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What the hell is going on with rc planes in 2021?

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What the hell is going on with rc planes in 2021?

Old 04-25-2021, 07:33 PM
  #1  
SamuraiSoldier
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Angry What the hell is going on with rc planes in 2021?

I use to fly all the time but haven't flown or owned a RC plane since about 2011 and recently got the itch back. I started searching online for RTF planes and was extremely saddened by the small number of choices available. What the hell happened guys? We used to have hundreds of choices of RTF planes and now I can only find like 10 on the entire internet. I have been out of the loop for 10 years am I missing something? I was highly fond of the Hobby Zone Super Cub LP and they seem to have been discontinued. Where do I start?

I want a HobbyZone Spercub Bad !!!

Last edited by SamuraiSoldier; 04-25-2021 at 07:44 PM.
Old 04-26-2021, 03:22 AM
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"Greed is good." Horizon bought up the majors and got rid of them.
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Old 04-27-2021, 07:59 AM
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Changing technologies and culture have decimated the hobby, at least the part I was heavily involved in. The days of kit building and bashing, glow engines, and fun flys are gone, replaced by injected foam electrics and drones. The brotherhood of people committed to and passionate about building, modifying, flying, and competing with model airplanes is mostly gone. Very few are willing to spent the time and money. They buy a toy, play with it in their yard/park/street, lose interest, and move on to something else.
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Old 04-27-2021, 08:40 AM
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I know just what you mean. I could name a bunch of birds that are just gone from about ten years ago, when kids and work and sloth parted me from the hobby. I'm just glad I bought a GWS Slow Stick before mothballing my birds, I had a bunch of GWS stuff over the years, before they went away........
Old 04-27-2021, 10:25 AM
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My favorites were glow or gas. Favorite airframes, in no particular order: Goldberg Tiger2 and Tiger 60, Great Planes Super Sportsters (20,40,60,120, Giant, and Bipe), Big Sticks (20,40,60,Giant), Midwest AeroSport (20,40,60), Spickler Quickee 500 and Tallywhacker (Glen Spickler was a member of my first club, and designed the Quickee as a club racer).

In 1996, I submitted a proposal for a summer program for at-risk high-school students to spend six weeks designing and building R/C airplanes. It was approved, and I spent a lot of time and energy soliciting donations from the industry. EVERYBODY who knew ANYTHING about R/C said it was doomed to fail. The first year, I had 11 kids, a $500 budget, and a large collection of R/C magazines. These students had never even heard of R/C airplanes - so I brought one to school and we flew it on the practice footfall field. Six weeks later, we took our three student-designed/built prototypes and the students on a field trip to a club field, and all three planes were successfully flown. The next year, we had 16 students, then 30 the following year (and 10 planes that year!). Over the years, nearly 200 students worked in small groups, designed 58 airplanes, and successfully flew all but one. The canard swept-wing pusher needed a few more days to refine the design - but they learned a lot. Typically, their Math scores improved 3.5 grade levels and their English up 2.5 grade levels (a grade level = one school year). All these students were from disadvantaged backgrounds, low income and at least one other qualifying factor.

I always took photos on test-flight days, and I took my album with me to the AMA convention in Los Angeles about the third or fourth year of the program. One of the major hardware manufacturers was there, and the VP who had authorized donations to the project was manning the booth. I showed him the pictures, and he teared up. He said that they NEVER got to see their donations effects like that. He never, ever hesitated to provide anything we requested. I doubt they could afford to do that today. The support that program received from the industry, and from local R/C enthusiasts, gave the students confidence to attack the task. Some of the most rewarding times of my life.

Last edited by Stikum; 04-27-2021 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 04-27-2021, 11:01 AM
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Default ARFs

Check out the Sig Mfg. line of ARFs. www.sigmfg.com
Old 05-01-2021, 06:05 AM
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Fighting within the hobby has destroyed it. Airplane guys hate helicopter guys. Airplane guys hate multi-rotor guys. I blame it all on the airplane guys. IMO
Old 05-01-2021, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by on_your_six View Post
Fighting within the hobby has destroyed it. Airplane guys hate helicopter guys. Airplane guys hate multi-rotor guys. I blame it all on the airplane guys. IMO
Well I guess if ya spend your life always looking for conflict, your the one whose gonna find it.

Since the people slandered in the above post all seem to get along fine at the field I fly at, I'll put forth the more reasonable theory that for the majority of the general public the romance of aviation is gone, and other hobbies are more attractive to them now (video games, etc). Less people buying = less people supplying, kinda like what happened to the electronic kit building hobby. Just as there are still electronic kits to be bought today, there are still model airplanes being sold, but at no where near the numbers of years past.
Old 05-01-2021, 08:00 AM
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Default Just the truth Baby

I did not slander anyone. My observations only. What area of the hobby is growing. Multi-rotors because you don't have to drive 20 miles to field and put up with NO NO NO when it falls within the AMA guidelines. ESPECIALLY FPV. I know you don't want to hear it, but the hobby is killing the hobby.

Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
Well I guess if ya spend your life always looking for conflict, your the one whose gonna find it.

Since the people slandered in the above post all seem to get along fine at the field I fly at, I'll put forth the more reasonable theory that for the majority of the general public the romance of aviation is gone, and other hobbies are more attractive to them now (video games, etc). Less people buying = less people supplying, kinda like what happened to the electronic kit building hobby. Just as there are still electronic kits to be bought today, there are still model airplanes being sold, but at no where near the numbers of years past.
Old 05-01-2021, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by on_your_six View Post
I did not slander anyone. My observations only. What area of the hobby is growing. Multi-rotors because you don't have to drive 20 miles to field and put up with NO NO NO when it falls within the AMA guidelines. ESPECIALLY FPV. I know you don't want to hear it, but the hobby is killing the hobby.
That the hobby is evolving due to a change in one or more modern demographics? Sure, I'll heartily agree with you there.

That one of those demographics is the "Mean ol fixed wing flyer" driving everyone off? Nope, you own that one all yourself.....
Old 05-03-2021, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rgburrill View Post
"Greed is good." Horizon bought up the majors and got rid of them.
Hobbico was far more proficient at acquiring major brands and killing them. Andrews, Topflite, Midwest.... Then the changing demographics caused a decline in the market, and Hobbico collapsed under it's own weight. Horizon bought most of it in bankruptcy court - and probably regrets doing so. The collapse of the industry has been both spectacular and horrific, and saddens me greatly.

Many pursuits that used to require long-term commitment, dedication, passion, and significant investment of time and/or money have suffered similar fates. People, especially young ones, increasingly seek instant gratification - and find it readily available at low cost. They find no attraction to spending lots of time and effort putting a project together, learning new skills, acquiring knowledge, or solving complex problems. They want to be entertained constantly, and at the least physically and mentally taxing level possible. When I graduated high school in 1977, we had a parking shortage - too many students had gotten jobs, saved their gifted money, raised livestock, and gotten driver's licenses at 16 and bought cars. I teach at that very same high school, and less than 15% of my students have licenses, and even fewer have cars. And the rest don't want them. Our Ag department raises flowers, and once a year has a guest pig come for a couple of hours. All the shop classes (metal, wood, auto, even jewelry) are long gone. Junior ROTC folded up shop a few years ago, when it quit counting for PE credit. This year, Covid19 allowed the athletics programs to waive scholastic requirements completely, so anyone could play - and the varsity football team finished the last game of the season with 22 players, after absorbing all of the JV team and some freshmen. Used to have 50, mostly seniors.

OTOH, a couple of years ago the district recognized eSports as a team event. They have to turn kids away, as 60 is the limit. Battlebots and drone racing have TV shows. Times have changed.
Old 05-03-2021, 03:02 PM
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Is the glass half full, or half empty? I read about the glass half empty sort here, now this is how you move forward. One guy suggested SIG. You can also buy from Airborne-Models many are still in stock. Another source is www.gravesrc.com, they ship but are also driving distance for me. Finally you can buy off the more active site, rcgroups, using goods and services PayPal only since it's plagued with scammers preying upon new members asking you for friends and family payments which gives you zero protection and impossible to get your money back when they do not ship. Buy from established members with feedback history. https://www.rcgroups.com/aircraft-fu...lanes-fs-w-38/ Back in 2011, you could buy on RCU, and find all kinds of deals, not so much anymore.
I have about 20 kits, 5 ARFs, 8 ready to fly planes (via Greyhound) and ship weekly through feebay and here. I have about 30-40 glow engines from .20 to .75 size 2 strokes, and .50 to .91 4 strokes remaining. I still fly, but not a lot in the hot FL summer time. Lots of folks like me with more than they need, willing to part with some at reasonable prices. Problem is, 2021, shipping rates are sky high. Greyhound often is worthwhile if you buy a quantity and variety of items.
You can also join your local club, and deal locally too at club swap meets. Lots of those in FL too.
Old 05-03-2021, 04:02 PM
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Wow there are a lot of sticks in the mud commenting here
Old 05-03-2021, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Desertlakesflying View Post
Wow there are a lot of sticks in the mud commenting here
Not in a historical context. Twenty years ago, there would have been dozens, maybe hundreds. Not seven.

The severe decline of participation in the hobby has taken much of the fun out of it for me. The social interaction with people of common interest was very rewarding. I've built many kits, ARFs, kit-bashed, built from plans, designed and built from scratch, and taught dozens of people to fly R/C. I don't find that in my area any more.

This was my favorite hobby for over two decades. Those days are gone, but I have other hobbies that meet my needs. To each his/her own.

