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How long have you been in the hobby?

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Dad_flyer22/01/2019 19:28:29
216 forum posts
249 photos
I had a very poor start with a Cox 049 CL model I picked up in a jumble sale when a teenager. Never even got the motor started.
Child_flyer found it last Easter, and with the marvels of the internet we found out what it actually was, got a new reed and seals. Also got the correct fuel this time. So finally had the motor going and kindled an interest.
Child_flyer wanted to fly, and that was clearly not the right model to begin with so we started off with a couple of rubber free flight, then found that a friend flies RC and we have gone from there. Only 9months but loving it. Seeing the stick and tissue rubber model that I made actually fly was like being a kid again.
Robert Parker22/01/2019 19:38:49
940 forum posts
1212 photos

I first built a keil kraft glider not RC in the mid seventies when I was in my mid-teens, this was not a success and not until the summer of 1990 just before going to Uni I discovered our wonderful hobby, started out with a Galaxy Fiesta fitted with an OS 25FP (possibly the worst engine I have ever owned) Futaba Challenger. I built the model on an old bit of ply in my mothers dining room (very seldom used as such). My second and third models were built in the garage, a case of trying to run before I could walk, my second model was a Galaxy Chipmunk and the third was a plan built Vulcan bomber (never flew it) but I did and do enjoy the building process and handling the wood and covered it with nylon and doped.

Now in my 29th year, (where did all those years go).

I have only had two AFTF's in all that time one still survivies and is over 10 years old or so, Ripmax Extreme. I enjoy building from plans, kits and have even made a few own designs over the past three years.

Certainly agree that you never stop learning and help is always on hand either on here or at the flying field



brokenenglish22/01/2019 19:41:38
504 forum posts
30 photos

Since summer 1948. First model, KK Playboy.

Brian Cooper22/01/2019 19:52:34
498 forum posts
21 photos

I have been in the hobby for almost 60 years. . I became interested in model aeroplanes from the age of about 5. . In those days it was simple chuck gliders and Sleek Street rubbe-powered models. . After a couple of years, I graduated to Jetex-powered gliders and I.C.- powered free fighters, and even had a go at control line but I could never get the hang of going round and round without getting dizzy. face 11

Salvation came in 1964, at the age of ten, when I built my first R/C model. It was only single channel but I had a LOT of fun with it. . I designed my first R/C model when I was 11. . Then came RCS multi-channel reeds, and more sophisticated models. . I bought my first digital proportional radio when I was about 14.

This is more than a mere hobby to me.... I have never had a break from it. . It is a passion and a way of life. And yes, you never stop learning.


eflightray22/01/2019 19:54:34
607 forum posts
128 photos

I was a late starter, it was 1954 for my first free flight model, a Nomad glider, then rubber power, control line, and the exciting world of radio-sometimes-in-control single channel.

I wonder how many of today's schools would have an Arts and Crafts period where not only did we built model planes, but even went out and flew them in school time. 1956 or 57 --


The old LNER railway embankment at the back was also my first introduction to slope soaring.


kevin b22/01/2019 20:08:22
1783 forum posts
141 photos

I started into this hobby by watching my father build a Mercury Grebe. I must have been about 2 years old at the time. After that I was a committed model builder until the age of about 16 (not that any of them flew very well). Then I noticed that some people were different. Their bodies were a different shape and although I didn't know why, I found them "interesting". I realised later that this was cunning move by nature to exercise its power over mere mortals and eventually, years (and much expense) later I managed to regain my senses. Nowadays I have a lot more time to build and fly aeroplanes, although sometimes it is necessary to ward off the attentions from ladies of a "certain age". My personal opinion is that a good meal is a lot more enjoyable.

I cut that last sentence short in order not to bring on the wrath of the mods. wink 2

Former Member22/01/2019 20:36:40

[This posting has been removed]

Ron Gray22/01/2019 20:53:01
1707 forum posts
479 photos

Since circa 1960, but with quite long lapses in between now and then! your Fokker reminds me of one I built form a plan, Wing Ding it was called, a forward swept delta wing with huge dihedral, powered by a Cox Pee Wee 020. I remember its maiden (free) flight, I launched it and it did consecutive loops about 5' off the ground both me and my brother dived for cover until it ran out of fuel. Trimmed it and flew it again, this time it went at a 30 degree angle upwards and disappeared from site. I went to the village post office and put a note in the window and next day was told that it had been found in someones garden, undamaged! Didn't fly that one again. That must have been back in about '66. First RC one I built was a lovely little one called (Top Flite???)Roaring 20, 20" WS powered by the Pee Wee and controlled by RCS Guidance system single channel gear complete with Elmec rubber powered escapement (rudder only).

