Best to Learn With Airplanes or Helis?

by Jon Lunt
(UK)

Hi, my problem is knowing just where to start the hobby. I'm in my 50's now but from being a lad I've always had a desire to fly models.


About 10 years ago I built a Wot4 but unfortunately despite the fact the model was finished it was never flown due to the overwhelming pressure of work and family commitments. It became obvious that it would never be flown so I made the mistake of selling it.

Since then however my situation has changed and due to ill health I now find myself with more than enough time to pursue my dreams of flying model aircraft. My dilemma is knowing where to start as I'm not sure of whether to learn to fly airplanes or helicopters as I have a keen interest in both.

Is it preferential or advantageous to learn to fly one before the other or doesn't it make any difference?

I know it would be of benefit to join a club and I do have a local one in mind but any advice at this early stage would be extremely helpful.

Many thanks, Jon

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Depends
by: rcdude07

The answer really depends on your interest:
Plane pros:
-easier to learn with only really having to worry about elevator and ailerons once airborne and throttle set comfortably

Heli pros:
- use of full stick movement all the time makes for better plane pilots
- forces use of "rudder" stick

Heli Cons:
- expensive expensive expensive repairs
- hovering different orientations is tricky and must learn this first
- Setup is more complex in TX as well as linkages (swash plate level, pitch, etc....)


Honestly, it boils down to how much $$$ you want to throw in the air as well as who will be helping you. If you have mostly plane pilots, start with planes, if you have mostly heli pilots, start with helis.

Also, choose the radio gear you can get the most help with locally. If you go helis, you need a minimum 6ch TX like the Spektrum Dx6 (new Dx6) or Futaba 6J. Spektrum and Futaba will probably be the brands you can get most help locally with.


Also, if you start with helis, consider what size you want to start with. 250 class and smaller are twitchy and a bit more difficult to fly/keep in a hover but will allow you to fly in smaller places. 450 class is an in between area that is fairly decent, the sweet spot in size most people talk about is 550-700 class helis. These are big and expensive.

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