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  1. #376
    ram3500-RCU's Avatar
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    I love to build. I see it as a way to express my creativity, mechanical skills, engineering ability, and gives a personality or individuality to my airplanes.

    I am a carpenter by trade, and have a passion for trim carpentry, thus, I work with my hands all the time. Funny, I was building models when only 12, long before I became a carpenter. Thinking about it, carpentry might just be a result of the satisfaction I got from building models, instead of the other way around.

    Anyway, there were no ARFs when I got started. You built, or you didn't fly, unless you had some one build it for you. Today, the hobby is very different, and I attribute that to the hobbyist. ARFs would not exist if the market was not supporting them. They have an appeal that is undeniable. I don't see this as being bad for the hobby. Many are participating that would not otherwise. What is wrong with that?

    One negative impact is not so much to the hobby in general, but to the builder directly. As a result of the explosion of ARFs, your local hobby shop has likely scaled back on the building materials it once HAD to carry. Mine is no exception. Paint, glass, and other materials is getting harder and harder to find locally. I used to be able to walk into the local hobby shop and get any building supply I needed. Paint, resin, glass, wood, styrene, metals, adhesives, hardware, scale parts, gear supplies, and more were always in good supply with choices even. Now, much of that is only found on line. It is a good thing we have the internet. I see the hobby shops continuing to stock things used to repair and maintain ARFs, and much of this is the same stuff we build with. Good for that at least.

    As a result of all this, building has become more time consuming and costly. However, I believe that the percentage of builders in the hobby has decreased only because the overall number in the hobby has increased, and most all of the newcomers buy the ARFs and don't build. Most all of the guys I know, who have always built, still build, at least the ones who have not passed away. As this attrition continues, a larger and larger percentage of modelers will be non-builders. Heaven help them when these skills are all but gone in another 20 years. They will still have all the 'build threads' to look back on and learn from, I hope.
    Cheers,
    Gary P. / use Steel Powder for ballast not lead. PM me for more information.

  2. #377

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    I feel the same way about the younger carpenters we have comming up in the ranks most of them can not cut a roof or a set of stairs ,if its not built already and delivered on a flat bed truck they are lost. I feel sorry for people who want a custom home in the future and want it hand built. joe

  3. #378
    combatpigg's Avatar
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?


    ORIGINAL: joebahl

    I feel the same way about the younger carpenters we have comming up in the ranks most of them can not cut a roof or a set of stairs ,if its not built already and delivered on a flat bed truck they are lost. I feel sorry for people who want a custom home in the future and want it hand built. joe
    Joe, in the future guys who just have the basic skills that all carpenters used to have will be called "artisans" and they will be able to charge a king's ransom for their time.
    I took part in a few cathedral and older building restorations where the local labor pool [The entire Puget Sound Building Trades Labor Pool] couldn't supply enough skilled plasterers and framers to fill the bill to resurrect interior domes and columns, etc. There are roving teams of specialists who live like gypsies but make real good money supplying the demand for old school skilled labor that the Nintendo Baby generation is not capable of manning nowadays.
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  4. #379
    ram3500-RCU's Avatar
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    Point well taken Joe.

    20 years ago, I was privileged to be in the high end range of residential construction and had my own custom construction company with a hand picked group of top notch carpenters. We were elite in the area and did everything from scratch and mostly by my design. Truly custom, from stick framing with live valleys to framing in and finishing curved staircases, and most anything in between. Today, with my now grown sons, we mostly remodel and do additions. The days of the custom mansions are gone for me and all of the crew we had back them, as far as I know. The builders I worked with back then are all either retired, or dead. I don't see ever getting back to those days. The supper wealthy were are customers, not the upper middle class, who have expensive tastes but lack the bank roll to support it, and are always looking for something for nothing to keep their image in tact. I avoided that market back in the day.

    Just glad to have work now, and I still enjoy building for people, if only still doing it for not much more than we made way back when. As more folks get laid off and take up a trade, thinking because they worked on their own homes and did little things for friends, they are qualified to be a contractor, and bid jobs with clueless numbers that we then are compelled to compete with, we will continue to struggle to get paid what we deserve after years of experience. After all, people see on these TV shows that anyone can buy a home, fix it, and flip it, with little or no experience. What a crock!!!!!

    Building models is still kind of therapeutic for me, much as it has always been.
    Cheers,
    Gary P. / use Steel Powder for ballast not lead. PM me for more information.

