Beginners

Are you new to R/C? Don't know how to get started? Want to know how much it costs?

The Black Dirt Squadron would like to help you. This page is intended to provide the information needed to answer your questions and to help get you started. Follow the web links below to read up on the basics of R/C, what you will need to get going, and what it will cost you. Then check out our recommendations on plane/engine/radio combinations. We also include some cost estimates. You can e-mail us at anytime to ask us any questions you may have.

NOTE: We deal mainly with gas/glow engine powered planes. Electric powered planes have become more popular, but very few of our club members fly them. So, in this section we deal with gas/glow engines only.

The Basics
A good place to start reading and learning the basics: http://www.easyrc.com/ - by Tower Hobbies

Equipment Recommendations

These recommendations are based on the experiences of some of the BDS members. There are a lot of good trainers, engines, and radios on the market today. Here we have selected what we believe to be some of the finest quality equipment available today.

  • For the budget conscious - approximate cost: $320-360

Airplane

 

Duraplane Trainer

~$110

Engine

(for asphalt runways)

OS 40LA

~$55

 

(for grass runways)

OS 46LA

~$70

Radio

 

Futaba Skysport 4

~$155

  • Better components for future use - approximate cost : $405-410

Airplane

 

Duraplane Trainer

~$110

Engine

(for asphalt runways)

OS 40FX

~$95

 

(for grass runways)

OS 46FX

~$100

Radio

 

Futaba Skysport6

~&200

  • We recommend purchasing the above equipment from  local hobby shops where you will find knowledgeable people to help guide you through the building process.

Flight Simulator

  • We also recommend practicing on a flight simulator. This will help teach you the instincts you need to have to fly. There are free ones, as well as ones that cost over $200. Try searching the internet. I use FMS (free but you need a cable to hook your transmitter to your computer), and Ripmax. Great Planes also makes one of the best simulators, with a multiplayer feature so you can fly with friends over the internet.

Additional Costs (all costs are approximate)

There will be some additional costs involved with flying an R/C plane. While building your plane you will need tools and glues.

When it's time to fly you will also need starting equipment and fuel. ~$50+

You will need to join a flying club so you have a safe site to fly and instructors to teach you. ~$30-200

You will also have to join one of the national organizations who provide insurance such as the AMA. (requirements vary depending on your flying club) ~$55

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