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Why am I a Modeler?

November 08, 2007

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-28.737633, 32.068518
Posted:March 1st, 2016
4.03 AM
On the page: "Why am I a modeller?", I found this: " ... simply because my hanger is empty." I am pretty sure you meant: "hangar".

I am, so far, very impressed with your web pages. Everything that you say makes perfect sense to me. I am enjoying reading them. If I were you, I would put it all in a book.
-28.737633, 32.068518
Posted:March 1st, 2016
4.01 AM
Why am I an RC aircraft modeller?

I had to add the "RC aircraft" to the title question because I have tried building plastic scale models and
after the challenge of putting it together and painting it, it still just sits there. When I tried to
hand launch my 1/72 scale spitfire, the trajectory was akin to that of a brick! Dismal!

Here are the reasons I build and fly RC planes:

Challenge and Accomplishment.
I would have to say that I am in the hobby to prove that I can do things myself. Being
able to bring my plane back safely onto terra-firma after being high up in the air is always very satisfying.

Every tried RC boats or cars? Boring! Anybody can drive a car and not crash it! Flying a slow flying
electric foam glider is also not a risk and hence very boring. It must be big and "breathe"!

I will always remember the excitement when my Dad got me my first radio control system. A 4 channel
Hinode radio. Seeing the movement of the servo arms move "by magic" when I moved the sticks of the
transmitter was fantastic. This magic is still not lost on me today. I wish I could thank all the people who contributed
to this technology so that we can enjoy flying our planes. I did control-line before I did RC so maybe
the radio link means more to me than to others. I remember wondering if radio control was going to feel "numb"
at the controls after the buzzing feeling of an aeroplane gently tugging on your fingers as it flew around
in the air. Initially, it felt like there was no "connection" to the RC aeroplane, but this connection grew more
and more the better I became. Now I can tell if my plane is happy or struggling to fly. Amazing!

Flying in a 3D space.
Yes, there were any things that you could do in control-line: loops, bunts, wing-overs, inverted flight,
combat, etc, but the plane was only always on a hemisphere. Being able to go ANYWHERE in the blue sky
is still a great thrill to me. On days when I am alone at the field, I fly as high as I can see the plane before
diving back to the field. (I wish I knew how high it'd gone!) Landing safely with my plane back in one piece
still races my heart. Does stamp collecting get your heart racing? I also like to fly close fly-bys or fly
real low, close circles when alone too. The plane seems to be scarier when it is so close, but good scary. The
louder the engine the better. Bombing practice. Tape a styro-foam cup on top of the fuselage and load up a bomb like a
stone or a small tissue bag of flour. Try and get the bomb onto a particular spot on the runway. Great fun!

Height and Speed.
Aircraft are like cats in that they show they are superior by going up high. And they are fast. The faster
the better. Fastest thing I've flown was a 46 powered Gremlin. It was measured at 122 mph with a speed gun. That
was real fun. It felt like I was racing a Ferrari. And a Gremlin is very cheap. A Gremlin costs next to nothing
but flies like its on rails. Not like a wimpy battery powered Tek-Sumo foamy!

Technology and Engineering.
My love of aircraft is one of the reasons why I am an engineer. I just had to know more about how they fly
and work. Planes appeal to everybody and the majority of flyers are not engineers, strangely enough. Learning
ways of doing things like machining, woodwork, painting, CAD and stress analysis make this a full hobby.

Skill and Accuracy.
A plane has to be accurate to fly well. Its always a challenge to get it dead straight. The other accuracy required
is one of spatial accuracy. Landing was always my biggest challenge. No matter how big the field was,
it felt like a postage stamp when trying to get my Graupner Taxi back onto it! Luckily, those days
are gone.

Ownership of a sexy plane.
Just as every guy wants to have a sexy girl on his arm so does every pilot want to have a good-looking
plane at the field. I think aeroplanes are sexy. They can be sleek looking and have good curves like a Concorde
or an F-16. And the best part is that anyone can create a good looking plane. Except a Polikarpov I-16!
Yuggh! That has got to be the ugliest plane ever!

Comradery and similar interests.
Although one can do this hobby by oneself, it is never as good as when you are part of a friendly club.
You know you're at a good club when you want to go to the flying field even though you've got nothing
to fly. Just being there amongst the planes and the pit chatter is great. Having someone comment about
your latest creation is also required. Good and bad. My best friend would never hold himself back and
let you know if you brought crap to the flying field. Getting a compliment from Bob D. was then a
real thing to be treasured.

The sound.
Thanks to Cox engines, the sound of a model aircraft engine firing up immediately grabs my attention.
To me, the sound became synonymous with fun and excitement. Without the sound, the atmosphere is no
longer there. Its like a movie with the sound on mute. The sound of an alive internal combustion engine
provides the essential feedback to the pilot of the well-being of his airplane. Only seeing you plane
is not the whole story. Knowing your "alive" engine could die and your plane could crash does provide
a risk that fuels the hobby experience. We don't always want that risk but without it, it reduces
our enjoyment.
Posted:July 21st, 2006
6.47 PM
About building model planes... My airplanes are designed to be small radio controlled aircraft. When I start a project my goal is to make it fly with certain characteristics and What I really enjoy is giving birth to a brain child
and see how it fares in this cruel world. Running the risk of being a bit arty-farty I would say that this is an artistic expression. Not static like a painting or a sculpture, but moving, functional and interactive. This is one reason why I built rc planes... The other reason is because i like flying. And the reasons I like flying are probably the same as of others who do like it too.
The objects that surround me are designed by other people. I don't design chairs, tables or mall sweeping machines. I can indulge myself to design and build rc planes and it makes me feel like having a junior membership in the club of those who create things. What you say about the hobby makes a lot of sense to me. Whoever finds satisfaction in this hobby and feels fascinated enough about flying and building will naturally persevere and improve their skills. It only depends on how far one can and wants to go.

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