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ARFS + Diluted Interest in this Hobby.

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ARFS + Diluted Interest in this Hobby.

Old 07-29-2014, 05:30 PM
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combatpigg
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Default ARFS + Diluted Interest in this Hobby.

The predominance of ARFs have diluted my interest in this hobby.
Thankfully the ARF and RTF movement is several years away from causing waning interest in restoring antique and classic cars and motorcycles.
Where is the sense of pride and accomplishment when you ONLY glue 2 wing halves together..?
LOL.
Old 07-29-2014, 05:57 PM
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I find the number of builders at the clubs I am associated with as well as the one's I have visited all over the eastern US to be about the same as when I first started in this hobby forty years ago. Back then there were far, far, fewer members as well which would be no where near enough to support a fields expenses of today. So I am thankful for any member regardless of interest.

Last edited by acerc; 07-29-2014 at 05:59 PM.
Old 07-29-2014, 07:03 PM
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combatpigg
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It must just be a regional thing. Several local club fields here have finally shut down. During the years that lead up to the demise of these fields, I lost interest in showing up just to see what "So & So" had recent bought with their PayPal accounts.
I used to spend a lot of time at the field and was often rewarded when folks showed up with home built, original works of art.
There used to be so much excitement over a club member's maiden flight of a completely original design.
In these parts there has not been any sort of collusion or conspiracy to lose interest in this hobby, but it has undeniably happened.
Old 07-29-2014, 08:24 PM
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Basically, there are two groups of RC flyers. Those that get enjoyment from spending months building planes, and those that are more interested in flying them.
When I was much younger, before ARF's were common, you had no choice. Later, in the 1970's some early RC ARFs were available.
The first ARF I put together in about 1975 was called a Cavalier, a low wing pattern plane using a Supertiger 56 and a Heathkit 72 mhz single stick 8 channel radio.

Remembering my difficulties from the old days, when the opportunity arose, I bought a "butcherblock" 3" thick benchtop that is flat.
I used to hate trying to build up wings, and find out that they had warped during the build process, due to warped building boards, and
non uniform balsa. Some of the kits wood quality was so bad that you ended up buying decent balsa, and remaking parts, such as wing ribs.

I was told that the builders of tankers had bought up all the high quality balsa and cork to use for insulation. Seems that LNG and "heavy oil"
required refrigeration for LNG and heat for heavy oil. Foam insulation seems to have become the more modern solution.

Last edited by chuckk2; 07-29-2014 at 08:33 PM.
Old 07-30-2014, 07:14 PM
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IMHO, it's all in where your own interests lie. I'm pretty much the only flier in this area - which is truly the ultimate bummer - but I build and fly that which interests ME. Somebody shows up with an ARF, I'm OK with that. Somebody shows up with a $$$$ scale plane that he's spent 5 years building, that's OK too. Most all my planes started as kits - several of them are more than 40 years old and still flying EVERY WEEK (including today). I build my own planes because that's how it was done when I started (59 years ago) with airplanes. Because I build them, I know how to fix them on those rare occasions that one needs fixing. But, to me, a plane is there to be flown. How it came to be doesn't matter.

If you're losing interest because someone elses interests don't match your own, that kinda seems rather sad to me.
Old 07-30-2014, 08:46 PM
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to me it's just human nature, I've seen this in other hobbies as well, belonged to a classic chevy car club, owners of 55,56 and 57 chevys and those who took their cars completely apart then put them back by themselves have a tendency to look down upon someone who paid to have their car restored or someone who bought a car already restored.
Old 07-31-2014, 12:15 AM
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IMHO, its a question of how much spare time you have. Seven years back when I started flying, ARFs were already the rage. I tried my hand at building a US40+ but realised that there are a certain amount of skills you pick up by working with an instructor that I couldn't get by myself. I did finish the airplane with help but haven't built anything since. Mostly, this is because working guys don't really get the time to build their own stuff. My buddy who is in college did a lot of designing and building for various competitions but I found it impossible to keep up with his schedule. So I fly ARFs mostly these days

Ameyam
Old 07-31-2014, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ameyam View Post
IMHO, its a question of how much spare time you have. Seven years back when I started flying, ARFs were already the rage. I tried my hand at building a US40+ but realised that there are a certain amount of skills you pick up by working with an instructor that I couldn't get by myself. I did finish the airplane with help but haven't built anything since. Mostly, this is because working guys don't really get the time to build their own stuff. My buddy who is in college did a lot of designing and building for various competitions but I found it impossible to keep up with his schedule. So I fly ARFs mostly these days

Ameyam
I'm not buying your argument.

Building is a choice. I worked 50 hours a week, had 5 kids and a house. I found time to build.
Old 07-31-2014, 02:47 AM
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sensei
 
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Originally Posted by TomCrump View Post
I'm not buying your argument.

