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: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/287214

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Page 32 of 38

EAA Experimenter 33 recorded a video in 2013 for the AMA that explains the impor- tance of modeling. The AMA slogan "Fly a model – catch the bug" brings with it the added notion that some of those folks also will become interested in full-size airplanes. Many of us current pilots started out fl ying models. New technologies providing ready-to-fl y electric models for indoor and outdoor use make it easy for the youngest of kids to have a successful experience. It's not like the old days when we built the transmitter from a kit, spent more time fi xing than fl ying, and struggled to start a balky glow-plug engine. Old-timers and kids alike will be amazed to see the progress that has been made. If you didn't try model aviation as a kid, now is the per- fect time. There are more choices than ever before. THE 'OSHKOSH' OF ELECTRIC RC FLYING A great place to start would be somewhere like the 9th annual Hobbico E-Fest held February 15 to 16 in Champaign, Illinois. Described as the premier indoor RC event, it was a two-day smorgasbord of electric RC model fl ying with open fl ying peri- ods, structured contests, demonstrations, and a strong focus on the youth. It all took place inside the Track and Field Armory Building at the University of Illinois. The 98-foot-high ceiling covers 80,000 square feet and was a marvel of its time when completed in 1914. Originally intended for military cadet train- ing, the Armory now accommodates a variety of functions. The E-Fest event is like an "Oshkosh of RC fl ying" with tiny micro models fl own on the east end, full-fl edged 3-D aerobatics and helicopters on the west end, and everything else in between. Activities included indoor scale, helium balloon chasing, obstacle course, combat (last one fl ying wins), and night fl ying with all the house lights turned of . In 2013 a prize was of ered for those who could successfully land on a moving scale aircraft carrier driven around on the playing fi eld. Thanks to the amazing technology of digital transmitters, as many as 50 pilots can fl y at the same time without anyone worrying about not being on his own unique frequency. It's all automatic. Commercial vendors of kits, planes, radios, and hobby supplies line the south wall. You can walk in, watch the RC airplanes fl ying, buy what you need on site, and take it home to begin your exploration into this fun side of aviation. E-Fest is hosted by Hobbico , the world's largest mail order retailer and the largest U.S. manufacturer of hobby products, including RC airplanes, boats, and cars. The retail division, Tower Hobbies , was founded as a mail order business in 1971 by Photography courtesy of Dan Grunloh Indoor aerobatic 3-D models easily hover and do vertical aileron rolls. E A A E X P _ A p r 1 4 . i n d d 3 3 EAAEXP_Apr14.indd 33 3 / 3 1 / 1 4 9 : 4 5 A M 3/31/14 9:45 AM

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