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Learning how to Fly

1. Make sure you are clear on how an airplane flies.

Hereís how an airplane flies:

     When the wing moves forward, the air lifts it. If it starts too slow, no lift--or if you are already in the air, the plane stalls which equals probable crash! So, it needs flying SPEED either from a motor and propeller, or by descending and gliding. The wing creates lift on its own as long as it is moving -- whether itís upside down, in a turn, inverted, or doing some sort of super sweet trick -- there is always lift from the wing even though the lift might not be straight up as it is in level flight.

     The airplane makes right or left turns by tilting in the direction of the turn so that some of the lift is angled partly to the left or right. To turn an airplane, you tilt the wings with the ailerons or with the rudder in the direction you want to turn. To make the airplane go UP, you give an UP command to the elevator. When the elevator's surface angles UP, the air that is hitting it blows the tail of the airplane DOWN and the nose UP. In result the plane travels skyward. Whenever you are flying upward you are losing lift and speed gradually. If you go too high too fast, the plane goes too slow, the lift stops, and your airplane will slowly then quickly fall to the ground. But do not fret, if you follow theses easy steps and with some good practice you'll be one heck of experienced pilot in no time. Just make sure you take it easy on the double back flips ;).

2. Confirm that these following things are correct before each flight:

    A. The balance point MUST be where the airplaneís designer intended.

     Donít be afraid to add lead weights to either the nose or the tail to make the airplane balance where it is supposed to.

    B. The wing must not be warped, Fasten the wing onto the airplane.

    Set the airplane on a table and walk off to the rear of it. Look back at the airplane from an eye position where you can see just a bit of the BOTTOM of the entire wing. If you see MORE bottom wing surface on, letís say, the left wing, and then your airplane will tend to turn left even when you have the aileron or rudder control in neutral. Remove that warpage before you try to fly the airplane.

    C. The wing should have something called "washout".

    "Washout" is an intentional and desirable warp of the wing near each wing tip. Usually this warp is done to the outer 20% of the wing toward each wing tip. From the rear of the airplane you should see a little more of the BOTTOM of the wing near both wing tips. Why is this "washout" good? It helps the outer parts of the wing continue flying straight ahead during the beginning of a stall. This means that your airplane will stall straight ahead instead of rolling over on its back or side when it stalls and that rolling over might be impossible to recover from.

3. Find a BIG flying field for your first flights.

    Don't try to fly in your street even if the airplane is capable of flying in such a restricted area. You could hit something and damage your new airplane, or even worse, hurt somebody. You will need lots of open and unobstructed space for your first attempts at flight.

4. Properly take off

    A. If you hand launch your airplane, throw it hard and throw it straight ahead, not up.

    B. If you take off from a ground roll, let the airplane build up a good amount speed:

     You need to let the airplane gain enough speed on the ground before you signal "UP" to the elevator. This way you know the airplane has enough spped to fly. When it does leave the ground, try to climb at a very small angle, not abruptly. If you try to climb too fast, your plane will stall and then gravity will do the rest!(crash)

    C. Give very little UP elevator as your airplane starts to take off.

    I know we are repeating ourselves but most beginning modelers try to climb too steeply which makes their airplane slow down, stall, then crash.

5. How to control turns during flight

    A. You turn an airplane differently than a car or a boat:

when you tilt the airplaneís wing in the direction that you want it to turn, the airplane will continue to turn as long as the wing is tilted in that direction. But you will NOT be holding the control stick in the direction of the turn (as you would on the steering wheel of a car) -- you will have the control stick near NEUTRAL during the turn. To STOP the airplane from turning you move the control stick in the opposite direction from the turn so that the wings level out. "Beginner's" airplanes have a built-in tendency to automatically come back to level flight if you let go of the control stick, which is a useful feature for learning pilots.

    B. Donít try any aggressive turns until the airplane is very high.

The best thing to do is to climb straight ahead with only gentle turning.

    C. Practice gentle turns at a high altitude before you try to land.

Practice "landings" while high in the air so you get a good idea of the airplane's stalling (falling-out-of-the-sky) speed. If the airplane stalls just gently push on the control stick and the airplane will be flying again.

    D. avoid turns when the airplane is at a low altitude.

6. Donít try to land in a specific spot

    Just let your airplane glide into the ground straight ahead. The bigger the field for your first flights, the greater your chances for success will be. We sincerely hope that you enjoy yourself with your brand new RC plane!

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