  5. #380

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    I dropped my card after 29years and became the big boss in a dev company along with 13 other supers .Now iam the only one left without the 5 girls working in our office me and the owner do it all now . Its just now starting to pick up but the days of building 100 homes a year are gone but the price of lumber and every thing else is still high.lol joe

  6. #381
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    ORIGINAL: joebahl
    ORIGINAL: GallopingGhostler Nice bike, Joel. I still ride, I have a 1987 LS650 Suzuki Savage and a 1971 Honda CB100.

    Oh, I've been to various motorcycle rides and meets. Overall including Harley owners, most really don't care what bike one rides. In any event, you'll find those who are difficult and exclusive, but fortunately they are few. The same it is with those who fly. Out on the flying field, most don't care what plane you fly, whether ARF or kit built. That fact that one is out there having fun is the most important.

    Life is too short to heed the continual bickering by a few. I'd prefer to continue building my aircraft, equipping and repairing ARF's where I have them, and let the rest of the world pass me by when they get unreasonably critical. Share my success stories, mention but move on when I have a non-success (crash or other fault). That I think is more important.
    Hey ghostler happy to see you here ! I don't turn my nose up on anyone who is getting wind in their hair or bugs in their teeth as long as they are riding it's cool with me. At around 60 years old the family wants me to sell my bike but i have bought all the parts to make my harley into a 3 weeler with a old 45 rearend. lol

    I have been riding since i was 6 years old and will pass my bikes on to my ten year old son when i kick the bucket. lol My girlfriend has asked me twice what all the pipes and boxes of stuff is in the garage and i told her a swing set i am going to build for the grand kids. lmao joe
    I got my first 2 wheeler (20 in. single speed pedal) at age 6. Then my motorized 2 wheeler in college late 1970's, still have it. Well, you know what they say, Joe, the cure for declining testosterone is a bigger motorcycle. I recently retired and am under a reduced income until the rest of my pensions kick in. One of these days I'll tell the SWMBO, "Look, see what followed me home." I know of several with trikes, their health made them move from a two wheeler to three. I might return to work but for now I'm enjoying the extra time off.

    Meanwhile I have more time to build the kits and ARF's I didn't have the time for while working.
    George Hostler
    Clovis MADS AMA Club, Vintage R/C Society (VRCS)
    And we know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

  7. #382

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    I read in this forum that kits did not go away but the need for them did and i think thats true from raising my own 4 kids. We grew up playing with stuff that we built and they grew up pushing the buy button or asking me for it. Dont get me wrong iam glad they went through college and never have to get dirty but i cant ask anyone of my sons to help me do my brakes on my truck. lmao I hope some of our youth get back to building kits and their own street rods ,motorcycles, or just build your own flight box but some how i dont seeing happen anytime soon. I think those who want to build a kit will go out of their way to find and build one and those who just want to fly will never learn to build and like my kids thats ok too. My ten year old son has shown interest in scratch building a Q-T - 3 channel plane and has helped me cut parts out and sand them for some of my scratch builds . I have bought him toys that he has to put together and helped him along to get them done but i cant pressure him into building and just let him decide for himself.
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  8. #383
    Old Fart's Avatar
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?


    ORIGINAL: 804


    ORIGINAL: joebahl




    , you wont see this at your club field any time soon. joe
    Bet you're right about that!
    What the heck is it?
    Looks like a 3-way collision between a Pawnee, Ercoupe and an ultralight.
    That was a really funny description of an airtruck.In the very early sixties i used to hang out at the local airport washing peoples aeroplanes and getting occasional free rides.Turns out that the ag aircraft got dirtier faster so i washed some of them too.Did you know there's a jump seat in the back? of the airtruck and fertilizer makes wonderful patterns as it leaves the chute.

    Going to buy a triumph thruxton early next year.I've ridden all my life except these last ten years after i got talked off riding because everyone thought it was time i grew up and got sensible,but life does'nt last forever and tomorrow is a never guaranteed.I spend most of my time working and when not doing that i think about flying my model aircraft,a quick bike ride should blow the cobwebs out every now and then,cheers all.
    Watch out for the ground eh?

  9. #384
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    Not to hijack this thread, but a quick note to all of you motorcycle guys, I was doing about 60mph on my cruiser in a 1/2 helmet, t-shirt, and jeans when I was T-boned by a deer last year...plan on replacing that bike (which was totaled) next fall. My point. I hope you all wear helmets...........not that I want to start THAT debate, just saying, we need to keep our pilots around, no matter what you ride OR fly.

    :-)

    Dave

    P.S. - 4 broken ribs, one broken clavicle, a LOT of road rash and black-n-blue marks later......I am fine. But I need to start deer hunting!
    I have not failed. I\'\'\'\'ve just found 10,000 ways that don\'\'\'\'t work - Thomas A. Edison

    Sig Kadet Brotherhood member #18

  10. #385

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?


