New technology hits Tri-City Modelers

Tri-City Modelers pulling maintenance under the Ramada

Tri-City Modelers pulling maintenance under the Ramada

The club's San Manuel flying site as photographed from a member's quad-copter

The club’s San Manuel flying site as photographed from a member’s quad-copter

Most radio control (R/C) modelers took up the model airplane hobby as youngsters totally taken in by the romance of flight. We started with U-Control models and learned to maneuver while spinning around in circles.

Most of us who stuck with the hobby transitioned to radio control and learned the joy of building, flying, crashing and rebuilding along with the ultimate excitement of the next new airplane!

Well, as they say, “times are a-changing!” Now we not only fly model airplanes, but some of us have embraced the exciting new sport of Drone Flying. Amazon alone is selling 10,000 Drones per month and a significant percentage of those sales are to seniors. Drones come in numerous configurations and sizes. And you can find the best drone for your needs at places similar to DrDrone so you can experience this new-found craze. If you just purchased a Drone or are thinking of purchasing one – come join us. Our club has a place to fly it safely and if you need some help learning to fly, we have members who can help.

Aerial photography is one of the big attractions to Drone flyers. We’ve attached a photo of our San Manuel flying site taken by one of our members while flying a QuadCopter drone equipped with a GoPro camera.

Another club member has embraced first-person-view (FPV) in his pursuit of the latest technology. He wears goggles with miniature television screens in front of his eyes. The camera in the airplane transmits video to the goggles that in effect puts him in the pilot’s seat as he flies his model.

On the other hand most of our members, while continuing to embrace the more traditional aspects of R/C flight, have also chosen to accept major changes in model building. For example, you can still stick-build your airplane should you choose, but today most kits are purchased as almost-ready-to-fly (ARF) or ready-to-fly (RTF) aircraft. This cuts the building time significantly and enables one to be flying sooner.

The learning curve is also much easier now! A novice flyer can purchase a complete package, including the airplane and electronics, for around $300. This model includes a three step training capability with autopilot that almost guarantees a crash free learning curve.

Sound interesting? Contact Jim Hathaway at 520-241-1123 or Art Fuerstenberg at 520-825-1131 if interested in learning more. Most flying is at our field in San Manuel on Tuesday or Saturday mornings, although we have members flying other days at different fields.