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The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

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Old 09-29-2012, 06:42 AM
  #1
kurt2022
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Default The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

I have thought this over for days and have finally decided to post on the subject. I got into rc airplanes in 2005 when I joined AMA and joined my first club. I simply loved meeting the pilots and watching them fly their airplanes and work on them! At the time there were at least a dozen people in my area that were building warbirds and flying them on the weekend and 40 to 50 more that were into anything from small nitro trainers up to 42%, 150cc giant scale aerobatic planes! I loved going to our local airshow that would bring in at least 100 rc pilots or more in late january, most being dedicated to larger aircraft. I slowly built up a large inventory of airplanes from .40 nitro planes up to my 36% 116cc katana! Slowly the winds of change blew into my hobby and every year there were less participants up to today where we are just about down to the bone as far as participating members go. Most weekends now I see on average 2 to 6 people coming to the fields that I am a member of and sometimes no one! I'm so tired of hearing of pilots "getting out of the hobby" because there isn't anyone to replace them and we are already down to the bone as far as people that come to fly! I get so tired of all the lame excuses as to why they can't come out to fly! I've heard them all, like it's too hot or too cold, too windy, have to stay home and hold the girlfriends hand, no time, gas is too high, changing interests and on and on! I remember one old timer that died a couple of years ago, probably around ninety years of age, that could hardly see and had to sit in a chair to fly, but if he was physically capable he would be out at the field on sunday. A few years before he passed on a couple of club do gooders wanted to make him fly on a buddy cord, but I knew if they tried he would have probably beat them over their heads with his transmitter! Why is it that there are hardly any passionate flyers left like this gentleman? I watch the buy and sell here on rcu and the owners of the giant scale aircraft, mainly 42% 150cc class, can't even sell their planes for less than 50% of what they got in them, in other words they can hardly give them away! I started my 36% katana up for the first time this fall and after doing so, I set down on the porch and gazed at it and I got a weird feeling that if I took it to the field, would there be anyone out there willing to hold it while I started it up before flying it! Say it ain't so Joe, please tell me things are much better in other area's of the USA!
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:05 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

Sorry Kurt its the same all over.
I live in Phoenix and commute to Seattle every summer.
When I retired in 2001 I went to an IMMA meet almost every week end and they were so crowded you had to arrive early to get a space.
Last year there were only 3 events scheduled,and only about three including me showed up.
This year only one event was scheduled. I didn't go.
At my field in AZ there are a large number of IMAC flyers all flying expensive ARF's.
The new generation needs everything handed to them.
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:20 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

Dirtybird,
I'm sorry to hear that it is the same all over! It is easy and convienant to blame the economy, but I think there is much more to this equation than just that! With many of the younger generations, including mine(I'm 50), if it isn't plug-n-play it is either above their skill level or more than they want to deal with! It is sad to see these old timers that have an ability to build a bird from scratch and the new entilement generation that have no desire to apply themselves and learn how to do the things past generations can and did do! We have become a very inward society hidden in our climate controlled boxes, better known as homes, not willing to go out in nature and challange ourselves! Radio's and planes have almost become bullet proof with all the improvements over the years! Batteries are better than ever along with servos, engines and radio equipment! I guess most people would rather sit at home and live in a virtual world than go out and experience the real thing! We went from the greatest generation to the give me generation, and no I won't take that back, to be politically correct and not hurt anyone's pathetic feelings!!! When we were kids we knew better than tell my dad we can't do something, because his response would be "stay at it till you can"!
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:29 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

[&o] Not only do they want everything handed to them but when you do they don't appreciate what you try to do for them.
How many people have you ( seen /taught) that ( someone /you ) spent a lot of time with that had NO respect for the time given . Then when you did spend the time they said they didn't really have the time or interest . I think it's more the fact that they aren't smart enough to figure it out themselves so they just quit. Just like a lot of other aspects of life now days . "If it isn't free or I have to work for it, I don't want it ."

Just look at all the foamy's showing up every where and how long most last. Competition is going the same way . I still think people, clubs etc. spend to much time on kids ( under 18 ) and not enough time on the 25 and over ages that are out of school, have jobs and some time to spend. They are usually over the cars and girls enough to keep an interest.

I guess that's enough RANT for now. ENJOY !!! RED
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:54 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: red head

I still think people, clubs etc. spend to much time on kids ( under 18 ) and not enough time on the 25 and over ages that are out of school, have jobs and some time to spend.
I respectfully disagree on this. The kids are where the time needs to be spent. If you neglect that time with the kids, you end up with a LOT of those 25 + year old "kids" that you (and they) wish you had spent time with when they were younger.

