Thanet Model Flying Club

We at the Thanet Model Flying Club take great pride at our success in the tuition of newcomers to the sport of model aviation. We can cater for all of your needs from advice, obtaining your first trainer and going solo, right through to passing your ‘A’ and ‘B’ certificates with the BMFA achievement scheme.

This sport isn’t for everyone so your first port of call should be to contact the club some Saturday at our flying site at Richborough and watch what goes on. We recommend this before you purchase any equipment. Feel free to have a talk with the pilots and ask of them their views on their equipment, the training programme or even what they would change if they had to do it again. You may even be lucky enough to find one of the instructors (for a nominal cost of fuel etc.) willing to instruct you on his own machine with buddy lead, leaving the major cost of a model to a later time if you decide that the sport is for you. Some will even provide training throughout the week depending on what is suitable to both instructor and student.

The minimum requirement needed for your initial outlay includes:-

a: High wing trainer of at least 1470-1530mm (58-60 inch) wing span, either 3 or 4 channel. There are lots of excellent ARTF (almost ready to fly) models available which can be assembled in a few evenings. Some even in an hour or so! Seek advice on these.

b: A good glow engine (or electric motor) within the recommendations for the model, e.g. if the manufacturer recommends a 40 to 46 size engine for the particular aircraft, go for the 46. It will be slightly more powerful but the throttle control can take care of this. Electric models are becoming ever more popular and with the ongoing development of battery technology and motors, electric powered planes can now match the performance of those powered by glow or petrol engines.

c: The best radio transmitter and receiver that you can afford complete with servos. We state this because the radio equipment can be interchanged for every model that you will ever own. The majority of members use either Futaba or Spektrum transmitters. In addition, you should have support equipment such as fuel, starter battery, glow starter and leads, along with some tools.

Club flyers use either a 35MHz or 2.4GHz transmitter. Prior to the arrival of 2.4GHz equipment, all flyers had to ensure that the frequency of their transmitter didn’t clash with that of someone else’s equipment. Nowadays, 2.4GHz transmitters are popular because any number of pilots can fly at the same time without a clash of frequencies. It is therefore recommended that anyone starting out should purchase a 2.4GHz radio set. Again, it is best to seek advice before parting with your money!

Before commencing on your training, your instructor will ensure that you have the necessary equipment and that your pride and joy is fit to fly. He will fly it, trim it, point out any problems and then correct them, and then fly it again. This time he will check the handling of the aircraft at high and low speeds, climbs and dives and may do a few mild aerobatics. After this, and when the instructor explains what the controls do, it’s time to embark upon your training course!

The Thanet Model Flying Club follow the syllabus laid out in the approved BMFA handbook, ‘Up & Away’. We recommend you obtain your copy and read it (obtainable from the BMFA). It explains the training programme and the relationship between instructor and student. Some students have also found that using a computer simulator has been a useful way of gaining some experience.

If you still have your heart set on learning to fly a radio controlled aircraft, your next step should be to contact the Membership Secretary, Glen Rable. He can advise you about membership of the Club. Do please remember that the BMFA will permit you to have a ‘hands on’ flying experience during three visits to the Thanet Model Flying Club Their insurance will cover you on these occasions but after that, you need to purchase your own insurance from BMFA and apply to join the Club.

If you require any further assistance don’t hesitate to contact us by using the

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