Old 05-04-2021, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by on_your_six View Post
Fighting within the hobby has destroyed it. Airplane guys hate helicopter guys. Airplane guys hate multi-rotor guys. I blame it all on the airplane guys. IMO
Originally Posted by Desertlakesflying View Post
Wow there are a lot of sticks in the mud commenting here
I don't see my response to the attack on "airplane guys" that I've quoted here as being a "stick in the mud", more like defending a bunch of people who really don't deserve the collective insult......
Old Yesterday, 01:43 AM
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I think there is a common belief that irresponsible multi-rotor done drivers are the reason that we are now registering our fixed-wing planes with the FAA. You almost never here stories about a Sig Cadet interfering with emergency responders or being spotted by a commercial airline pilot at 1000 ft on approach to a busy airport or hovering over someone's home. Obviously the vast majority of multi-rotor drivers are not doing that sort of thing or we'd all be banned by now.

Maybe I'm just anti-social but I have had some of my best flying days alone at an isolated State Park that has an AMA flying field. No safety officers or other club folks around. I'm building Sig Riser 100 now that will probably, hopefully, be breaking the 400ft rule on a weekly basis.
Old Yesterday, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Stikum View Post
OTOH, a couple of years ago the district recognized eSports as a team event. They have to turn kids away, as 60 is the limit. Battlebots and drone racing have TV shows. Times have changed.
Yeah it's a lot easier to crash your plane, have the wreckage morph into a super car and then drive three hundred miles per hour hitting everything in sight and then just drive through a gas station parking lot to have it repaired. Mastering the spin move on Madden Football is a lot easier than two-a-days in the summer heat.......


Old Today, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Stikum View Post
Changing technologies and culture have decimated the hobby, at least the part I was heavily involved in. The days of kit building and bashing, glow engines, and fun flys are gone, replaced by injected foam electrics and drones. The brotherhood of people committed to and passionate about building, modifying, flying, and competing with model airplanes is mostly gone. Very few are willing to spent the time and money. They buy a toy, play with it in their yard/park/street, lose interest, and move on to something else.

Now don't panic. Glow planes are still out there. You can buy a traditional kit, build it and fly it, right there at the same flying field as the little foamy foo foo mobiles. Everything is still available., engines, radio, the whole deal. It's not one stop shopping at Tower Hobbies anymore but if you poke around, there are quite a few smaller manufacturers very busy making kits.

I went to a fly in in Birmingham last week. There was a little bit of everything there. Mostly electric, but still some gas and glo. Everyone had a great time. All you need to do is look for these events and start attending them.

carl
Old Today, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by carlgrover View Post
Now don't panic. Glow planes are still out there. You can buy a traditional kit, build it and fly it, right there at the same flying field as the little foamy foo foo mobiles. Everything is still available., engines, radio, the whole deal. It's not one stop shopping at Tower Hobbies anymore but if you poke around, there are quite a few smaller manufacturers very busy making kits.

I went to a fly in in Birmingham last week. There was a little bit of everything there. Mostly electric, but still some gas and glo. Everyone had a great time. All you need to do is look for these events and start attending them.

carl
Originally Posted by Stikum View Post
Not in a historical context. Twenty years ago, there would have been dozens, maybe hundreds. Not seven.

The severe decline of participation in the hobby has taken much of the fun out of it for me. The social interaction with people of common interest was very rewarding. I've built many kits, ARFs, kit-bashed, built from plans, designed and built from scratch, and taught dozens of people to fly R/C. I don't find that in my area any more.

This was my favorite hobby for over two decades. Those days are gone, but I have other hobbies that meet my needs. To each his/her own.
Not a trace of panic in my posts - just sadness that the social part of the hobby has declined so much. In the 1970's, as a teenager, I worked Turn 1 at the Formula1 races at Famoso. They had around 300 entries from all over the world. In the late '70s, there was an accident, costing the worker on turn 3 a kidney, and that ended that event forever, and our monthly Q500 races dwindled away. I left the hobby for a few years, finished school, got married, and decided to return. My first meeting back, there were lots of new faces in the club. It happened to be election time, and I was nominated for President - I declined the nomination. A very active year later, I accepted the nomination.
That club had over 100 members, and many of the special interests split off from it over the years to form special interest clubs: helicopters, gliders, and pattern clubs locally all grew from that club. Even the Anti-club renegades formed a club, and eventually became actively friendly with the original club - many of us were members of both, and I was president of both for several years.
All of these clubs have suffered similar declines in both membership and participation in recent years. Typical turnout on a Saturday or Sunday to fly is in single digits, a rarity fifteen years ago. Very few newbies to the hobby, and the old guys are fading away.
I saw my first R/C plane at a 4th of July fireworks show at a stadium in Eugene, Oregon in about 1966. I was six or seven at the time, and I was fascinated. It was exciting, unusual, and very attractive to me. It doesn't hold the same fascination for today's youth.

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