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LET'S LEARN TO FLY

The club is always looking for an opportunity to share the fun of model airplane building and flying with new members. The club welcomes prospective members of all ages. We have many well-qualified instructors that can teach you how to fly.

If you think you might be interested in joining the club and learning to fly, we would suggest that you attend one of our monthly club meetings which are held on the last Tuesday of each month (except November and December) and/or visit our flying field to talk with various members and watch them fly. Currently, our official flight-training day is scheduled for each Thursday afternoon and evening during the daylight savings time period. However, you will usually find someone at the field every afternoon or evening when the weather is reasonable.

To actually fly or train at our field you will need to be a registered member of both the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) and MARKS.  The AMA membership is required because it provides the club with liability insurance coverage in case of an accident. The AMA has various membership categories and fees depending on your individual circumstances. A membership application and fee schedule can be found by going to the AMA Web Site (www.modelaircraft.org).  The 2016 MARKS dues are as follows:

                 Note: Dues paid by PayPal are charged an extra 5% to cover PayPal charges.

AMA memberships run from January 1 – December 31 of that year. MARKS dues run from April 1 - March 31st of that year.

CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE MARKS APPLICATION FORM

CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF CLUB TRAINERS & PHONE NUMBERS

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting or at MARKS Field in the near future.

Following is a series of frequently asked questions and answers
By: Art Perry

People new to radio control modeling have many questions. One goal of our club is to help newcomers to get off on the right foot. In working toward this goal, our club has made an attempt to answer some of the most commonly asked questions. While not endorsing any particular brand, we have found some to be more suitable for beginners. This article will make recommendations, but the best advice is to talk to as many people involved in R/C flying as possible before spending your hard earned money.

  Q.  How much does it cost to get started?

A.  This must be the most often asked question. Like most anything, this depends on the type and quality of equipment you purchase. While we don’t recommend the beginner purchase “top of the line” equipment, we would suggest that a newcomer buy the best equipment they can afford. With airplane, engine, radio, field equipment, club dues and AMA insurance, expect to spend around $400-$450. Keep in mind that although the initial investment might seem high, it can all be utilized for many years of fun.

  Q.  What kind of airplane should I buy?

The airplane should be a .40 size, high wing trainer. A .40 size plane is recommended mainly because of its size (approx. 60 inch wing span). It is easier to see and control than a smaller airplane. In case you are wondering, .40 refers to the size of the airplane’s engine in cubic inches. In addition, the plane should have a tricycle landing gear to make ground handling easier. Although a high wing trainer may not be as pretty and sleek as a P-51 Mustang, you have to remember that even the Air Force does not start its pilots out in fighters.

  Q.  Do I have to build an airplane?

A.  Not always. There are currently many good RTF (ready to fly) and ARF (almost ready to fly) kits available that require much less time to complete that the more common balsa kits. Many of the ARF kits require less than an hour to assemble.

  Q.  If I build the airplane, what accessories and tools do I need?

A.  Most kits come with required wood, wire and plastic. To complete the kit you will need cyanoacrvlate glue, epoxy, material to cover the structure with, such as Monokote, a fuel tank, wheels, fuel lines and some hardware. Most beginners’ kits have good instructions, which contain a list of the additional materials needed. The tools required to build a beginner’s kit are minimal. They include a hobby knife, drill and drill bits. T-pins, robber bands, allen wrench set and a straight edge or square. A flat surface from which to build is also necessary. Also keep in mind that the engine and radio have to be purchased separately.

  Q. How do I know if my plane is OK to fly after I finish building it?

A.  After your plane is built, it should be “checked out” by an experienced flier. This should be done before you take it to the field. Many members will be more than happy to check out your plane before going to the field for your first flight.   

Q What kind of engine is needed?

A.  Most people use 2-stroke engines, however 4-stroke engines are available at a greater cost, but offer fuel savings. The 2-stroke has fewer moving parts and the 4-stroke has valves and other parts requiring more maintenance. The 2-stroke engine is an ideal choice for beginners. The instructions for the airplane kit will recommend the correct engine size for that particular airplane.

  Q.  What type of radio do I need?

A.  The radio required to fly most airplanes is a four (4) channel aircraft transmitter. The four primary aircraft controls are elevator (nose up & down), ailerons (roll left and right), rudder (nose left and right including ground steering) and throttle. Each radio transmits on a particular radio frequency. There are about 50 of these frequencies assigned for aircraft operation. Each frequency is assigned a channel number from 12-60. Airplanes on the same frequency cannot fly at the same time.

  Q.   Can I teach myself to fly?

A.   Probably not. The best advice we can give you is to get help learning to fly. It is almost impossible for you to trim and fly your airplane without help. Our clubs has several members designated as instructors. These people will help you learn to fly. If you are willing to spend the time practicing, it will not be too difficult. It is, however, usually disastrous and unnecessary to attempt teaching yourself.

  Q.   Where can I get more information on RC Aircraft?

A.   There are many sources of good information. Several of our club members have volunteered their phone numbers (see members page of this Web Site). Check your local new stand for some RC Model Aircraft magazines. Also, check your phone book for local hobby shops. Another source, although dated, is the local library.  The Internet has several excellent sources of information, for example: Sports Aviator, a AMA sponsored site, that provides information beginners need to understand model aviation.

The beginner was overheard to say,
"Flying is the 2nd second greatest thrill I know.
Landing will be the first."