Equipment You Will Need
You Will Need a Trainer Plane! The objective is to get you through the training period in a reasonable time, with minimal plane damage. Save those Mustangs and Extra 300's for your second or third airplane.
Once you have a plane, engine, and the accessories you are ready for training. We try to get you in the air, and soloed in a short period of time.
A good training plane typically has a high, thick wing, with lots of dihedral. This will give a plane that easily flies slow, is extremely stable and will level itself to some extent. Tri-cycle gear (nose gear instead of a tail-wheel) is much easier to taxi and get off the ground on pavement, but for grass fields such as Colyton, a taildragger may be better.
You will need an Engine
Airplanes are generally sized for their engines. The advertising will tell what size engine is intended for the airplane. The .40 and .60 refer to the cubic inches of the engine. You can buy glow-fueled engines with either sleeve or ball bearings. Ball bearing engines last longer (generally) and put out more power for a given cubic inch. They also cost substantially more. For a trainer plane, power isn't important, and a sleeve bearing engine will last through training 2 people, so there is no need for those ball bearings unless you have excess cash to spend. OS Engines and Thunder Tiger both make very good line of inexpensive sleeve bearing engines.
There are two ways to go with the radio gear. You can go with a basic radio, which will carry through your first, and possibly your second airplane. Or you can get a better, computer-based radio, that stores settings for several airplanes, and have advanced features to drive separate aileron servos, create flaperons, mix in rudder correction and control expo. You will need these features to get the full capabilities out of your P-51 Mustang or Extra 300.
So which way to go? If you are just exploring the hobby, and aren't certain this will be a life-long hobby with follow-on airplanes, go with the basic radio system. The advanced features won't be used with the trainer plane. If you are certain there will be a second or third, more advanced airplane, then you will save $150 or so by purchasing an advanced computer-based radio system from the get-go.
Field Box and Gear
You can't just show up at the flying field with airplane, engine and radio system. It takes a kit of parts and accessories, plus a "field box" for organization and transport. Some people just use a tool box or fishing tackle box. Others go with a specialty field box intended for the purpose and sold by the various manufacturers.
Following is a basic list:
Spare glow plugs
Plug wrench (note: combination plug and prop wrenches are available)
Electric Starter or Chicken Stick
Miscellaneous Equipment You Will Need
Battery Condition Meter (Be sure your batteries are safe for flying)
CA and Epoxy Glues (For repairs)
Clear Packing Tape (patch those dings)
Small wrenches and screwdrivers (Tweak and adjust your plane)
Spare Rubber Bands (Holds the wing on most trainer planes)
This is only a partial list to get you started. Once you get going there will be a lot of other items that you will find useful in pursuing the hobby.