I bought myself an inexpensive foam plane and after getting used to that I bought myself a plastic shell plane with a powerful electric engine which was a step up. After I used that airplane up I moved on to a balsa wood plane which I am now using and enjoying.
Back to the story of my friend.
He started in the hobby at the same time as I did. But the route he took was to buy a simulator first! We had some lively discussions about this. Me saying just go ahead and do it! He saying that he wanted to learn how to fly before he bought a plane! What if on his first flight he crashed his plane? What about all that expense and time?
Anyhoo, I changed my stance a bit about this whole argument between us while on a trip to a local hobby shop. This is the kind of mom and pop shop that you don't see much anymore. In the shop they have a kiosk with a flight simulator and I used it for a while and it was simply amazing! I can now see the value in getting a simulator.
The whole thing looked like a real grass field and the plane looked and handled real! It was amazing. You could choose from a wide variety of aircraft to fly, choose from different types of fields and even tinker with the weather and wind. And I can really see the value in this. You have to get some practice with the hand held controller so you can handle a plane. Pretty simple.
So, if you are thinking about investing hundreds of dollars in the hobby of RC airplanes and have never done any flying it really might be a good idea to get some kind of a simulator. I think it might be a really good investment. And, it's a lot of fun too.
Now there are of course different kinds of simulators like the type for flying real airplanes but you don't actually want to get one of those! They make simulators that are specifically for model airplanes. And many of them even come with a hand held controller.
E-sky 4 Ch Flight Simulator Training Kit for Airplanes and Helicopters w/ USB Port
This is a revolutionary new Model Flight Simulator that allows the user to fly with the same type of transmitter used for regular flight. There are only a few Transmitter and Simulator combos on the Internet and none are equivilent to the ESKY FMS Simulator Package in value. This new simulator gives you real world flying experiences from your PC.Its Interlink Controller plugs into a USB port on your computer.It looks and feels just like a real transmitter and has switches for dual rates,retracts, and a knob for flaps. Especially without 8"AA" battery can directly work with computer. This simulator includes a model airplane simulator, model heliopter simulator, model glider simulator, and the ability to create your own models and landscapes.
USB Flight Simulator 6 Channel Remote Control Training Com
MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Windows XP, 2000, ME, 98 CPU Intel Pentium 800, 32MB, 3D Graphic Card, 128MB RAM 10 GB HD, 52x CD-ROM USB Connection Port This new complete simulator kit comes with everything you need (transmitter, cable, and the latest simulator software) to practice flying RC helicopter or RC airplane on your pc. This new simulator gives you real world flying experiences from your PC. Its Interlink Controller plugs into a USB port on your computer.It looks and feels just like a real transmitter and has switches for dual rates,retracts, and a knob for flaps. Especially without 8"AA" battery can directly work with computer. Do you want to be a real pilot flying in the beautiful blue sky?Come on you can operate an aircraft with the same feeling of a pilot in the computer, experiencing the exciting flight of a real plane ,and your dream flying freely in the blue sky deriving from your childhood come true! Come on! Challenge to be a pilot and enjoy the exciting! Note: Please practice simulation flight first on the computer before operating the electronic helicopters or airplanes in order to reduce the damage!