In this age of readily available sophisticated radio control systems, why should
anybody want to build and fly model aircraft that, once launched, are at the mercy
of the elements? A good question, but consider the following:
- The trimming of a free-flight model to fly in a desired flight pattern is a challenge
not faced by builders of radio controlled models, but satisfaction once you have achieved this
is immense. Further effort is often needed to obtain the highest possible flight times
(important if you intend to enter competitions), and factors such as propellor design
and rubber motor size (if appropriate) may have to be adjusted.
- Free flight models are relatively cheap to build, especially if you go for rubber power.
- Free flight scale models tend to be a handy size - easy to store at home, and capable of flying
on small fields without disturbing the neighbours.
- It is a sociable hobby - I can think of few better ways to spend a calm summer evening, than being out
with a group of friends flying models together. Friendly too - you will find people always
ready to offer advice and encouragement if needed - newcomers will always be made welcome.
- Indoor flying is a further challenge, as the walls of sports halls tend to be unforgiving.
The great advantage of such flying is, however, that the weather cannot spoil it!
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