RO 3: [Special Christmas Edition] What Planes do You Want to Get this Holiday Season?

There was no RO on December 14th because of the holidays… Today I have a special Christmas edition of Reader’s Opinion. Here’s the question:

What RC planes, if any, are you hoping to receive as gifts this holiday season?

I’ll go first. I’m hoping to get the FPV Nano QX, which I WILL review on umFlight. Also, all of my planes are grounded right now (translation: beyond repair and/or lost and/or soaked with water…), so I’m hoping to build up my fleet again with a Champ, a UMX Radian, and a Sport Cub S. I’m dreaming!

I can’t really include a poll since there are so many UM aircraft out there, so go ahead and leave a comment with your wish list- no matter how much you are dreaming (like me…)!

I’ll see you next year (January 4th); I won’t be blogging over the holidays.

Thanks for reading, and happy new year, and happy holidays!

‘Tis the Season Buying Guide 2014

This is umFlight’s first Christmas season. To be honest, I had two very different visions of what umFlight would be like at this time when starting umFlight. It turns out that both were very wrong.

Vision 1: was of me having posts scheduled for months in advance, hundreds of visitors a day, and dozens of comments a week. While this happened, I would sit back, write a post or two a week, and relax.

Reality 1: Posts, at the most, are only scheduled for, maybe, a month. I have about 20-30 page views a day and barely any comments (so far!) as umFlight starts to gain more and more traction. I’m not complaining, though!

Vision 2: umFlight would just be a novelty and its novelty would be long gone by the end of October, let alone December!

Reality 2: umFlight is still going strong and is steadily growing. Yes, post can be a chore to write once in a while when I have no inspiration, but for the most part, I love it.

The Actual Post:

I have put together a list of great RC planes and a few quads to buy someone (or yourself!) this holiday season. Here they are:

Quadcopters:

Estes Proto X: The Proto X might be a quadcopter, but it’s very fun to fly. It’s also the one of the smallest quads in the world, so you can easily fly it in your house! Best of all, it is only $29. Great stocking stuffer! (no review yet)

Blade Nano QX: In my opinion, this and the Proto X are the best indoor quads. This one can fit four Protos on top of it, but it is easily flown inside the house. It includes SAFE, too. It goes for $69-$89. (No review yet)

Blade 200 QX: The best quad I’ve ever flown is… the 200 QX. It packs four brushless motors and SAFE. The price is $229 BNF. (No review yet)

Planes:

Parkzone Night Vapor: It’s an indoor plane made by Parkzone. With the included 70 mAH battery, it flies up to five minutes. Put in a 150 mAH battery, and it has flight times of 10+ minutes. (Remember that ‘your mileage may vary’). It costs $99 BNF and $129 RTF. (No review yet)

Hobbyzone Champ Everybody needs a Champ. It is my favorite UM so far. $89 RTF. (My review)

E-Flite UMX Radian: The UMX Radian is a UM glider with AS3X. I have easily flown it in 10 MPH winds. The max wind I ever flew it in was probably a 15-20 MPH wind. So, it’s perfect for winter winds. It’s $89 BNF. (My review)

Conclusion:

These are just a few great planes to get this holiday season.

Happy flying!

5 Indoor Aircraft Perfect For Cold Weather

With cold weather rapidly approaching for those up north, it’s time to begin moving RC aircraft fun inside!

I’ve assembled a list of great indoor UM aircraft. Because there are so few indoor planes, I have included some quadcopters.

1. Parkzone Night Vapor: The Night Vapor flies very well inside. I get about 3-5 minutes of flight time on the stock 70 mAH battery, but I get 10 minutes of fun when I use one of my 150-180 mAH Li-Po batteries. (No review yet…)

2. E-Flite FPV Vapor:
I haven’t flown the FPV Vapor, but it is basically a Night Vapor with no lights and FPV. I’m thinking of buying one soon… (I haven’t flown it yet…)

3. Blade Nano QX: Even if you prefer planes, the NQX is a lot of fun to fly. I can get flight times of 4 minutes while flying in my living room. Stability mode makes flying a breeze, but Agility mode, well, let’s just say that it’s VERY challenging. (No review yet…)

4. Estes Proto X: The Proto X comes in an FPV version, a version with SLT, and the regular version. The regular is $29, comes in several colors, and is one of the smallest quads available! (No review yet…)

Conclusion:

There are several great, small aircrafts available.

Sorry for not getting this out at 5:00 AM. I completely forgot to finish and schedule the post!

Also, umFlight has gotten over 1000 views this month alone. Thank you, readers!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next Sunday!

5 Great First UM Planes

If you are looking for a first RC plane, then I have a list of planes which are best suited to be your first ultra-micro RC plane.
Note that this list ONLY includes good first ULTRA MICRO planes. Planes bigger than ultra micros are not included in this list.

1. Hobbyzone Champ: In the hobby, this great plane is highly regarded as the king of easy to fly ultra micros (my review).

