FAQ – beginner

Are the models hard to build?

Most of the kits available today can be built with little fuss. If you are capable of following instructions, you shouldn’t have any trouble at all. The instructions that come with the kit usually have pictures and diagrams showing you how the parts should go together. Modern model kits are precision cut (laser) and use the best materials. If you have questions about building a kit, there are many experienced model builders in the Club who would be more than happy to lend a hand.

ARF’s and PNF’s (Plug and Fly kits that have motors servos, and in the case of electric models speed controllers already installed) can be operational in just a few hours.

Do I have to build my own model?

Part of the intrigue of radio control modelling is the construction of your own flying machine, either from a kit or from plans. Seeing your creation in the air adds to the enjoyment. There are, however, other ways of getting into the air. In the past few years, manufacturers have been selling ARF’s (Almost Ready to Fly) airplanes. They come complete with everything needed to get into the air,( a few manufactures include the radio and engine also). The major structures have already been built and finished and it only takes a few hours to put it together. The Quality and functionality of these models has gone up greatly in the past few years, while the price has come down.

Can I learn to fly without an instructor?

A small number of lucky modellers have taught themselves how to fly remote control airplanes, but they are few and far between. More often than not, a novice pilot will crash and totally destroy his or her airplane without the assistance of an instructor and they won’t be able to recognize what went wrong. Many hours of work can be involved in the construction of a model and it will be lost in a moment of beginner’s indecision. A skilled flyer can help you get past the first critical test and trimming flights without damage to the airplane.

What other choices do I have other than flying radio controlled models?

We have members who built and fly ‘free flight’ and ‘control-line’ models and can arrange for you to chat to these members if you are interested in these model aeroplane categories.

How do model aeroplanes work?

Model aircraft fly in the same way as full-size ones do. The big difference being that radio controlled models are controlled from the ground with a radio transmitter. Power can be by electric motor, 2-stroke or 4-stroke glow or gasoline engines, or in the case of an unpowered glider, by using gravity!

In the model is a radio receiver that receives instructions from the transmitter and in turn runs electric motors called servos. The servos move the control surfaces of the plane causing it to react to the pilot’s inputs from the transmitter on the ground.

How do I learn to fly radio controlled models?

Check out our ‘Wings’ training program viewable from the ‘Learning to Fly’ page. Another good tool is a flight simulator to practice on and to get a ‘feel’ for what it’s like to fly a model. Simulators include a number of built-in’ models and most include planes, helicopters and multi-rotors.

A flight simulator will cost around $200, but if you crash it won’t cost you any money, saving you plenty in the long run!

Are they Dangerous

When not treated with due respect and caution, any machine can be dangerous. You must always keep thinking “safety”. Our club has strict rules and regulations governing the flying of model aircraft at our flying sites. We comply with the rules and regulations of Model Flight New Zealand (MFNZ) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and are a sanctioned MFNZ club. Check the links page to visit the MFNZ website and to understand it’s function within the hobby.