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Old 08-12-2018, 02:20 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL, USA
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Though I have not competed in a couple of years I still practice F3A P19 regularly. I will speak to the upper two classes as I am not sure if my comments apply below Masters though they may to pattern as a whole.I believe F3A F schedule has become too hard for the average hobbyist even if you are into pattern and grew to the classes through the years. In the pacific NW we used to solve that by only flying the P though I am not sure if they still do that.The airframes themselves have become too complicated with T cannalizers and biplanes and sometimes additional aerodynamic surfaces. With their fat fuselages they look like overblown indoor 3D foamies. I still fly a Valiant and personally see it as the sweet spot between the classic pattern airplanes and the current designs. Maybe outlaw biplanes and T cannalizers? So all compete with the same basic monoplane set-up.The RC hobby as a whole has suffered. Youth has way less interest these days then when I grew up (I am 56). Add to that the drone invasion, computer games, an iPhones, by making it harder airframe-wise in pattern we may be making it prohibitive for youth to want to get into the game. Remember when pattern airplanes were sleek and sexy? Like the Mach 1, Blue Angel, and Troublemaker? I used to stare at the pictures in RC Modeler and Model Airplane News.I do not think cost is the main problem, as IMAC is alive and well. Maybe a few more invitational events like the TOC as others mentioned. Just to spike more interest and market pattern. My thoughts are for the youth and new blood we need. Though I tried none of my 3 kids (2 boys and 1 girl) had an interest in RC.And pattern will always be a small % of the RC population. It is the way it is.