Foamies and the future...... - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:56 AM   #1
therunningman
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Foamies and the future......


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All admit that i'm balsa guy... (builder and ARFs) electric and nitro, and that most of my birds are of the 60+" wingspan category. But going into my LHS this weekend (a rarity) and then just witnessing all the foam planes was a sad sad thing really. Trying to find a balsa plane of any type was a a lesson in futility. He had a grand total of ZERO. And this is a big hobby shop. Two years ago no glow, last year no fuel, and this year... no balsa.

Yep, It's a PNF, PNP, Foamy parkflier all in one box world now. Because even while balsa planes fly's better, and look better, he is not selling any.... and i think that is unfortunate.

Seems if you are new to the hobby, and never come across a MAAC club, you will likely stay in park flyer paradise forever !!!!
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:42 AM   #2
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Re: Foamies and the future......

Sad to hear what it is like there in your end. There are still some LHS here that carry the "balsa kit" stuff but are getting less. It is the sign of the times. There are few "builders" amongst us, more "assembler". Rare nowadays are "scratchbuilders". It's like a dying/dimishing skills in other "interest"...the younger generations are less receptive to the how it came about, more like I want to fly now.
Being a builder, I always preach to the students (kids to adults) to try building a kit at least once to know how it came together, have that pride you built something and see it fly succesfully. I give them material support and knowledge as to how to go about it. I will keep on encouraging people to build, whoever they may be that comes into our hobby. I started in this hobby watching and learning from my father while he was building. More for the essence and pride of it, hopefully if I get one or two into it, then I know somehow our tradition will continue on with them.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:08 AM   #3
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Re: Foamies and the future......

Last week we had a nitro day. Everybody that showed up had nitro.
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:18 PM   #4
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Re: Foamies and the future......

Yes i totally agree... comming from a building background, i often try at my club to encourage a build to members as well. But it is as you say... it's a "want it now" "fly it now" attitude these days.

I will typically build two planes each winter.... and funny enough when i present them at my club in the spring, i get questions such as .. "how do you put the covering on?" "With a covering iron... i say." A what? they say.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:13 PM   #5
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Re: Foamies and the future......

I don't think the ARF and foamy market is a bad thing as it gets folks feet wet in our hobby without a huge time/emotional investment. Then if they choose to continue they can buy another arf/foamy/kit/plans etc as there are still many LHS with stock of either. I do like to see students build something eventually so they are more familiar with internal structure. This pays dividends while trying to repair crash damage.

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Old 09-22-2015, 08:29 AM   #6
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Re: Foamies and the future......

Another point. I'm a builder/ flier since the controline, freeflight day. Thing is, the building materials have changed over the years. What took a month to build a balsa, Monocote, Ambroid , plane can now be built in less than a week with EPP , Depron and a hotglue gun and CA. Wish we had it back in the day.
The local hobby shop carries as much foam sheets as balsa sheets for building.
Not so much a " have to fly it today" thing, but why wait for a month to be able to fly it.
Also the foamies are much more durable and easy to make mods.
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:15 AM   #7
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Re: Foamies and the future......

These ideas are not new! We were building corrugated cardboard aircraft fourty years ago. You foamy fliers need to study a little aerodynamics to make them fly better. Like the shape of the leading edge. Add some trailing edge stock backwards to the bottom of the leading edge, then glue some rounded balsa to the front and presto a nice leading edge and better low speed capability. It also adds strength.
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Old 09-22-2015, 03:09 PM   #8
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Re: Foamies and the future......

Whether it be a student, one who has flown but needs help or someone getting back, the goal is to keep the building aspect of our hobby alive. To install a bit of pride in what we fly because we built it. True, 20,30,40 even 50 years ago, it would take months or even years to finish a normal kit because of what we use; ambroid cement, carpenters glue and sig /dope to cover planes.
Nowadays, I agree with gord, sometimes it takes only a few evenings but its still building something. Let us all keep encouraging people to build , after they have succesfully flown their "ARF". Lets support them with knowledge, experience of what we went thru building, perhaps they can also find that "magic feeling" of " I did this".....
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:26 PM   #9
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Re: Foamies and the future......

The paradigm of model flying has changed, and for the better.
Its hard for old school people to let go and only remember the 'fond' side of building. Not everyone has time for that, past and present. 20 years ago, for every new guy that got into the hobby and built a plane and eventaully flew it, there were 2 other guys that were interested, bought a kit but never finished it and never got into the hobby. It was too complicated for them or maybe it took to long or maybe between family and other personal issues, never had time to finish the kit.
Today people can buy and fly- and that is how they like it. Suppliers and manufacturers have responded in kind. If there was a huge demand for wood kits, I am sure the hobby shops would stock it. But the fact that they don't is a clear indicator of what kind of customers they have.
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:50 PM   #10
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Re: Foamies and the future......

I remember about three years ago asking a friend why he wanted that foam junk. Lol, fast forward to today and I've got a foam airforce hanging from my basement ceiling. Frankly I've never enjoyed the hobby more (45 years flying rc planes) what with the modern radios, electronics etc, and yes, the foamy airplanes.

I built my share, it'd be in the hundreds had I kept a tally and one 25 year old one hangs there with the foamies. I try to fly it at least once a year.

Never say never, but doubt I'll build any more. That may be a shame, maybe not. The important thing is I'm still flying and while much of it is with foamies, enjoying it every bit as much as I did on that very first day!
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