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Old Apr 03, 2011, 08:17 PM
del
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north of Chicago
Joined Feb 2003
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Rant
PERF 2011, the end of an era...

The PERF indoor meet used to be one of _the_ premier meets for indoor/micro r/c model builders, and a way for folks attending the Weak Signals Toledo show to see what micro/light folks are building. Not any more!!

While the PERF web site still says "See micro airplanes (4oz and less) fly by remot control. Meet many of the worlds best designers, builders and pilots of micro sized RC aircraft." The truth is that fewer and fewer designers and builders show up every year.

That same web page goes on to say, "The purpose event is to showcase Micro RC models 3 ounces or less ready to fly."

Poor grammar and weight inconsistency in the announcement aside, I boxed up some under 2 oz models and went to PERF. I should have stayed home. The air in the tiny gym was filled with RTF's, ARF's, 3D crap towing gliders and pilots who flew over the pits and spectators...

I tried to fly my scratch built models, but had to do my best to stay under 6 feet above the floor for fear that someone flying a HZ Champ, or some other RTF Poorly Guided Missile, would mid-air my model. I could have had the same flying experience at my local gym... Why would anyone go to PERF to see the same RTF's they see everywhere? I doubt I'll be going back to PERF

It's nothing new. The JR meet is no longer friendly to micro/light builders. E-Fest never was. Who knows if KIEF will happen again...

And the same is true for this forum. Even though there is a forum for RTF's and such, model "BUYERS", not builders, hang around here. That in spite of the fact that this forum was started by the model builders who made this whole indoor/micro/light form of model aviation possible.

So, OK, appliance operators, you win! Go forth and buy flying toys. Expand the landfills with your broken foam. Fill the pockets of manufacturers who rip off ideas and use slave labor to build your coveted merchandise. Buy what you are told to buy and never think about building, or designing, anything...

And tell your children to BUY models. Designing and scratch building them is just too hard, and takes too much patience and creativity. That will insure their place in a consumer economy...

--del
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Old Apr 03, 2011, 08:27 PM
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friz's Avatar
VA
Joined Feb 2009
867 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by del View Post
The PERF indoor meet used to be one of _the_ premier meets for indoor/micro r/c model builders, and a way for folks attending the Weak Signals Toledo show to see what micro/light folks are building. Not any more!!

While the PERF web site still says "See micro airplanes (4oz and less) fly by remot control. Meet many of the worlds best designers, builders and pilots of micro sized RC aircraft." The truth is that fewer and fewer designers and builders show up every year.

That same web page goes on to say, "The purpose event is to showcase Micro RC models 3 ounces or less ready to fly."

Poor grammar and weight inconsistency in the announcement aside, I boxed up some under 2 oz models and went to PERF. I should have stayed home. The air in the tiny gym was filled with RTF's, ARF's, 3D crap towing gliders and pilots who flew over the pits and spectators...

I tried to fly my scratch built models, but had to do my best to stay under 6 feet above the floor for fear that someone flying a HZ Champ, or some other RTF Poorly Guided Missile, would mid-air my model. I could have had the same flying experience at my local gym... Why would anyone go to PERF to see the same RTF's they see everywhere? I doubt I'll be going back to PERF

It's nothing new. The JR meet is no longer friendly to micro/light builders. E-Fest never was. Who knows if KIEF will happen again...

And the same is true for this forum. Even though there is a forum for RTF's and such, model "BUYERS", not builders, hang around here. That in spite of the fact that this forum was started by the model builders who made this whole indoor/micro/light from of model aviation possible.

So, OK, appliance operators, you win! Go forth and buy flying toys. Expand the landfills with your broken foam. Fill the pockets of manufacturers who rip off ideas and use slave labor to build your coveted merchandise. Buy what you are told to buy and never think about building, or designing, anything...

And tell your children to BUY models. Designing and scratch building them is just too hard, and takes too much patience and creativity. That will insure their place in a consumer economy...

