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If kits didn't exist ?

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If kits didn't exist ?

Old 01-13-2010, 07:39 PM
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WacoNut
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Default If kits didn't exist ?

With the numbers of kits available getting less and less it would be interesting to hear what people would do if kits were no longer available.
I believe there are basically 2 types of people in our hobby, builders and flyer's. Some really enoy the building and some really enjoy the flying. The builders would most likely find another option ie: Plans/Scratch building and the flyer's would convert to ARF's. I am personally a builder and I would say 70% builder 30% Flyer. I am currently building a kit and this may be my last kit as I am almost certain all my future builds will be from plans.
I would like to see what people would or will do when or If kits are no longer available. I think it's plane to see which direction the hobby and market is going and it's going to take people to change things but I don't see the younger generation getting interested in building like they used too.
Old 01-13-2010, 07:48 PM
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GaryHarris
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

I voted building from plans. I am one of the wierd ones I guess that am happy with building as I am flying, and maybe building over flying! My next step is building scale WWWI kits and finally full scale WWWI scratch builds.
Old 01-13-2010, 07:58 PM
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

My vote is to go with plan building as well. In fact, its already to the point where I cant hardly find a decent kit anymore that I want to build, so most of the planes I am building right now are from a set of plans.


David
Old 01-13-2010, 07:59 PM
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AH1G
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

No Kits? What a horendous thought!
That's why I'm trying to collect every kit I can find at a reasonable cost including some vintage kits.
Anyone want to part with one or two or three?

I'll build from plans, I'm collecting them too.
Old 01-13-2010, 08:11 PM
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

Well, building from plans is no different, you can find a kit cutter that will do the kit for you if you have no patience for cutting it yourself. I will be doing the same after I own all the kit's I ever wanted, why? because the kit manufactures although decent to great depending on quality and design,..only offer so many designs and options. I'm weird too, I like burt rutan designs, along with warbirds, sailplanes, jets, biplanes ( duh) and even when I don't like to admit it, electrics sometimes. So I will and am exhausting my kit search, yes, I have almost all the ones I ever wanted and now it's time to start collecting more plans to have sitting there for when I get old and gray ( alright I have one of those under my belt?![&o]) and retire. what else am I going to do late at night, watch TV? I can hardly stand doing that right now?! So if all kit manufactures go away, we ARE the last of our breed, we will be refered to as the scratch/kit builders, how's that for a reality check.
Old 01-13-2010, 08:17 PM
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

I guess it's the sign of the times we live in. With the cheap labor in China and the fact that the dollar dosen't go as far as it used to alot of guys jump on the "ARF wagon". Not nockin' the quality just saying that its a lot easier to aquire a hangar full of planes than it used to be. Do a google search to find services to assemble ARFs, several out there. Kits..few. Scratch..none. Anyone know anyone building from kits or plans for a living? I saw a post on RCU where one guy had been collecting kits, had over 100. One of these days he's gonna have a lot of "friends"!
Old 01-13-2010, 08:18 PM
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

The main reason I love building from plans as opposed to kits is because I get to spend so much time on my scroll saw. I will admit my favorite part of building a plane is cutting out all the formers, ribs, etc, etc... on my scroll saw. I have 2 top of the line scroll saws (one Hegner, and RBI Hawk) and I have been know to spend hours at a time on them cutting out everything under the sun.

David
Old 01-13-2010, 08:22 PM
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barndawg77
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

I'm 32 but I'm still in my kit building infancy; so far I'm enjoying it. That being said, I probably like flying more than working on things, but only because I'm not that mechanically inclined, nor a very good craftsman! My brother is just the opposite; he is always working on something, is a good builder and craftsman...but rarely flys. In fact, I've flown his planes more times than he has! I hope with time I'll enjoy the build (or assembly, in the case of ARFs) as much as I enjoy doing flat spins and lomcevaks.
Old 01-13-2010, 08:39 PM
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WacoNut
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?


