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Drones vs RC planes

edfrombama

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Good evening to all-
Just for the pure heck of it, I have obtained a couple of low-cost, low-end RC planes. I just wanted to see how these things work compared to my drones.
Brothers, let me tell you, if my experiences are anything like standard, flying a drone is worlds easier than keeping an RC plane in the air.

Now, it may be the controller set up is poor- like many low end drones, and it may be that the different controllers are set up differently, but I can tell you I have had to work hard to get the little planes in the air and keep them there. Very subject to wind gusts, and nothing like as stable in the air as my drones. Today I finally got one of the little planes in the air and doing circuits around my big open 20 acre flying field. I expect the controller needs to be tuned in better, and I expect the more I fly I will get better, but Lord, How many times did I bring the little RC planes in too hot and low for a safe landing.

Do any of you folks fly both drones and RC planes?

you all be safe and keep well- Ed
 

Rchawks

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Longtime rc pilot here as well, (40 years) always been crazy about airplanes, flying freeflight homebuilts back as a kid. As many know here I love flying rc sailplanes of all kinds from my early 20's on. My first flight was in high winds on the slope near the bay, of course I crashed and I'd take it home in pieces and spend two weeks rebuilding it and crash it again until I learned how not to. You're right it's not easy at all and there isn't any other choice but VLOS under ALL circumstances. With gliders it's very very easy to lose one in thermal lift if you don't have air brakes. But talk about a adrenaline rush, man, and drones give you a safeguard that you just don't have flying that type of hobby. Not to mention Helis of which I still have one left on a shelf. Very hard to fly, and to honest it's one big flying machete there , But it's all fun.
 
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EyesWideShut

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I feel that you PUSH drones around the sky. If you stop pushing (or fall asleep), they just hover until you push it somewhere else. RC planes keep going and you better be paying attention. Each have their benefits but I find pushing and pausing is perfect for my photography and can require a lot less space and less travel to find a place to have fun.
 

Kilrah

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You don't "fly" photo drones, they fly themselves and you merely tell them where you want them to go without having to care about any of the actual flight physics.
If you want to actually fly a quad you get one that you can fly in manual/acro mode, then it's you doing the flying. Whole different experience.
 

lensimages

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Good evening to all-
Just for the pure heck of it, I have obtained a couple of low-cost, low-end RC planes. I just wanted to see how these things work compared to my drones.
Brothers, let me tell you, if my experiences are anything like standard, flying a drone is worlds easier than keeping an RC plane in the air.

Now, it may be the controller set up is poor- like many low end drones, and it may be that the different controllers are set up differently, but I can tell you I have had to work hard to get the little planes in the air and keep them there. Very subject to wind gusts, and nothing like as stable in the air as my drones. Today I finally got one of the little planes in the air and doing circuits around my big open 20 acre flying field. I expect the controller needs to be tuned in better, and I expect the more I fly I will get better, but Lord, How many times did I bring the little RC planes in too hot and low for a safe landing.

Do any of you folks fly both drones and RC planes?

you all be safe and keep well- Ed
Purchased an RC plane also a well known flight simulator, this after flying drones from the Phantom 2 and Inspire 1 , no matter how many times / hours I spent with the Sim I could not keep plane in the air, so gave up and donated both to my local BMFA flying club , at age 80 my fingers were not responsive enough , I think, cheers Len
 

old man mavic

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flying an RC plane ,compared to a drone ,is completely different as you found out
apart from the way they create lift ,the control sticks are also different, in the way the drone or plane responds to the stick commands of the RC
as others have mentioned you dont so much actually fly a drone , but more guide it around in the air , thats not to say it doesn't require some skills ,but they are mainly to do with visual perspective,when it comes to avoiding obstacles ,the big advantage with a drone ,is the fact that as you, like me get older ,and less agile then a drone allows one to access and see places that would be impossible with out it
and for me that is the main attraction ,it gets me out and about ,and gives me the ability to see my surroundings from a whole new viewpoint
 

Ralph thompson

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Agree with above statements, flying RC aircraft, like flying manned aircraft are totally different. I think the danger of drones is, it doesn't take much skill or knowledge to launch and operate a drone, hence all the incidents, operators don’t realize the dangers until it’s too late. All the automation in drones gives a false sense of security, things do go wrong, & novice drone operators rarely have the experience to rectify the situation. That’s why u see so many tales of woe.
 

funflyer

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Good evening to all-
Just for the pure heck of it, I have obtained a couple of low-cost, low-end RC planes. I just wanted to see how these things work compared to my drones.
Brothers, let me tell you, if my experiences are anything like standard, flying a drone is worlds easier than keeping an RC plane in the air.

