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  1. #1

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    EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    Over the years i have followed RC with such passion and it strikes me as many other have also. But i have somewhat felt that it.s becoming a market that may some how become extinct due to such costings of produce marketing shipping etc
    Shame that this maybe the case for at present the chinese market seem s to be on a surge of mass production some of good quality product and some of poor quality which somewhat endangers our markets of our own produce would any one agree or diagree

  2. #2

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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    For my money, give me a well thought out woody kit that I can build myself. I have no interest in mass produced kits be they from china or where ever. Sure, even with a wood kit it takes time and money to bring it to market. The benefit of a wood kit to me is that you get the satisfaction of seeing something YOU built take to the air. I feel that the current world of ARF models (of all types, not just sailplanes) is costing us the pleasure of building it ourselves and passing along the skills needed to do such a project to the next generation. I for one would rather have it done right, not done right now.

  3. #3

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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    well having just completed 2 scratch built kits and thorouly enjoyed every moment ARF models are a no no for me

  4. #4

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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    I too am an avid scratch and kit builder, and I have ARFs. ARFs bring the hobby to many that wouldn't otherwise be able to enjoy flying so I feel they serve a niche. Take the $60 Tower Vista for instance. It has introduced many, including myself, to sailplanes. At least a dozen power fliers in our club have bought Vistas and are learning how to thermal. Some are happy with just their $60 ARF glider. Some, including myself, have become sailplane rabid and are buying up kits and plans, studying thermal dynamics and airfoils.

    Whether you feel it's good or bad, ARFs are here and bringing R/C flying to many that have no building skills, it's a wonder some can even assemble their planes. And all in all you really can't build a plane as cheaply as you can buy an ARF and it frees up more time for flying.

    We builders will always build just because we enjoy it. Some even build and don't fly. ARFs are here for those that do not enjoy building or just don't have the time. Once the imperial federal government finishes wrecking the dollar we may not be able to afford Chinese ARFs anyway.

    Rick
    \"Dinosaurs are extinct because they didn\'\'t have a space program, support US space exploration\"

  5. #5
    OzMo's Avatar
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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    you can allways switch to Bass Fishing. $20,000.00 for a decent boat for starters....
    At least this is what I will tell the wife when she sees the bill for a new radio
    Yes dear, I did glue my hand to the airplane to keep from dropping it.

  6. #6
    Moderator BMatthews's Avatar
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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    Are you kidding? The cost of radios has fallen like a sinking ship while radio capability and reliability has soared to new heights. And let's not even touch on the way that electic motor drive systems have gotten exponentially better almost year by year while coming down in cost to where electrics are now cheaper than glow options for the most part.

    The ONLY part that I can see that might be making things more costly for soaring is the almost mandatory purchase of a high dollar molded sailplane if one wants to fly seriously in competition. And yeah, THOSE are not cheap. But even there the cost isn't that crazy these days. A high zoot molded plane is around $1000 once the dust settles. If I were to buy, build and finish three similar size open class balsa kits the cost would be about the same when the dust settled.

    On the other hand when it comes to entry level and sport flying level sailplanes the ARF's are no more expensive than buying a kit and the accesories needed to finish and cover it.

    Granted, in some areas that are not sailplane related the cost of this hobby CAN be high indeed. Turbojet engines and the whole classification of model that they spawned are a perfect example of this. And some of the bigger giant scale stuff certainly crosses that line as well. But that's a whole other issue. The vast majority of model flyers will never move on to those extreme machines. To just go and fly I honestly don't think it has ever been easier or less expensive.

    So I guess I'm a little puzzled when you say that you find the costs of this hobby are climbing out of control.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  7. #7

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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    I was confused when reading the opening post. I think he means to say that some mass produced ARFs are of poor quality and others are not== but they are all cheap and flooding the market which makes domestically produced offerengs non-competitive.

    I agree with BMatthews. Unless you're competing, you are free to get your feet wet at reasonable prices in the soaring arena. All it takes is a little guidance to avoid the "bad ARfs".