Building is a choice. I worked 50 hours a week, had 5 kids and a house. I found time to build.
I don't buy it either, in my position at work I currently put in 12 hour days 5 days a week and have done so for the last 8 years. I design, scratch build and fly what I take to the field, so what I have found is that I must make time to do so, as Tom says, building is a choice, not a better choice then assembling and flying an ARF, but a just a choice.

Bob
Old 07-31-2014, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by skylark-flier View Post
But, to me, a plane is there to be flown. How it came to be doesn't matter.

If you're losing interest because someone elses interests don't match your own, that kinda seems rather sad to me.
Amen to that. Me, I like to build things, but I also like flying too. My time is limited, so I rather be flying. Most of my planes are ARF, but I do have quite a few kits.
Old 07-31-2014, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by combatpigg View Post
The predominance of ARFs have diluted my interest in this hobby.
Thankfully the ARF and RTF movement is several years away from causing waning interest in restoring antique and classic cars and motorcycles.
Where is the sense of pride and accomplishment when you ONLY glue 2 wing halves together..?
LOL.
WOW ! Starting to hear more and more about this subject and can not disagree. I myself started building balsa model planes at the age of 8 years old and now going on 72 years old. When I started building RC models, I either gave them away or sold them as I was not that interested in flying them. But later on I decided that if I was going to build them, I might as well learn how to fly them, thus I did. Then the " ARF's " came along and getting into the air became much quicker and easier. BUT !! After many years of " ASSEMBLING " ARF's, I am ready to get back into the hobby that I loved best and that is " building " model airplanes.

Yes, I will most likely always have an ARF in my hangar and be flying them. But, now I also have a BALSA USA Eindecker " KIT " waiting to be put on the " building " table as this coming winters project.

The world is changing and people say that you can never go back. Guess, I will prove them wrong !
Old 07-31-2014, 06:13 AM
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Been messing with this stuff a long time too, so I'll admit to the fact my interest occasionally wanes. It's generally not too big a deal, but I did take 15 years off to go play with full scale! Also wandered in and out of heli's a few times.

I go back and forth ARF vs. scratch built. If I can find something I want, that matches or comes close to the numbers I'm looking for in an ARF I go for it. If not, I build it! Certainly not going to look down regarding what others are flying. All I really care about is that they ARE flying!

For the OP, don't worry about it. It's not worth it. If you're loosing interest, so be it. Go find something else to do for a while. You'll eventually come back, or maybe not? Maybe you'll find something that's much more interesting. Please though, do us a favor? Try not to take others out with you? This would be an awful lot like sharing your bad day, to the point those around you have one as well? We're all entitled to having one, but sharing it? That's a different mater.... That doesn't make your day any better, and does you no good if others catch your mood.
Old 07-31-2014, 08:04 AM
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Scratch building or building from a kit will never die but those who do are becoming less in number. Reminds me of the day when people made their own clothes. Our hobby has progressed at an alarming rate brought about by outsourcing our industry and making all things related affordable to the average hobbyist. One thing that will never change is the person behind the sticks.
Old 07-31-2014, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by flycatch View Post
Scratch building or building from a kit will never die but those who do are becoming less in number. Reminds me of the day when people made their own clothes. Our hobby has progressed at an alarming rate brought about by outsourcing our industry and making all things related affordable to the average hobbyist. One thing that will never change is the person behind the sticks.
I fly at one club that has mostly ARFs and at another club that has mostly builders. You might say I see the best of both worlds. I find that both can be respected and thoroughly enjoyed. I don't build (I have repaired a few that were BAD but I like to see the planes that folks build and I appreciate the hard work they put into them.

I may build one sometime down the road, however I am not sure whether I will. My favorite thing is flying and not building. I fly ARFs because that allows me to do what I like the most about the hobby and that is flying.
Old 07-31-2014, 08:46 AM
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[QUOTE=skylark-flier;11851883............

If you're losing interest because someone elses interests don't match your own, that kinda seems rather sad to me.[/QUOTE]

