R/C Hobbies

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Ending The Year In Radio Controlled Hobbies

We are rapidly approaching the end of 2007 and everyone is busy with shopping and the details of the holiday festivities.  As we come to the end of the year the blog posts will be focusing on review and re-posting some of the earlier entries.  This is because I am entering the hospital this week for surgery and it will be several weeks before I will be able to spend time sitting at the computer to write the daily entries.  So please bear with me and I will try to keep up with the schedule of posting entries that I have recently established.

For those of you who have just joined us at “talking RC hobbies”, let me explain what we are doing here.  The main goal of this blog is to promote the advancement of the radio controlled hobbies.  I will be covering all the different areas of interest, including radio controlled motorcycles, off-road and track racers,  sailboats and power boats, helicopters, and model airplanes.  The nature of each of the different radio controlled hobbies is such that it will take several blog entries to cover everything that is needed to get someone started in each particular branch of the hobby.  If you don’t see anything yet on what you are interested in, please stay with me as I will be covering all areas as soon as possible.

Primarily, what I want to do with this blog is to help introduce more young people and families with children to radio controlled hobbies.  Some of the information presented will, I am sure, be “old hat” to some of you that have been in RC modeling for a while, but remember that we all had to start at the beginning.  So, In the interest of promoting the continued growth in our hobby, please hang in there and feel free to offer any comments and assistance as we progress.  At some point I will be reviewing new products and techniques as they develop.  If you know of something that will interest our readers, please don’t hesitate to let me know about it and I can set up having you post an entry as a guest.  Remember, we all need to work together to keep the hobby growing and expanding into new areas.  See you next time.

Radio controlled hobbies for Christmas

The Christmas shopping season is in full swing. Maybe you have someone on your list that seems to have everything you can think of.  Consider getting them started in a new hobby. There is an endless variety of radio controlled vehicles, boats, tanks, helicopters, motorcycles, and airplanes available in all price ranges. The idea is to give the kids something new to do that, will give them lots of fun and a sense of self satisfaction.  It can be very beneficial to helping them relate to others.  People in any of the radio controlled hobbies seem to be well adjusted and quickly become involved in group activities related to the sport.  A radio controlled hobby provides fun and excitement for people of all ages.

    A radio controlled hobby is educational as well as enjoyable.  Just the act of operating the controls to make that off-road truck, race car, boat, or airplane do what you want it to do is excellent for developing hand eye coordination.  The radio technology is becoming more advanced, almost on a daily basis.  The mechanics of what it takes to power and control a remote race car rivals that which is required for full sized vehicles.  There is much to be learned in the aerodynamics and structure of model airplanes.  Radio controlled hobbies are definitely “high tech”.  This is one hobby that gives the person participating a lot of enjoyment and personal satisfaction.  It is fun for the whole family and being in it together can help your children establish personal relationships and learn to share in having a good time.  Maybe this Christmas would be a good opportunity to introduce someone new to the hobby and start them on a life long adventure in a high tech, fun and exciting hobby. 

    As with anything else, I’m sure that you can find super discounts and special deals at your local hobby shop.   Make a difference in some one’s life this Christmas by encouraging them to try it out.  They will appreciate it and your thoughtfulness will not soon be forgotten.  See you next time.

Taking a look at radio controlled flying machines

We have all seen the various contraptions that have been created to enable man to fly.  Some people tried making wings out of wood and paper and attached them to their arms and jumped off the roof of the barn, not successful.  Man has been working on achieving flight in many ways for centuries.  The early attempts were mostly unsuccessful.  It is utterly amazing how advanced aircraft has become in the past few decades.  The same is true for radio controlled model airplanes, as well.

Why then, do people keep coming up with unusual radio controlled flying machines.  You can’t generalize them as airplanes because some don’t even resemble that which we perceive an airplane to be.  In a recent post I had a link to a site that had a video of a flying lawn mower.  It was about the size of a push type mower like the one you might use to mow your grass.  It really flies.

I first saw one of these flying lawn mowers in a radio controlled modeling magazine in the late 1970′s.  It was made out of foam sheets from the lumber yard, fitted with the radio control system and had a small nitro powered engine attached to the front.  At about the same time someone came up with similar idea and created a flying iron (like you press clothes with).  And, another magazine article was about a flying “Tin Lizzy” ( a model T Ford car).  These things all flew and their owners had fun designing, building, and flying them.

One of the members of the local club where I learned to fly built a radio controlled model airplane out of cardboard boxes.  It had a wingspan of about 8 feet and the length of the fuselage was about 6 feet.  He designed it to look like a large sailplane or glider.  It was made mostly from cardboard television antenna boxes.  The engine was mounted on to strips of hardwood the extended out from the nose and it was controlled by a 3-channel radio system.  If I recall correctly, the tail section was made out of balsa and covered with a heat shrinkable Mylar film.  It wasn’t much to look at, but it was entertaining to watch and it provided a lot of fun and satisfaction for the modeler.   One day he actually flew it from the club’s flying field about 6 miles to where I lived.  He had someone drive his van and he rode in the back of the van with the side door open and he flew the plane as his friend drove the van along the side of the highway.

Modelers have come up with all sorts of flying machines such as flying disks, a broom with the witch attached, and even a doghouse with Snoopy sitting on top of it.  Why do these people do that sort of thing? The technology has advanced to the point that we now have special remote controlled devices that are used in combat to reduce the exposure of our troops to enemy fire.  There is a new age of miniaturization in R/C modeling that has created a whole new arena of tiny model helicopters, airplanes, cars, and even a real life sized dragonfly.  I was watching a science channel on television recently an saw how a scientist discovered the mechanics of how a dragonfly flies.  It was an amazing show that went all the way from research to a working full size radio controlled scale model of a dragonfly.  They showed how well it can work for surveillance by hovering outside of some-one’s house and flew inside when the door was opened.  Equipped with camera equipment this worked as an efficient spy.

Why do they do this sort of experimenting?  Probably for a multitude of reasons but the first two that come to mind are to advance the technology and secondly to just have fun.

See you next time.