ORIGINAL: davidgeorge212

My vote is to go with plan building as well. In fact, its already to the point where I cant hardly find a decent kit anymore that I want to build, so most of the planes I am building right now are from a set of plans.


David
I have to agree with you, there just isn't another kit out there right now that jumps out at me and makes me say I have to have it. I have several sets of plans that I am itching to get at once I finish my current build.
Anthony
Old 01-13-2010, 08:41 PM
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

I want to see the guy on here that votes for "fly arfs", man is he going to get his P-P spanked by us.
Old 01-13-2010, 08:47 PM
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tarvma02
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

I think there will always be kits. I think Tower Hobbies will sell a few and the rest will be made by boutique kit cutters. I have about 30 or so in storage and I intend to build every single one of them before I die! The old days are over but maybe they will return again. I feel these things run in cycles. Really, the most satisfying thing is watching something you made fly. Putting ARFs together and boring holes in the sky gets old pretty quick my opinion.

Mike
Old 01-13-2010, 08:52 PM
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

Doesn't it feel like the magic is gone to an extent, I can remember going to the field and "who's kit is that?" was the norm, not all I here is go to so and so, they have a better price on the plane,.....notice how they are looking for the cheapest price, and there was no building required? They are almost all arfs except most of the guys my age and older, they bring out the "private stock to enjoy the weekend. At least that's what I call a kit built plane, private stock.
Old 01-13-2010, 08:57 PM
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GaryHarris
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?


ORIGINAL: planebuilder66

I want to see the guy on here that votes for ''fly arfs'', man is he going to get his P-P spanked by us.

Rolling!
Old 01-13-2010, 09:11 PM
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MikeL
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

I never thought I'd see the day when kit-builders would be so high and mighty. I kind of expect it from people who draw a distinction between scratch building and plan building, but kits? I guess things keep changing. In another decade, perhaps ARFers will be looking down their noses at all of the RTFers.

I like my kits, and I collect a lot of them. I also enjoy my ARFs. I'd rather have a good ARF than a bad kit, but that's mostly because I enjoy my time at the field far more than I enjoy my time at the shop.
Old 01-13-2010, 09:15 PM
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WacoNut
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

Well I don't want to knock the ARF guys too bad, some guys do not have a place to build or for one reason or another just can't. I do have a ARF foamie electric that I enjoy throwing in the truck cab and fly it anywhere. It will probably be the last one I buy but I do have one.
There are numerous old kits that I would like to have (Royal, Coverite,Byron,Page) but these are long gone and I don't want to pay e-bay prices.
I think that if there is a kit out there and you really want to build it in a bad way you better buy it soon. You will trun around one day and your favorite kit will be history.
BTW: I am more worried about the 2 guys taking up knitting than ARF's
Old 01-13-2010, 09:18 PM
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?


ORIGINAL: planebuilder66

I want to see the guy on here that votes for ''fly arfs'', man is he going to get his P-P spanked by us.
Fly ARF's 3% (1)


Someone had to be the first
Old 01-13-2010, 09:29 PM
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WacoNut
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

MikeL,
I don't think it has anything to do with being high and mighty. The balance in the hobby has really shifted in the last 20 yrs. It used to be the norm to have to build what you flew and there were numerous large kit manufacturer's and kit choices. With the change in the market and the times there are many more AFR options than kits. It is a fair statement to say that their is a larger market for ARF's than for kits and it is smart business for the manufacturer's and dealers to follow the market, it doen't make it any easier for the builders out there to see their options and the favorite part of their hobby being shuffled to the side. There just aren't enough people building to sustain a large market.
There is a local H/S about 15 miles from my house and he has nothing but ARF's, he says he will not stock anymore kits because they just sit on his shelves. This really kills him because he is a builder at heart but he has to be smart about how he runs his business. The only thing his shop is good for to me is hardware. He really hates seeing what is going on with the hobby and misses the good old days as well.
Old 01-13-2010, 09:31 PM
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WacoNut
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