Edited By Ron Gray on 22/01/2019 20:55:07

Edited By Ron Gray on 22/01/2019 20:55:41

Percy Verance22/01/2019 20:55:28
8108 forum posts
155 photos

Also late 60's here, just as soon as I was able to work out how to put a model together. Worked my way through a good number of KeilKraft kits, free flight to begin with. My first i.c. powered model was a KeilKraft Ladybird. Seemed huge at 40 odd inch span, powered by a DC Spifire diesel. Dabbled in control line flying but it didn't really tick my boxes, so moved to radio in the early 70's. Secondhand gear to begin with until I could afford my first new set - a Gem 4 from Roland Scotts in Manchester.

Still flying radio almost 50 years later.......should get the hang of it before too long.


Edited By Percy Verance on 22/01/2019 20:57:52

onetenor22/01/2019 21:13:42
1901 forum posts

Since about '48 I'd been making /trying to make cardboard and matches planes. Dad bought me an all balsa stick rubber plane . It did fly , This whetted my appetite and went through all the Jasco types of gliders and rubbers I could. Then various all sheet kits. About age 9 I struggled solo through a KK Hurricane. Only tissue I could get was what the bakery had to cover bread when sold Dead heavy .Flew like a brick but was recognisable. I then did a chippie which turned out very well covered with light Modelspan stuck on with flour paste with drop of bleach in to stop mould. I then bought my first engine. Allbon Javelin 49/11d. this led to c/l and ff power then R/C and the rest is history. Time to date 70 yrs.P.S. The Javelin still runs well despite having to solder the crank nose back on using mum's stove

Stuart Z22/01/2019 21:33:04
390 forum posts

40 years with around 10 taken out for full size gliding.

Mainly kit built IC power models now. Some funfighters as they are nice carpentry jobs. Now looking at a couple of plan builds, one being a “truish” scale type.

Remember, no hobby is free! This one just costs a bit more than some but not as much as others!

Richard Harris22/01/2019 21:59:48
2118 forum posts
1966 photos

I was introduced to this hobby in the mid to late 70's going along with my dad and built my first RC model in the early 80's (Super Skyman) followed by a Gangaster 52.

Have tried a number of disciplines, gliders, scale, aerobatics and have built a few turbines, pulse jets etc

More recently autogyros have been my models of choice, those that have flown one will will know how versatile they are.

A great hobby with so much to try.

Here is a photo taken back in the late 70's, my dad's model is the Red Galahad, I think the blue and white trainer is a Slim Jim. The field and surrounding land was owned by the late John Bonham who popped over to chat from time to time.

me as a kid.jpg

Martin Harris22/01/2019 22:37:59
9171 forum posts
242 photos
Posted by Martin Harris on 22/01/2019 14:15:45:

This is where a little information in the Member Profile can be so useful! It does bug me a little that so few people don't take a few minutes to add some details of their experience and interests which can be so useful when answering queries or deciding how much credence to place on their opinions.

And before anyone screams "data protection" and "identity fraud" concerns, you don't need to put your date of birth, bank details or mother's maiden name in there!

It seems that at least one member saw this as a "rant". Apologies if it came over that way but I saw it as encouragement to the OP and others to fill in a few profile details, which I, and I believe many others, find useful and informative.

leccyflyer22/01/2019 22:52:23
1351 forum posts
314 photos

25 years this time round, after a break of 18 years since my first teenage unsuccessful attempts at radio control flying. Would never have believed first time round that it would be possible to fly a full house 17" span scale Spitfire.

Peter Jenkins23/01/2019 00:02:03
1400 forum posts
152 photos

Started building flying models in 1963 - KK Hurricane! Of course, it didn't fly! Then bought Peter Chinn's all about Model Aircraft and found out that when you dope tissue you stick in on first! That explains the wrinkly Hurricane! Then Mercury Magpie (flew well). Various other free plans from Model Aircraft Mag. Joined the Wings Club - still got the enamel badge somewhere. Big step was buying a Mills 75 in 1965 (still got it) but sadly it must have been a Friday afternoon job as the compression stop had been put in one turn too early! It would run, just, but the model it was in, Veron Provost control liner, never moved! Then a Wenmac trainer - ready to fly plastic C/L job. The Wenmac Hotshot was a great engine. Easy starter on the front really worked and the power was amazing! Took many years to get to fly more than 3/4 of a circuit by which stage all the plastic pins holding the fuselage in alignment had broken off. Then Phantom Mite - good. Then Early Bird combat wing with PAW 249! Amazing setup. Learned to fly aerobatics and the EB was tough! Then into building MacGregor radios - never worked. Bought RCS single channel with Elmic Compact escapement in a slope soarer (daft as I couldn't reach a slope so just towed it up). OK but eventually totalled. Then buiilt a Quantum 6 proportional Tx, Rx and 1 servo amp (they PCB was so small I gave up and bought the other 3). Build own design trainer with OS 30 RC but it never flew as the range on the Quantum 6 was about 20 yrds despite taking it in to Remcon twice - It's all working fine mate! Bought a Futaba M series - beautiful - still got it but never used it.