    ORIGINAL: combatpigg



    Joe, in the future guys who just have the basic skills that all carpenters used to have will be called ''artisans'' and they will be able to charge a king's ransom for their time.

    Man, I hope you are right about that. And I hope it's soon.
    I just finished 4 weeks of staircase building in a 9000 sq. ft. home. My normal bid price (back when things were hopping)
    would have been over $6000, and I did it for... well, much less. Not really complaining, tho, happy to have the work.
    Things seem to be coming back, but probably never like they were.

  11. #386
    Bill G's Avatar
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?


    ORIGINAL: ovationdave

    Not to hijack this thread, but a quick note to all of you motorcycle guys, I was doing about 60mph on my cruiser in a 1/2 helmet, t-shirt, and jeans when I was T-boned by a deer last year...plan on replacing that bike (which was totaled) next fall. My point. I hope you all wear helmets...........not that I want to start THAT debate, just saying, we need to keep our pilots around, no matter what you ride OR fly.

    :-)

    Dave

    P.S. - 4 broken ribs, one broken clavicle, a LOT of road rash and black-n-blue marks later......I am fine. But I need to start deer hunting!
    Not to hijack this thread
    I don't think that would be possible to do.

  12. #387

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?


    ORIGINAL: joebahl

    I feel the same way about the younger carpenters we have comming up in the ranks most of them can not cut a roof or a set of stairs ,if its not built already and delivered on a flat bed truck they are lost.
    Around here, it's been like that for at least my 27 years of carpentering. I was like that once, bet you were, too.
    In any 5-7 man crew, one, maybe two at the most were lead, the rest nailers and go-fers.

    Thx. for the link to the free plans, who know, maybe one day I'll get inspired.

  13. #388

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    One time at band camp.................

  14. #389

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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?


    ORIGINAL: Sgt Shay

    One time at band camp.................
    I saw a beautiful girl............

  15. #390
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?


    ORIGINAL: Sgt Shay

    One time at band camp.................
    this story can only end good...

    I'm one of the younger modelers and I am trying to build all i can, do the most woodwork possible and the most soldering, too. Most people my age only text. Except for that few who actually woodwork and get out there.


  16. #391
    GallopingGhostler's Avatar
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    ORIGINAL: ovationdave Not to hijack this thread, but a quick note to all of you motorcycle guys, I was doing about 60mph on my cruiser in a 1/2 helmet, t-shirt, and jeans when I was T-boned by a deer last year...plan on replacing that bike (which was totaled) next fall. My point. I hope you all wear helmets...........not that I want to start THAT debate, just saying, we need to keep our pilots around, no matter what you ride OR fly. :-) Dave P.S. - 4 broken ribs, one broken clavicle, a LOT of road rash and black-n-blue marks later......I am fine. But I need to start deer hunting!
    Dave, sorry to hear about your crash, glad to hear that you healed up. I usually ride with a full face helmet, ballistic overpants and jacket, gloves, over the ankle boots. Over the past 33 years of riding, also have taken 4 motorcycle safety courses over the years, last to be the MSF. It's not the fall that kills, it's the sudden stop as they say. I wanted to learn how to fly but never did it. Now, I am a little too old to do that, so riding my motorcycle is the next best thing to flying. Amaze people how on a 650 single, I can cruise when they need double the cc's. Then I remind them of what people rode in the 1960's and 1970's. Then, a 650 was considered a big bike. Some of them will admit how far they traveled on little 350 twins and etc.

    I like to fly the smaller stuff that some call "beginner stuff". I guess they have never seen a rudder only plane dead stick next to them or do stunts. One can have a blast on just 1 to 3 channels. Plus, the smaller planes are quicker to build and fly. It's amazing how the similar attitudes to smaller motorcycles carries into the model airplane field.

    I enjoy my flying as much as I enjoy my motorcycle riding. I move past what others think and have fun at what I am doing.
    George Hostler
    Clovis MADS AMA Club, Vintage R/C Society (VRCS)
    And we know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

  17. #392
    GallopingGhostler's Avatar
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    ORIGINAL: 804
    ORIGINAL: Sgt Shay One time at band camp.................
    I saw a beautiful girl............
    Now you know why musicians are lovers. I play baritone saxophone although I love all the saxes. I love the lower tones on the bari sax, perhaps that's why I also love the lower RPM and larger props of the legacy pre-Schneurle engines. It makes those kits I build really sing.

