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RC Airplane World flight school
- lesson #2 : know your RC airplane
Now that you've followed the advice in lesson 1 and bought your first rc airplane, it's time to open the box and get familiar with it!
This might not seem like an important rc flight school lesson, but it actually is - albeit a very short one. Getting to know your rc airplane inside and out will maximise your enjoyment from it and help you greatly in those times ahead when you're fixing it after a crash.
So take your time with this one, and don't just rush out to the flying field before you've finished taking it out the box!
Study the manual
For the purpose of this page, we're going to assume that you've either bought an RTF electric airplane or that you've built from a kit or an ARF. Either way, as far as this lesson is concerned, your plane is complete and doesn't need anything more than basic final assembly to finish it.
The first thing you need to do is gather together all the parts and familiarise yourself with everything. And, more than likely, this will mean reading the manual.
Don't be tempted to quickly skim through the manual and think "OK, that all looks easy enough, where's the nearest park?..." and throw the manual back in the box. Take your time to study the manual carefully and get comfortable with everything; which transmitter sticks do what, how things should be connected, how the wing has to be secured, what to check for before flying.... If it's in the manual, learn it!
And of course, many RTF electric rc airplanes these days include an instructional DVD or CD Rom. If there is one, watch it several times until you're completely familiar with your plane's workings.
The real key to understanding an instruction manual/disc is to go through it once before doing anything with the plane, and then go through it again step-by-step, with the plane on the bench. The second (or third) time you read the manual, things won't be so alien to you and you can easily relate the instructions to the plane as you work through them.
If the manual isn't up to scratch, or there's something - anything - about your airplane that you don't understand, take some time to join an internet forum to ask for help. The two biggest are RC Groups and RC Universe.
Whether you use this website or join a forum, or just rely on the instructions that come with the plane, be comfortable and confident with knowing everything about your rc airplane as possible, before you attempt to fly it.
Next up: Lesson 3 - Preparing your rc airplane for flight.
Or skip to the lesson appropriate to your current situation...
- Lesson 1: Buying your rc airplane
- Lesson 3: Preparing your plane
- Lesson 4: Weight and balance
- Lesson 5: Where to fly your plane
- Lesson 6: Pre-flight checks
- Lesson 7: Take off / hand launch
- Lesson 8: Flying your rc airplane
- Lesson 9: Landing your rc airplane
Pages that are not part of this 'flight school' section of the website but are closely related to this lesson include:
Beginner rc airplanes.
Electric rc airplanes.