RC Airplanes: building, flying, it’s all good!
Some modeler’s favorite part of the hobby is building, for others it’s more about the flying. Either way the RC airplane hobby is fun and exciting!
Radio-controlled modeling (also known as RC or R/C modeling) is a hobby in which a models action is controlled by using a radio system. While our Traverse Area Model Pilots Society is geared toward flight an RC model might also be a boat, car, tank, bull dozer, battle robot, etc. Models for flight are many and varied, including high wing planes, low wing planes, biplanes, gliders, helicopters, prop driven planes, jets, multi-engine planes, multi-rotor drones, etc., and can be powered by a type of fuel, or electricity.
The basic radio system consists of a transmitter, which transmits signals based on the position of its sticks and switches, a receiver, which is placed in the model to receive the transmitted signals, and then typically servos, a servomechanism that produces motion based on those signals. For example, you move a stick on the transmitter to the right and a servo moves the rudder on the airplane to the right, turning the airplane.
Speaking of airplanes, a typical model has at least 3 controlled actions: elevator, throttle, and rudder. Additions to that often include ailerons, retractable landing gear, and flaps, but also could be things like bomb bay doors, smoke systems, camera functions, etc. Modern equipment even offers the option of self-leveling and flight stabilization to aid pilots as they gain experience.
Model planes come in a vast array of types, sizes, and features. Some modeler’s favorite part of the hobby is building, so they might spend hours constructing a plane out of balsa, either from scratch or a pre-cut kit. For others it’s more about the flying, and so they may buy a pre-built balsa or foam model that requires just a little assembly before it’s ready to go up in the air. Either way the RC airplane hobby is fun and exciting, and serves as a great learning platform for aeronautics and electronics.
If you are interested in RC modeling please don’t hesitate to contact us or visit one of our airfields. Visitors are welcome! Likely times to catch pilots at the field are Monday and Wednesday mornings at Rennie, Tuesday and Thursday mornings at Interlochen, and at either airfield on Saturday and Sunday mornings. And be sure to check out our Learn to Fly program on Tuesday evenings at Rennie, where you can receive flight instruction using one of our trainer airplanes.