Now, it may be the controller set up is poor- like many low end drones, and it may be that the different controllers are set up differently, but I can tell you I have had to work hard to get the little planes in the air and keep them there. Very subject to wind gusts, and nothing like as stable in the air as my drones. Today I finally got one of the little planes in the air and doing circuits around my big open 20 acre flying field. I expect the controller needs to be tuned in better, and I expect the more I fly I will get better, but Lord, How many times did I bring the little RC planes in too hot and low for a safe landing.

Do any of you folks fly both drones and RC planes?

you all be safe and keep well- Ed
I flew RC airplanes years ago before getting my private pilots license, after which my interest in RC airplanes diminished to no longer interested. When I got my first drone, a little over a year ago, I was amazed how easy it was to fly right out of the box. Yes, there are skills to fly a drone, but for most, flying an RC airplane out of the box would be much more challenging.
 
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OldGuy

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Good evening to all-
Just for the pure heck of it, I have obtained a couple of low-cost, low-end RC planes. I just wanted to see how these things work compared to my drones.
Brothers, let me tell you, if my experiences are anything like standard, flying a drone is worlds easier than keeping an RC plane in the air.

Now, it may be the controller set up is poor- like many low end drones, and it may be that the different controllers are set up differently, but I can tell you I have had to work hard to get the little planes in the air and keep them there. Very subject to wind gusts, and nothing like as stable in the air as my drones. Today I finally got one of the little planes in the air and doing circuits around my big open 20 acre flying field. I expect the controller needs to be tuned in better, and I expect the more I fly I will get better, but Lord, How many times did I bring the little RC planes in too hot and low for a safe landing.

Do any of you folks fly both drones and RC planes?

you all be safe and keep well- Ed
Flew U-Control (Control line) in the 50’s then RC planes in the 70’s. When it got to the 90’s I found that RC planes were too fast for me to handle so was unable to relax and enjoy. Enter the drone era and problem solved. Let go of the sticks and they just hover so time to take a breath and enjoy the view!
 

karlblessing

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Lots of good discussion. As a pilot who pylon races r/c airplanes at 190mph, (yes, that is actual mph), and drones my observation is this:
A person flies an rc airplane, and they operate a drone. BIG difference.
I imagine the closest thing you're going to get is an fpv style drone with no gps assistance.
 
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Good evening to all-
Just for the pure heck of it, I have obtained a couple of low-cost, low-end RC planes. I just wanted to see how these things work compared to my drones.
Brothers, let me tell you, if my experiences are anything like standard, flying a drone is worlds easier than keeping an RC plane in the air.

Now, it may be the controller set up is poor- like many low end drones, and it may be that the different controllers are set up differently, but I can tell you I have had to work hard to get the little planes in the air and keep them there. Very subject to wind gusts, and nothing like as stable in the air as my drones. Today I finally got one of the little planes in the air and doing circuits around my big open 20 acre flying field. I expect the controller needs to be tuned in better, and I expect the more I fly I will get better, but Lord, How many times did I bring the little RC planes in too hot and low for a safe landing.

Do any of you folks fly both drones and RC planes?

you all be safe and keep well- Ed
Yes, I flew airplanes for years before trying drones. It's much harder to fly them. They don't fly themselves like drones. Much more subject to wind and stalling. There are many more regulations as far as whereyou can fly. Unlees you are on private property with permission you must fly at an AMA registered airfield. You should become an AMA member which includes insurance as part of the membership, then you canjoin a local flying field that is set up for flying airplanes safely.
 

CarterDooling29

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Good evening to all-
Just for the pure heck of it, I have obtained a couple of low-cost, low-end RC planes. I just wanted to see how these things work compared to my drones.
Brothers, let me tell you, if my experiences are anything like standard, flying a drone is worlds easier than keeping an RC plane in the air.

Now, it may be the controller set up is poor- like many low end drones, and it may be that the different controllers are set up differently, but I can tell you I have had to work hard to get the little planes in the air and keep them there. Very subject to wind gusts, and nothing like as stable in the air as my drones. Today I finally got one of the little planes in the air and doing circuits around my big open 20 acre flying field. I expect the controller needs to be tuned in better, and I expect the more I fly I will get better, but Lord, How many times did I bring the little RC planes in too hot and low for a safe landing.

