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Thread: How hard to fly a fixed wing?

  1. #1
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    How hard to fly a fixed wing?

    Ok, total newbie dumb question.

    I came to multi rotors, from a film making perspective. I enjoy making aerial films. Since building my first hex, I've started eyeballing the fixed wings, and enjoying the different perspective of flying and filming with one, they can achieve.

    I've recently gotten a TBS quad, with the long range equipment.

    It's gotten me thinking since I already have the ezuhf transmitter, and 2.4ghz video ground station, why not look into building a fixed wing and learn to fly that.

    So my question is, how difficult is it to learn to fly a fixed wing?

    I flew my hex LOS for the first year, before adding fpv gear. But it seems to me, a fixed wing would be easier to fly fpv? Or am I a dumbass for thinking that way?

    How difficult is it to learn to control? I figured out the multirotor controls pretty easy (from reading, prior to building one). But as of typing this, I'm not 100% on what stick would do what, on my Taranis.

    Any guidance? Any recommendation on a craft to start with?

    Thank you,
    Jeff

  2. #2
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    Get a cheap foamy made out of EPP and have at it. Should not take you too long.
    Flying through the cash.

  3. #3
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    I find fixed wings MUCH harder to fly than multirotors, and I'm a former pilot. Hell, with multirotors you can throw a switch, park that sucker in one spot in the sky, and have lunch. Not so with fixed wings. Look away for a second and they'll be headed for the ground (mine, anyway). Much bigger learning curve for fixed wing. As a reformed pilot I do find FPV much easier to fly than LOS since there's no control reversal.

    That said, it's certainly worth learning, especially if you are interested in aerial photography. You can carry heavier cameras for much longer periods of time. The new Skywalkers are flying tanks, fairly easy to fly and can carry a huge payload. You could start with a Skywalker but I'd recommend something smaller like a Multiplex Easystar, a Skysurfer or one of the Bixlers. They are all pretty simple to fly, cheap and will take a tremendous amount of abuse (I can personally attest to this). You can even get an Easystar without ailerons. It just uses rudder control to turn. Doesn't get any simpler than that. Except maybe a quadcopter in GPS lock.

  4. #4
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    By cheap foamy, I mean NON FPV. A EPP foamy can hit the dirt all day long and keep on trucking. I would definitely not recommend learning to fly fixed wing with a FPV rig. You can get a complete EPP foamy ready to rock for less than $100. Learn on that.
    Flying through the cash.

  5. #5
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    I was thinking of the tbs caipirinha. $99 for the plane, and needs a couple hundred more for electronics.

  6. #6
    Sky King j5coat's Avatar
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    Lol if you want one you can have mine! Not a beginner plane at all. I have been flying los for years and that one is just to underpowered and launching it is hard for me. Get a small EPP plane and learn on that, it won't take you long.
    Not an expert, just follow direction well....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Troiano View Post
    I was thinking of the tbs caipirinha. $99 for the plane, and needs a couple hundred more for electronics.
    God no! Repeat this manta...."Easystar, Skysurfer, Bixler....Easystar, Skysurfer, Bixler....."

  8. #8
    Navigator Manzooka's Avatar
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    Learning to fly most fixed wing aircraft will be a piece of cake, but certainly more difficult than flying multirotors which are unequivocally as easy the hobby can currently get.

    Taking off and landing is the only real challenge of the most forgiving planks. Some planks, like wings for example (TBS Capi included), aren't recommended for beginners because their flying characteristics and setup fall into the intermediate/advanced category. A poorly setup wing will fly... well, very poorly. For example, here's the first one of MANY bad wing launches that came up on a google search.



    If I were in your shoes I would spend a little cash on whatever cheap standard fixed wing strikes your fancy. Fly LOS until you get a feel for fixed wing flight, takeoffs and landings and then proceed wherever your little heart desires, even wings.

    If your dead set on a wing for your first fpv plank that's fine too. Just be sure to pick a small wing and do your forum research to get a good understanding of proper setup. You can't just install components and fly or you may end up like the guy in the video above. And whatever you do please don't buy a ZII or any other large wing as your first plank and expect good results. It can be done... but there are easier paths.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the replies. I will for sure look into the models recommended above. I'm not set on any particular model. I've only seen the tbs version, because I've bought things from their site.

  10. #10
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    Purchase or borrow a flight simulator. You'll save a lot in repairs and the associated down time. The TBS wing you're looking at is certainly not a suitable learning aircraft.

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