I recently got back into flying by the seat of my pants after a 30 year absence doing only R/C. I began flying gliders in 1980 and after 100 hours and 173 flights I stopped in 1984 and sold my 1/4 share in a Lark IS 29D N99534.
During my break I had of course kept one eye on planes over head and my other eye on the bench. Being a full scale airframe mechanic for 35 years keeps me close to the airport and once in a while I got to fly with someone going to Catalina for lunch or just around enjoying the sights.
This month I signed up for flying lessons at my airport LGB after telling the instructor of my experience we took a Cessna 172 out for an hour. He volunteered to talk with the tower but offered me the controls. Taxying in a big plane is all foot work with steering and brakes being a little sluggish in the middle and using the left or right brake to make a sharper turn. I flew the entire flight with only the instructors advise where to turn how high to be etc. My second flight we took a 152 being $40. less per hour and only 2 seats. I have my eye on the new 162 Skycatcher as I am working on getting my light sport pilot rating. It has only been offered for 10 years with some limitations like no night flying and only one passenger with a max takeoff weight of 1325 lbs including fuel and passengers. The nice thing about it is no third class medical is required using my drivers license as my medical qualification.
I have a few helicopters in the hangar. They are front to back the Blade mcpX RTF, Mystery RTF in a MD 500 E magnum PI paint job, Trex 500, Hirobo Schedu 50, Raptor 30, Radikal G20 (missing the tail rotor gear box) and in the very back an HK 600 GT.
Not shown but the G20 has a Jet Ranger fuselage in paint, trex has a UH1 olive drab and the HK 600 Gt has a blue and silver A-109. I like trying new things out of the simulator with the blade outside but it gets so hard to see so fast. The Mystery I can loop and roll easy enough but a power plug came undone the other day causing the T-tail to break so it has the stock fin on it now. The raptor was an ARF with the PRO 39 motor and the Hirobo has a red head 53.
The G20 has a Zenoah 20cc gas engine with a pull and electric starter.
I've had the Hirobo for years the others are new this year. The HK 600 was almost built out of the box just a few hours in final assembly. I got a Turnigy 600 884kV motor for it and the pinion gear needs to be reamed out to fit the 6mm motor shaft.
started 2007 Since starting my Rauch MD-80 I have built the engine pylons and glued on the nacelles and cut away the doors. Cut the foam for the fuse and flying surfaces and have made some seats and windows too. Having fun making the horizontal stab mounts. It is going slow so far this year I took a job with Gulfstream they keep me pretty busy during the week on G-IV's and various others. This week we are doing some advanced composite projects with thermo sets, carbon fiber and vaccum bagging.
2011 Well not too much to report on the airliner since I moved a few times since starting it and losing my larger work space.
I am a full scale aircraft mechanic and build scale models RTF for customers and myself although I fly the G3 simulator more these days then going to the field. Currently I am working on an JHH F-4 Phantom turbine conversion. I also have a JHH Skyray EDF with the biggest lipo battery pack I've ever owned.
It is getting the last graphics laid down and the servos installed.