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Old 03-14-2007, 12:21 AM   #41
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Scratch build etc.

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Just to give you an idea of how magazines have changed, I was browsing through a random copy of MAN (I dig out some old mags once in awhile, just for fun), and the content was thus:

An r/c SE5, 15-19 size, by Chet Lanzo. Single channel, but with the right gear a throttle could be added, ~44" span, tough as, well, you guess.

A c/l combat model for a Fox 35. One of the early flying wing models, in an era when combat models also doubled as stunt models!

Curtiss Robin 1/2A freeflight Scale, seems there was a Scale f/f model in most issues.

Tufnut, a rubber beginner's model. Built-up wings, profile fuselage, these things always flew very well. Gee, somehow I can't imagine a kid these days even attempting such a project...

Comprehensive article on flying boat design, step placement (wrong by today's experts), long-planing hulls (think P5M- P6M design), wave generation, etc.

First flight across the English Channel with an r/c model, complete with "airmail" letter. Article by Bill Dean, the Old Master. All ED equipment, flown from the right seat of an Auster Autocrat. ED Junior hit 3,100' half way through the flight, spun it down to a more manageable (!) 1,100'.

Tom Naylor 3-views of the P51, including the prototype NA73, the B, and the D. I have used these drawings on many occasions.

Willis Nye drawings of the Standard Model J; what else need be said? You could study this plan again and again and learn something new every time.

Article on "Simultaneous proportional rudder & elevator control" , complete with relay and 2 permanent rotary actuators, airborne weight 16 oz. You bulit both the tx and rx yourself. How far have we come!

And the ads... oh, dear, the ads. 'motor driven r/c actuators, only $14.95" "Taifun" (Webra) diesels, $11.95 for a 15" Eleven bucks for a Forster 29... It wasn't so much the prices as the selection of kits! Match the contents of this one magazine against any of the mags currently in your newsstand, and consider that almost all those old mags were just as packed with useable information

I guess the point is that all the magazines now seem to be the same: one must not build, just buy; we have an ARF to suit any need, none of that tedious sitting at a bench instead of watching a few murders on TV.

There have been a few threads regarding ARFs vs. scratchbuilts on here and other sites. I do know that by reading these magazines from cover to cover, I learned a great deal about building things. I really do not envy those who didn't get this education, and are faced with one option: buy.

I still fly c/l when I have the chance, freeflight on nice days, and sailplanes (mostly because they are almost as big a challenge as freeflight). Once the options of this hobby are explored, it is really too hard to ignore.

Let 'er fly gents, lots of targets in this one...
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Old 03-14-2007, 01:04 AM   #42
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It would seem to me the hobby is growing and changing all at the same time. Is it better or worse? I would say neither. Small arf electrics are now the norm and the move to e powered helis is in full force. The days of the lt-40 kits as a staple are now probably gone with the days of spending over $1000 just to start. What does it all mean? I think not much. If a guy is looking for a toc level plane Carden and Dalton kits, yes kits, are where it's at with the exception of Composite planes. I have scratch built a plane and come up with my own design for foamies.

The difference between now and then is the availability of ARFS that cost less than scratch built and are higher quality then most people could hope to build.

This is a very personal hobby, not a team sport, so what does it matter if everyone else flys an arf? When someone asks where you bought your plane, you can say with outstanding pride that you built it yourself and if you did a great job you can watch their jaw drop with envy. It would seem to me to be a glorious time to be scratch building!
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:22 AM   #43
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Great stuff. I know what you mean about the magazines getting boring now. I grew up in the 70's and still have a few boxes of RCM, MAN, Flying Models, and Model Builder magazines from then. Definitely a lot of plans per issue back then and it gave me a foundation to understand basic building techniques and structures. It sounds like from your description, it was even better before the 70's.

I think the problem now is that information is so spread out, that it's harder to find whereas in the past it was all focused into magazines. Also, people only spend their time working now and not doing as many hobbies.

Also, I've found sources like Keith Shaw's papers (http://members.aol.com/KMyersEFO/page3.htm) to be really useful when scratch building. I wish more people would capture their wisdom like Keith did and share it with the world.

Oh well, I intend to keep scratch building until I'm pushing up the daisies. I still build from kits or scratch build when I get a chance. (I've got a few ARF's as well.)

My favourite flyer right now is a Tiny-X with a hand wound CD-ROM (that's a hobby in itself.) My second favourite flyer is a SA Diddlebug. I have a scratch built that's about the same size as well. With today's electronics it's amazing what can be done.

Right now, I'm working on a CG Falcon Jr. built from plans I found on the web somewhere. I'm also re-covering an old Falcon 56 that I built in the late 70's (but never flew until the early 90's believe it or not) ... and it's still flying.

A future goal is to design a plane from photoreference only and draw it in CAD before building. (I've been a paper and pen guy until now... so that may take a while.)

I'm down in the Vancouver area.
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:41 AM   #44
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I too, am younger than 40. I've found that I've gotten most of my hint and tips on another forum (I've mentioned it in my past posts over the year or so it's: http://www.rcscalebuilder.com There are HUNDREDS if guys (and the odd girl) who are doing online scale build projects showing how they do things (even our very own monocoupe ). Be it a kit, from plans and their own designs. I have used it as a source for how to do things for the last few years. There are many builders on there that have some really smart, handy ways to do things.

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Old 03-22-2007, 11:47 AM   #45
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"only to be read then incinerated making even more pollution. "

Incinerated....... I have a whole shed full of boxes with RCM magazines in it, all tucked away because it they have some really good articles and even plans it it...... :P
happy flying
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Old 03-22-2007, 05:17 PM   #46
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I hear ya, Juice; my RCM collection starts in the early 70s, but r/c isn't all that I do, so I don't have many.

Interestingly enough, my really old magazines are now my envy: as they get older, they lose weight, unlike me! A bankerbox of Air Trails weighs considerably less than an equal amount of mags from the 90s. However, they are far heavier in content.

Now I get Brit magazines almost exclusively. Why? Because they have pullout plans! Old habits die hard...

Designing and building one's own models is a very inspiring pastime: even if it flies like crap, you just learned something. If you buy an ARF and it flies like crap, you just learned something different! :P
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