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How the Hobby has Changed

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How the Hobby has Changed

Old 10-27-2017, 12:31 PM
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JSF-TC
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Default How the Hobby has Changed

I’ve been thinking of this for a while since driving home from a jet meet after watching the big new generation models fly, and after some discussions at my local club field, about how the hobby has changed over the last 15 or so years. The current RCU thread about the new models prompted me to air my thoughts.

When I flew my first turbine flight, back in February 2004, most of the models were either converted IC ducted fan kits or the first generation of pure jet models, but in the same vain – fast, high wing loading and relatively unforgiving models which needed a high degree of pilot skill and model building knowledge to fly and to keep airworthy, with engine, fuel, gear and air systems being prone to continued problems and needing almost continual adjustment. Engine spool up times were measured in many seconds compared to todays’ almost instant throttle responses. Wave-offs had to be initiated very early on finals to have any hope of going around whilst milking the model for all it had to keep it from stalling.

A fellow modeler at the club just got his waiver flying a loaned Havoc, and he only took a couple of ‘fam’ flights to get used to the model (and engine response) before flying his waiver flight. Whilst he was an experienced model pilot, it struck me that the current, new breed of giant aerobatic jets are almost too easy to fly and that starting with one of those does not really prepare a new jet pilot for the rigors of flying a high wing-loading jet, scale or sport (I’m thinking Bandit, Bobcat, F-16 etc.)

I certainly feel that the current ARF/ PNP models has diminished the building and preparation skills of modelers, not limited to jet pilots though – this applies to all types. Have we also lost the ‘learned’ skills that came with the hours of building and tinkering needed to get those early models into the air, and the empathy towards them of what aggressive maneuvering, or high speed flap deployment etc. can do to the airframe.

The new range of models certainly helps open up this niche area of the hobby to a wider range of pilots, but did the apprenticeship of the earlier generation of jet pilots, having flown ICDF and the more challenging models produce a more capable pilot and modeler better prepared to handle a wider range of turbine models?

This in analogous to learning to drive with an automatic gearbox Honda (or similar) then then buying a high-performance manual gearbox Porsche (or similar) and expecting to have no issues.

Not intended to start a flame-war, but interested in thoughts/ experiences.

Paul

Last edited by JSF-TC; 10-27-2017 at 12:33 PM.
Old 10-27-2017, 12:49 PM
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Interesting. Modelling skills lost....Absolutely. Doesn't mean the end of the hobby or but does create issues. Saw a while back on a local Facebook group a guy was asking for help/pay someone to change out the throttle servo on their giant scale Yak because they didn't know how. I fly with a group of younger guys that learned to fly on foamies and bind n fly stuff. There is a different mentality with them. They don't really care if they crash. When I was a kid learning to fly I didn't want to crash because it took a long time to get another plane ready. Not a barrier anymore. Don't get me wrong, these guys aren't dangerous, they just push things and don't care. They are having fun, aren't endangering property or people so it is fun to watch most times. As long as this type of attitude does not migrate to turbine flying it isn't a big deal.

As far as gaining the skills to fly their next jet, that will always be an issue. A Shockjet doesn't prepare you for an F4. The hope is that by requiring a waiver most guys will at least meet some people in their area that can give them pointers and can help them when they move on to more complex aircraft.
Old 10-27-2017, 01:03 PM
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From the AMA Turbine Waiver regulations:

"All turbine waiver applicants should have accomplished at least 50 flights on a high performance model."

My experience was that I had a lot more than 50 flights but I never flew IC DF jets, haven't been in the hobby that long, in fact, have only seen 1 fly in person. But I did fly several "fast, high wing loading and relatively unforgiving" EDF's.
Old 10-27-2017, 04:26 PM
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Read plans, cut balsa, fiberglass, paint....skills quickly fading. Gear doors with springs and a string.....no way today. Remember when DynaMax fans flew jets fast enough to create flutter....saw a lot of them just explode.Will
Old 10-27-2017, 05:23 PM
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When my DF's exploded it was due to some sort of sudden impact, HA!
Old 10-27-2017, 06:01 PM
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Times are changing and it's for the better. More power, more control and safer flying aircraft.

Last edited by luge_racer; 10-27-2017 at 06:18 PM.
Old 10-27-2017, 06:04 PM
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Hi,

When I went to my first jet rally, it was back in '96. At that time, there were almost NO turbines and very few ARF's. You'd show up and see 'legendary' guys who you've been reading about and seeing pictures of in magazines for years. Some of those guys were absolute artists when it came to building airplanes. Their work was pain-staking, patient, awe-inspiring and exciting. Even the 'regular guys' out there had some level of accomplishment as modelers because they'd managed to build a flyable jet model out of a kit (and, in many cases, from scratch). Add to that the fact that they'd managed to get a ICDF setup running reliably and predictably, and you knew that their investment into the hobby was more 'blood/sweat/tears' than dollars.

A lot of those guys were such 'gurus' that I'd pick their brains and fawn over their planes for hours. More often than not, they were free and generous with their lifetimes of knowledge and skill. As that generation passed or 'retired' out of the hobby, the events have turned almost exclusively into ARF meets. Not that I'm bashing that, but how many truly 'kit-build' jets have you seen. I know some guys will get mad and say, "Hey! Do you have any idea how much heart and soul went into my weathering job on my ARF?? Yes, I deserve to win Top Gun! And let me give a shout-out to the guy over there that actually did the weathering for me!" But we can't deny that it isn't like it used to be. Even the forums don't have the numbers of truly talented, experienced and knowledgeable guys who used to be on here sharing their knowledge.

