Genesee Valley Aero Modelers


Click on the icons below to download a file for Real Flight 2® that will provide you with a simulation of the GVAM airfield. This airport is a model of the Genesee Valley Aero Modelers field in Honeoye, NY. It was made using Satellite and digital photos of the field. 
Place the GVAM airport in your C:\Program Files\RealFlight\Airports folder. It was designed for using add-ons 1,2,3 but, will work if you don't have them, just click ok at the prompts. Enjoy!

Joe Prato 2/2003
(To save these files to your hard drive right click on the icon and select "save target as" from the menu.

Download Airfield 84kb
Download both as zip file 21kb (.zip) Download Readme 1kb



This is the manual that has been developed by the Genesee Valley Aero Modelers to aid new R/C pilots

Genesee Valley Aero Modelers

Flight Instruction Manual



This manual has been assembled to assist the new flyer in the selection, building, preflight inspection and successful flight of an R/C airplane. It provides tips and general guidelines. However like many things in life, there is no one right way to do everything involved in the building and flying of your new aircraft. Rule #1 is to get help from an experienced pilot if at all possible. This assistance should apply to all phases of your modeling experience, from the selection and building of your first trainer to solo flight. In the following pages we will try to cover some of the basics:

bullet  Terminology
bullet  Basic Concepts of Flight
bullet  Selection of a trainer aircraft
bullet  Selection of an engine
bullet  Selection of a radio system
bullet  Building Tips
bullet  Safety at the field
bullet Safety Inspection of the plane
bullet  Test flight
bullet  Flight instruction
bullet  Care and maintenance of your motor
bulletCare and maintenance of your radio

This booklet has been written with the input of many members of the GVAM. Special thanks to:

Glenn C.

John W.

Bill M.

Dick P.

Charlie V.

Dave B.

Jim Mc.

Eric H.

Glossary of terms
Angle of attack- the angle at which the wing meets the air

Angle of incidence- the angle at which the wing is set with reference to the lengthwise axis of the airplane.

Air speed- the speed at which the airplane’s wing is moving through the air (not to be confused with ground speed!)

Overshoot- going beyond the desired point of landing touchdown. This is usually caused by excess airspeed or poor judgment when determining the start of the glide path. The best thing to do if you overshoot the runway is to throttle up the engine and go around. If this is not possible (engine dead) you need to make a judgment call whether you can still land safely if you con- tinue going straight ahead (this is probably the best plan of

attack for the beginner as you remain in control and do not risk stalling the aircraft in a low altitude tight turn).

Pitch- rotation about the horizontal axis

Roll- the movement of the airplane about its longitudinal axis.

Stall- when the wing meets the air at too great an angle of attack and no longer is capable of providing enough lift to support the air craft.

Undershoot- falling short of the desired landing point. This is caused by poor judgment on where to start the glide path or holding the nose of the aircraft too high causing a steeper than normal de- scent thereby reaching the ground sooner than planned. Care must be exercised not to use the elevator to draw out the glide when you undershoot the runway. Use of the elevator will tem- porarily cause the airplane to balloon up but this will only serve to slow the airplane down and possibly cause a stall. The proper method to draw the glide out a little is to apply a little throttle control, thereby delaying the descent, then reducing the throttle back to the original engine speed during the glide.

Yaw- rotation about the vertical axis

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Basic forces exerted on the aircraft

Lift- the force generated by the wing to overcome gravity
Drag- the force on the airplane caused by its movement through the air
Thrust- the force generated by the engine
Gravity- the force exerted upon the aircraft that must be overcome in order to fly

Aircraft control surfaces and their functions

Elevator- Controls the angle of attack (speed control)
Ailerons- The control that changes the angle of attack on one half of the wing thereby increasing lift on that half of the wing and causes the airplane to roll or bank
Rudder- The control that causes the airplane to Yaw or rotate about its vertical axis. This control is used to compensate for the adverse yaw of the ailerons. It is also used during ground control to insure straight tracking, usually on take-off, and is also used to compensate for the torque of the engine during climb.

Basic concepts to successful flight
by Jim Mc.

