YARMOUTH COUNTY - Evolving technology has pushed the hobby of radio-controlled planes fast and far since the South West Flyers Radio Control (RC) Club started around 2000.
Nowadays drones have stolen the headlines as an increasingly popular option for hobbyists in search of flight, but according to those who fly them, RC planes offer a level of detail and control that can make the hobby addictive.
South West Flyers president, Jim Gavel, has been enjoying the hobby for about 25 years. He’s seen many changes, including a much more reasonable cost of buying an RC plane.
“You can start out really cheap now, for $100-$150 plus the cost of the battery,” he said.
Those who want to try their hand at flying a RC plane for free are always welcome to join members on flight night - Wednesdays starting around 7 p.m. and on Sunday mornings 9 a.m. to about 1 p.m., weather depending. The flying field is located at the old landfill on the Hardscratch Road (#1897).
The club purchased a basic trainer specifically for try-outs with two controllers: a master controller for the instructor and another for the newbie so the experienced pilot can take over when required.
Gavel says he’d like to see more youth try the hobby and have fun outdoors instead of playing video games inside.
“We’d like to see more join.”
The hobby has an incredible range of levels for those who want to become more involved – from the more economical models made from Styrofoam to those with glow plug engines, flyers, jets, pylon racers, helicopters, autogyros, 3D aircraft, and other high-end competition aircraft.
Some enthusiasts replicate historic and little-known types and makes of full-size aircraft as "flying scale" models.
There is also first-person view (FPV) flight - which involves mounting a small video camera and television transmitter on an RC aircraft and flying by means of a live video down-link, commonly displayed on video goggles or a portable LCD screen. When flying FPV, the pilot sees from the aircraft's perspective, and does not even have to look at the model.
South West Flyers offer a free first year membership to anyone who signs up for the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada $20 three-month trial.
“It’s a great way to see if the hobby is for you without the initial membership expense,” said Gavel.
The club is holding its annual open house BBQ & Fun-Fly on Aug. 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its Hardscratch Road location. The public is welcome to attend.
For more information on the South West Flyers
Or call 902- 902-648-2760