth use of rudder is extremely important during successful takeoffs and landings. I did so much of this early on...