The SNH Flying Eagles is an remote control aircraft club located in Merrimack NH. Our field has a textile runway, flight stands and a pavilion. The field is a few hundred away from the Merrimack river. The averages around 75 members per year. SNHFE has a strong flight instructor core.
The AMA is a national organization for model aeronautics. The SNHFE is a leader club in AMA. All pilots that fly at the SNHFE field must be AMA members
RC flight instruction is done with an instructor and a student. The student must have their own plane and gear. An instruction uses a second radio as a buddy box. With a buddy box the instructor can control which radio is flying the plane. If students get in trouble the instructor can take control and get the plane back to straight and level flight and can easily switch back and forth. Older transmitters use a cord between two transmitters for buddy boxing. Newer transmitters have wireless buddy box capabilities.
SNHFE has a demo plane for introductory flights. If someone decides to become a pilot it is expected that person procure a training plane and gear.
- Airframe with Receiver(RX), ESC (electronic speed control), Motor and servos
- Transmitter(radio, TX)
- Batteries (Most RC batteries using a chemistry called LIPO- lithium Polymer)
- Battery Charger
Many training airplanes can be purchased as a package.
- RTF – Ready to Fly – a package that includes everything needed to get started. Includes one battery.
- BNF – airframe with electronics – ready to bind to your TX – Needs batteries, charger and radio.
- PNP – plug and play – Airframe, ESC, Motor and servos. Needs RX, TX, batteries and charger.
Most new pilots start with an electric airplane. Other power options are nitro and gasoline.
- Electric – shortest flight time
- Clean, requires a charger, usually more than one battery is needed.
- Electric flight times are much less (5 minutes) than Nitro(12 minutes) or Gas (20 minutes)
- Charging at home requires an AC charger or DC power supply. Some charges work on both AC and DC. Charging at the field – Car battery, solar panel or generator is needed.
- Some pilots fly one battery while another battery charges. Some pilots have numerous batteries and only charger at home.
- Nitro – Medium flight times -
- Nitro fuel prices have increase significantly over the past 5 years. A gallon costs about $25.
- Nitro has a lot of oil and leaves a residue – airplanes need to be cleaned after flying.
- Nitro requires field equipment – glow ignitor, 12v starter, fuel pump and fuel.
- Gas – Longest flight times
- On-board ignition, fuel pump, pre-mix fuel, fuel tank.
The closest local RC retail shops is ABC Hobbies in Windham.
SNHFE recommended Trainer - Eflite Apprentice
- Came out about 10 years ago.
- There have been a few updates to the electronics in the Apprentice over the years.
- The airframe is proven to be an excellent first plane.
- Floats are available and are fun to use.
- The charger and TX are low end – if pilots stick with the hobby upgrading the TX and Charger will be needed.
- Charger – takes an hour to charge a battery. Upgraded chargers can charger more than one battery at a time and can charge a battery in 10 0minutes.
- TX – supports one airplane. Upgraded TXs support many airplanes and more channels
- Comes with one battery – most students need 2-4 batteries. (2-4 flights per day)
- Need to order TX, Charger, batteries
- Spektrum, Futaba, Hitec, Tactic, Tranus are all radio brands. You will need to pick one brand. SNHFE instructors all use Spektrum – so that is recommended for new pilots.
- Transmitters and receivers support a specific number of channels (4-20). Purchase the most number of channels as you can afford – or you may need to upgrade your transmitter at a later date. Higher end radios have built in transmitter battery chargers. Lower end transmitters use AA batteries.
- An apprentice uses 5 channels – Throttle, Elevator, Ailerons, Rudder, gear or mode.
- More advanced airplanes more channels. Throttle, Elevator, right Aileron, Left Aileron, Rudder, right Flap, Left Flap, water rudder, ignition, landing gear, lights, gain…
- Most beginner and intermediate pilots use 5, 6, 7 or 8 channel transmitters.
- Most advanced pilots use 8, 9, 12 or 20 channel transmitters.
- Some transmitters can be purchased in a package with a receiver.
- Transmitters can be purchased used by club members that are upgrading.
- DX6 (6 channel) https://www.horizonhobby.com/product/helicopters/spektrum-brand/aircraft-transmitters/dx6-6-channel-dsmx-transmitter-only-gen-3--mode-2--p-spmr6750
- DX7 (7 channel)
- DX8 https://www.horizonhobby.com/airplanes/aircraft-transmitters/dx8e-8-channel-transmitter-only-spmr8105
- DX9 https://www.horizonhobby.com/airplanes/aircraft-transmitters/dx9-black-transmitter-only-md2-spmr9910
- iX12 https://www.horizonhobby.com/airplanes/aircraft-transmitters/ix12-12-channel-transmitter-only-spmr12000
- LIPO battery chemistry is considered hazardous by shipping companies. If the lithium polymer is exposed to oxygen, the chemical combusts and flairs up high.
- Proper battery handling and charging is a must.
- Use a lipo charging bag when charging. https://www.horizonhobby.com/SearchDisplay?searchTerm=lipo+bag&categoryId=&sourceDomain=&storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&pageSize=40&beginIndex=0&sType=SimpleSearch&resultCatEntryType=2&searchTermScope=2&showResultsPage=true&searchSource=Q&sourceDomain=&pageView=
- Lipo batteries should not be fully charged for more than a few days.
- Lipo batteries should never be discharged less than 20% of the storage capacity.
- Lipo batteries should be storage at 80% of the charging capacity.
In late 2018 Spektrum release Smart Technology. Smart technology links batteries, ESC and RXs. Chips are in the batteries that communication with the ESC0 and RX. The RX send telemetry data to the transmitter. Two important items that smart provides its real time battery status (time to land) and automatic Lipo discharge to a storage charge level (longer battery life).
New pilots should consider Smart technology.
- Apprentice Battery - https://www.horizonhobby.com/all-rc-batteries/batteries/3200mah-3s-111v-smart-lipo-30c--ic3-spmx32003s30
- Smart Charger - https://www.horizonhobby.com/airplanes/chargers--1/spektrum-smart-s2100-ac-charger-2x100w-spmxc101 (I bought two of these so that I can charge four batteries at one time)
Every pilot benefits from practicing on a flight simulator. New pilots that use a sim progress at a much faster rate.
- Real flight uses windows – Mac users can load windows with bootcamp or VMWare fusion.