2012 February 4

RC Models

A few months ago I wandered into my university’s R/C model club, looking for some model car racing I missed doing back home. I was somewhat disappointed when I found out that they mostly focused on model helicopters and aeroplanes, mostly because my only experience in piloting were on flight simulators – and crashes were always involved.

However I stayed on because it was still interesting watching them build and repair their models, with the miniature electronics and servos and all.

Then one day, one of my friends in the club turned to me and asked me to have a go at the flight simulator. I was a little reluctant but in the end I braved the embarrassment. The first few flights didn’t end well, as expected, but after some guidance I wasn’t dropping like rocks.

Fast forward a few days later and I could keep a helicopter afloat reasonably well. Feeling confident I bought myself a nice model helicopter for £30. It was an indoor coaxial that my friends suggested and it didn’t take long to get it to fly.

And then I broke the landing gear from landing too hard.

I fixed it with super glue, and then I broke it again by landing too hard. It can still fly, just that it’s unbalanced with a smashed canopy and is at risk of tipping over while landing without the landing gears. Turns out buying a model helicopter isn’t terribly expensive, it’s the combined cost of replacement parts, which add up to somewhere around half the original price.

So I’m laying off flying for now until my savings recovers, but it was a pretty fun experience.