For that matter, the LHS are a totally different animal than 20 years ago. The other day, I went into an LHS that used to be pretty comprehensive, and the glow engine props were all just tossed into a small box (mixed brands, sizes, etc.) when they used to have a whole wall of just props. I dug through looking for an 11x6, but nope. I asked the guy and he said they hadn't ordered a prop for a glow engine in 18 months. No airplane 'kits' to speak of. It's like you need to go to an estate sale or a museum to find one of those anymore.
Old 10-28-2017, 03:38 AM
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Dang Shaun...you're just a pup. My first jet rally was in 83. (The 2nd Southwest Ducted Fan Flyin). Tom Cook flew his big F4 on twin KB 7.5s in his DynaMax fans. I had a scratch built HITech 2000 with a Kress fan....and it flew! An older modeller named Bob Mosher taught me lots. What hasnt changed is the friendships we have all found in this crazy hobby. Great guys everywhere. Laughs, advice, getting their hands dirty just so your jet can fly...they are at every jet rally. Take pride in what you have contributed to this hobby. You have the reputation of not only being a great builder but above all being a great guy. Proud to call you my friend.

Last edited by tp777fo; 10-28-2017 at 03:44 AM.
Old 10-28-2017, 06:35 AM
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Doug Cronkhite
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Originally Posted by SECRET AGENT View Post
When my DF's exploded it was due to some sort of sudden impact, HA!
That's not an explosion, it's just a rapid, unplanned disassembly..
Old 10-28-2017, 08:16 AM
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Hey Tom, I was only 13 years old when you went to your first jet rally, HA!!!
Old 10-28-2017, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by tp777fo View Post
Dang Shaun...you're just a pup. My first jet rally was in 83. (The 2nd Southwest Ducted Fan Flyin). Tom Cook flew his big F4 on twin KB 7.5s in his DynaMax fans. I had a scratch built HITech 2000 with a Kress fan....and it flew! An older modeller named Bob Mosher taught me lots. What hasnt changed is the friendships we have all found in this crazy hobby. Great guys everywhere. Laughs, advice, getting their hands dirty just so your jet can fly...they are at every jet rally. Take pride in what you have contributed to this hobby. You have the reputation of not only being a great builder but above all being a great guy. Proud to call you my friend.

Tom,

That's pretty high praise coming from you. Definitely mutual. Been too long since you've been through SAN
Old 10-28-2017, 04:28 PM
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At the field there are three types of individuals now foamie pilots , tech/gadget pilots, and the super rare modeler.
Old 10-28-2017, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TimD. View Post
At the field there are three types of individuals now foamie pilots , tech/gadget pilots, and the super rare modeler.
Very well said!!!!

Old 10-28-2017, 05:39 PM
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That is so true
Old 10-28-2017, 05:44 PM
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CARS II
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That is so true :
I'm back flying my turbine jet, I still think it is so cool and yes, I was shaking and breathing hard on the TO, after 5 minutes all was as it used to be, happiness
I now have to finish my short kit build Turbinator.
Old 10-28-2017, 05:53 PM
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You guys hit the nail on the head...that's why I don't post here much anymore. The newbie flyers have way more experience than my 36 years in DF / turbines...lol

d.w
Old 10-28-2017, 06:52 PM
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Model building skills may be on the decline but, pilot skills are light years ahead of where they used to be. Maybe this is the result of more and better arfs and guys that are interested in flying not building?

Mike
Old 10-28-2017, 06:55 PM
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Hi Dean, good to hear you are still alive. I can still remember you giving Charlie and me the turbine ground school in your camp trailer at Whidbey IS. Thanks , I still pass that info on .
Old 10-28-2017, 09:21 PM
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Double post.

Last edited by CARS II; 10-28-2017 at 09:27 PM.
Old 10-28-2017, 09:22 PM
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The hobby has change but I still find nice people at the flying fields, before way before I used to visit the flying fields around my area, why you may ask, because I met many nice modelers everywhere I went, today is the same, I've met very nice modelers everywhere I go.
The toys may have change and are changing but the modelers are still welcoming new modelers to the hobby.

Last edited by CARS II; 10-28-2017 at 09:26 PM.
Old 10-29-2017, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by TimD. View Post
At the field there are three types of individuals now foamie pilots , tech/gadget pilots, and the super rare modeler.
Tim you are right. Very few could assemble the arf you used to sell. Now they call plugging in a few things a build. George
Old 10-29-2017, 04:11 AM
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Want to see a build....Ill show you one in the spring. Starting an Avonds Fouga Magistar. Will document it on a build thread. I'm really excited about it. Avonds makes brilliant kits. (Guess I need to check my phones spell checker closer)

Last edited by tp777fo; 10-29-2017 at 08:50 AM.
Old 10-29-2017, 04:40 AM
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I agree, Honda does make nice stuff, but Avonds makes nicer jets, HA!
Old 10-29-2017, 07:24 AM
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Scratch building, although not a jet this time. Actually building my first plane in many years (decades), and I'm really enjoying it.


Brian Taylor 83" Spitfire. Wing is scratch built from a plan using part of a laser cut wing kit. Self modified to accept Sierra retracts and to have plug-in wings rather than a one-piece wing, along with additional scale details. Incorporating 3D modelling and access to a laser cutter and 3D printer has opened up another aspect of the building side of the hobby.

A jet kit is next on the build list (Kerry Sterner Sea Vixen).

Paul
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Old 10-29-2017, 08:48 AM
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Doug Cronkhite
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Yeah, every time I see someone post a 'build' thread, and it's some ARF, I cringe. It's an assembly thread at best.. I still wish I could find a NIB Super Bandit kit.. my favorite of them all..

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