SShhhhhh Don't tell anyone but I think it was Mike
Old 01-13-2010, 09:39 PM
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

Well, as a builder, i've got a bad habit of "that can be fixed", so I end up with built kits, arfs, and who knows that have been flown and crashed and in a couple cases never flown, but were poorly built. Taking the leftovers from an ARF crash and add in a little scratch building and you can end up with some very good flying planes. You can also end up with a shop that is so full of projectsthat it is dificult to work on anything Thats about where I'm at now.

So, no kits, then there is going to be more crashedARFs that need a new home and you could get you daily fix of glueed fingers and cut fingers rebuilding them. Lets see, I've got the wing and tail from a 60 U-Can-do as a result of not checking the ailerons on it's maiden after I aquired it. New Hot's style fuselage is what I'm looking at now. And then

Don
Old 01-13-2010, 09:39 PM
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MikeL
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

It was me. I really do think there's a large nose that many kit builders are starting to look down at others with, which is both sad and predictable. Any time a facet of the hobby declines, those that wish for things to be different tend to drift that way. It's human nature, I suppose. Something we enjoy starts to present us with fewer opportunities, and we blame those who prefer the more popular path. It happened with scratch builders and plans builders, so it's not surprising to see it with kit builders. I'm sure it'll happen with glow users in the not-so-distant future. I already feel somewhat snobbish towards guys who only fly electric, and wouldn't know how to tune a needle. I think I'll have to re-think some of that before this next season.
Old 01-13-2010, 09:46 PM
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

What?    Mike who?    Hey Gary, You think we can get David to say BCS?
Old 01-13-2010, 09:52 PM
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HarryL
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

Wait a minute!!!!! Don't you guy's go out and start buying up all the glow and storing in the basement next to the hot water heater yet. It's still going to be around for awhile.
Old 01-13-2010, 10:01 PM
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

As a newcomer to the hobby I started with an interest in flying but built a Sig kit to see what was involved and discovered a love of building.
Now, I have several kits in inventory for future enjoyment and look forward to developing new skills. I would love to build from plans but am intimidated by all of the non-wood fabrication required....eg cowls, wheel pants, canopies, etc, etc. How do you more experienced builders approach that issue?

This is a very deep hobby. There is lots of enjoyment for everyone, regardless of where they lay on the ARF to scratch-builder spectrum.

Thanks

Tim
Old 01-13-2010, 10:09 PM
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

ORIGINAL: marusha

I would love to build from plans but am intimidated by all of the non-wood fabrication required....eg cowls, wheel pants, canopies, etc, etc. How do you more experienced builders approach that issue?


This is probably one of my weaknesses (however I enjoy tinkering around and learning new ways of doing things). The thing I struggle the most with seems to be forming clear plastic for windows. Cowls and wheel pants are not bad for me. The only real way to approch it is to just do a lot experimenting. Like a trial and error type thing where you make a cowl and it doesnt look right so you reshape it and try it again until your happy with the part you make.
Old 01-13-2010, 10:18 PM
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Default RE: If kits didn't exist ?

I love spending quality time in the shop with Balsa and soon lose all track of time (and stress, which is why I enjoy it so much). I'd say I'm also around the 70% builder 30% flier mark. I used to put plastic models together as a kid, Revell should have probably sent me a "Thank You" card as much money I sent their way. I don't look down my nose at ARF fliers. Even in the short time that I've started doing this, one thing makes me cringe..... ARF "Final Assemblies" called "Build Threads" on RCU, sorry if it seems snobbish but thats like changing a flat tire on your car and telling people you built it. Reminds me of a comment I read on here once where the poster said he was at the field talking to a guy that told him he was a "Master Builder", when asked what qualified him as a "Master Builder" the guy responded "He's assembled more than 12 ARF's...."

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