    Once you get your bearings you can decide which niche of soaring you really like, and then there are a lot of cottage shops which produce planes (worldwide, including the US) that are better than what the big companies are doing. The only danger with these is that many are small businesses which offer things that may not be around for long so if you see something you like, it's good to buy it while you can.

    (there's a subtle warning there that you may end up with a basement FULL of unbuilt kits!) [X(]
    Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling a pig. Everyone gets dirty and the pig likes it.

  8. #8
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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY


    All hobbies cost as much money as you can pump into them.

    If RC airplanes are too expensive you can always get into stamp collecting.

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  9. #9
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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    I'll make that guy an offer, how's 24 cents sound?

  10. #10

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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    I've been in this hobby for 38 years and I can say ARFs are here to stay. Like BMatthews at the sport and certainly the entry level ARFs have made a positive impact. Cost wise for the regular Joe beginner or sport flier the cost of the building from a kit is actually more that assembling an ARF, considering glue, covering, tools, the motor or engine, and skill necessary to put it together. I still build when I have the space and time and I have a few scale models of contest grade. I would never tell a beginner to go out and build from a kit, put a month of work into it and expect him not to be nervous when flying. I tell the person interested in flying to go out buy yourself a foam trainer like a Easy Star, get a decent radio you can use in your next airplane, a couple of battery packs, and a field charger, a roll of packing tape to fix your crashes at the field. Find yourself an instructor and go for it. There will always be a place for those who build but when someone can't, there are the ARFs.

  11. #11

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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    In electrics, I've noticed it's the battery price. Somewhat less for the motors and the ESCs.
    For non-powered planes, batteries are relatively cheap per flight hour, but when I look at something like pattern, where the battery(s) go for $300 or so each, and the high end planes will carry two of them every flight... And one can lose ALL of that in one crash.. I don't do high end powered flight!
    It would like having to buy all the glow fuel you would need for the life of the plane the first day, rather than a gallon at a time.
    You won't lose what's left in the fuel jug when you crash.
    The burned cells were tossed from the plane in flight. We're lucky we didn't have a full-blown grass fire!
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    Sparky Paul
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  12. #12

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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    You know Its pretty cheap considering, just having a harley lets say, runs into alot of money, and its dangerous out there anymore. Just about anything cost money take boats, fishing licence, insurance, registration. more and more goverment fees and controls. Add it all up, and rc planes are really the best bang for the buck, why just staying home and building saves you money, but ya its money, less if you know what your doing. I wish I could find away to make a living at it, then it proberly whouldnt be fun anymore. Whats cost me more so far is not knowing which direction, planes and equipment to buy.

  13. #13

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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    I've purchased a few ARFs and it has made me aware that I can build a plane. I'm now considering actually building a plane from scratch. This would have never happened without having had first purchased an ARF plane.

  14. #14
    Moderator BMatthews's Avatar
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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    Good for you SVR! You're in for a real treat and lots of self satisfaction.

    As much as I detest ARF's I have to admit that it has made the hobby of FLYING grow in leaps and bounds. However it has hurt the hobby of building but maybe not as badly as some of the doomsayers may think. Many of the folks that just wanted to fly used to either look at the work and time needed to get in the air and take up golf. Others would persevere and buy a kit but do the rock bottom minimum needed to put it together. And this showed. Many were the trash can candidates flying the skies at the hands of impatient "builders". So in a way our hobby hasn't LOST anything. Instead it's gained folks that are being exposed to the need for crafting repairs and that see what is inside and perhaps get the confidence they need to man up and decide to take the plunge into building their own from plans.

    Welcome to the fold. Upon seeing proof of your first build you'll receive a packet from the Model Builder's Institute containing your certificate, Brotherhood ring artfully swaged from discarded #11 blades and an instructional DVD describing the secret handshake....
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  15. #15

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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    From a more philosophical point of view, when ARFs first came out, I thought they would ruin the "quality" of people the RC (airplane) hobby attracts.

