So something I used to do more than 20 years ago was flying radio control model airplanes.
The first RC airplane that I owned was powered by a .40 sized two-stroke model airplane engine, and I built that model from a kit, covering it with silk, and then applying aircraft dope to seal and finish the model, not unlike the finish on a full scale Aeronca Champ that I learnt to fly in years ago.
At the time I started flying RC models, I flew from a model aircraft field owned by CRAMS (Calgary Radio Aero Modellers Society) of whom I was a member for several years.
For some reason, and as much as I enjoyed the hobby, I moved on to something else.
So all these years later, I decided it would be fun to re-enter the hobby, and after deciding where I wanted to go with this, and doing research as to what is available in the world of RC model aircraft, I went shopping.
Of course one of the other reasons that I got interested in re-entering the hobby, is that I thought it would be kinda cool to bring ham radio into the equation, and I will be installing some APRS gear into this sailplane soon.
I found that some things have certainly changed, especially with the equipment like the transmitters for example. When I flew RC in the day, the transmitters used were mainly on 72 MHz FM.
The transmitter that I am using in this photo is operating on 2.4 GHz. It also has a LCD screen that allows you to keep track of the many things going on both with the transmitter, and on the aircraft your flying.
It also has voice alerts as to the time the model as been in the air since launched, allowing you to concentrate on flying the airplane and not having to look at the display of the transmitter. It also has a headphone jack if you wish to use headphones with it.
Telemetry allows you to monitor the battery voltage of the flight battery in the airplane (this sailplane has a electric motor driving the propeller), Telemetry also is monitoring the throttle position, as this model has a folding prop that folds the blades up against the fuselage when the power is cut, allowing this sailplane to seek out thermals (updrafts), not unlike the hawks and eagles I see soaring along these slopes that I am standing on overlooking McKinnon Flats southeast of Calgary.
Telemetry also tells me when I find one of these updrafts, allowing me to keep this sailplane soaring higher without the use of the motor by utilizing the updraft to allow the sailplane to climb higher.
Of course I am keeping track of all this while I'm flying the model through the voice prompts coming from the transmitter.
Now you may be wondering why I re-entered the hobby with a electric powered sailplane instead of some other type of RC aircraft.
Well for one thing I have always found sailplanes (gliders) totally interesting, and I did own a RC model sailplane at one time when I first flew RC years ago.
I love silent flight and although there are different types of gliders and terrain to fly them over, I especially love slope soaring with an RC sailplane, not unlike the hawks that I see flying and soaring these slopes.
So back to what I said earlier, I will be adding some ham gear to the payload, and probably a GoPro as well.
It should be fun, so stay tuned I'll be sharing my experiences with you.
Click on the photo for a closer look.....