Do any of you folks fly both drones and RC planes?

you all be safe and keep well- Ed
Yes indeed - really no comparison - drones are a doddle to fly compared with even the simplest, slowest, easiest-to-fly r/c model.
 

old man mavic

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just to keep a balanced view in this thread ,while we can for the most part agree with the premiss, that drones are in fact very easy to fly ,compared to RC model fixed wing and helicopters,
lets not forget that they are still very easy to crash, and can be dangerous in the wrong hands
 

chord8

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Good evening to all-
Just for the pure heck of it, I have obtained a couple of low-cost, low-end RC planes. I just wanted to see how these things work compared to my drones.
Brothers, let me tell you, if my experiences are anything like standard, flying a drone is worlds easier than keeping an RC plane in the air.

Now, it may be the controller set up is poor- like many low end drones, and it may be that the different controllers are set up differently, but I can tell you I have had to work hard to get the little planes in the air and keep them there. Very subject to wind gusts, and nothing like as stable in the air as my drones. Today I finally got one of the little planes in the air and doing circuits around my big open 20 acre flying field. I expect the controller needs to be tuned in better, and I expect the more I fly I will get better, but Lord, How many times did I bring the little RC planes in too hot and low for a safe landing.

Do any of you folks fly both drones and RC planes?

you all be safe and keep well- Ed
Flying an RC plane is a totally different ball game to flying a drone. There is an innate stability in a drone for staying in one position. An RC plane cannot stay in one position and must constantly move forward to produce thrust and hence lift.
Once you have mastered the controls, which it sounds like you have done, they will give you a lot of pleasure.
You will learn a lot of flight rules to help you on approach for a classy landing. Have fun... I started on fixed wing RC planes
 
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halifax

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I've been flying RC airplanes for 30+ years, and still prefer them over drones. And I do love my drones. But it is a whole different game. I fly mostly large EPP foam airplanes like the Finwing Penguin and such that carry Canon rangefinder cameras in their bellies and use Pixhawk flight controllers. Lately, I've become obsessed on the recreational side with small, fast flying wings ("planks") like the Strix Nano Goblin w/ FPV gear on board. All of my planes have DJI air units and I use the DJI FPV Goggles v2 with them - it's so much fun.

Clearly, the drone hobbyist world has greatly influenced the RC plane world in the realm of flight controllers. There are many beginner planes with simple controllers and many simple controllers available for retrofit - units like the ZoHD Kopilot are excellent performers and don't require endless hours of work to get them to work. They even do auto-launch, RTH, and auto-land ... all of which are amazing things to see (and fly). I run iNav on several planes and the intelligence in that system is nothing short of awesome. And I recently picked up a used OMP Hobby ZMO VTOL airplane, a hybrid tricopter/airplane, from a buddy and will be maidening it in a week or so. It actually uses the DJI FPV Remote Controller as its sticks and it has a DJI air unit in it for use w/ DJI FPV Goggles v2. it's an interesting convergence.

Back before the FAA decided that we all were a threat to life on the planet, we used to fly BVLOS all of the time. My longest RT flight was 18 miles and my highest flight altitude was 6,000 feet, often penetrating a low deck to get into the sunshine above. It was awesome. We had self-steering antenna arrays and complicated ground stations and such to make it all happen. Now, all of that gear is nothing but furniture. I cannot risk my Part 107 to do that anymore. So, we adapt and deal with the FAA's nonsense - and I only call this nonsense because I only fly in rural areas in Class G airspace. Always. I wish that they would let us do BVLOS as long as we run ADS-B, monitor via FlightAware, etc. or even file flight plans via automated systems or by calling Flight Service Stations. Whatever. But that's never going to happen.

So to not end on a downer note, I urge my drone pilot friends to try RC airplanes. Start with something with stabilization options as this is a game changer. You can screw up and post-hole them and often it only takes a few minutes with some Foam-Tac or epoxy and you're back in the air. It's a lot of fun and adds a lot to a morning or afternoon afield.

Happy flying!
 
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halifax

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I made the same point OMM. But the fun thing about doing both is RC aircraft make a fun subject for videoing (with permission from the club)
That is a great video, Sir. And it looks like a great club, too. Outstanding.
 
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