How to fly RC planes

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Pre flight and launch tips for a Bix3 and Bixler 2, and all RC planes. Beginner advice for Harry with his new Bix 3 and Turnigy i6.
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howdy folks I'm going to do a couple of videos on beginner flying how to set up your Bixler 3 this is a pixel of 2 Ivan got a big story and things like that mainly for my nephew Harry g'day Harry Harry gun Harry has decided he wants to learn how to fly and he's bought himself a pixel of three and a turnigy i6 radio which is a great choice for a beginner and for advanced as well alright so I've got a big salute to this is the first plane overbought it's about three years old and I absolutely love it still now and it taught me to fly so the big three is pretty similar got a few little different features I think now if anyone else wants to leave a comment with some advice for Harry or other beginners how to set up the big 3 how to start flying that would be most useful please please join in the conversation the number one tip I reckon because it happened to me within 30 seconds of my first flight is to make sure the prop nut is done up tight very disappointing when I flew mine I was very very excited I got it up in the air and then suddenly lost all power the proper nut had come up come off I lost the prop lost the prop nut couldn't fly for another week or so until I got replacements so make sure the prop nut is done up tight now the prop has to be facing forward as well there might be numbers on the front of the prop they always face to the front of the plane whether the motors on the front of the plane or it's a pusher setup like this now I've asked my friend Michael who's got a big three and he's given me some advice as well and other people have said this too and I think it's right when you're first starting off don't worry about the wheels don't fit the wheels just hand launch it to start off with it's a lot easier and I think to use the wheels you need really really smooth grass or a hard road to takeoff on and you'll probably be on loose dirt or grass or something like that so forget the wheels to start off with you can use them later on when you learn how to fly it all makes things a lot easier all right another thing the pushrods go from the servo and connect up to the ailerons and elevator and rudder now they've got little plastic connectors there make sure they are clipped on and it's even a good idea to put a zip tie or a bit of tape around the connectors clevis connectors just to make sure they don't pop open because if they pop open you lose control of that control surface if it came disconnected on the elevator you're in trouble it's going to crash you are going to crash early and often don't worry about that you just have to learn to repair the plane and get on flying everyone crashes it's part of the part of the fun you can see my old Bixler too I've taped up the nose I've crashed badly and split that open I've got tape along the leading edge of the wing a lot of people do that that's a good idea that's scotch stuff tape that I talked about is the best stuff of a lot it's a bit expensive but it's really really sticky little bit flexible and quite tough so you can put some along the leading edge of the wing if you want to the big three and the fixed to come with flaps as an option forget about them to start off with you don't need them in fact I've just taped the flaps and ailerons together so I've got really big ailerons now that makes it nice and aerobatic I wouldn't I wouldn't do that to start off with just stick with the ailerons later on when you can fly you can muck around with the flaps you'll have to put a couple more servos in there as well now probably the most important thing is to get the center of gravity correct now the center of gravity is the point around which the plane balances and it's usually about the third of the way back on the wing from the leading edge and that's often where the main spar goes through the through the wing I'm not too sure what it is for the big three if some one can help us and tell us what the measurement from the leading edge to the center of gravity point please leave that in the in the comments that would be very very helpful so what you do is if you find out where that point that center of gravity point is and you can put a mark on the underneath of the wing or I put a little dab of hot glue put your fingers on those two marks and just make sure that the plane balances at that point if it goes down like that if the note if the tail goes down then it's tail-heavy and there is no way you'll be able to fly the plane very tail-heavy even if it goes nose down like that that's not so bad that's nose-heavy and it's probably a good idea to be a little bit nose-heavy when you first start out but eventually you'll find the right spot for the plane to balance and without the wheels you may have to actually have to add a little bit more weight into the nose something like a 60 gram fishing sinker in the nose there just to get that balancing at the right point and that's with the battery in position I've got a battery yeah I've got a battery in there yeah so there's the battery that's the same sort of battery that I've recommended for you Harry so that goes right up in the nose then you check the centre of gravity make sure it's balancing at the right point you can move the battery backwards or forwards if you want to but you'll probably have to add that extra weight into the nose before you go flying that's very important now you also have to make sure that the ailerons and the elevator and the rudder are all moving in the right direction and the right direction for them is stand behind the plane with your radio you push the aileron stick to the right the right eye line should go up and the left eye line should if you push it to the left left will go up right will go down make sure they're the right way around double-check it that's the most common way to crash when you first start off and I've done it myself many times now the elevator when you push pull back on the elevator stick the elevator should go up if you think of it like a joystick in a plane you pull back to make the plane go up you push forward to make the plane go down the rudder starting off you can actually forget about the rudder and that's just another complication you can sort of learn how to use it later on but with the rudder that's on the left stick pushed to the right rudder should go to the right push to the left rudder should go to the left so you're going to make sure all of them are going in the right direction before you fly for the first time you know there are recommended throws or how much movement you get for each of these control surfaces and if someone can recommend those throws for a beginner that would be very helpful too you can increase or decrease the throws by moving the push rod if you move it down on the servo you'll get less movement of the add-on if you move it up on the server you'll get more movement and the opposite is true for the control horn if you move it down on the control horn you'll get more movement move it up on the control horn you get less movement you really don't need much at all when you're first starting off you only need large throws if you want to do radical aerobatics or things like that so very little movement of the control surfaces same for the elevator same for the rudder now let's talk about your first launch and that's going to be pretty scary you've had a little bit of experience with me that day that we all flew together that was a very windy day you did very well so I think you've got the the right right skills to start off anyway I think you'll learn a lot quicker than I did the main important thing is to pick a day when there's no wind that will make life a lot easier if there's any wind that's going to complicate things no in you're going to crash a lot quicker so a calm day will make things a lot easier there's always a little bit of wind so when you're launching you've got to launch straight into the wind and when you're landing you're best to come in into the wind as well and that sort of slows things down and gets the plane flying a lot quicker to start off with it will be better to get someone else to throw the plane for you get Charlie or dad or mom or Billy to launch the plane for you and the way you do it you've got your radio control in your hands you put the throttle up to about 3/4 so it's revving a fair bit you got your hand on the elevator and aileron stick and you've got to be ready to pull back on the elevator to get the plane to stay up because these things tend to dip a little bit when they first start off so get ready to pull back on the elevator and the person throwing needs to give it a good hard throw and up at an angle of about 30 degrees throw as hard as they can and up and then you're in control and that's the way to do it if you just throw it gently horizontally the plane is going to dip down and hit the ground so buddy if they give it a good hard throw up at 30 degrees with you on about 3/4 throttle you'll be fine and then you get it up in the air a fair way they say get it up three mistakes which means you can make a mistake and recover make another mistake and recover make another mistake and recover that level of height so you need to give it up a fair way before you start trying to do turns and things like that and it's probably a good idea first off just to get someone to without the throttle on just get someone to throw the plane and you control it in a glide and get it to land nice and smoothly and this this plane or the big three lied for quite away so do a couple of throw throws to start off with that'll tell you whether the center of gravity is right if it's a little radical on the lay of the place then you might need more nose weight it was going straight down into the ground he might need a bit less than those wait make sure you've got a nice big wide open space I prefer footy field size and it's even better to have a 44 with no trees around it so try and find someone without anything you can stack into for the first first flights now once you get up in the air you can back off the throttle a bit so you're not going so fast and you can fly around at about half throttle nicely you can even turn the throttle off and just let it glide down in fact that's a good thing to do get it up high chop the throttle back and then just glide it back down to the ground and you'll learn how to fly without the panic of going really really fast and the best idea is to try and keep it flying out in front of you and up into the wind if you let it fly around behind you and there's any wind it's going to go way back behind you too quickly and you'll lose control we experienced a bit of that you'll remember that a couple of years ago when we when we did a bit of flying down here same sort of thing keep it out in front of you try and if you're going to do circles keep the circles out in front of you all the time until you learn how to fly a bit better something else very important to consider is your lipo batteries you really do have to look after lipo batteries if you run them down to fully flat you won't be able to charge them up again and you'll have to throw them out fully charged these are about twelve point six volts when they get down to about eleven point one volts that's the time you need to stop using it and recharge it to keep a check on that you need to buy yourself a little battery alarm or a smart battery meter these are three or four dollars on eBay these are five or six dollars on eBay gotta get one so what you do with this little battery alarm you connect it to the the balance port here once you will get the correct way and that will show you the total voltage and the voltage of each stem cell and it will give you an alarm when it drops down below a certain level that's usually set at about 3.3 volts per cell that would give you a lot lower voltage than what I said the 11.1 volts but when you're flying the voltage actually and the battery's being drained the voltage actually dips down below and you wouldn't want it while you're flying to dip below the 3.3 volts per cell when you land it and check it the voltage will be back up again and the time to change your battery as I said is when the total voltage is around eleven point one volts that way your batteries will last for a lot longer and you won't ruin them so good luck with that Harry let me know how you go there's lots of people who can help us with advice and happy flying see you later Oh what I didn't mean to do that