Just my thoughts..........
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:49 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

I recently took over on the board of our club and up to that point it was the same group of members there some for over 50 years. New members would come and go as there was nothing really exciting happening to keep them. Not that the club was boring(well it was) but it was stale and was decades behind the times and was not attractive to new and very young members. Long story short I revamped the website, started a facebook page, and started organizing FUN events and advertising them all over the area for the general public and of course neighboring RC clubs. The events have grown now and we have got many new members and quite a few young members and have kept them ...so far. Yes for the older core group it's still business as usual,come out one day a week fly one time and sit down and complain about everything for the rest of the day... BUT we still love them and the club would not be what it is without them and their vast wealth of knowledge. However I believe quite a few folks who have been in this for decades have grown complacent and just don't want to work at making a club better, traveling to other clubs events , etc...They just want to go to their field , fly their planes, BS, and go home.
Bottom line is the hobby is fun in and of itself but it takes work to make a club exciting and interesting to draw new members and keep the ones you have.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:03 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

You are right. Us old Fts ( I am 85 and a sit down flier)don't want to be burdens with running the organizations. I tried it once and didn't like it. Our club consists of a large number of retired people that come to the meetings and a lot of young IMAC fliers that don't come to the meetings. If we wanted to us old folks could control the organization but we don't. To much trouble. I guess we are just as guilty as the youngsters.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:50 PM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

I have been flying for about 6 years now. It has been a lot of fun. I have built a few kits. Mostly .40 size. I am now working on a plan built plane. I really enjoy the building side of the hobby. I do most of my flying on a small private field. I do also fly at a club field. We have a very small group that fly on a regular basis. Most weekends there is only 4-9 people at the field. We do have a couple of younger flyers. I'm teaching my 10 year old to fly. We also had his cub scout pack come out for a day of buddy boxing. It was a lot of fun teaching the younger kids about planes and flying.
The hobby is not dying. But rather just going through a change.
-Andrew
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:33 PM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

Ibelieve the times are changing. Why build a plane when you can buy a toy foamy and fly it right out of the box. Why go the flying field when you can plug in the flight simulator. When I was a kid 8 years old and up, we had to build a plane before we could fly it. There was no internet, or video games, Gun Smoke and the Rifleman didn't come on TV until 7 and 8 PM. You had to be creative to find something to occupy your time. I found C/L airplanes.

The kids of the 80s, know only instant gradification. Plug and Play. They have usually always had whatever they wanted just handed to them. Now, they just want to fly and fly now. If it doesn't work on batteries, they aren't interested. If it has to be put together, they aren't interested. If they can't fly it in their back yard or their living room, they aren't interested.

This isn't true for everyone, but I think for the vast majority I am afraid it is.

I am now 62 years old, still building and flying and will continue for as long as I can. I've been a club officer, and contest director and put on many events in my time. I still go to work day at the field and the club meetings. And most of the others there with me are about my same age. The younger guys usually show up at the field after all the work is done and drag out their foamies and RTFs.

Yes, times have changed.

Frank
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:51 PM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

There used to be a rule. You had to build the airplane you entered in the contest. Whatever happened to that?
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:49 PM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

We've been hearing the same story ... of decline ... for as long as I can remember.

But, the hobby marches on. There has been a vast improvement in both the choice and quality of equipment. There has been a broadening of the hobby, with electric, spark-ignition, FPV, large-scale all becoming practical and affordable.


IMO, the OP is seeing nothing more ominous than evolution. And, he is viewing it through the tinted specs of the motivated "newbie" ... the level of passion which flying engenders in the early years, can be almost fanatical. Well, that was my experience, anyway.

Yes, "traditional" clubs are dying... and I say, "Good thing, too.". Far too many clubs have been centres of stagnation; somewhat akin to centrally-planned societies.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:26 PM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

The youth of today have been trained from birth to expect instant gratification and non-competitive environments. They have no sense of accomplishment, as they haven't struggled to master any skill, idea, concept, or subject matter. They can't lose (bad for their self-esteem, y'know) so they'll never win. Image is everything, substance is something to abuse. Competition is viewed as hurtful.

They spend a pile of money to compete - and lose. They quit competing when they can't buy a winner. This is not confined to our hobby - our whole society has devolved to the lowest common denominator.

I attended a "fun" pistol match last year. Two entrants emerged from the firing line swearing about how f'n unfair the simple 25-yard shoot was. They were late 20s, early 30s, nicely dressed, and had just missed the target with all shots from some very expensive semi-custom pistols. As there were ladies and children present, I approached them and asked them to tone down the language. They sized me up, and complied. I then asked what the unfair part was, and they said they had never shot that far before. I asked if they had read the rules for the event - which were published a month ahead - and they both had. Yep, they practiced at their customary FIVE yards - that's where they could blaze away and usually hit the target. They declined my offer to test their guns, and never returned to another competition.

