Four channel modern style trainer.

The most conventional thinking for many years of a suitable trainer is a high wing model, 40-60 inch wingspan with four-function controls (ailerons, elevator, rudder & throttle) with a .40 cu inch (6.5cc) glow motor for power. Initial training will be using a “buddy box” system to allow the instructor to take control when you get into trouble.

For the “younger” (under 50!) this is probably the best way to get airborne. Although this type of model has a degree of stability it does need quicker reactions and the ability of the younger person will allow quick progress up the learning curve.

There are many Almost Ready To Fly (ARTF) models available. These need fitting out with a suitable motor and radio gear and can normally be ready for flight in a couple of evenings



The Multiplex Twinstar II.  

In its Mk I & II forms this has to be one of the most popular models of all time, with the Mk I reportedly selling over 400,000 world wide.

Don’t be but off by the twin engines and lack of undercarriage. As it’s electric there are no problems with one engine cutting out. It hand launches very easily and can be flown from any large enough site without a prepared landing strip. With a undercarriage you will break it of at some time during the early days, the Twinstar just pick it up and re-launch.  



 The Mk. II airframe is the same size and shape as the Mk I and has the same gentle flying characteristics. But is made of the far more durable “Elepor” foam. Also on the Mk II the wing separates into half’s to ease transport.

A wide variety of battery packs can be used. The pictured model uses a 8 cell 4200 mahr Nimh battery which gives nearly twenty minutes flight time per charge.

This is one model you can quickly get a lot of airtime with.

For further advice on the Twinstar check out model pages.

Three channel "vintage" style model.

For the more “mature” student (over 50!) there is a lot to be said for the good old “vintage” type model. These can range from 30 to 80 inch span with only three functions (rudder, elevator and throttle) and a wide range of motive power. Most of the designs available are based on old vintage free flight designs, with great slow flying qualities and gentle handling qualities. With a lot of inbuilt stability they give those with slower learning curve time to think allowing lots of airtime in which to quickly build confidence.

 Sadly there are only a few Almost Ready To Fly (ARTF) models available of this type of model. There are still a few “build it your self” kits available and a large range of plans available from most of the modelling magazines.




Radio Queen(s). 80” of conventional built up balsa ply structure. Above Paul Ninds well flown and now very fuel soaked version that he has flown for the last couple of years and thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Below gathering of “Radio Queens” plus the Mattock/Bishop electric version in action.






Above and right. Old timer by looks, but "New Timer" by name. This modern ready built makes a good light wind trainer.

The link takes you to the Reichard Modelsport page. This link reads as if this model is no longer available. Will have to talk to Clive. Watch this space for more news.


Powered (self launching) glider.

 It is possible to learn on a pure glider but getting airborne can be a problem. You could of course go slope soaring but none of the GMFC sites offer this option. The best way to proceed is to fit a small motor (normally electric) to launch the model.

The best trainer (self launching) glider is 1.5-2.0 meters in span and three functions (rudder, elevator and throttle) and usually has handling qualities similar to the three channel vintage model.

There are many Almost Ready To Fly (ARTF) models available. These need fitting out with a suitable motor and radio gear and can normally got airborne in a couple of evenings.




Gloucester Model Flying Club