Aerobatic Airplane Setup & Checkout Policy

While it’s true that modern technology has expanded airplane capabilities, declining understanding of the fundamental setup principles that are essential to achieving a good flying airplane in favor of emphasizing advanced programming to solve deficiencies and improve performance has made the setup process exponentially more complex and subject to error and misplaced priorities.

When the fundamental principles of wing incidence, control surface setup, C.G., and engine thrust where handed down and commonly understood by the majority of R/C flyers and manufacturers, a typical inspection and test flight consisted mainly of fine tuning the last few percent of the setup. But, in recent years the process of professionally checking out airplanes brought to the flight school has become exponentially more detailed and time consuming. The increased time and expertise required to set up and adjust the planes brought to the school, especially aerobatic airplanes, has made it necessary to begin charging for that service. You are welcome to bring your own plane and have it professionally inspected, test flown, and trimmed by the instructor for a fee of $50.

The checkout includes the essential setup principles featured in 1st U.S. R/C Flight School’s Airplane & Radio Setup manual. NOTICE: Dave will be happy to waive part of the checkout fee when pilots apply the fundamental setup principles to their airplane beforehand (sample 1sample 2), including fully breaking in the engine before bringing an airplane to the field to be checked out.

Gasoline Powered Aerobatic Airplane Training Policy

The flight school has a wide range of airplanes optimized for training at every skill level, including large-scale gasoline powered models for those who prefer to train on an airplane that has the smell and feel of the gas airplane they might fly at home. However, due to the severe vibration and exponentially higher load factors on airframes, hinges, servos gears, etc., that are inherent with larger gasoline engine powered airplanes, the amount of maintenance and replacement part costs incurred whenever a gas airplane is used in the flight school are much higher compared to the “fuel-n-fly” utility of the school’s mid-size glow engine powered airplanes. Consequently, it’s become necessary to charge pilots wishing to train on a gas airplane an additional $50 per day to cover the increased maintenance and costs. Those who wish to fly their own gasoline powered model during the course will be handled on a case-by-case basis due to the complex logistics of having to relocate the school to a more remote flying site to accommodate the increased noise when using Pitts style exhausts.

FYI. As a rule, how an airplane handles (and thus the skills required to fly it) is largely a function of the CG location and how fast and how far the control surfaces deflect -- regardless of whether the plane is small, medium, or large scale. Except for the tendency of lighter models to be more effected by turbulence, the techniques required to fly the maneuvers remain the same regardless of airplane size or type of engine. Indeed, once a pilot has graduated to a tapered wing plane like an Extra, Edge, MX, Cap, Sukhoi, Yak, etc., they are all equally capable and any differences that are not setup related are so minor as to be undetectable to all but the most expert flyers. Thus, it’s the setup that mostly determines how well an airplane flies, not which model it is.