I am a high school teacher, and I find my biggest challange is getting students to desire excellence. They want the rewards, but refuse to put in any effort.

Kits required learning skills and developing craftsmanship - hobby activities. ARFs removed patience, dedication, and craftsmanship from the equation. Electric foamies moved it into the amusement/toy category.

This country has become a nation of wussies. We have the most obese young people ever, all looking to "get by" in school and "find" a job that pays top dollar without effort, duties, or responsibilities. Actually, they hope the job finds them, 'cuz they're too good to have to go out looking for a job...

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Old 10-01-2012, 06:29 PM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

What you are talking about is the " Millinium Child" . If you don't let the kid win, then mommy and daddy will be at the school wanting to know why thier kid didn't win.

Frank
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:43 PM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

Went out to the field this morning. Perfect flying day light wind right down the runway. Two years ago there would have been half a dozen flyers. Today - I'm out there alone. Is it the economy, is it the cultural change, or is it just that it's too much of an effort to go out to the field? Sad.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:57 PM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

Kurt and I fly together, we are both officers of a local club, we have definitely seen a huge decline in the number of active flyers out there... I remember as a kid in the 80s all the way up to about mid 2000 there were many active RC pilots...Ive noticed a drastic decline in about 2010... I have taken a little break from flying, but i will return soon... I really miss tearing up the sky with my flying buddies
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:53 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

I have been in this great Hobby, on and off, for about 15 years now. I too have seen the changes happening with the decline of flyers at the local Field. But I also agree with the folks that say it is a time of change, not a decline. I think it is very important for Clubs to consider forming a Park Flyer chapter and embrace these smaller planes. I know of at least one Club that is doing this and they are growing because of it.

Please don't condemn the people that don't Build, that is not a good attitude to have at this point. We all need to make adjustments in this Hobby and work together to grow with these changes.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:54 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: rc-maniac

I have been in this great Hobby, on and off, for about 15 years now. I too have seen the changes happening with the decline of flyers at the local Field. But I also agree with the folks that say it is a time of change, not a decline. I think it is very important for Clubs to consider forming a Park Flyer chapter and embrace these smaller planes. I know of at least one Club that is doing this and they are growing because of it.

Please don't condemn the people that don't Build, that is not a good attitude to have at this point. We all need to make adjustments in this Hobby and work together to grow with these changes.
Not condemning anyone - just recognizing the changes in the society and modeling hobby. It USED to require committment, and people tended to stick with it - at least once they got flying. I started in this hobby at age 12, building a kit with Titebond glue and epoxy. Learned a lot of lessons that served me well in life. Took six months to get it done, with help from an experienced modeler. Clubs had a stable core of committed, experienced modelers. There was one club locally, with 150+ members, and the largest R/C plylon race in the world.

Thirty years ago, local growth in the hobby and specialized interests led to an explosion in the number of clubs. Heli, sailplane, pattern guys formed their own clubs, and all grew - including the origonal one.

Fifteen-twenty years ago, ARFs had progressed to the point that the hobby was dominated by flyers, not modelers. Many hobby shops would even assemble the ARF, so the new flyer was ofter clueless as to how the model was built. Committment levels were lower, but those who really wanted to learn could crash several ARF trainers quicker than they could build a kit. Experienced builders were able to support their hobby by assembling ARFs for flyers. Clubs still had experienced core members, but they didn't have replacements for them being developed.

Then foamies exploded on the scene. True toy airplanes with instant results. Buy today, fly today, crash today, trash today - all in the Harbor Freight parking lot. Who needs a club?

The days of experienced, committed modelers - the core of a club's existence - are increasingly behind us. There is not a lot of stability in many clubs today - and it's difficult to get quality officers in many clubs. This, coupled with urban sprawl and land use issues, threatens the existence of many clubs. It's hard to get much done with half a dozen active members. The newest club in the area - comprised of electric flyers - lasted less than two years before losing their site. Now they get together and fly wherever they can find, but are no longer a club.

Twenty years ago, the original local club needed to raise funds quickly for a paving project. Fifteen members ponied up ten years dues each and became Life Members, and we got the project done. Of those fifteen, I am the last still active with the club - and I'm no longer flying. It was a hard decision to make, leaving this hobby, and it took a year to sell off/give away/throw away the stuff I'd accumulated over the most recent stretch of modeling (23 years this time). Other interests began to crowd out modeling for me in 2005, and it finally got to be stressful rather than fun for me. I am not alone in that regard.

