I made it through three initial models that I considered trainers that I had successfully flown, some lasted longer than others. Many beginning enthusiasts all struggle with an airplane that looks cool versus an airplane that can really teach them to fly correctly. Even though I did a fair amount of learning on my own I did have a mentor and he kept me on the right track even though his assistance was from a distance.
I elected to learn to fly RC all by myself and paid the price for going it alone. I did have a mentor and he kept me on the right track even though his assistance was from a distance. What was important for success was the right tools for the job, a proper training airplane. Many beginning enthusiasts struggle with an airplane that looks cool versus an airplane that can really teach them to fly correctly.
I started with an Airtronics S-Tee. The S-Tee was a small sport 1/2A airplane with a 36-inch wingspan and about 252 square inches of wing area. It suited me fine at the time because I could use my two-channel radio with it. This airplane flew very well but, on my first flight, I was overwhelmed by the very long run time I had on a 2-ounce tank and a .049 Cox engine. I was really glad when the motor stopped so I could have a chance to land it. I changed the tank to a one ounce and flew it three more times after which I was ready to move on. I recall keeping the wing for a while but it did disappear some time later.
Image courtesy of Aerosphere Inc.
The second airplane I chose to build was an old timer design called a Comet Clipper for an Enya .09 engine. It was very good as a trainer. I was able to learn to take off and land with this airplane as the engine had a throttle, which made for controlled approaches. It was a scratch built airplane that I made from plans that I purchased from Model Builder Magazine in 1983.
The final airplane in the training series was my Goldberg Falcon 56, which introduced me to a new channel for ailerons. It was also a stepping stone into larger motors which moved me into the big leagues. You can read all about this airplane on the Falcon 56 page as I will be going into more detail there.
In all I had a reasonably good training phase but being successful at learning to fly RC airplanes had as much to do with my being stubborn and patient enough to keep working at it.