if you build your own plane , you know whats inside it , you dont have to guess
I understand this sentiment, yet I have some reservation about it. Knowing what is inside the plane has never really been an issue for me. It just doesn't concern me much at all. If there were an issue of pride in building excellence or something along those lines then it would have to be built by me and flown by me and I understand.
In the big scheme I have yet to even open up a wing on any of my planes to see the structure beneath, except for fixing a plane that was crashed or maybe some covering repair or other repairs/fixes that were needed. I had a fellow flyer crash an AW 260 Extra and I took it home and rebuilt it. That was the only time that I really saw the inside of ARF wings. I did have a kit plane I bought already assembled and I recoverd it and saw the inside structure. In either case it really did not have any real weight in my mind.
Some of the guys I fly with are die-hard builders and once in a while you will see them fly an ARF just because they wanted a model that they did not want to take the time to build. One thing I noticed is that have commented much more about how ARFs have improved and are strong for the weight. When you see guys being extremely hard on ARFs and watching how well they stand up under the pressure that does speak for itself.
There seems to be a large chasm between builders/flyers and ARF flyers and it is odd to me. One club I fly at has predominately ARF flyers, the other club is predominately flies home built and there is not much center ground. I think the ARF guys are envious of the home builders talent at times. Some of the build guys I know can cover a plane and it looks like it was dipped in paint with baked on finish - extremely well done planes and you have to have a magnifying glass to see the lines.
I am really beginning to think there is a ''best of both worlds'' here and it is well worth utilizing both sides and this will lend itself to a much more enjoyable experience.
Oh, BTW, is it possible to buy a good 300 Extra or like style kit today at around 300-400 dollars and get something that is decent?