There are some concepts that will be useful to grasp for successful operation of your aircraft. Basically we are all out to pilot our aircraft under reasonable control and be able to bring it back to earth with little or o damage. The key concept to get across is control. If we are able to maintain control of our aircraft then keeping our aircraft from being damaged should not be a problem. It is when we lose control of our aircraft that problems occur.
The first concept that I would like to get across is that in order to maintain control proper airspeed must always be maintained. By maintaining sufficient airspeed over the wings enough lift will be generated to cause the aircraft to fly. Seems simple enough but it isn't. Many things can affect the airspeed needed for flight. Angle of attack and bank in a turn both affect the airspeed necessary to maintain flight. Wing loading of the aircraft also determines the airspeed necessary for flight. The idea is to get to know the particular aircraft’s stall speed for level flight. This is the minimum airspeed for the aircraft to fly. Now you should realize that the aircraft can stall at higher airspeeds but only if you are flying the aircraft at a higher angle of attack (as in a turn). This all should be done at high altitudes by the instructor before a student tries to become familiar with it. The idea to get across here is that if you do not have enough airspeed the wing is not capable of providing the lift necessary to keep it flying.

The next concept that I would like to get across is the control of airspeed. From the glossary of terms you may see that the elevator is really the airspeed control. This may not seem correct because everybody uses the elevator to cause the aircraft to climb. Although this is what everyone does consider how much the aircraft would climb without the throttle set to the highest speed. Also consider the case of the glider in a glide. By pulling back on the elevator you will cause a glider’s airspeed to decrease, conversely if you push forward on the elevator you will cause the glider’s airspeed to increase quite dramatically. Yes, it is true that if you pull back on the elevator control the aircraft will climb, but this will only occur until the aircraft slows down; without the proper throttle setting the climb will be only momentary. This concept is very important for the student to understand when aborting a landing. Without increasing the throttle setting the climb that occurs when the pilot pulls back on the stick will be very short lived, followed by a very quick descent as the aircraft loses its airspeed and the wing stalls, causing the aircraft to come to the ground in a very uncontrollable manner. I cannot emphasize this idea enough.
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The next concept that I would like to explain is that of loss of control due to the aircraft stalling. The thing that usually occurs when an aircraft stalls is that only one part of the wing will stall. Consider what would happen if only the right half of the wing were to stall. This seems like an unlikely occurrence but it can and does happen. I think you would have to agree that if the right side of the wing stalled and that the left half of the wing was still providing lift that the aircraft would start to roll off to the right. This is what usually happens when the airspeed is very low and something happens to cause the aircraft to yaw or for some reason the air is disturbed to one half of the wing. The something that can happen to cause the aircraft to yaw is improper control of the rudder or adverse yaw caused by the ailerons. Adverse yaw is particularly confusing because it gives a reaction exactly opposite of what is expected. Adverse yaw must be compensated for by the application of rudder in the direction of the turn/bank desired.
Adverse yaw can be minimized or eliminated by proper design of the linkage to the ailerons. If we implement differential control of the aileron, that is to cause the aileron to deflect more up than down the phenomenon of adverse yaw will be minimized. Another thing that can be done to the aircraft to minimize the tendency of the aircraft to fall off on one wing in a stall is to put washout in the wing. Washout is the "warping" of the wing such that the wingtips meet the air at a lesser angle of attack than the center of the wing. By doing this what happens is that the center of the wing stalls first reducing lift while the wing tips still are providing lift and will keep the wing level. With reduced lift the aircraft will start to descend but it will be under control because the wing

tips are still flying.
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Selecting a Trainer

There are a number of characteristics which make an aircraft design suitable for training.

¨ Size- The plane should be large enough to see it’s attitude when flown at altitudes which provide enough time to recover from mistakes.

¨ High Wing- A high wing aircraft with some dihedral tends to be a naturally stable aircraft.

¨ Light wing loading- The lighter the wing loading the slower the plane will fly, land and take off, allowing the new pilot more time to make control inputs.

¨ Landing Gear- In general, planes with a steerable nose wheel are easier to land and take off although there are some tail draggers that are acceptable. In either case the plane should have a steerable nose or tail wheel.

There are several ways to buy your first plane. There are basically three types of kits. A "bare bones" kit, an ARC, and an ARF.

¨ Bare bones is a kit which contains plans, wood, and most of the other parts needed to build the model.

¨ ARC is an "Almost ready to cover" kit. Most of the building is done; you complete the assembly, apply the covering, install the radio and the engine.

¨ ARF indicates an "Almost ready to Fly" aircraft. Most of the building and covering is already done. You need to glue together a few parts and install the radio and engine.

In addition, kits that have been built by other modelers are often available at local hobby shops and club auctions. You should be aware that when you buy a plane that has been pre-built whether by another modeler, or an ARC or ARF, the quality can vary depending on the company or ability of the modeler. it is recommended that you get advice from an experienced modeler before purchasing from any of these sources.

