New Member's FAQs
These are some of the questions that have been directed at the club over the past few years from potential club members who may be new to RC or new to slope flying.
What model should I get?
Ask twenty slope flyers this question and you will get twenty different answers but to be of help I have whittled it down to three broad groups.
A Chris Foss Middle Phase or you might like to have a look at Phoenix Model Products range of kits or something similar. You will need building skills, time and facilities but you will end up with a model you can finish off to your choice and it looks and flies well. Later you could get an aileron wing if you start rudder elevator. But it will not be very forgiving if you crash and you will need to do all the radio and servo installation yourself. However, the flying characteristics of this type of model are such that, if learning with an instructor along side you and not on a buddy box, it is easier for the instructor to grab the transmitter and take control than with a flying wing.
Something like Multiplex Easy glider which still looks like a proper aeroplane, flies well and has servos pre-installed. More durable that Middle Phase, quick to get flying with but not as attractive as a Middle Phase.
A flying wing from a supplier like SAS. (Check the current trading status of SAS.) Get the one that has the most gentle flying characteristics. It will be almost indestructible. You will get plenty of practice in but you will have to assemble cover with tape and install radio kit. Not to everyone’s taste because it does not look like a proper aeroplane But a good starting point.
What radio system should I get?
This used to be a problem in that people bought sets that were too low spec and then found they wanted to move on and had to spend out again. Not so much of a problem now as real costs have come down and functionality has gone way up. Get something that other members have as then you may be able to buddy box with another member if you wish and you will be talking the same language if you have difficulties setting up the data parameters for your model (commonly called programming the transmitter).
When do you meet?
We usually meet on a Sunday morning but members also make arrangements amongst themselves to meet up whenever conditions are good.
Where do you meet?
Look elsewhere on the web site for details of slopes but broadly if there is a westerly component we go to Longman. For north or east go to Butts. For other winds talk to club members. Use the Whatsapp group.
How do I know where to go?
Check wind on web site link, adopt a local flag, watch the MET office forecast. Everyone has at some time turned up on the wrong slope. The wind turbines near Polegate are a good indictor as they align with the wind. Join the ESSA Whatsapp group for latest info on the day.
Can I fly electric on your slopes?
At Butts you fly under Eastbourne Borough Council By laws and there are no restrictions on what you fly (subject to other legislation) but you must not create a noise nuisance. We take the view that electric assist gliders are OK, a scale B52 with 4 EDFs is definitely not.
On other sites licences or custom and practice says gliders only. These rules were often drawn up when the alternative was IC which was usually noisy or perceived to be noisy. So it is a grey area. Speak to the secretary.
Is it best to fly power first?
You can go straight into slope flying. If you have a power background you will notice, one, a different use of the elevator because you may be flying all the time in rising air and, two, you do not strain you neck so much. But sometimes you may not get a second chance at a duff landing approach.
Why should I join ESSA?
We are the only voice for slope flying in East Sussex. There is strength in numbers. For example, suppose EBC decided to review the bylaws and sought consultation, who else would represent the slope flying community?
Why should I join the BMFA? I already have personal liability cover through my household insurance.
Join to get insurance and you are supporting the BMFA nationally. You may think you have no empathy with the BMFA and like to do your own thing but we would be worse off with no organisation representing us nationally. As far as insurance is concerned you may be covered but it may not be adequate and as a responsible club and national organisation it is in everyone's interest for there to be consistency of cover with an organisation that understands risks and negligence issues of model flying.
Also be aware that BMFA has negotiated significant exceptions for BMFA members in respect of "Drone" regulations and took a key role in negotiating radio spectrum rights in the early days of 2.4 GHz.
Does the club provide training on the slope?
Individual members can and do help on the slope and you may be able to team up with someone for buddy box training.
Any tips on what to wear?
Beware the chill factor and wear 50% more that you think you will need. Think skiing without the exercise to keep you warm. Waterproof over-trousers really are a must as is sturdy foot-ware. Don’t forget a peaked cap or hat and sun glasses. Some guys use skiing goggles in the winter.