Flight Training Program

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Everett2.jpg  Trainerplane2.jpg  Buddybox.jpg

FLIGHT TRAINING   MAR/C conducts a flight training program each year for new student pilots or for returning pilots that need to brush up on their flying skills. Training is conducted at the Marymoor airfield every Tuesday from 5 PM to sunset (weather permitting), starting May 6th and continuing through August 26th. Please direct any questions that you may have to the following MAR/C contacts: Flight Training Manager Steve Lenz (425-391-0657), Mike Powell (425-883-2465).

A pilot may fly a MAR/C trainer with a MAR/C instructor for one flight prior to joining the training program. AMA membership and MAR/C membership are required to join. Pilots must comply with the Airfield Operating Rules.

An airplane must have throttle, aileron, rudder and elevator control channels to be used in the training program. Additionally, the transmitter must have buddy box capability; note that some transmitters do not have buddy box capability. Before purchasing an airplane and other equipment, please read the Selecting An Airplane section below and contact one of the above MAR/C contacts if you have any questions.

A MAR/C tech inspector will check each airplane used during training to ensure that it has been assembled correctly and is flight worthy according to the MAR/C Pre-Flight Checklist. Most deficiencies identified by the tech inspector can be corrected quickly at the airfield. A sticker is placed on the airplane after all checks have been passed.

Student pilots will fly with different MAR/C instructors during training. For many brands of radios (most Spektrum, JR, Futaba and Airtronics models), MAR/C will provide a buddy box (looks similar to a transmitter) and cord to connect to the student’s transmitter. The instructor will hold the transmitter and the student will hold the buddy box. The transmitter has a trainer switch or button that must be constantly held to transfer control of the airplane to the student. Once released, control of the airplane is transferred to the instructor. This enables the instructor to quickly regain control of the airplane when required.

Initially, the instructor will perform all take offs and landings. The instructor will transfer control of the aircraft to the student when it is at altitude and flying straight and level. At first, the student will usually not be able to fly the airplane very long before the instructor needs to make a correction. As experience is gained, the student will be able to fly the plane with few corrections from the instructor. Eventually the student will progress to taking off followed by landing. The student will also learn how to recover from adverse situations such as being upside down. A log book is used to document the progress of each student. In the final steps of the program, 2 instructors observe 2 flights that are required to be successful without any corrections by the instructors. The last flight is a solo flight without use of a buddy box which must be successfully completed without help from the instructors. Each graduating student receives a certificate attesting to their proficiency and receives a full membership card to replace their provisional card.


Selecting An Airplane   Experience indicates that an airplane specifically designed for training and usually called a trainer is the best type of airplane for student pilots to use. These trainers usually have a wing that mounts on top of the fuselage, wing dihedral (wing halves form a “V” shape) and four control channels (throttle, aileron, rudder, elevator). This type of airplane has a tendency to fly level when the control sticks on the transmitter are released.

Trainers may be purchased as Ready To Fly (RTF), Almost Ready To Fly (ARF) and as a kit. Usually the cost of an RTF is significantly less than the cost of purchasing all of the required components (airplane, radio, engine or electric motor & electronic speed control, etc.) separately. Additionally, the components have been selected by the manufacturer to be compatible with each other. Typically it takes an hour or 2 to assemble an RTF so that it is ready to fly.

Two RTFs that were used in the training program last year and were very successful are shown in the following chart. The Alpha 40 has a glow engine and includes everything required to fly the airplane except for glow fuel, fuel pump and glow plug igniter & battery charger. List price is $339. The Apprentice has an electric motor and includes everything required to fly the airplane. List price is $300. It is recommended that a second flight battery be purchased for the Apprentice. This will allow a pilot to make 2 flights. Additionally, charging of the battery used for the first flight may be started soon after the airplane lands and it can be used for the third flight.

An ARF contains the parts required to assemble an airplane; however, the radio, engine or electric motor & ESC and other components must be purchased separately. This can be an advantage in that the modeler can select the components. For example, a more versatile and capable radio than the ones provided with the 2 RTFs above would have 6 channels, end point adjustment, dual rates and memory for several different models.

Typically ARFs contain the following: 2 wing halves & 2 ailerons, nearly completed fuselage, vertical stabilizer & rudder, horizontal stabilizer & elevator, motor mount, wheels and other parts. A manual is provided that contains detailed steps that show how to assemble the airplane and install the radio and engine or electric motor. Typically an ARF can be assembled, ready to fly, in about 16 hours. More insight into airplanes, radios and engines or electric motors will be gained by assembling an ARF than assembling an RTF. Two examples of available ARFs are the Tower Trainer Mk II ARF and the Hobbico Avistar 40 II ARF.

