Having just joined DIY 90 minutes ago and barely had time to get acquainted, I am wondering if it is reasonable on my part to expect to be able to purchase an off the shelf plane, some assembly is OK, that can fly around the open spaces surrounding my home. It would be cool to have a devise on board that gave me real time images, to be able to fly it with LOS & from inside my home. I have "NO" experience with anything RC. Should I try to find operators in this part of my county who know how to do all these things, before I get started? I can travel to a big city 25 miles away if need be. Should I have my budget clearly in mind or do I build a budget as I learn about the technology?
In other words, how does one really begin this process?
I got great reply's to this, all very consistent, except for the parachute which is perhaps the best advise I received on life safety issues. Thanks for your help.
I got great reply's to the Newbie, thanks for your start up help.
Duck tape I know and the foamie concept sounds good, thanks for your help.
If you keep in mind that you are actually starting many new things all at once - airplane or multicopter piloting, rc, scale modeling, a tiny bit of DIY electronics (if only to solder some of the connectors, and connect your FPV gear together) then you'll be better off. There is a lot to learn. You can do much of it right here. but some of the hands on .... well... takes hands on. You'll move along faster if you have people around you who can spot the mistakes you're making, but it isn't strictly needed. Just remember to have fun, ask questions, post photos to help others help you.
I'd recommend not buying an expensive plane. Plan to crash it a lot. If you want to keep the cost down, learn to repair it too. Most anything on a foamy can be repaired, you can fix, glue, smooth, expand, and repair just about anything. Or you can fabricate parts even for a few dollars in parts and some basic tools (some of which you can make). Just don't spend too much on your first planes. Maybe a Bixler and a cheapish TX. See Getting Started, it really is a good place to start.
You don't need the APM2 to start with, you can buy it right now (since there may be a long lead time) but I also recommend getting X-Plane 9 or FlightGear and practice some. Or just get a plane and fly it. There are several "how to fly an RC plane" webpages to help you get started. Expect to crash it a lot. Or find an AMA club and see if someone will help you learn how to fly. Lots of friendly, helpful people around, online and in person.
Thanks for the in depth information on the start up. Very consistent with the other reply's and a great leg up on the first baby steps.
I'll check with the locals in Salt Lake, great advise, thank you.
What's your preference, fixed wing or multirotor? You can learn to fly RC planes and multirotors pretty cheap. How much are you initially wanting to spend? Many options out there to suit the tightest of budgets. Any hobby shops close to where you live? If so, talk to someone there and start making connections. It is possible to learn how to fly on your own, but you will crash a good bit starting off, but you will get better.
Flight simulators are great, but the best training is hands on in a real world environment. There are several aircraft that can be purchased RTF for cheap, and can be easily repaired. I suggest you put your money towards your first aircraft. Find a free simulator that you can connect a transmitter to, just to learn aircraft orientation and stick controls. Once you have got those two basics down get out and try to fly. There are many ready to fly (RTF) aircraft that are very forgiving with beginners.
Once you can fly on your own setting up an APM on your aircraft will be so much easier. You can learn a great deal from what you can find on this site, you just need to ask questions and start reading. Check out the Getting Started link. Just let the community know what you are wanting to learn first, plane or copter, and the suggestions will start pouring in.
Gona be a fixed wing and simulator time for sure.