A number of planes that have proven to be excellent trainers are:

The "Tower Trainer" series from Tower Hobbies.
The Sig Senior and Seniorita from Sig Mfg.
The Sig Kadet LT 40 from Sig Mfg.
The Telemaster series from Hobby Lobby.
The Eagle from Carl Goldberg Models.

Again, this list by no means covers all of the models on the market. However a number of us have had experience with these planes and have found them to be excellent trainers.
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Selecting an Engine

The two most important things to consider when selecting an engine are reliability and matching the engine’s power to the plane and conditions.

¨ Reliability- There are several popular sport engines which are reliable and easy to set up. As a general rule two strokes require the least maintenance and are the least expensive. Four strokes are quieter and are an excellent choice for larger planes and scale aircraft.

¨ Size- Most trainers have a recommended range of engine sizes. It is not a good idea to significantly overpower an airplane. However an engine at the upper end of the range is recommended for flying off a grass runway. Take-offs from grass strips tend to require more power especially when the grass is wet or long.

A number of excellent first engines are the:

OS 40FP and 60 FP- Very dependable and reasonably priced.
Tower 40 - Relatively new on the market, but they seem to run
well, and the angled needle valve is a nice safety feature.

All planes flown at the GVAM field must have mufflers on 2 cycle engines above .15 c.i. and 4 cycle engines above .60 c.i..

When buying your engine it is a good idea to pick up a couple of spare glow plugs.
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Selecting a Radio

Most of the companies in the market make excellent products. For training purposes look for:

¨ At least four channels- Even if training on a two channel aircraft such as a glider buy a four channel radio. The radio can be used in your next plane which is likely to require three or more channels. Many two channel radios do not come with rechargeable batteries which is very expensive over the long run. Most importantly with a two channel radio the elevator has to be on the left stick which is the opposite of most four channel setups. In addition to making your transition to a four channel radio more difficult, it will be difficult or impossible to find an instructor who can comfortably fly your plane.

¨ A trainer cord- If you know who your instructor is going to be find out if he wants to use a trainer cord, and purchase a radio that will be compatible with the equipment he will be using.

Radios from Futaba, Airtronics, JR, and HiTec/ RCD are all good choices. In the Genesee Valley Aero Modelers Futabas tend to be the radio of choice.

The Futaba Conquest FM 4 channel is an excellent first radio. Our club has a radio and trainer cord available to any of our instructors that will work with this model. The Futaba Attack AM 4 channel is also a good choice but not available with a trainer cord. Again, if possible, check with your instructor for his recommendations.

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Glues: Aliphatic Glues (Carpenters' type, Tight Bond, Sig Bond)

CA Glues (Tower, Satellite City, Goldberg, etc.)

Epoxies (Devcon, Tower, Sig, etc.)

R/C 56 (Wilhold) - for windshields

Coverings: Monokote (Top Flite)

Ultracoat (Carl Goldberg)

Century 21 (Coverite)

Oracover ( Hobby Lobby)
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General Building Hints

¨ Concentrate on building straight and light. Especially try to keep from adding excess weight to the tail of the plane.

¨ Use CA or Aliphatic resin glues on frame, wings, and tail. Use epoxy around engine compartment and firewall.

¨ Coat the fuel tank compartment and firewall with slow drying epoxy applied with a heat gun or thinned with rubbing alcohol.

¨ Before covering the plane, drill and insert round tooth picks through each hinge tab to lock in place.

¨ Slip small pieces of fuel line over clevises to prevent them from coming loose.

¨ Balance the model, per plans, with weight glued in place. Make certain the plane is not tail heavy.

¨ Make certain all controls move freely and do not bind.

¨ Pack foam around fuel tank if possible.

¨ Definitely pack foam rubber around the radio receiver and the battery pack. Avoid plastic foams

¨ Clunk in the fuel tank should be ¼" from the back of the tank and move freely.

¨ Try to install the fuel tank so the centerline of the tank is level with the carburetor.

¨ Sand the edges of the propeller to remove the sharp edge.

¨ Balance the propeller.

¨ Connect controls to match the diagram below.

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Safety Inspection Of your Completed Airplane

Before the first test flight of a new model check the following. Your instructor should check each of these areas with you. It is a good idea for all pilots to have another pilot check over any new plane before its first flight.

¨ General construction is straight and solid without warps.

¨ Balance point is per the plans or slightly ahead of that indicated on plans.

¨ All clevises should have retainers or keepers installed.

¨ All electrical connections are firmly locked.