--del
If it makes you feel better i'm 15 and i'm starting a b 24 build. I will admit the foam is already slightly in shape and its not a complete scratch build. I do have to sand alot of it and cut and manufactore balsa wood parts so it will be almost like a scratch build. But, i'm trying to work my way up to that level(scratchbuilding).
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Old Apr 03, 2011, 08:32 PM
TheyreComingToTakeMeAway!
derk's Avatar
USA, ID, Coeur D'Alene
Joined Dec 2003
5,475 Posts
thats a terrible story Del, and sad as well. its very true that the rtf scene has spoiled the "true" micro creators like yourself, but at the same time, in the years past, we all wanted to see more people flying micro aircraft so we had a better community. problem now is that probably 80% of the people buying the rtf stuff do not bother to attempt to build a new plane when they are bored or break their foamies.
i was only fortunate enough to go to the PERF one time and was delighted to see Dave Robelen and John Worth both fly their creations. this was way back in 2004 before the rtf craze. i did not get to fly at that event but always wanted to go back as a registered pilot, not sure how likely that is these days though.

maybe we should organize a western side event and sanction the RTF's to their own time slot and everything built to another time slot. maybe even have a custom model as a prerequisite for entry
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Old Apr 03, 2011, 10:25 PM
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Joined Mar 2006
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I know what you are saying; Del, I run the indoor flying in western Idaho, but I can make the change. I’m returning the light stuff to the head of the pack next year. I know that I will make some people mad and they will never return.
This is our web site: http://bryansweb.com/indoor_times.htm
If you look at the pictures of the 2010-2011 season compared to the last ten years, you will see that the larger and heavier planes have increased in numbers. Because of that, we have lost a number of the true builders. (When I asked them why I had not seen them for a while, they voiced the same concern you did… "Too heavy, too fast.") I will take responsibility for the problem; we have had a rule that the RC planes could not exceed 28 grams or one ounce. And I have not wanted to be the police man during the flying time (I like to fly too). This would not be a problem but the mentality of the non-builder is that they somehow have a right to fly. Years past we have had heavier than 28 gram planes come out, and the builder would first ask and would wait for the floor to clear and then fly. This year we have had the floor full of light planes when a parkzone P51 (or any one of the fast ARF’s) would come out to fly at full speed in a pylon course, and be upset that the light planes are flying all the time. It may be that since they don’t have time or emotion invested in their planes, they don’t care/understand how frustrating it is for the light plane flyers who DO have time and money invested.
Next year I will be enforcing the weight rule. Before you think that Tom is just a power hungry jerk, we have access to three gyms: one is for helicopters, one is for the rubber powered and RC planes that weight less than or equal to 28grams, and the third gym is for anyone else, heavy or 3D.
Del, the problem may be systemic to society in general. This last season there were 40 to 78 people coming out to fly each Sunday. Last Sunday was our last flying time for the season, and in years past almost 100 % of the flyers came by to thank me for making a place available to fly during the bad weather. This year there were 8 who came by to thank me. Maybe manners are not important any more.
Sorry, Del, I know this sounds like a rant, but I feel your pain.
Tom
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Old Apr 04, 2011, 12:06 AM
Colorado Springs, CO
Joined Jul 2004
46 Posts
Del, I feel your pain. I, too, have been basically a builder and experimenter, from dismantling snow globe cars to figuring out which grocery bags were the lightest. Few of us remember when we used rubber band powered actuators and one button transmitters, or, actually used breadboards to build our primitive radios. In other hobbies, we selected willow sticks and newspapers to make our kites, we had to write our own computer programs, etc. But this hobby, like most, has evolved – hopefully for the better. A few years back, we wished for more people to get interested in our micro RC hobby. Now we are overwhelmed by how many are involved and what “they” are doing. I think the evolution was inevitable, though I wish it weren’t so. At the very least, we can take solace in the knowledge that we, each in our own way, contributed to a wonderful hobby.

