So, what’s been happening?

That up there was a post from Facebook I made in June 2022. Since then I posted a couple of pics to FB and Insta but that was about it. I had an aborted attempt to try to rekindle an ancient project with autonomous wings but it didn’t go anywhere except the bin (without ever seeing the sky).

Things in the post Covid era were slow. I did some work in the industry, completing some actually fairly exciting contracts doing survey work and inspections.

At the start of 2023 however finances were stretched thin and I looked to get back into the workforce doing something I enjoy. Fortunately I didn’t have to look far! In May 2023 I started working for the “OG” of multirotor training schools – FPV Australia.

DJI drones for training

The past year has been a bit of a whirlwind that has taken me all over NSW, as far north as Darwin, and as far south as Hobart. I’ve trained pilots on machines ranging from the ever-faithful Phantom 4 to the mighty XAG P100 Pro (110kg!).

Of course, all this travel has seriously curtailed my time in and enjoyment of the RC hobby. This is what I would like to be able to rectify by “relaunching” Red20RC.

When I first started Red20RC I was inspired by the guys over at Flite Test. I had lost touch with the hobby after my kids were born and the FT community drew me back in with their simple foamboard models. I started Red20RC as a way to encourage me to keep going as I got back into the hobby.

I kind of feel I lost my way a bit when “drone” and UAV technology became more available. I got swept up in the whole FPV and racing drone thing and it was a double-edged sword. It definitely got me noticed and provided my first steps into the industry but at what cost? I’ve wasted a LOT of money trying to conquer an industry I never stood a chance in.

Fast forward to me now, a lot greyer and on the wrong side of 50 and I have realised two important things:

  1. I don’t really like flying FPV racing drones
  2. I don’t really like flying drones

I should really explain #2, particularly as teaching other people to fly drones is kind of my job! I’ve discovered I don’t like flying drones for FUN. Operating a massive machine like the XAG P100 Pro or DJI T40 is incredibly satisfying because of all the technology and planning and learning involved, but just picking up a Multirotor and pushing it around the sky a bit with no set plan is just, well… boring.

I decided long ago that I had no more to offer the commercial drone industry from a design point of view as well. A quick look at Linkedin or Instagram these days is enough to prove the drone industry, like other emerging technologies, is the domain of chaps wearing smart shoes, jackets with lapels, and jeans. Money talks and I just never had enough of it, or the balls to con it out of investors.

So I’m going to go back to getting involved in the best way I know how… designing toy aeroplanes, building them, flying them, and quite probably crashing them!

I’m going to get some of the old flying wing articles and own design plans back online, then I’ll try to get back into the videos and articles with some of my new models.

Until then. Stay happy and blue skies!

Mike dodging crocs in the NT

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