Yes it is sad, but I will not deny that it is the truth. Going to the field used to be much more of an adventure and our local clubs were fraternities of builders, designers, experimenters, competitors, artisans, craftsmen, innovators, etc. This has all but dried up and blown away, at least in this immediate area. This area used to be absolutely TEEMING with RC aviation activity with 5 extremely active AMA fields within a 30 mile circle.
Much of what I used to enjoy didn't come from just what I built and flew, but also from witnessing the accomplishments of others.
Old 07-31-2014, 10:08 AM
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I don't have any opinion either way. I also have been in the hobby for around 40 years. I love to build but on occasion I need something quick to fly so an arf fills the bill. I recently had a very hard landing with my TF giant P51 and totally knocked out the landing gear and a little damage on the wings. Now, referring back to my building experience, I was able to duplicate the landing gear mounting blocks and ribs and make it as good as new. I also was able to repair the small dents in the wing. I don't know what I guy that only flies ARFs would do in this position except maybe pay someone like me to fix it. It seems to be a question about not only time but does this flyer want to invest in the tools needed to build or repair a model. Us builders already have the tools so it's a no brainier. I love the building aspect of the hobby, it makes it complete for me.
Old 07-31-2014, 10:34 AM
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I like to build as much as the next guy that likes to build. Here's my problem. Most of the aircraft I want to fly are not available in kit form. Or if they are for another $50 dollars I can get it as an ARF. Why buy the kit, spend for me 6 months to a years to build it and have an airplane that cost me more than the ARF. What's different? The color scheme. I have bought a couple of ARFs and stripped them down and recovered them. This helped my builder side but it's not he same.

I guess what it comes down to is I like flying extremely aerobatic airplane. The manufactures find there is more money in ARFs of these airplanes than kits. So that is what they are going to produce. I've been in this hobby to long and enjoy it to much to give it up because the other flyers at the field are flying only ARFs. So I've been searching Flea Markets and Auctions to fine kits of airplane that I like to fly and are not available in ARF format. I'm finishing up a Dalotel that I found at a Flea Market. It's going to be real fun when I get to the field and am asked where I got that ARF. Can't wait to see the looks when I tell them is was an ARB. For Almost Ready To Build.
Old 07-31-2014, 11:46 AM
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Too many of these types of threads. Fly if you like to fly and build if you like to build and leave the whining to turbines. I go to the field to meet up with my buddies and have a good time and really care less what they fly. Most of us have so much else going on in the way of work, family and other hobbies that even finding time to fly can be challenging. I'm willing to bet that most of you older builders didn't have a wife who worked, so you had time to build when you got home because your clothes were washed and dinner was cooked and the house cleaned, etc. Not so for the younger guys whose wife also works and both have to share all the chores and kids activities. As I like to say I fly arfs to practice my crashing and build for fun and to have something that is a little different .
Old 07-31-2014, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ameyam View Post
IMHO, its a question of how much spare time you have. Seven years back when I started flying, ARFs were already the rage. I tried my hand at building a US40+ but realised that there are a certain amount of skills you pick up by working with an instructor that I couldn't get by myself. I did finish the airplane with help but haven't built anything since. Mostly, this is because working guys don't really get the time to build their own stuff. My buddy who is in college did a lot of designing and building for various competitions but I found it impossible to keep up with his schedule. So I fly ARFs mostly these days

Ameyam
to me it's just human nature, I've seen this in other hobbies as well, belonged to a classic chevy car club, owners of 55,56 and 57 chevys and those who took their cars completely apart then put them back by themselves have a tendency to look down upon someone who paid to have their car restored or someone who bought a car already restored.

I'm going to respond to the 2nd quote first - - I'm old enough, and set enough in my ways that I'm getting rather tired of the "children" in this country trying to tell me that I've been wrong for the past nearly 70 years. GROW UP PEOPLE!!!!!! Some people like to do things one way, some like to do it another - it's a simple fact of life. Anybody who "looks down" on anyone else, for any reason at all, needs to have their values corrected. Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY has the complete right to do anything they choose in any manner they choose - as long as it's moral and legal.

End of response to that point.

Now, my response to the first part: I'm not buying it. I've never bought it, and I never will. "I don't have the time" - been hearing it all my life, and it's CRAP! I started learning about airplanes when I was 7 yrs old. By the time I was in high school I was designing my own, building them, flying them - successfully. I spent 22 years in the military (which is a 24/7/365 kind of life), which included raising a family in a dozen places around the world. I followed that by another full career of 25 years, plus raising and training horses, plus community work, plus taking care of my own properties, AND I STILL HAD/HAVE TIME TO BUILD, FLY AND FIX MY OWN PLANES, plus repairing those of others who never learned how to do it.

Don't tell me you don't have the time. It's a cop-out. The simple fact is that you don't have the incentive. If you did, you'd find the time.

Last edited by skylark-flier; 08-01-2014 at 01:21 AM.
Old 07-31-2014, 12:33 PM
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The hobby is declining, sad but that's the fact. Skills/craftsmanship in building and flying aren't as popular as they were back in the day. The space program is in decline, in the 60's it aroused much interest in kids and they pursued their aviation & science interests. Most young folks are only interested in a quad with a camera it seems...

I still love to build, but I also own ARFs that were never available as kits (Tango, profile EF Edge, etc.) . I also use nitro, gas and e-power, all have their place.