    I've used both Schneurle and non-Schneurle on the ARF's. The right prop / motor combination is what makes flying either kits, scratch builds or ARF's fun.
    George Hostler
    Clovis MADS AMA Club, Vintage R/C Society (VRCS)
    And we know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

  18. #393
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    I Recently just built a FOAMIE/TOWEL Theyre are great starter planes even for a 5 year old or 40 year old who doesnt have a clue on flying you build it for under 40 dollars it is 5 foot wingspan with 30 MPH Speeds! you can fly it into the ground and it will still work no matter what

  19. #394
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    Im only 14 and I just recently built a plane 3 weeks ago I did it with a friend and we got everything together for around 40 bucks from scratch all we needed were measure ments its called a foamie and is a very light plane made out of posterboard and zipties and coat hanger wire and it flies at the speed of 40MPH
    which is pretty amazing. I have never done this iny my life and I enjoy building it I want to make more and hopefully maybe sell them. the plane has a 5 foot wingspan and runs off a decent motor and we use the coat hanger to put into the holes of the servos moving the aileron up and down. I only practice in a simulator off my itouch and I can fly the plane for 5 minutes straight then I land it and go back up to make it feel more fun. the plane can take some pretty hard hits and if anything falls off just get another ziptie and strap it down. I am in love with building planes

  20. #395
    GallopingGhostler's Avatar
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    ORIGINAL: 804
    ORIGINAL: joebahl I feel the same way about the younger carpenters we have coming up in the ranks most of them can not cut a roof or a set of stairs ,if its not built already and delivered on a flat bed truck they are lost.
    Around here, it's been like that for at least my 27 years of carpentering. I was like that once, bet you were, too. In any 5-7 man crew, one, maybe two at the most were lead, the rest nailers and go-fers. Thx. for the link to the free plans, who know, maybe one day I'll get inspired.
    Understand what your are talking about 804 and Joe. Foreman on one of our construction projects was having a hard time getting locally qualified concrete finishers. Ended up getting them from 95 miles away, mostly foreign nationals. They were good, hard working individuals, we received a nice product. I'm sure they enjoyed the Davis Bacon wages on a Federally funded project.

    Seems that many high school kids are no longer interested in the construction trades, although they pay decent wages. I'm not sure why this is. It is dirty work, hard work, but honorable good paying work.

    Getting back to combatpigg's point, I don't think that the issue of kits versus ARF is really related to the changes in people's attitudes toward work. I think it is related more to the economics that ARF's are considerably cheaper overall than building traditional kits. Several club members have expressed this as to why they buy ARF's over kits now.

    However, the skills learned in building a kit do transfer into other aspects of life in the working world. When one overcomes a problem in constructing a kit, that problem solving skill can also be applied in the construction trade. Having constructed numerous kits, both rubber powered stick build, control line and R/C construction, allows me options to explore other materials. Those skills learned are readily transferred. Those helped me in construction project engineering for contract administration.

    A number of construction project engineers and superintendents I have associated with built kits in their younger years. I can see how it helped them to develop their construction project skills as well. Also, a number of them ride motorcycles. - There muse be a correlation.
    George Hostler
    Clovis MADS AMA Club, Vintage R/C Society (VRCS)
    And we know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

  21. #396
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?


    ORIGINAL: William.S

    Im only 14 and I just recently built a plane 3 weeks ago I did it with a friend and we got everything together for around 40 bucks from scratch all we needed were measure ments its called a foamie and is a very light plane made out of posterboard and zipties and coat hanger wire and it flies at the speed of 40MPH
    Β*which is pretty amazing. I Β*have never done this iny my life and I enjoy building it I want to make more and hopefully maybe sell them. the plane has a 5 foot wingspan and runs off a decent motor and we use the coat hanger to put into the holes of the servos moving the aileron up and down. Β* I only practice in a simulator off my itouch and I can fly the plane for 5 minutes straight then I land it and go back up to make it feel more fun. the plane can take some pretty hard hits and if anything falls off just get another ziptie and strap it down. I am in love with building planesΒ*
    William...that's totally awesome. I wish I had discovered how much fun this hobby is at your age. Keep up the great work..!
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  22. #397
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    ORIGINAL: William.S I'm only 14 and I just recently built a plane 3 weeks ago. I did it with a friend and we got everything together for around 40 bucks from scratch, all we needed were measurements, its called a foamie and is a very light plane made out of posterboard and zipties and coat hanger wire, and it flies at the speed of 40MPH which is pretty amazing.

    IΒ*have never done this in my life and I enjoy building it. I want to make more and hopefully maybe sell them. the plane has a 5 foot wingspan and runs off a decent motor, and we use the coat hanger to put into the holes of the servos moving the aileron up and down.