Bill
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Old Apr 04, 2011, 12:10 AM
TheyreComingToTakeMeAway!
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USA, ID, Coeur D'Alene
Joined Dec 2003
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Tom, it would be a cool trip for me and the Mrs to go down and fly with you guys, but it might need to be a 2 day event to lure me out that far
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Old Apr 04, 2011, 02:09 PM
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What a shame!! The slow planes are fun to watch!
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Old Apr 04, 2011, 02:11 PM
MAD MEN QCRC
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Joined Jun 2006
604 Posts
Del, Yes, That era is over It is unfortunately a fact that fast big foamies or the typically flown ZZZZZZone planes of today and our very light floaty older style micro indoor rc models don't mix! At every indoor event that I have attended in the last couple years our type of models are very much at risk of annihilation or worse serve as targets for the buzz bombs that are called "ultra micro" rc these days. You are correct that fewer scratch builders of light indoor rc models are coming to these events any more as the fun factor is down and the pucker factor is up! Indoor micro rc has evolved (devolved) into small fast foam rtfs that have little value to their owners and are flown accordingly. Don't know what the answer is except to ferret out local sites where you can fly the light planes in privacy and enjoy the magic of their slow and beautiful flight. I am very fortunate to have access to a gym where they fly indoor free flight planes. My little planes fit right in and we peacefully coexist and share our fun without the stress! We have on occasion also done some Guerilla Flying at the shopping mall! Just don't ask or they will say no! Unfortunately our style of model flying is becoming a lonely experience but we can still enjoy it Best, Bill
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Old Apr 04, 2011, 02:30 PM
Fly long and land softly
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Madison, Alabama USA
Joined Oct 2005
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I know of exactly one indoor Free Flight builder here in Huntsville, AL. He recently took a Vapor guts and put them into a several foot wingspan biplane that he built using his FF techniques and materials.

He flew it recently in a NASA conference building, and it flew soooooooo slow and beautifully.

Yesterday he brought it to a taller indoor facility to fly. Unfortunately after it flew just a few feet, a gust of air knocked it down to the floor, damaging it in several places. A nice basketball gym with several RTF and ARFs flying is simply too much for an ultralight plane like this. He needs the whole gym reserved for himself, the A/C turned off, and several minutes with nobody even walking around for the air to settle out!

Considering the many hours he put into this, the demanding transport box, etc. etc., I don't see a lot of pilots following his lead!

Jim
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Old Apr 04, 2011, 03:04 PM
Gary
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USA, CT, Sandy Hook
Joined Dec 2009
819 Posts
I think that everyone here is too harsh. I am a long time builder (45 yrs of building) who is currently enjoying a mix of build and buy. The hue and cry just a few years ago was the impending death of the sport. Now we have thousands more involved. Recently I helped turn a buyer into a builder. Why not look at this influx of people as an opportunity? Will it require adjustments - certainly. The events have control over their rules and can clearly segment time or courts for different model classes. For them to just sit back and decry the "changing times" is to abrogate their significant role in modeling. Enough with the moaning.

I think that it is time to work with the newcomers to the sport and convince them that they too can show up at the field with something unique.

Besides, I enjoy having planes with no "emotional involvement" that I can throw caution to the wind with. It give my nerves a break from flying my built-up models.
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Old Apr 04, 2011, 04:30 PM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
Boston, Mass
Joined May 2001
6,432 Posts
It's hard to say which is better. Yesterday our club flew at a local college gym where one of my clubmates is a professor. A couple of his students were there flying. One had a PZ T-28 Trojan. And, of course he collided with my 18g blue skeleton Fokker triplane. Naturally I lost and will have to build another from scratch. He came over and felt really bad. But, he's a newer flier and doesn't know how to not fly through lighter slower planes.

One problem is the large manufactures of micro planes want their planes to be able to be flown outdoors in calm or semi-calm conditions as well as indoors. That means they are often by defnition a bit heavier and have higher wing loadings. They are very different from planes that can only be flown indoors. As Bill said, they don't coexist very well.

Gordon
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Old Apr 04, 2011, 04:30 PM
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Westbrook Maine
Joined Apr 2003
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The first time I showed up at an indoor event, I was to afraid to fly, and the planes I flew then barely flew, and were not up to the standard that others were flying (some would have fit your less than six foot ceiling because they only flew with ground effect.)

