Back to School
Something I Am Good At
By Clark Miner
††††††† Airplanes are so cool. Ever since I was little, I loved to play with toy airplanes. Now that I am older, I love to build and fly model airplanes with my dad. To get started in the hobby of flying airplanes, there are five basic steps you will need to do: First, choose your airplane. Second, chose your controller. Third, build or put together your airplane. Fourth, choose where to fly your airplane. And fifth, learn how to fly your airplane.
††††††† When you choose your airplane there are a few things you will need to think about. One thing is, if you want to buy a 2000 dollar plane or just a 50 or 100 dollar plane since you will probably need some practice before you can fly it safely and without crashing. Another thing you might want to consider before buying an airplane is if you want it to go fast or slow. Fast airplanes are fun when you are more experienced, but if you are a beginner, I would get a slow plane so you can practice turning and not stalling. One last thing you should think about before buying an airplane is how much time and effort you want to put into building your airplane. Some airplanes donít have motors and they are called gliders. Gliders are a little harder to fly than planes with motors. Planes with motors you just have keep in sight, and you can get them back because the motor can pull it back to you. With gliders you have be careful of not getting it too far away from you or it wonít make it back to the runway and you will have to take a walk. If you do get a glider then you will need to get a winch or something to get it up in the air.
††††††† Before you chose a controller, you need to look inside your airplane kit because some kits have controllers included. If they donít, then you will need to buy one. When you buy a controller, you should buy one that doesnít have too many switches or buttons, but is good quality. A 150 dollar controller is a pretty good quality. If you have any questions you can ask a person who works at a place that sells them.
††††††† I think that building or putting together your airplane is fun, but not as fun as actually flying it. It is fun to build, but some times it takes a while and you need to be patient. Before you build your airplane you should check and see if any parts are broken or missing. If you are missing parts then go back to the store where you bought it and tell them what happened and they will help you. If you are not missing any parts, then you can start to build. Some kits are just a bunch of pieces of wood that you need to glue together to make a three dimensional airplane. If this is the case, then you should get a big cork board or something you can stick pins into. Then pin the plans for the airplane onto the board and pin some wax paper over that so the glue wonít stick to the plans. Then just follow the instructions to build. With some kits you can just pull out all the parts and you can have it put together in less than an hour. You just need to attach the wings to the fuselage (body) and charge the battery and controller and you are ready to go. Some kits have servos (the things that move the elevator, ailerons, rudder, flaps, spoilers and etc.) and a receiver (the part inside the airplane that communicates with the controller) included or built in. However, with some kits, you will need to buy the radio gear. Some controllers have the stuff included, but if it doesnít, then you can buy it at a hobby shop.
††††††† You need to choose where to fly your airplane every time you fly it. Consider how many trees there are, or if it is often windy there† Some tips for choosing the place you are going to fly are: be sure you will have lots of room to land, that there wonít be anybody that could be injured by the airplane (like people playing sports or little kids), and that it does not have a lot of trees or houses you could crash into.
††††††† Flying your airplane is the funnest part of the hobby. It is when you get to use the thing you bought and made. To fly an airplane, you need to know how the controller works. On your control there should be two sticks. The one on the right is the first one I am going to talk about. When you move the stick right the plane should turn right. When you move the stick left, the plane should go left. To go up, move the stick down, and to fly down move the stick up. The left stick controls the flaps, and the motor. When the right stick is up, then the motor should be on, and when the right stick is up the flaps should be down and vice versa. When the airplane is flying away from you then the plane will go right and left with the stick. If it is coming towards you then move the stick toward the lower wing to keep it level. To fly a glider, you need to have a winch, or some way to get it up in the air. Once you have it up in the air, then you can start looking for thermals. Thermals are warm spots of air that rise, and so, when you are flying a glider you try to fly through them and they keep your airplane flying. To find thermals, you just watch the plane very carefully while you fly around. If you see one of the wings move without you touching the stick, then mark where that spot is in your mind and fly around in a circle making that spot the center of the circle. Then slowly make the circle smaller until the airplane is slowly rising. If you fly smoothly, then it will work better. To land, fly about 8 to 10 feet off of the ground and put the flaps about half way down and get slowly closer to the ground. As you touch down, put the flaps up so they donít get damaged. To fly an airplane with a motor you can just fly around except you donít have to look for thermals and you donít need to fly as smoothly. To take off, you can throw it and as soon it is out of your hand then turn up the engine all the way. Or, you can put it on the ground and turn up the engine and it should take off. To land, you do the same thing as the glider except turn the engine about half way down instead of the flaps. As you touch down, turn off the engine so it will stop. When you have an airplane with a motor you need to experiment with how steep it can climb and how sharp you can turn.†††