A Non-Manifesto - DEFINITELY NOT inspired by Histarter
I have seen a lot of change in my life, due to my profession. We have gone from rotatry-dial phones to cell phones, and from 6 MHz wide, analog television stations to digital video and audio. I have personally gone from flying an E-K Logictrol Ranger, 3-channel radio to a JR 9303. I resisted the moldie movement a bit, but not really. I am still convinced that an accurately-built wood wing with some carbon enhancements can be competitive. While I lament that most of us don't design and build anymore, I am not someone that seriously bashes those non-builders. Tease them a bit, yes... but they always know it's not serious.
Take, for instance, the Houston Hawk. From conceptual talks to full-size CAD plots, one week in the making. My original is still the best flying model I own. It has, at the time of this writing, 261.5 flight hours, and 1401 launches. It has been crashed and repaired twice. It is competitive, though that was not really it's purpose when it was designed. When I went to Houston, I was surprised to find the old Hawks club to be just a shadow of it's former glory. Being a prolific builder, it became habit for many to gather at the back of my vehicle to see if I was dragging out something new. That led to a club building project. That's what the Hawk was... a teaching tool. We had 17 people in my garage for a wing-building session. A teaching tool... yes, but it is competitive, too, and it has proven itself.
Progress... ah, progress.... How far we've come! Just my opinion, but to the nay-sayers, I say... No one is excluded! What bunk! Anyone can come out and fly, and progress, and start at whatever level they're comfortable, and progress at whatever rate they're comfortable. That's the beauty of it. Competition drives progress, and it always will. Life's a constant contest in and of itself. R/C Soaring is no different. Many don't enjoy competition and don't participate... or do they? In fact, the more docile designs of yesterday, flown by these non-competitors, were the hot competition ships of their day. Competition drove those designs into being, just as the moldies of today were conceived. Anyone who thinks the heros of yesteryear wouldn't be flying the best possible performing models today are fooling themselves. The models they designed were all progressive steps to get us to the place where we are, today. The designs of today are progressive steps to where we'll be in the future. I am looking forward to those days, and enjoying the gift that is the present.
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