Lesson Four – Take Off

Learning Objectives

  • Be able to hold a straight line on the runway during the take-off roll
  • Be able to take-off smoothly and climb safely to circuit altitude
The first take off!

The Take-Off

  • Your instructor will handle all landings

Taking off with a model aircraft is really very easy, especially with a trainer aircraft as is will be designed to fly smoothly and to climb when certain airspeed is reached.

The most important aspect of the take-off is keeping the aircraft travelling in a straight line both on the runway and when it first becomes airborne.  For this reason we start this lesson by not taking-off!

Your instructor will let you keep control of the transmitter on the ground and ask you to taxi out onto the runway.

If another pilot is flying do not taxi out onto the runway until you are within the pilot’s box and have asked if the runway is clear for use – he may be about to land!

Once you are on the runway your instructor will ask you to taxi along the runway, using the rudder to keep the aircraft as straight as possible.  With each pass, try to get use a little more throttle so you can practice controlling the aircraft at take-off speed.

When you are ready, the instructor will ask you to line the aircraft up at the end of the runway pointing into wind.  Take-off is always made into wind so that we can get into the air at a slower ground speed and in a shorter distance.  Your instructor will explain the difference between air and ground speed as you are learning.

If another pilot is flying do not take-off until you have announced your intentions

  1. Once you are lined up and ready to go, increase throttle smoothly to full power
  2. Use the rudder to hold the aircraft straight as it gains speed
  3. Once the aircraft is about level with you on the runway, use a small amount of up-elevator to help the model ‘un-stick’ from the ground
  4. Keep full power applied and allow the aircraft to gain speed whilst climbing at around 20-30°
  5. Use the ailerons to keep the aircraft level as it climbs away from the runway
  6. Once you have reached a safe altitude begin to turn into the circuit, continuing to climb to circuit height
  7. Once at circuit altitude, pull back the throttle to maintain straight and level flight

You will find your trainer aircraft very easy to control on the ground and it will climb smoothly under full power.  The most important things to remember are to use rudder on the ground and aileron once airborne.

As most trainers are designed to climb under full power you may find you need little or no up elevator to climb to circuit height.  In fact, with some trainers you may need a little down elevator to stop the model from climbing to steeply!

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