41 thoughts on “How to fly RC planes”

  1. Bixler 2 was my 1st plane it took me a few attempts to get it to fly one crash i has the battery went through the nose just glad i was walking distance from were I flew

    Even bought a new fuse large because of how badly the nose was smashed up

    Now have bix 3 , AXN floater , skyhunter racer (787) just need flight controller and 30amp esc before i fly the skyhunter

    Also rebuilding a wing in foam for a balsa plane

  2. A tip for first time pusher fliers. If you're minded to make full on adjustments, does the plane head down as soon as you give it full power at low speed? If it does, it's the motor angle (thrust angle) it should point directly at the CG point under the wing. I hacked mine by putting spacers between the lower two motor bolts and the motor.

  3. This is going to sound dumb, but you must fly on a simulator first. Or you will simply crash and destroy your plane. Once you get some success on the sinulator: ie; you are flying around ok, then practice landing a lot. Then try a real Rc plane with help setting up your plane. Break a leg! Nameste

  4. Good advice, and thanks for the tips. My practice glider is a "FMS EasyTrainer 1280mm" which the front end needs repairing after a misjudged landing given I'm new at flying. I think I will use some tape on the front once I have done some repairs just for extra strength. And yes my prop came off too on impact, but I found all the parts and will make sure it is on more securely next time I fly it.

