Ballarat Radio Model Flying Club Inc.
Thursday, 19 October 2017   10:00:24 PM (AEDT)

Inc. No. A0062781D

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Frequently asked questions

  1. What do I need to do to get started in radio controlled model aircraft?
    a) You have the option of building your own plane from plans or a kit or the most popular choice these days is to purchase an ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) model that only requires a small amount of assembly.
    b) Secondly you will need an engine - something like an OS46AX or Magnum equivalent. Alternatively, electric powered models are becoming increasingly popular these days.
    c) Thirdly a set of radio gear with at least 4 channels, but preferably 6 channels. Choose a radio set that is computerised because it makes setting up the model for flight a lot simpler in the long run. Good sets are by JR, Futaba and Hitec. There are now 2.4GHz sets that eliminate the frequency control issue that we have faced ever since the inception of R/C aircraft. But like all things it is not without its limitations. See the MAAA policy on 2.4GHz sets.
    d) A flight box with fuel, fuel pump, power panel and 12V battery supply.
    e) Come out to our field and have a talk with our members - they are only too pleased to talk about their hobby and pass on a few pointers. Making informed decisions at the beginning can save a lot of heartache later on.
    f) For more information and to get an idea of the equipment available, purchase some radio control modeller magazines such as the Australian publications Airborne and RCM News or the overseas magazines like Model Airplane News. These are readily available at your local news agent.
  2. Does it take long to learn how to fly a model aircraft?
    Like learning all new things the younger we are the quicker we catch on and flying a model aircraft is no different. One thing is for sure, you are very unlikely to master flying your model without getting tuition from an experieced pilot. It's different for all people, some catch on faster than others but you should be able to take off a trainer after 8-10 tuition flights. Landing is the hardest part and may take a few more practice flights before you are ready to take the plunge (this is where your model is at its greatest risk). Radio control model aircraft simulator software for your PC has shown that it gets budding pilots up to speed circumventing much of the risk to their aircraft. The simulator software must interface with your transmitter to be effective.
  3. How much does it cost to get started?
    The four major items of expense are: Airframe, Engine, Radio gear and Flight box. ARF trainers can be purchased for under $150, 40-46 size engine also for under $150, Radio gear around $300-400 and perhaps allow $100 for flight box and equipment. All up you can get started for around $700.
  4. How far away can you fly the model?
    The radio gear will have range that exceeds the visibility of the model to the naked eye. ie. As long as you can see the model you will have radio communication, but you still need to be able to see what the plane is doing so you know what control to input. Other factors are size, color and silloette of the aircraft and your own eye sight.
  5. How fast do model aircraft fly?
    Typical maximum airspeed of a high wing trainer model would be 85-95km/h, a streamlined low wing model around 120-140km/h. Jets, particularly those powered with turbines have been clocked on radar above 300km/h. Model jet aircraft can be powered with a ducted fan (piston engine driving a fan inside the fuselage or nacelle) or a turbine engine running on aviation kerosene.
  6. How long can the model stay aloft?
    This naturally depends on the size of the fuel tank, or battery capacity in the case of electric models. Normally the fuel tank/battery size installed is based on giving the model a 15 minute flight duration. Some can stay up longer than that of course especially if the power is reduced so the model is just cruising around. Flying a radio controlled model aircraft requires a fair bit of concentration so after 10-15 minutes most pilots are ready to land anyway. Transmitters these days have count down timers that beep after the preset time has elapsed which warns the pilot that it is time to land. You set the "count down" time that suits the particular model which is stored in the transmitters memory.
  7. How do I join BRMFC?
    Come out to the field a few times and meet the members. A Sunday morning is the best time. Once you get to know some they will be only too pleased to nominate you for membership. See the How to Join page for details.
  8. Why should an aeromodeller belong to a club?
    a) You have a place to fly that is maintained - runways and amenities are on site.
    b) Camaraderie - Other people who share your interests to talk to.
    c) If you are a beginner there are skilled aeromodellers to help you get started and teach you to fly.
    d) Public liability insurance cover.

If your aeromodelling question is not answered here, send the webmaster an email describing what you would like to know. You will either get a reply or the answer will soon be posted on this page for future reference.

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