Flying RC helicopters and airplanes: A fun and rewarding hobby
| Iswandy Ismail |
Why would you want to take up the hobby of flying RC helicopters and RC airplanes? Two words come to mind – “fun” and “rewarding” – that is after all what most of us are looking for in a hobby. This is a technical hobby and incurs some cost, the initial purchase typically being the big cost. Many people enjoy racing RC cars, or dabble in boats, or planes and helis.
“RC” is short for “Radio Controlled”, not remote controlled which is referenced often by mistake. The existence of RC helicopters and RC airplanes technology directly creates some communities. In general, the community is divided into two; vendor community and the community of the players.
Different types of RC helicopters and RC airplanes
Two common questions arise with regard to RC Helicopters vs RC Airplanes. Most want to know which is harder to fly, and which one is a better investment. Price wise, it depends a lot on the model and size you decide to purchase.
For us in Brunei Darussalam, with the similar interests a club called “RCAB” which is short for Radio Control Aero-modeller’s Brunei was formed.
RCAB is an association of modelers organised for the purpose of promotion, development, education, advancement and safeguard of modelling activities.
RCAB aspires to be the pathway to the future of aero modelling and are committed to making aero modeling the foremost sport/hobby with a commitment to leadership, quality, education and scientific/technical development of the Bruneian community.
For some of the RCAB members from Belait District, wide field near a residential area somewhere in Belait District became the location of their weekly get-together to let to play the RC helicopters and RC airplanes.
Interestingly, the bond of friendship from sharing similar interests saw no gap between them, even though they come from different career backgrounds and ages.
A member from the club said, he does not agree with the view that people playing RC airplanes and helicopters is a hobby for ‘upper class’. He said the start-up cost is as low as BND200 for a complete set.
Learning to fly any radio-controlled helicopters will require a good amount of training and time spent mastering the controls
“It has its own advantages and is suitable for people like me. This hobby gives me satisfaction as well as good for health, mental challenges are able to sharpen the mind, thus think more creatively when working. This hobby is now among the popular activities and has fans across the country and suitable for different levels of society of all ages and races because it does not require large capital to do. We met a lot of fans who share similar interests, respectively from different work backgrounds, each time doing activities in different locations all over Brunei Darussalam.”
Some tips for RC helicopter and airplane beginners
1. Get a simulator – RC flight simulators can give you a very realistic radio control flight training experience, without having to leave the house! Such simulators have reached into many homes and have become a ‘must have’ RC flying accessory. The simulator is a zero-risk, zero-cost environment where crashes are free and nobody gets hurt. A simulator will allow you to hone your piloting skills with less frustration, and in less time.
2. For a novice, the best choice is an electric-powered RTF (ready to fly) plane with 1, 2 or 3 channels.
3. High wing electric – A high wing is the most stable and forgiving.
4. Made from durable foam – let’s face it, it’s going to crash sooner or later and some foam can take a great deal more pounding than balsa.
5. Performance and simplicity – Minor assembly, charge the battery and go fly.