FT Storch - The perfect choice
The FT Storch promised a lot with options for short-field operations (the reason I chose it), and it delivered magnificently. I haven't flown RC since I was a teenager (15 years ago), and then, only flew gliders, so I hadn't landed RC on landing gear previously. On the other hand, I am a full-scale helicopter and airplane pilot, and the Storch performed just like I would expect it to from looking at it. I went with separate flaps and ailerons, but also wanted slats, so to maintain sufficient aileron authority, I mixed (in the radio) ailerons back into the flaps. The suggestion is that this may be too much to manage for a beginner, but I will say that I was happy to have all these options available for my first flights! I was in a small park with trees and light posts. The slats kept it flying slow to begin with, and the flaps let me get out of tough situations and land quickly instead of crashing when I had no room to turn. It's incredible to me that it was so easy to build and fly a plane with so much sophistication. As a hint - watch all the Storch videos a few times to really see what effect your configuration choices will have, and think through the whole system of the plane. Also, if you're on grass, make sure you do at least the rivet mod to the provided foam-board wheels, or put real wheels on it, I lost one of the foam ones after 5 landings.