Radio controlled aircraft modeling is one of the most exciting hobbies available. It involves many interests, disciplines, and skills. Some of these are aerodynamics, electronics, mechanics, drafting and design, composite material construction, and woodworking, and these are in the airplane alone. There are many other fields of interest in the hobby of aircraft modeling; far too many and too varied to try to list. Many people find that many new skills must be learned before they are ready to begin to learn to fly. The hobby is constantly changing as new technology is developed. A new modeler may become frustrated at times but certainly not bored.
To reduce the chance of frustration, a new modeler should become involved with other modelers in order to learn the necessary skills. This may involve simply visiting a flying site and becoming acquainted with experienced modelers or joining a club. These modelers are a source of knowledge and experience that can be invaluable to the new modeler when he begins to build his first aircraft and when he begins to learn to fly. An experienced modeler can act as an R/C flight instructor to teach a new person the skills required to fly the aircraft properly and to avoid the inevitable crash.
New modelers must realize that a radio controlled model aircraft is not a toy. It is a true aircraft in that it flies and operates by the same principles as a full scale aircraft with the difference being the size and weight. The average model will fly in a range of 20 to 60 MPH and weigh 5 1/2 to 6 pounds. The force of the model hitting an object can be devastating especially if it hits a person. Models must be controlled properly both for enjoyment and for safety. The skills required to accomplish this must be learned from an experienced modeler.
Before purchasing any equipment, the beginner should ask himself, "Is this a hobby I want to try to see if I like it or is it a hobby I am going remain involved in for years to come?" If the beginner is going to remain in the hobby for years, he might consider buying more expensive equipment such as a ball bearing engine and a six channel (6) radio system. Otherwise, he should try to keep his initial outlay as low as possible. A beginner can limit his spending to as little as $200 by buying good used equipment but care must be taken to ensure that the equipment is reliable. At the other end of the scale, a beginner could easily invest $1000 on new equipment if he is not prudent with his purchases.
The topics that will be covered will be relating to a beginner or novice and a trainer airplane. The information relating to all aspects of R/C powered flight can be overwhelming even to the most seasoned pilot. Those disciplines relating to the more advanced levels of R/C flight will most likely be learned as the skill level of the novice improves and the goals are more defined.