2. Hobbyzone Duet: This is the plane that I started with after switching from helis to planes. A great plane, but with some issues like no real rudder (differential thrust, which means that, to accomplish a turn, the motor on one side speeds up and the other slows down) and being more sensitive to wind that the Champ in my opinion. (I don’t have a review… yet)

3. Hobbyzone Sport Cub S: For newbies who want more of a challenge than the Champ/Duet. It is definitely a great second plane, but a first time flyer could fly it. (my review)

4. UMX Radian BNF: This one is a powered glider that is slightly bigger and faster compared to the others listed. However, it is a fairly forgiving plane, and several people have reported learning to fly with this one. Probably one of the more challenging on this list. You do, however, need to purchase a transmitter separately. The DX6 and DX6i will both serve you well, as will any other transmitter from Spektrum. (my review)

5. Parkzone Night Vapor: this one’s very forgiving. You can learn to fly RC planes in your living room! The one drawback is that it’s more fragile than the other planes on this list. (I don’t have a review… yet)

All of the above planes come in RTF versions (include everything you need to fly in the box). The exception is the UMX Radian, which only comes in a BNF version. If you own a Spektrum transmitter, then t saves you a few bucks. If not, you’ll need to buy one with your Radian.

Don’t worry, Spektrum transmitters are a good investment. Just don’t buy the Spektrum DX4, DX4e, or DX5. They are MUCH more basic than the DX6i and above.

Also, the Hobbyzone Duet is the only plane that doesn’t come in a BNF version.

I have flown (and own or have owned) all of these planes. I’ll have to post a review for the Duet and Night Vapor in the near future. I’ll update this post to include links to the Night Vapor and Duet reviews once they’re up.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next Sunday!

Do you have another plane to add to this list? Post its name in a comment and include a brief disruption of it!

Flying in the Wind Can Be Fun!

A few days ago, I was out flying my Champ in somewhat heavy winds (somewhere between 5 and 15 mph) and I, for the first time in my life, thought that flying in these winds was… fun. Yes, fun.

It took a lot of concentration, skill, and a little luck. This was the first time that luck was not a significant factor for me in the wind. My wind flying skills finally just clicked. After two years of flying various RC aircraft (one year of hobby grade flying), I was finally able to fly in more than a very light wind on aircraft not equipped with AS3X.

Before attempting to fly on winds over 5 MPH in an ultra micro, do these steps:

1. Master the plane in calm air before moving on to “windyish” conditions.

2. Practice in light wind, then moderate wind, and then more…

3. Know that you will be spending the time keeping the plane on course. Not doing crazy flying.

4. NEVER maiden a plane in wind. I have heard this repeatedly on forums and common sense would say this, too. Leave each plane’s first flights for calmer days.

Flying in that wind improved my precision in no wind an allowed me to fly more often (the wind is usually about 10 mph around my house).

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment, share this post, and enjoy!

Midnight Flights #2 and 3

I had a Midnight Flight yesterday. No pics, though. I flew about 3 batteries.

Today, I didn’t exactly have a Midnight Flight, but I flew my Champ at least 5-10 batteries an hour before sundown. Still counts for something I guess.

Pics and full details will be covered in a later post (It’s about Champ + ing- definition: to fly a Hobbyzone Champ. Champing. Hey, I just made a new word!)

Until then,

Thanks for reading!

Midnight Flights #1

I’m challenging myself to fly my Hobbyzone Champ every night for three consecutive nights. Tonight, I did my first Midnight Flight (a flight at roughly sundown- not REALLY at midnight!). My camera person wasn’t there, so I could only get a picture of my Champ on the ground.

Tonight, I did my Midnight Flight at roughly 6:00 PM EST, so the sun had set about 10 minutes before flying. I’ll try to do my next two Midnight Flights a few minutes earlier so I can fly my whole 6 minutes.

I used Lectron Pro 180 mAH batteries. (Side note: they are excellent batteries for the price. I can get ’em with Amazon Prime. Eight batteries delivered in two days (with Prime) and very good customer service for only 40 bucks is nearly a steal!)

I had to come in with 2:40 minutes left on my DX6i timer because it got too dark.

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There are my two pics. One has flash; the other doesn’t (I also love photography…).

The flight was uneventful. I haven’t flown for at least 2-3 weeks, so it was GREAT to be back in the air again. Also, actually flying gave me ideas and inspiration for more posts (such as this one)!

I’ve been concentrating on umFlight for three past weeks (and barely any free time) that I never actually flew. There’s absolutely NO substitute for flying a great UM plane like he Champ.

Landings were very rusty, but I think that’s mostly due to the darkness. I thought I was a few inches above the ground when I was really landing right then!

I need to practice more in the light.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to get my camera person/bad photographer/decent videographer out to take video and pics of the plane flying for tomorrow’s update.

Thanks for reading Midnight Flights #1 and I’ll see you tomorrow. Hopefully! Thanks for reading!

Quads Invade umFlight

I have a question for all of my readers:

Would you be okay if I started writing posts on UM multirotors and other UM aircraft?

Would you still come to umFlight if I added UM multirotors and other UM aircraft?

Would you still enjoy umFlight if I added UM multirotors and other UM aircraft

I also like flying UM multirotors, so that’s why I’m thinking about including them here on umFlight.

Thanks.

Edit (10-4-14) Thank you for everyone who has voted so far. I will decide if I’m going to include quads in umFlight once I get some more opinions.

Update (10-16-14) Thank you for voting. Another question: would you prefer quad copter posts to appear on the homepage or not?

New Edit: (11/10/2014) I’ve redone this post. I really need info on whether I should separate planes and quads or to keep them integrated with the planes. See the below poll…

1-7-2015: It’s been decided. Quad copters will be integrated into umFlight so I can keep posts coming. However, the below poll is still open if you want to leave your opinion on this change.

New Poll:

 

updated 2/27/15: unstickied

RO 2: What is Your Favorite RC Magazine?

It’s time for the next Reader’s Opinion! Today’s topic:

What is your favorite RC Magazine?

I’m also including a poll: