Helpful Online Resources

There is plenty of info… too MUCH info, if that’s possible… available online about our hobby of model aircraft and flying machines.
To help sort it out, a little, we have composed these lists.

For the beginner, new to the hobby…

AMA – the Academy of Model Aeronautics … is the Insurance and Safety wing of the hobby. Their leadership in all things model aircraft sets the rules for safety and acts as the organization establishing competitive groups and competitive events; providing a common background for all model aircraft enthusiasts. There is so much more that they do… Login, there, and see everything they offer. Your membership in the AMA is required as a condition of membership in our Club. … This page… We are the model airplane club located in Kingman, AZ near the Kingman Airport. We offer FREE instruction in the art of RC flying. Visit our homepage often so as to keep-up with “what’s new!” … If you live in another area, find your local club’s webpage and join the community, there. Be involved, stay in touch with your local club members. … A great place to get your feet wet in the world of model aircraft. They have almost everything that a newbie to the hobby would want! The products are competitively priced (Tower Hobbies sets the industry standard on prices… everyone else bases their prices on Tower’s!) … and each item has a clear description and often a downloadable instruction manual or other detail that may be hard to find, somewhere else. They offer product reviews and often include product videos… HERE is a link to RC TRAINERS on Tower Hobbies… take a look…

(A note to the beginner from Eric Reinhart… Don’t buy anything but a Trainer as your first model airplane. There are MANY exciting models out there, but your first aircraft should be easy to fly and forgiving of your learning-errors. “Bigger flies Better”: a 40- or 60-sized trainer is an excellent choice… Gas or electric is up to you… but come out to the Field and chat with the guys before you make that purchase. Learn a bit about what you want before you dive-in!)

(A note from Bruno RussoI’d also like to comment that places like hobbyking, banggood, tmart, etc. are Chinese companies with many items inferior and of lower quality than places like Tower Hobbies.
Example : servos are often $2 ea instead of $10 ea. If you buy 10 you may have 2 or 3 that will be defective and there is usually no recourse to return them.)

This list of links, below, was compiled by
our member, James Lummel.

RC Forums and Message Boards: (run by Hobby King, wide range of topics and is very active, the go-to site on all RC topics) (wide range of topics and is very active) (Realflight support and user created aircraft/scenery) (OpenTX radio firmware and related equipment discussions) (this and the 2 above are related but require separate registration)

Informational Websites:

AMA – the Academy of Model Aeronautics
FAA – the Federal Aviation Administration
US Air Net – Kingman Aviation Weather Forecasts

Manufacturers: (Realflight developer) (the re-energized SIG, creators of the Senior Kadet)

Sellers/Retailers: (best overall source for FRSky equipment, located in China) (good deals, has a US warehouse for low shipping and fast delivery) (best source for FRSky equipment in the US) (good deals, has a US warehouse, carries more than just RC stuff, rewards program) (specializes in Great Plains and related products, large selection from other makers as well) (specializes Hobby Zone/E-Flight and related products, large selection from other makers as well ) (periodic coupons for 10% or more off if you’re on their email list) (related to Nitro Planes) (some VERY good deals w/ frequent specials, reasonable shipping, recommended) (direct link to their specials page) (by using ‘Smile’ a donation is made every time I buy, I selected Prager University for donations)

James Lummel adds…

Here’s a good online resource I forgot to include:

This is a website that allows you to estimate performance based upon what airframe, motor, battery, propellers, etc. you are using with a large database of commercially available components. It covers fixed wing, multicopter, helicopter and ducted fan aircraft.

You can freely access the basic calculations with a limited selection from the database of parts (though you can change some of the parameters if needed). And for a nominal fee you can get full access to all the database components and calculations.

I typically use it to spec the parts for multicopters I’m interested in building and it allows me to see what amperage I can expect to be pulling at any particular load and what flight time I can anticipate. It also will give things like max speed and max climb rate, as well as a bunch of other things like estimated motor efficiency (which is important to know if you value time in the air), expected motor temperatures, etc. And it provides a graph of the overall performance you can expect out of your build.

It makes it very easy to tweak the component list of your aircraft and to maximize the build. It has saved me from using underspec’ed batteries (such as having a C rating that’s too low for the mAh, etc), as well as allowed me to understand the effects of KV and prop size on the expected performance, and to change motors to avoid overheating (especially out here in the summer). And that’s just the tip of the iceberg to how useful it’s been to model a complete aircraft and to be able to anticipate it’s performance.