    I mean, compared to a lot of hobbies in which people can simply "buy their way into," crafting airplanes was always an area that took these qualities to succeed:

    1) an appreciation for the creative process
    2) dedication
    3) willingness to learn (and help others)

    A craftsman must have these positive character traits.

    This means you really had skimmed the cream of humanity so to speak when clubs and SIGs formed. Model clubs were always the sort of places you felt at home. You could count on folks returning lost items (to complete strangers), and people going out of their way to help. Granted there are exceptions, and many (if not most) clubs today are still this way. But I think it takes one longer to reaize this appreciation nowadays.

    Also, when people crashed their planes, the majority of people who understood what it takes to make such a thing fly would always sympathize, and NOT look forward to crashes like NASCAR fans do. I'm not saying NASCAR fans are bad people, but they probably really don't have appreciation for the losses involved. Sure, crashes are spectacular, and as long as nobody gets hurt, they're amazing and almost fun to watch. But in the airplane hobby, it's a lot easier to laugh and care less crashing an arf you didn't build.

    The only thing left in the instant ARF world along these lines for me is the fact that people who aspire to succeed in R/C flight will often have appreciation for the difficulity involved, so there is still dedication and a willingness to learn. The very nature of flight itself inspires, and that usually keeps axe murderers out of our ranks. So I'm seeing a lot of people buying ARFs in my club, and if they stick around a few years, we end up with the same quality of folk we used to have anyway. It's just the "hazing period" is a little longer.

    Now, without the creative process needed to create the things involved, what is left is skills of integration >> also a good thing to have and refine.

    Hobbies are good in general for weeding out shall we say , "undesireables." But I always thought R/C airplanes (and SOARING in particular) had the sort of people I wanted to hang around with most.
    Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling a pig. Everyone gets dirty and the pig likes it.

  16. #16

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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    I have to be the devils advocate here. I fly warmliners/hotliners. You cant build these up, they are sold only in Arf form(due to their contruction materials of CF and kevlar. Like any other commodity or hobby, there is crap and quality. Crappy Stereos,crappy cars, crappy sporting equipment and all these have the expensive side of the spectrum.
    Crummy arf stuff at least can get you into the hobby.
    When I was twelve my first flying model was from Cox. It was crap. My parents took me to a big RC airfield to get some help flying it. Most of the members avoided me and the cheapie airplane but one gentleman took it up and gave me the controls. The whole field watched, even the grumpy old men who believed planes should be hand crafted and made of balsa, not plastic and foam. Soon after that I went from a decent .60 trainer arf and later a built up eagle II. Many years later after a 15 year hiatus I am back in flying powered sailplanes.
    The Arfs get you started, you get involved, start looking over forum,s learn from club members etc and then you realize the full potential of this great hobby. If you dont do this you realize the hobby is not for you, weeding out the wrong people pretty quickly, usually after crashing their ebay model on the first day
    If it werent for Arf's and even cheapies, the hobby's participants would be fractional I believe.
    One day I\'ll call myself a pilot

  17. #17

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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY


    ORIGINAL: austintyler


    The Arfs get you started, you get involved, start looking over forum,s learn from club members etc and then you realize the full potential of this great hobby. If you dont do this you realize the hobby is not for you, weeding out the wrong people pretty quickly, usually after crashing their ebay model on the first day
    If it werent for Arf's and even cheapies, the hobby's participants would be fractional I believe.

    Well said !!!


