I have to admit that at the moment I feel a little bit lost. I’m not sure where I am going with this hobby. Let me illustrate with a little story…
A few weeks ago I built a new FPV wing from foam board. I really like it and it flew nicely, that is until the third flight where an unforeseen technical issue caused it to crash.
The problem is, as I watched it spiral out of the sky, three thoughts were running through my mind:
- I hope the lipo doesn’t explode and cause a grass fire
- I hope my GoPro is okay
- I hope I don’t get bitten by a snake wandering across this paddock in thongs!
What I didn’t think at any point was “Oh no! My beautiful creation is going to be destroyed!” I just didn’t care that I was losing a model that was essentially brand new. It was just a bit of foam and I probably won’t even bother repairing or rebuilding it.
Is that really okay?
If I was a beginner then it might be better. When you are learning to fly it is probably a good thing not to be too attached to a model as crashing is part of the learning curve. That said, some argue that the cheap, instant gratification of foam models make for tardy pilots as crashing isn’t the show-stopper it used to be.
FPV and Drones
My day job is in the drone industry. I spend my working life managing, planning, building, flying and repairing high end unmanned aircraft. It’s my dream job but it is also highly stressful. Operating incredibly expensive aircraft in remote and difficult terrain is not the same as hobby flying. Aeromodelling for me needs to be a release but it also needs to be satisfying.
I should also mention I haven’t flown more than a few minutes of FPV in months, maybe a year or more. I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would. I have never managed to pursue a career as a drone racer and my freestyle skills are lacklustre at best.
So, what now?
Do I stop building in foam board? Should I focus solely on balsa plans and kits? Do I ditch FPV altogether and focus on LOS flying? Do I get into highly detailed scale modelling?
Recently I have built a few gliders. To be honest that exercise was a bit stupid as my flying site is a flat field and I’ve never sloped in my life! Yes, I could hi-start them but it becomes a bit of a chore setting up bungees and launching that way.
That said, I do love gliding. My favourite model at the moment is my foam Phoenix 1600 motor glider. So do I focus on power launch gliders?
Stop waffling Red, people are losing interest!
I don’t know what the solution is yet. I need to find a way forward that is satisfying without being too stressful, challenging without being time consuming, and intricate without being too expensive.
I like the idea of scale modelling and I enjoy gliders – although I’m not sure the two need to be the same.
I like building in foam board but I don’t find it that much of a challenge and the finished model always feels substandard somehow.
It looks like I have some soul searching to do…
Until next time…