Aeromodelling - Super Sport
Now that Summer is almost with us again it is time to review the last year and decide what we are going to do in the coming one. The 11 year Sunspot Solar Cycle is on the rise again and promises settled weather for the next 5 years. This is good news for modelers who have solar panels on their house roof, or for the few of us who have those wafer-thin solar panels on their model's wing. The promise of free power is nearly here with no need for engines! Watch this space.
The best and only way to quickly get flying is to join your nearest model flying club which also carries insurance. Then you can buy a RTF, Ready To Fly, electric powered model airplane. These are even more complete than the ARTF, Almost Ready To Fly, and are already fitted with servos, receiver and battery. There will be several club members who will show you how and will stand beside you for your first few flights. When you compare the modest membership fee with, say, a Pitch and Putt club or a Contract Bridge group, then you are doing well. But just look what you get in exchange:
The company of the nicest bunch of guys you could hope for. Good natured, witty and generous to a fault. Above all, no isolated grouping of Grumpy Old Men! No, our clubmen and women today are gregarious and knowledgeable in all the arts and crafts of aeromodelling - designing, building and flying. Above all though, is the number of us with children who have discovered The Great Truth, and that is the benefit of mental and physical well-being that a young person feels at being able to fly and control his own model as an aeromodeller, especially in the formative teenage years.
Just think of the vast amount of expertise they will pleasurably and painlessly absorb and accumulate over the years:
- Draughtmanship, when designing your own model.
- Meteorology and how TV forecasts apply to your locality.
- Woodworking, balsa, plywood and hardwoods with cutting, drilling, sanding using very sharp knives and wonderfully dangerous electric saws and drills.
- Metalworking and soldering using hacksaws and drills, vices and hammers. You tell all these tools ‘who’s boss’.
- Repairing a damaged model and planning how to fix something using wood splints or plywood and different types of glue, epoxy resin and cyano superglue.
- Electrical and digital electronics, both mains and low voltage, how to wire-up a circuit safely. Understanding battery selection Lipo, Nicads and Nimh types, then handling and charging.
- Engine operation glowplug, diesel and even miniature petrol fuelled. You learn about fuels and oils. Remember to ask the Aer Lingus or Ryanair pilot, when leaving the aircraft, if he was an aeromodeller. Most of them were and a lot still are.
- Glue and paint chemistry, manual dexterity with the tiniest screws and plugs when building/assembling, hand-eye co-ordination when flying, the science of aeronautics, the battle between lift, drag, weight and thrust while keeping an eye on engine thrust, revs. and horsepower, choosing a propeller or an electric ducted fan-jet.
- The social graces, mixing and working with others in both a leisure and sometimes competitive activity. There is no finer or more challenging sport around and I think you will find very few, if any, teenage tearaways or substance-challenged rebels in the ranks. Aeromodelling is just too fascinating for words and does not allow for idle or aimless moments.
- This then is indeed the Great Truth about our wonderful sport. So guys and girls, why not join or re-join the fold and encourage your children also. You are welcome to the flying field near you any day to have a look around.