Kits take the most time to build, typically 80 hours, but are also the most rewarding because there is a great sense of achievement in completing one. Covering materials, like Monokote, are not included in the kit; consequently, a unique color and trim scheme can be developed by the builder. Like an ARF, radio, engine, motor, ESC and batteries are not included.

 

 

High Wing Trainer Comparison Chart

 

 Hangar 9 Alpha 40 Trainer

 Horizon Hobby E-flite
 Apprentice 15e Trainer

 Control Channels

 Throttle, ailerons, rudder,
  elevator

Throttle, ailerons, rudder,
 elevator

 Wingspan

 63 inches

 58 inches

 Wing Area

 710 square inches

 525 square inches

 Fuselage Length

 52.5 inches

 37 inches

 Weight

 5.25 pounds

 2.8 pounds

 Engine or Electric Motor

 Evolution .46 glow engine

 15 size brushless outrunner
  motor

 Transmitter

 Spektrum DX5, 2.4 GHz, 5
 channels, buddy box
 capability, alkaline batteries
 included

 Spektrum DX5, 2.4 GHz, 5
 channels, buddy box
 capability, alkaline batteries
 included

 Flight Battery

04.8 volt NiMH battery, 1500
 mAHr, provides power to the
 receiver and servos, AC
 charger included

 11.1 volt lithium polymer
 battery,3200 mAHr,
  provides power to the ESC,
  DC charger included

 Electronic Speed Control
 (ESC)

 Not required

 30 amp brushless ESC,
 provides power to the motor,
 receiver and servos

 Servos

 4 (Ailerons, elevator, rudder,
 throttle)

 3 (Ailerons, elevator, rudder)

 Note: ECS provides throttle
 function

 Additional Items Required
 But Not Included

 1 gallon glow fuel, fuel
 pump, glow plug igniter &
 battery charger and chicken
 stick

 Nothing required.
 Recommendation: purchase
 at least 1 additional flight
 battery

 (List price:$48)

  Alpha40.jpg Eflite Apprentice.jpg
                 Alpha 40                                Eflite Apprentice

 

 

A set of plans, usually one sheet for the wing and one sheet for the fuselage, and an assembly manual are included. Assembly starts by placing one sheet of the plans over a building board and then covering the plans with waxed paper or plastic wrap. Next a spar is pinned over the plans and the wing ribs are glued to the spar. There are many parts that must be glued together to complete the wing and then the fuselage. Once the airplane is completed, the builder will have a lot of insight into how airplanes are constructed and should be able to make repairs to this airplane and other airplanes in the event that they are damaged in a crash. This type of insight is not gained by assembling an RTF or ARF. Two examples of kits are the Carl Goldberg Eagle 2 and the Great Planes PT-40 Mk II Trainer kit.

Beside the airplane itself, there is other equipment that is required for flight and yet other equipment that would be a good idea to have. These are listed in the tables below.


 

Required Additional Equipment

 Item

 Airplane with Glow Engine

 Airplane with Electric Motor

 Fuel

 Yes

 No

 Fuel Pump

 Yes

 No

 Glow Plug Igniter

 Yes

 No

 Chicken Stick

 Yes

 No

 

 

Recommended Additional Equipment

 Item

 Airplane with Glow
 Engine

 Airplane with Electric Motor

 One Dozen #64
 Rubber Bands

 Yes – if wing is
 held in place with
 rubber bands

 Yes – if wing is held in place
 with rubber bands

 Spare Glow Plug

 Yes

 No

 Glow Plug Wrench

 Yes

 No

 Spare Prop

 Yes

 Yes

 Prop Nut Wrench

 Yes

 Yes

 Allen Wrenches

 Yes

 Yes

 Slot & Phillips
 Screwdrivers

 Yes

 Yes

 Hobby Knife

 Yes

 Yes

 Paper Towels &
 Window Cleaner
 (clean exhaust
 residue)

 Yes

 No

 After Run Oil

 Yes

 No

 CA Glue (Super
 Glue)

 Yes

 Yes

 Transparent Tape
 (repair small holes
 in covering)

 Yes

 Yes

 Digital Voltmeter
 (test battery under
 load)

 Yes

 Yes

 Battery Charger
 (fast charger)

 Yes – quickly
 charge transmitter
 and flight battery

 Yes – quickly charge
 transmitter and flight battery

 Electric Starter &
 12 Volt Battery

 Yes – use instead
 of chicken stick

 No

 Additional Flight
 Battery

 No

 Yes

 Arming Plug
 (safety device that
  prevents motor
 from running when
 arming plug is
 removed)

 No

 Yes

 

Your local hobby shop has all of the products that have been discussed above and can provide additional product information. Please support them and buy locally.

 

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