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Perhaps the first decision to make with regard to your first model is whether you want to build a complete kit or just do some simple assembly with an "Almost-Ready-to-Fly" (ARF) model. An ARF model will usually have the bulk of the construction completed and it will even be covered. Usually the only assembly to be done is joining the wing halves, adding the tail surfaces, mounting the radio system, engine and landing gear, and connecting the control surfaces. The building of a complete kit is more involved, and certainly takes more time, but on the same token, it is usually more satisfying to those so inclined. Also, when you build your own model from a box of wood and plastic parts, you become familiar with aircraft construction and if the day comes when you have to do some repair work, you may find it easier, having done the building in the first place.

You can also get an ARF combo which comes with just about everything you will need, plus it has more of the work done for you—the engine and radio come installed! Generally it will take less than an hour to get it flying! (Highly recommended for your first plane)

Trainer aircraft are available in both three channel and four channel configurations. Most aircraft fly with four channels, these being the Rudder, Elevator, Throttle, and Ailerons. Trainers, however, can also fly without the use of ailerons. A greater dihedral (angle of the wings from the horizontal) on these trainers makes them more stable and can also produce gentle turns using rudder only. Usually a three channel model flies more slowly and is easier to fly than one with four functions and a flatter wing. Four channel models can usually handle the wind a bit better, however, and most trainers tend to be configured this way. Check with our local instructor to see which type of model he recommends and is more comfortable teaching with.

Description: Flight BoxField Equipment

There will also be a few basic items needed for airplane support at the field when you are actually ready to fly your model.

First, you will need fuel (usually sold by the gallon jug) and a way of getting it from the container into the fuel tank. This could be as simple as a bulb fuel pump or hand pump, or more complex like a battery powered electric fuel pump.

The second basic necessity is power for your glow plug, a glow engine needs to have current flowing through the element in its glow plug before it can start running. This current is supplied by a 1.2 to 1.5 volt battery or by an adjustable circuit called a glow driver, frequently found on power panels. The power panel gets its power from a 12V battery.