    I only practice in a simulator off my itouch and I can fly the plane for 5 minutes straight then I land it and go back up to make it feel more fun. the plane can take some pretty hard hits and if anything falls off just get another ziptie and strap it down. I am in love with building plane
    William, welcome to the forum. You have a very good ambition there for a 14 year old. I can see the good you will do when you are ready to graduate from high school. A 5 feet wingspan plane is a good healthy size to build. What engine or electric motor system are you using to power the plane? You have been practicing on a simulator. Have you been able to take it out flying?

    Have you shown your parents your work yet? You might be able to get their support to further your R/C experiences along. Also, they can introduce you to an official R/C Club, so you can meet others who fly and get to share experiences as well as flying with them.
    George Hostler
    Clovis MADS AMA Club, Vintage R/C Society (VRCS)
    And we know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

  23. #398
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    George, do you think the captains of the hobby industry decided to create a market for ARFs out of thin air..or do you think that they recognized that the market had changed and that the timing was right to exploit that change..?
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  24. #399
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?


    ORIGINAL: William.S

    Im only 14 and I just recently built a plane 3 weeks ago I did it with a friend and we got everything together for around 40 bucks from scratch all we needed were measure ments its called a foamie and is a very light plane made out of posterboard and zipties and coat hanger wire and it flies at the speed of 40MPH
    Β*which is pretty amazing. I Β*have never done this iny my life and I enjoy building it I want to make more and hopefully maybe sell them. the plane has a 5 foot wingspan and runs off a decent motor and we use the coat hanger to put into the holes of the servos moving the aileron up and down. Β* I only practice in a simulator off my itouch and I can fly the plane for 5 minutes straight then I land it and go back up to make it feel more fun. the plane can take some pretty hard hits and if anything falls off just get another ziptie and strap it down. I am in love with building planesΒ*
    Thats what we need more of......Great Job William, keep it up, you'll do great. Whatever gets you in the air, thats what I say.

    ~Dave
    I have not failed. I\'\'\'\'ve just found 10,000 ways that don\'\'\'\'t work - Thomas A. Edison

    Sig Kadet Brotherhood member #18

  25. #400
    GallopingGhostler's Avatar
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    RE: Why don't many people build RC airplane kits anymore?

    ORIGINAL: combatpigg George, do you think the captains of the hobby industry decided to create a market for ARFs out of thin air..or do you think that they recognized that the market had changed and that the timing was right to exploit that change..?
    Actually, it is a rather complex subject that overall has decimated our hobby industry in the US. Our RC radio producing sector was decimated when importation without sufficient tariffs were permitted back in the 1970's and on. Our US manufacturers could not purchase components cheap enough to produce radios. This is what Ace R/C, Orbit, Kraft and other US based manufacturers faced in the light of cheaper imported radios. Those companies are long gone.

    ARF's were available in the late 1960's through the likes of Lanier, further into the 1970's from SureFlite in the shape of styrofoam ARF's. A few others produced ARF's such as Carl Goldberg's Ranger 42 foam. These were US companies, and there was a certain following as their ARF's were decent, IMO. However, overall kits were cheaper and so there was peaceful coexistence of both. I built mostly kits, but bought a Lanier Pinto 3 channel on sale for $70, also purchased SureFlite 1/2-A Piper Cub and Cessna 180 foam planes. Later on in the 1980's, I purchased Hobby Shack .15 foam Cessna 150 and .25 Cessna 177 foam ARF planes. Then in the 1990's, purchased a Flitecraft ARF .40 Piper Cub.

    Then several years ago or so, the Chinese ARF's started showing up, but they were considerably cheaper than kits. Not long ago on Nitroplanes.com, there was offered a .60 sized Goldberg Tiger II like trainer ARF on sale for $55. A SIG Kadet Senior went on sale for the same price. With those kind of costs, there is no way a kit manufacturer can take advantage of the costs. A modeler would be crazy not to purchase a film covered balsa framed plane for those costs.

    To say nonetheless, our US kit and ARF manufacturing are almost non-existent now. This is sad as these industries employed American workers, boosting our economy.

    Anyway, to blame the American people would not give the total picture. The fault would be more attributable to the politicians whom the Americans elected, that failed to uphold the law in fair trade to other nations, instead giving preference to them with little concern for our welfare. That is the reason for increased tariffs on foreign goods, so that our industries may be able to compete without penalizing them because of factors beyond their control, such as lower labor rates overseas. That didn't happen, so most of the manufacturing that used to be done in America to benefit the American people has been exported to overseas.
    George Hostler
    Clovis MADS AMA Club, Vintage R/C Society (VRCS)
    And we know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16


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