Mention of the phrase ‘RC’ brings the smell of gas and freshly mowed grass, still wet from the sprinklers, together with the ‘Brrr…brrr…brrrriya-a-a-a’ sound of starting a single-cylinder engine. The memory is a blended life experience in a single draft. Thought of any one brings the taste of all together – it’s a personal memory meme.
We didn’t actually have RC airplanes, but line controlled planes that required standing in one place, flying in a circle, attached to the model by control strings. That seems quaint in the age of electric drones and ducted-fan jets, but they had the tactile feel of direct control. You could feel the plane go slack on the lines and have plenty of time to panic.
The meme is still the same. It conjures up Saturday mornings at the schoolyard, when you could take over the baseball field and fiddle for hours starting the engine for a ten minute flight.
If luck was with you, no essential part failed during the first flight, and two, or three more flights might follow, with the engine becoming increasingly difficult to start until finally refusing altogether.
Other kids would always come to watch. They often drifted away before the engine started, nevertheless, a few stuck around giving unwanted advice, to be rewarded with an opportunity to lay in the flight path and be strafed.
Today, most schoolyards and parks won’t allow such activities. Noise ordinances, I suppose. I hardly even flew those planes. Just the ambience the hobby creates is engaging. But there are hard core enthusiasts who take the hobby to a state-of-art I never imagined. Just watch these amazing craft and feel like a kid on Saturday morning.
If that makes you want to go flying… buy an RC plane and have some fun, and support The Daily Plasma by buying at Amazon through the links below.
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