April 2014

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: http://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/287214

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Page 33 of 38

34 Vol.3 No.4 / April 2014 LIGHT PL ANE WORLD college students in one of the dormitory towers at the Univer- sity of Illinois (hence the name). About that same time Great Planes Models was founded by Don Anderson. In 1985 the two companies merged to form Hobbico. Over the next 29 years, the company developed dozens of in-house brands and acquired other brand names to become the giant it is today. THROWING CONFET TI INTO THE WIND A big part of E-Fest is the programs designed for kids, and a lot of youngsters can be seen attending, brought there by their dads as the perfect way to introduce them to aviation. At the "Make It - Take It" booth, volunteers help young kids build their fi rst rubber-powered model, and later in the day, a group of about forty kids are lined up for a simultaneous launch. After a controlled countdown, all the kids release their models to see which would travel the farthest and win a prize. From a distant vantage point at the end of the line, it looks a little like throwing confetti into the wind. Slightly older kids abound at the event and show impressive skills fl ying RC airplanes and helicopters with the improved ability that comes from starting early in life. WHAT IS A DRONE? The schedule at the 2014 E-Fest included seminars covering subjects from model rockets to drones. The talk on drones by master RC pilot RJ Ritter of the North Carolina State Aerial Robotics Club was very informative. The people who design and build unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are keen to ditch the term "drone" because of its negative connotations. The FAA rulings have come to dif erentiate between UAVs and RC mod- els based on a few simple principles: 1) Sometimes you can't tell them apart by simply looking at the equipment. 2) UAVs usually have autopilots and can fl y totally autono- mous missions. Some have manual controls, but some do not. 3) UAVs have a payload such as imaging, communications, or emergency relief package. 4) Finally, UAVs are used for research, military, or commer- cial use. Hobby RC airplanes can carry a payload but absolutely cannot be used for commercial purposes. A fully autonomous NCSU engineering students and their competition UAV. The cavernous Armory Building has a 98-foot-tall ceiling. E A A E X P _ A p r 1 4 . i n d d 3 4 EAAEXP_Apr14.indd 34 3 / 3 1 / 1 4 9 : 4 5 A M 3/31/14 9:45 AM

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