There are currently four clubs in this area that have club fields, all on leased land. I believe it would be very difficult for any of them to relocate if circumstances change, as they all are suffering from declines in core members. As those committed, experienced modelers leave the hobby (regardless of reason), the less-committed, less-experienced ones are forced into leadership roles - and the general membership lacks the committment to fly at club events, much less show up for a work day or help raise funds.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:22 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

Our club has 20 members on the roster, down from 50 just a few years ago. We have a core of 6 members or so that do everything for the club. We have accepted our role because we still need the dues from the other members to keep it going. We do all the field maintenance, we are the officers and plan all the events. It is a role we have accepted if we want to keep our field.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:50 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: RC_Fanatic

Went out to the field this morning. Perfect flying day light wind right down the runway. Two years ago there would have been half a dozen flyers. Today - I'm out there alone. Is it the economy, is it the cultural change, or is it just that it's too much of an effort to go out to the field? Sad.


The picture at my "patch" is very similar ... fewer flyers than expected.

However, I do know that many of the "regulars" fly at other venues. Some of them have formed their own micro-clubs - something which was practically impossible until the advent of the electric park flyer.

It's a shame, I suppose. I certainly miss the camaraderie of a packed venue, but I can fully understand why people would choose to stay away from the regular flying sites.


With regard to the loss of flying sites .... seems to be a cultural problem that we share. It's the culture of collectivism, I'm afraid, which denies the existence of personal liberties and insists that all property is held for the common good. I think that many flyers take the easy route and, instead of fighting the bureaucrats, they try to slip from beneath their gaze.

For instance, a club near me has just been ordered to abide by a 70dB noise limit. This is an incredibly low level ... and all on the strength of ONE complaint to the local Council. Comparatively few electric models can meet a 70dB limit; so the club is guaranteed to wither and die. It already lost all its petrol engines, a couple of years ago, when an 80dB limit was imposed.

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Old 10-02-2012, 10:03 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

It almost becomes a feeling of desertion as I see past flying buddies giving it up! Being honest, I really don't like the foamy invasion for a couple of reasons, 1) Some, not all, are much more careless when other more expensive birds are in the air and will more than likely be the one to fly directly in your flight path because they have very little to lose! 2)There is a challange to building(kit) or assembling an arf where a engine has to be mounted, servo's and linkages installed and a complete radio and wiring system put into the plane! 3) I have a hard enough time seeing my 30cc planes, let alone, a little tiny toy foamy! 4) Bringing a kit built or assembled arf to the field and flying it successfully gives me a sense of accomplishment that I could never get from rtf foamy! Personally, I would be embarrased to bring a toy foamy to the field! I'm glad to have the foamy guys at the field to add to the head count, but would prefer wood or composite planes! If it was mainly foamies when I got into the hobby, I wouldn't have lasted long because the "cool factor would have evaporated quickly and I would have been onto something else! I was taught as a child when we were the greatest country in the world, to reach for the stars, and not for some mass produced, rtf, toy foamy! I hope that I haven't offended anyone, but if I have, sorry about your luck!
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:05 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: mscic-RCU

Our club has 20 members on the roster, down from 50 just a few years ago. We have a core of 6 members or so that do everything for the club. We have accepted our role because we still need the dues from the other members to keep it going. We do all the field maintenance, we are the officers and plan all the events. It is a role we have accepted if we want to keep our field.
The good 'ol 20% rule alive and well. If you ever get a higher percentage in any group,club, etc...consider yourself very lucky ! It's a tough job to motivate people but it can be done and the club will be better off for it.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:16 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

Eddie, your presence at the field is greatly missed and I hope to see you out there this weekend! If you do come out drag your brother along with his 260 or reactor!
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:53 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?

Bogbeagle, with the mass immigration that the UK has allowed I'm sure all your flying fields are being encroached up on. I have a 50cc Sbach with a canister muffler and it is very quiet, but I'm sure the prop noise is above 70db. I kinda don't like not being able to hear my plane over the smaller glow planes, but am thankful for the DA 50 in it that has never produced a dead stick! I hope to get the 116 katana out this weekend and I have had reports of people hearing it in the next county over, I'm kidding, but it is definatly LOUD! I guess we are lucky that both our fields are located way out in the country!
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:07 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: dirtybird

There used to be a rule. You had to build the airplane you entered in the contest. Whatever happened to that?
That's a great rule. Which one of the following builds would satisfy that rule:

1. building from scratch?
2. building a kit?
3. building an ARF?

I assume that #3, building an ARF, would violate the rule.



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Old 10-02-2012, 11:28 AM
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Default RE: The times, they are a changin! Say it ain't so Joe?


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ORIGINAL: dirtybird

There used to be a rule. You had to build the airplane you entered in the contest. Whatever happened to that?
Neither builder wanted to compete...
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