As a result, I dug in, and now, my planes fly better IMHO than the RTF's in their size class. I will say though, that I have used the RTF's to gain a ton of flying time outside, that I wouldn't have had if I needed to risk a scratch built plane. I love to build, but not to repair... on top of that, they have provided inexpensive motors and radio's that weren't available in the 90's.

Last year, each of the indoor events that were local to me had at least four midair collisions, and I was involved with one each time. I think of it as a risk that I am willing to take, but I don't like it one bit. I don't think we should blame the plane, its the mindset of the pilots, the planes just get them there quicker.

Although I havent bought an RTF since the 4Site Release, and I havent seen one that I really want, but I know that one day, I will break down and buy (and fly) another.
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Old Apr 04, 2011, 05:31 PM
Flutter-Bys are fun
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United States, MI, Honor
Joined Dec 2005
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del,
I went to PERF one year when it was held in the Perrysburg High School gym. I paid a modest entry fee, I think, I watched some of the most, at least to me, incredible airframes flying ever. There were some big name indoor pilots along with yourself there. I was amazed at the rubber powered free flight plane that they used in the Nationals. There were great planes there. I didn't get to Toledo this year, and now it looks like, if your description is spot on, the great builders of those sub-ounce airframes will stop and one of the great arts of modeling will decline.
I watched Joe fly his micro stuff at the JR Indoor this year. Somehow he doesn't have many problems, there is an area for micro stuff, this year it was filled with many RTF small planes that you talked about. A lot of kids flying things.
Who knows what will happen in the future. There is a place for your art, I call it art, because the patience it takes to create those airframes is way beyond what I could ever do.
Conehead
Orrin Eldred
Also del, there were a lot of smaller airplanes flying at the JR Indoor this year.
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Old Apr 05, 2011, 01:37 PM
Woof. Arf. Angle of Attack.
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Iowa - East Central
Joined Oct 2007
143 Posts
I can't find myself being overly severe about this. I straddle both worlds. I have micro free flight conversions painstakingly built, kits like Stevens Aero's, and Parkzone foam micros. I see people that got started with the foam micros getting into building with stick and tissue. And as much as we can curse the Micro4site that just midaired our precious balsa baby, we take immense benefit from being able to use those now cheap available bricks to make free flight planes from the 40s fly under our control.

Recently I made the move from flying at an open indoor session dominated by 3D foamies and 4sites to a older, slower free-flight session that allows polite and gentlemanly sharing of the airspace with sub-ounce RC types. Lots of mutual respect at this end of the spectrum.

PZ foam micros are still fun. Keep one in the car, fly a keychain camera to 400 feet with the Champ. I get more people to make a jump into RC when I give them the name of the local electric club and the fact that the Champ goes for $90.

I can't answer for PERF, I can't make weak signals. I did have a slightly disappointing time at the Cedar Falls Iowa - E|xpo with it's micro-unfriendly situation this year. But the Sunday Free flight sessions (Jon McVay - Mt Vernon IA) was a nice offset, and there are those calm summer evenings coming up.

This forum has exploded too, since I joined in 2007. New projects and buildups at an increasing rate. Maybe it's not the best era, but it is certainly an exciting one.
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Old Apr 05, 2011, 02:20 PM
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Oxford, Michigan, United States
Joined Aug 1999
2,425 Posts
As one of the pilots at the last 2 PERFs I can relate to Del's position. But I think it's solveable with some time management. I flew several planes that night (no RTF).

The lightest one (my 17 g Bob Selman Mosquito) is not slow and neither were the others (Dynex 2.4 flown on the wing, not 3D), Firefox on 1S and a brick and my 9" (Depron Dave) Skyray. All three of the larger planes are in the 1-2 oz range.

One suggestion would be to have slow flyers and faster airplanes alternate in time. The reality is even in a small gym there is a wide range of airplanes that can fly sucessfully. But we need to protect the lighter wing loading planes from the higher loaded planes. Otherwise, as Del says, the light ones will stop coming.

Pete

PS. My wife Carolynn had fun flying her Vapor too!
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