Getting Started in Radio Controlled Flying

Welcome to our web site, and we hope the following will be of assistance to a newcomer to our rewarding hobby.

Whether you wish to fly a model aircraft, helicopter, or multirotor ( a.k.a a“drone” or “quad”) or a mix of all, this brief article will hopefully assist in getting you on the right path. If you need any further assistance get in contact and one of the club members will contact you back to help you out.

Model Aircraft (fixed wing)

If you are starting without previous experience then you are likely to be looking at an ARTF (almost ready to fly model ) which in turn can be either:

  • A prefabricated model without power system or radio gear
  • A PNP ( plug and play) where the servos and power system (Motor and speed controller (ESC)) are installed but no receiver, transmitter, flight battery, and no transmitter
  • A BNF ( Bind and fly) where all is installed as above and you simply need to “bind” your transmitter to the installed receiver
  • An (RTR) (ready to run ) includes all of the above and a matched transmitter

In each of the above, assembly of the model’s component parts will be needed, some secured by glue, other by screws, and a certain amount of basic skill will be needed

On the other hand, if you intend actually build the model ( either from a kit of parts or “scratch” building from plans) this assumes you have some previous aeromodelling experience.

Helicopters and Multi Rotors

We cannot emphasize too much that if you are an absolute beginner with helicopters or multi-rotors, start with an ARTF, preferably BNF model. The assembly of these, and setting up requires a level of skill and experience.

Choice of Radio Equipment

It is recommended that before you buy a radio set you discuss with club members the various manufacturers, their popularity in the club etc.
Although modern radio systems operate in the 2.4ghz frequency, each type uses a different “coding” system which means that one make will not communicate with another. For example, a Spektrum transmitter will not work a Futaba receiver, and similarly wireless buddy systems only work with transmitters of the same make.

The most common in our club are Spektrum, Futaba, Frsky and Taranis.
Similarly, the most popular “ mode” in our club is mode 2, i.e. throttle left. It is also recommended that you purchase a wireless buddy link transmitter, which will help if you need tuition.

Organisations and Insurance

A requirement of our club is that every member is a member of the BMFA, which then covers each individual for insurance in respect of third party, accident and other misfortunes.

Next Step

If you are interested in taking matters further please contact us and someone will be in touch to talk over your interest and arrange a visit and a trial flight at the club’s flying site.

More information on radio-controlled model flying can be found at the BMFA website.

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