Wednesday, September 17, 2008

All Things Wise And Radio Controlled.

I'm not sure how many of the family know that I enjoy radio controlled vehicles, but they will know after this blog. I think I originally got hooked to the idea in Indiana when Dad would play with his planes on a string.

I remember him only doing it once, probably because he crashed them all. Dad was better suited as a mechanic than a pilot. The only flaw Dad has as a mechanic is the enormous hands which are attached to his arms.

Neat website:

The radio controlled vehicles I have are: 6 cars (2 are only for parts), 1 boat, and 1 mangled airplane. I also have the same curse for piloting as Dad. At the local hobby store they have a radio controlled helicopter training program. You use a handheld controller and you fly a virtual helicopter. It was fun, but it made me reconsider buying a real helicopter. I virtually crashed about $2,000 worth of radio controlled helicopters in about 15 minutes. It is harder than you might think.

This is my car.

My boys have also had some fun with their own radio controlled vehicles. A word to the wise: buy cheap. You may think those radio controlled vehicles are pretty tough. However, you can only launch them down two flights of stairs so many times before they get destroyed. Why are kids fascinated with destruction?


Zaphod said...

I became interested in model airplanes because of my Dad. He built and flew "static line" gasoline engine planes (planes on a string). The problem with them was that they flew in a circle and I couldn't turn around and around and around and around (etc.) without getting a little (or a lot) sick. In Indiana I tried to learn how to do it without getting sick and failed miserably. You may have thought that it was the planes that crashed, but that only happened after I had crashed.

My dad had radio-controlled planes and boats too, but almost invariably the stupid things would get out of radio range and we would have to hike all over creation to recover the things. I think the controllers are better now.

The best thing that he had was a cabin cruiser, about four feet long, that was radio controlled. I watched him lay the keel and build the whole thing from scratch. The detail was incredible. The first time that he tested it in water was at the Chaffey College swimming pool. This must have been about 1956 or so. My father was a gifted modeler. I think that the gift has skipped a generation.

Destruction of toy cars, trains, boats, trucks, etc. has never skipped a generation in 6000 years.

shydandelion said...

I should hook you guys up with Jeremy. HE LOVES to build things like that.

Trillium said...

Nice title. Clever. Touch of irony. Made me smile.

Chris said...

Yeah, I remember Dad having that airplane on a string, and whipping it around in circles. I actually thought that it hit him in the dead a couple of times before he quit. I remember all the while Dad had a perplexed look on his face. It didn't look like he was having very much fun.

I actually have a remote controlled airplane that Tammy got me for my birthday or Christmas a couple of years ago. It was the kind that you had to throw like a paper airplane, and rev the engine sa it was sailing in the air. It took a little bit of coordination to get it to keep flying. The only detail that I was able to do was put these stickers on it. So, not too much talent was required in doing that. Although, the skipping of generations applied to that too, so actually, it looked pretty crappy.

Anywho, I flew that thing around for the first few days. It was a lot of fun. I got pretty good at navigating it, and avoiding obstacles like trees and cars, etc. I could even fly it in my family room, and circle the room, and hallways, etc. The biggest problem that I had was when I was flying it outside. Wind was my biggest threat. The higher elevation I got it, the harder it was to control it. The wind current seemed stronger the higher I went. And, when it got pretty far away, I would attempt to turn it around for it to come back, and it was like trying to swim against a rip current.

I don't know what the range is for a little plane like that, and I would guess that it was about 1000 feet up and 1000 away. Eventually, I had to kill the engines on the plane and let it come crashing back to earth. Right before it hit the ground, I revved the engine, and it did a little swoop, and landed on the ground unscathed.

I must admit that at the time, I wasn't having too much fun. I was too worried that I would lose it or crash it. I haven't played much with it since.

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