Thank gosh for the non-flying members in our club, their majority makes it possible for us minority fliers to have a great site upon which to fly!
Old 07-31-2014, 12:41 PM
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I also disagree.the hobby is big enough to accommodate lots of diversiti have uilt kits and assembled arf type aircraflkke anything else there are descent arfs o the market and I have done boti recently built a sig liberty sport.i have another kit I intend to build later this fall.Just because you don't build and bought an arf doesn't dilute the hobby sadly what's hurting g this hobby the rumblings with fpv stuff.
Old 07-31-2014, 02:05 PM
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I just test flew my brand spanking new Aeroworks Checkmate yesterday. I've always built my own planes and in the last year I've purchased 20+ kits (full and short kits). So I have no intention of not building.

I put a lot of work into the Checkmate. Most of it was because it's the most complicated radio setup I've ever had and I have a radio that's new to me and the instructions suck. So a lot of hours were spent erasing the model and starting over.

Then there's the part where I've never owned a gas plane before. I've built them for others but the details of getting it all working was their deal. I just installed the stuff without really understanding how it all works. So that was a learning curve.

Anyway, it took me far longer than the 12 hours Aeroworks states.

But the plane isn't really "mine". I own it. I assembled it. It's a beautiful model. But it's not really mine. I bought it. I didn't create it. I'll still enjoy flying the hell out of it because it flies great. It's a kitten in the air with the potential to be an insane beast.

But having built so many planes - probably more than half from scratch with no plans - this is just different. I don't see that I'll ever see this plane as really being mine no matter how long I own it or fly it. Too soon to really say that probably.

And before you ask, no, you can't have it. It's mine.
Old 07-31-2014, 02:13 PM
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By the way, I think what's hurting the hobby is the damage done by yahoos who buy their way into it too easily, couldn't care less about the hobby, behave badly and then move along.

Seems a lot of manufacturers and hobby shops are targeting their advertising to people saying they need no skill, no knowledge and can have something from the store into the air in a few hours. And that's true.

Most people probably legitimately want to give it a shot, think they'll enjoy it and if they succeed they become an integral part of our hobby.

But there are just enough bozos out there who do the stupidest things imaginable and they do it in front of a lot of people and then post it on YouTube. Maybe they have so much money they don't care if their new toy gets destroyed. I don't know what they're thinking exactly but if you advertise that you don't need any commitment to succeed then you're going to get a lot of people who aren't committed. If they're normal, responsible people then no problem.

But if you look around and you see all the infighting about should we ban this or embrace it. Should the AMA divorce itself or fully defend it. All that kind of stuff is coming from the jokers who we invited in who couldn't care less about the welfare of our hobby.

Back in the days when we had to build our own you wouldn't find a bunch of guys crashing their planes on purpose over and over until it just wouldn't fly any more just so they could make a funny video for public consumption. That sort of thing just didn't happen. And nobody bothered us.

I wish people would smarten up and get over the whole idea that growth is necessary and good. It's not necessary and there's nothing guaranteeing that it will be for the better.
Old 07-31-2014, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by combatpigg View Post
Yes it is sad, but I will not deny that it is the truth. Going to the field used to be much more of an adventure and our local clubs were fraternities of builders, designers, experimenters, competitors, artisans, craftsmen, innovators, etc. This has all but dried up and blown away, at least in this immediate area. This area used to be absolutely TEEMING with RC aviation activity with 5 extremely active AMA fields within a 30 mile circle.
Much of what I used to enjoy didn't come from just what I built and flew, but also from witnessing the accomplishments of others.
Yeah, that sucks. I have to absolutely agree with you there. When I get to the field I walk down the flight line and maybe one other plane was built by the guy. The rest are easily recognized as ARFs and they really don't interest me usually. Sometimes I'll see one that's unusual or looks particularly good but there's a whole different way of appreciating something when you know it was hand built.
Old 07-31-2014, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bafflerback View Post
I like to build as much as the next guy that likes to build. Here's my problem. Most of the aircraft I want to fly are not available in kit form. Or if they are for another $50 dollars I can get it as an ARF. Why buy the kit, spend for me 6 months to a years to build it and have an airplane that cost me more than the ARF. What's different?
I've never seen any ARF that came up to my standards of build quality. My buddy Mike was telling me yesterday that I'm the kind of guy they should make uncovered ARFs for. I told him that would be a curse. If I could see what was under the covering I would probably never finish the plane. I'd want to rebuild wings from scratch and do a whole lot of rebuilding which is harder than building it from scratch in the first place. So really if I'm going to have an ARF I'm better off not knowing what's underneath and just pretend that it's all good.

What's different is that an accomplished builder will take a lot more care and end up with a better finished product. For guys who don't want to build and spend the years it takes to become really good then they may never be able to build something as good as they can buy in an ARF.

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