Frequently Asked Questions
For as long as motorized vehicles have been in existence, people have been enthralled with the idea of operating them by “remote control” (also known as R/C) without actually being inside the vehicle. Thanks to microelectronics, R/C is a fast growing hobby that anyone with average skills can enjoy.
Questions answered by the Sky Ranch Flyers
I want to fly an R/C model aircraft! How do I start?
Find out if there are any R/C flyers in your area and where they fly. The Sky Ranch Flyers will be happy to give you this information.
R/C model clubs.
R/C model clubs can be a great help to the newcomer. Go to their flying field and talk with the club members. Don’t be shy! Ask for advice and learn from their experience! Model airplane magazines are also excellent sources of information. R/C has its own language of terms and nicknames, and reading model magazines will help you learn the terminology.
How much does it cost?
Like any leisure time activity, R/C has some one time costs. The initial investment might seem high to the newcomer, but once you are established with a model, engine, and radio, the cost stabilize and can be as much or as little as you want to spend. The average cost start you with a 40 Trainer, 4-channel Radio, Engine and fuel for approximate cost of $400.00.
How far do they fly?
Modern radio control systems have a range of 1 or 2 miles. However, it is very rare that a model airplane is flown that far away. A model with a 5 or 6 feet wingspan will become a small speck in the sky at ½ mile out.
How fast can they fly?
A typical trainer usually flies in the neighborhood of 60 mph. More advanced stunt models will fly a little faster, about 80 to 100 mph. And for the real expert R/C racing models, over 200 mph can be reached.
What happens when the engine stops?
A common misconception among the general public is that control of the model is lost. This is not true! The radio system will still function normally since it is powered by its own on-board battery. You simply glide the model in for a landing.
Can I buy an airplane that is ready to fly?
Yes. There are many fine ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) aircraft on the market. These can get you flying with only a few hours of simple assembly.
Are model airplanes hard to build?
No. Balsa model airplanes are not difficult to build by someone who can master a few basic woodworking skills…primarily the use of adhesives, a modeling knife, and a sandpaper block. A typical kit includes all the parts to build a model and step-by-step instructions for putting the parts together. Average construction time is about 50 to 75 hours.
Do I need a license to fly R/C aircraft?
No. However, there is a governing body for all model aviation activities in this country called the ACADEMY OF MODEL AERONAUTICS (AMA). The AMA works closely with the Federal Communication Commission to see that certain frequencies are set aside for the exclusive use of modelers.
The FAA has recently placed new restrictions on UAS (Unmaned Aircraft Systems).
For more onformation on this, please visit : https://www.faa.gov/uas/
You will need an FAA resistration number on your aircraft.
Why do I need an instructor?
An instructor serves two purposes. First, he will check and fly your model the first time to make sure it is performing properly before you try to fly with it. The second reason for an instructor is to correct any mistakes you might make when you take over the controls for the first time. A radio with a trainer cord option is recommended, DON'T TRY IT ALONE!
The sky’s the limit! Soon you will be flying by yourself with little thought to the moves required. It will come naturally! As your reflexes become trained to R/C flying, you will be able to adapt to the faster flight of aerobatic models.