Stopped when I went to university and found a full size gliding club there. Then after getting a Silver C took a PPL conversion course and keeping that PPL going precluded model aircraft expenditure. Brief return to C/L to give my 2 sons a feel for it - no joy - they were more interested in rugby, hockey and cricket. Eventually, returned to hobby in 2002 and into R/C with Futaba - wow what a change from the old days. Never really had the time to take flying seriously till I retired. Got my B went into competing in aerobatics (F3A) and have learned more since doing that than in my entire modelling career up till then - and still learning. Getting back to building now rather than just buying ARTFs but not for the 2 mtr aerobats! One good thing with getting a B and going into aerobatics is that it has reduced my crashery considerably. Does mean the hangar is a bit full. There has only been one 2 mtr totalled when the brain fogged - so far!

David Davis23/01/2019 05:55:27
3598 forum posts
659 photos

"...Then into building MacGregor radios - never worked..."

Mine had a range of about four feet or 1.25 metres.

Ray Dunn23/01/2019 11:52:03
33 forum posts
25 photos

Well Sonny, you have really hit the nail on the head, when it comes to getting us oldies reminiscing and this hobby has an abundance of them

I've been in the hobby for 60+ years, in part as a result of receiving Xmas presents like the Keil Kraft (KK) Hurricane and Lysander (father wanted to be a spitfire pilot). I've always been working very much to a budget (maybe my subsistence farm upbringing, or I suspect a balsa basher trait). This led me to build my own radio gear in the single channel days and eventually the RCM&E receiver and soldering up servo kits. (It was nice to get back to this recently with an OpenXsensor receiver plugin. Cheaper, lighter and generally more effective that the commercial parts it replaced! Great to see the current generation being inventive and exploring repurposing standard industrial products)

My early rubber powered Hurricane did fly after a fashion. It took off from the front porch. It had flying speed by the time it shot off the front step and banked left 90° under power (slight warp) then glided fairly straight down the garden. Well on the best flights... I think I'd built a few balsa kits by then. For me that model was the first to really looked the part.

Having a wife and eventually ~20 horses to support, has kept my spending in check for many a year….

I do seem to be drifting into more expensive servos and kits now, ending up with a carbon fibre discus launched glider (DLG). Wonderfully addictive to fly, with flight heights and duration readouts from the transmitter (amazing these latest 2.4 radio sets.)

These days, I do come home with the plane in one piece most days. Though overconfidence recent resulted in my DLG’s receiver battery ejecting during launch! The glider continued to full launch height, straight up and straight down… and amazingly it was repairable.

Always learning, as Benny Hill used to say

(rambling) Ray

SONNY MONKS23/01/2019 13:51:55
269 forum posts

wow ray,that is a long time,respect to you.

Percy Verance23/01/2019 16:06:42
8108 forum posts
155 photos


I had a secondhand MacGregor single channel set for a while. It wasn't the most reliable set. It would certainly be fair to say that, in my particular case at least, wee MacGregor wasn't always in control.........

For those not in the know, "Wee MacGregor's in Control" was MacGregor's adverstising slogan back in the 70's (and probably earlier). There were numerous UK manufacturers of radio gear back in the 60's and 70's, but a little known Japanese manufacturer began marketing sets here through Ripmax, and they became quite popular. 



Edited By Percy Verance on 23/01/2019 16:18:07

Martin McIntosh23/01/2019 19:51:35
3159 forum posts
1136 photos

I started in 1959 aged 11 with a KK Spitfire and DC Bantam. Never could start it but my mate had a Champ with a posh Mills 0.75 so we somehow managed basic c/l flying. I later built a Cardinal FF. The tissue was glued on with flour and water paste. It was white and I wanted the wings red so just slapped on some dope. Nobody told me that you have to use clear dope first. Took it to the local park where some kind soul came along and got the Bantam going. Off it sailed with a full tank and ended up in a lake. Two hours or so later it drifted to the other side.

A distant relative on my Scottish side called Douglas Paton passed away and I was given his beautifully made models. Evidently he was quite a name in those days. These included an ECC Telecommander 951A Rx and an ED ground based Tx complete with 8`6" aerial and a grounding spike. Never did get it to work properly but it gave me an interest in electronics which has been the basis of my career. Along came the RCM&E UK Rx which I put together and it actually worked; even managed to miniaturise it, got rid of the relay and fitted it in a Cox TD 010 powered model.

Modelling was frustrating but so much more fun in those days when every little piece had to be made, not bought. A single successful flight was quite an achievement. It put me in good stead for designing equipment and models.

Now back in the shed for more work on the rather more sophisticated current Spitfire.

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