    Rick
    \"Dinosaurs are extinct because they didn\'\'t have a space program, support US space exploration\"

  18. #18
    DeferredDefect's Avatar
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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    I do not agree that this is an expensive hobby. Someone can get aquality glow trainer with all the required bits for a 100 dollarsused!  The two models I am currently flying (Goldberg Cub and Eagle 2 on floats) were picked up at a yardsale for 20 dollars Canadian + a 4 ch Futaba radio, K&B 60, Thundertiger 40 and 6o Pro engines, 8 servos, and an unfinished Balsa USA Taube!
    THE Best garage sale ever.
    "Any landing you can walk away from probably wasn't that exciting to watch"
    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #8

  19. #19
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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    This hobby is as expensive as you make it. Build from kits or scratch and save or buy an ARF and pay more. Go small and save or go big and bend over. I have seen some real deals (except in scale sailplanes) in the RC industry. Who would have thought you could have a tiny little full function heli that weighs less than 2oz for under $200. I will complete my Rodent R3 from a kit for under $400 which includes all the sandpaper I went through building it. I also will finish my PAU (AFR) Sukhoi for $1750 and I will enjoy both. I've seen so many that spend so much more on firearms, snowmobiles, dirt riding or even Koi Fish in a single year than my entire annual RC budget.
    Will fly for food

  20. #20
    planebuilder66's Avatar
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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    What's a budget?

  21. #21

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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    How about Tigers hobby now thats expensive.

  22. #22
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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    WHO WOULD PAY 200,000 DOLLARS FOR A STAMP!?!?!

    [X(]


    "Any landing you can walk away from probably wasn't that exciting to watch"
    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #8

  23. #23
    Bundubasher's Avatar
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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY


    ORIGINAL: davey53

    Over the years i have followed RC with such passion and it strikes me as many other have also. But i have somewhat felt that it.s becoming a market that may some how become extinct due to such costings of produce marketing shipping etc
    Shame that this maybe the case for at present the chinese market seem s to be on a surge of mass production some of good quality product and some of poor quality which somewhat endangers our markets of our own produce would any one agree or diagree
    Yes, probably true, but what is the cost of a Porsche or a Harley Davidson or two if you are a "petrolhead"? Compared to other interests such as above - or a gun collector, the RC hobby is still not too bad if you purchase your rc stuff wisely...... just a thought.
    My experience is that continental drift sometimes causes the Earth to jump up and knock a plane out of the sky......

  24. #24
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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    the bang u get for your buck is a lot more these days than when I first started, and some of our gear is much improved upon to boot. While I will agree that a lot of the chinese junk should be scrapped, there is also some quality gear too. I used to shot a lot, and I owned 2 weatherby mk5 rifles with eupold scopes, I did my own reloading of sels and that certainly wasnt cheap to say the least, those 2 rifles cost me more than my sports car at the time, in todays values the equivalent of a top class 40% aerobatic plane each. But as has ben said, you put into your hobby what you want. I know I find todays prices a lot easier to bare
    think outside the square? what square?

  25. #25
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    RE: EXPENSIVE HOBBY

    I actually must say this, the kit prices have jumped the most in the last 2-3 years due to cost to manufacture and the demand for kits have gone down, so to make the profit margin on a kit production run, the retail price has to go up. But as far as engines, radios, accessories and covering, it has all gone down, I was given a box from one of my friends, he wanted me to repair and finish off his GP p-51 he bought back in '95. I looked at the supertigre box and the price tag said 145.00, I just looked at him and said did we actually spend that much for the engines back then? He said no, we got a deal on them because we bought a plane and radio, they knocked off about 35 bucks for that. I can now buy 2 supertigre 40's for the price I bought one back then. As far as radios go, you can buy a 8 channel 2,4 radio from airtronics now for under 200 bucks and buy 4 or 5 std servos from them for about 25-30 bucks. Prices have gone down alot, but the quality of some of the entry level equipment is worse than in the early 90's. Let's face it, you can get a tower vista RTF that is almost the same thing as the GP pririt for a fraction of building the kit and outfitting it. It's a good entry sailplane that will teach many how to fly and maybe encourage them to broaden thier horizions and seek a better plane ARF or Kit. Im'm done bashing ARF's, I prefer to build, but once in a while, you just need something to throw in the air and theARF fit's the bill.


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