¨ Wing hold down dowels are solid.

¨ Reinforcement around wing dowels or hold down bolts.

¨ Antenna stretched out full length, not coiled up in the plane.

¨ Sharp edges on the prop should be smoothed off.

¨ All wheels turn freely.

¨ Make sure you have the proper frequency pin before making radio checks.

¨ Check all controls for proper direction of travel.

¨ Range check the radio.

¨ Check that all Batteries are fully charged.

¨ Check all controls for proper direction of travel, again.

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Safety At The Airfield

The following recommendations are intended to help keep this a safe hobby. Remember the most important guide for safety is common sense.

¨ It is best to fly with at least one other person present.

¨ Have a hold down to secure the airplane while the engine is being started.

¨ Do not have any loose clothing or jewelry hanging, that might get caught in the prop.

¨ Start your engine on low throttle.

¨ Get behind the airplane to make all adjustments.

¨ Do not reach across the propeller.

¨ Remove the glow plug battery as soon as the engine is running.

¨ Do not stand in line with the propeller arc, and make sure bystanders are also away from the propeller arc.

¨ Do not smoke around any glow fuel, diesel fuel, or gasoline. Do not smoke in the pit area.

¨ Make sure you have the proper frequency pin before turning on your radio.

¨ Turn on the transmitter first, then the receiver.

¨ Move all controls to verify equipment is operating as it should.

¨ Make sure the engine will idle slow enough to land.

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The First Test Flight of a New Airplane

New or inexperienced pilots should always have an experienced pilot make the first flight on any new plane. Even the most docile trainer or glider can do something unexpected before it is properly trimmed. With a more experienced pilot at the controls, odds are better that the plane will survive its first flight.

¨ The first step after performing all safety checks and preflight inspection should be a taxi test to see how the plane tracks on the ground.

¨ Smoothly ease the throttle forward until flying speed is reached and gently ease the plane off the ground. Climb out slowly until adequate altitude is gained.

¨ At this point begin to check and adjust trims for level flight.

¨ Once the plane is trimmed, if it seems to be flying well, some basic maneuvers can be performed to check response and control of the model.

Learning to Fly

1. Always take off into the wind. If others are flying check to see flight pattern.

2. Always stand in designated pilot spots before taking off. Maximum number is three flyers at a time, or four with tow-line gliders.

3. Advance throttle gently to full power, keeping model straight into the wind.

4. Climb out and gain altitude slowly. Do not climb out steep because plane will stall and crash.

5. Don't fly too far out. Stay away from buildings in the east. Do most of your maneuvers upwind. In case of trouble, plane will tend to drift closer.

6. Fly in big circles and stay high so plane can be recovered by instructor in case of problems.

7. Practice right and left turns. Try to fly figure eights.

8. Practice tight turns where it is necessary to feed in up elevator to keep plane from losing altitude.

9. Practice recovering from stalls with low engine speeds.

10. Practice flying over landing strip as if you were going to land, only 25 or 50 feet above the ground.

11. Always land into the wind or the same direction as everyone else.

12. When flying the plane toward you, you can level the wings by swinging your rudder or aileron stick toward the wing that is low.

13. Try to avoid flying into the sun. If it happens, use your transmitter for a sunshade. Usually if the plane is flying straight and level when passing through the sun, just hold everything in neutral until it comes out the other side.

14. When landing, make a slow approach parallel to the strip  at a  fairly low altitude, probably 300 to 500 feet out. Make a  90 degree  turn  cross wind toward landing strip. Make  another  90 degree turn trying to line up with the landing strip. Cut  power down and adjust power so plane will not touch down until it is on the  runway.  If  plane drops too fast, just  open  throttle  to maintain altitude until over strip. Then land.

15. Just before plane sets on ground, give enough up elevator (on a tricycle landing gear) that the rear wheels touch first and then nose gear.

16. Taxi to pit area and stop engine before entering. Turn off receiver, then transmitter, and replace frequency pin.
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Always charge  batteries the night before flying. When the radio is new, range check your equipment at the field with the antenna collapsed. 
Pace off the distance  and record  it. Each time you fly make sure the distance is always the same. Charge transmitter and receiver batteries at least once a month.
Never let batteries run all the way down.


When finished flying, stop engine by pulling off fuel line.
Engines  with ball bearings should have after-run oil added  when finished  flying. With two-stroke engines put oil in  carburetor and  crank over. With four-stoke engines put oil  in carburetor and inject some oil in crankcase breather tube and crank over.