  5. When I got back into RC, and planes in particular, some 5 years ago, my first plane was the Bixler 1.1. I will agree that for me the launch took the longest for me to get right. That dip after release is so, so common it added anxiety to my flying sessions that I didn't like. So after learning how to straighten and reinforce the nose I started adding some up elevator trim at launch that did the trick. Then once in the air I'd return the trim to center. Still, if I get sloppy and don't apply enough throttle or the angle of the throw is off I can still run into problems. My ol' Bix 1.1 finally succumbed to a elevator servo failure at low altitude and high speed but I have always liked its flight characteristics so much I replaced it. Hobby King wasn't offering the Bixlers at the time so I turned to Banggood and the Sky Surfer X* which looks to be almost a copy of the Bix 2, of each other. It's more heavily reinforced inside and I added some extra carbon rods here and there myself. Now I'm back in action and have my old standby ready to go. Thanks for your very practical and informative videos.

  6. All good tips from everyone;
    – always treat the propeller as if its energized
    -always check your battery before taking off (have seen plenty crashes just because it was assumed the battery was charged)

  7. I’m enjoying watching your videos a lot and I’m seriously getting more and more interested of learning how to fly rc planes (I have not flown one before) I think you inspire people who has enthusiasm to this type of hobby, thanks for your good work!

  8. If I'm putting tape on a white foam wing I always use black because it gives better visibility when the model is flying directly towards you – often when landing. I find black Duct tape works well.

    Other than that, it's all good (except, physically, I can't throw so I usually get someone to hand launch but I prefer wheels)

  9. I definitely agree with you about the Bixler 2. It was the first plane I flew properly and it taught me how to fly over approx 2 years.
    I didn't have a computer radio from the start and with the flaps operated from a button, it tends to make it rise up pretty dramatically, so I had to learn to ease on the elevator at the same time.
    Β Poor old Bix flies a bit wonky now so is basically retired. But I'm thinking of getting another as I get so little stick time that I seem to be forever beginning each time. (completely destroyed a brand new Phoenix 2000)

  10. I am a beginner and thought it's a good idea to start with a scratch build Wing. I've got big problems with launching , because it isn't build very nice and always turns to the left.

  11. Good tips Andrew. One thing I didn't mention to you the other day as about the battery. You'll need to add some Velcro or a strap to keep a 2200 from sliding back. If you use the 2200, stick it all the way forward and you'll definitely need additional weight to keep it from being tail heavy.
    Last tip, don't bank too steep if you are low and slow. It will tip stall. I found the BIX 3 much worse than the Bixler 2.
    Lots of other good suggestions here already too.
    Good luck to the young fella!

  12. i have a bix3. the black plastic tubes the aluminium wing spar slots into will need a bit of extra glue on them and put some tape over it. After my first flight they became loose, thankfully i spotted it before flying again. Its a common fault. Happy flying and good luck.

  13. C of G on the bix3 is the wing joiner carbon tube. I had to add a little weight with a 2200mah battery, better nose heavy than tail heavy. Also remove and reglue the carbon rods in the front cab Battery area as they are not glued well and don't help much in a crash . tape nose with reinforcing tape back past the landing gear hole as the plane blows out here on a bad crash. Also find a buddy to help you start and help with trim. Not to much throw on the control surfaces about 5 mm up and down low rate and put in some expo I use -18 expo and 45 rate low rate and -30 expo and 65 rate high rate on the i6 Dual rate expo menu . Hot glue is the best to fix the foam. Also update the radio to this gives you a really great battery telemetry so you can fly untill your battery gets low and not on time this is a must do mod. Great Job keep it up

  14. hi andrew

    my hot tip is that if you end up accidentally flying into airspace "behind" you, don't turn around to look at the plane, but turn a bit and fly it by looking back "over your shoulder" because the controls will still feel correct for what you want to do

    if you are flying "towards" yourself, then rudder and ailerons go opposite to your thumbs, whereas over the shoulder they work like your orientation expects them to do πŸ™‚

    and i would recommend that wherever you put the battery for balance, it is wedged in there so it can't accidentally move backwards during fight !

  15. Nice tips. here's one for models coming at you, think of the sticks as props, so if a wing drops push the stick towards that dropped wing to prop it back up, I struggled with the whole conciously reversing my thumbs thing till someone whispered that in my ear. It's saved many a model from biting the dirt esp on landing.

  16. There's nothing left to say exept: fly!
    Fly it, crash it : that's part of the game. Who the hell cares a crash! Fix it and off you go again.
    This young guys got incredible reflexes on the sticks after a scaring short period. Reminds me on a friends son: I was taking him to the field and after an hour or so he was doing manouvers I'm not daring.
    Lucky Harry to get a teacher like you, luring him off the couch and the computer into fresh air :thumbup:

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