Have you ever been driving down the road and look up and see what looks like an airplane just a few hundred yards away? It’s a sight that peaks one’s curiosity, so I followed the airborne objects and found an intriguing group of people.
Apparently, the world of radio controlled airplanes and helicopters is a highly sought after hobby. The park where my curiosity landed me was about two blocks off the major highway in Richardson, Texas, and the street was lined with cars and people. On one side of the street, gas and electric helicopters buzzed through the air. There were big ones, and small ones and the talented men at the helm of the radio controls were making them dance like hummingbirds.
Typically, when you see a helicopter in the air, it is flying steadily in a definitive path to a specific destination. That was not the case with these scaled models of these flying machines. There were pirouettes, up-side-down hovers, tick-tock like maneuvers and all sorts of unbelievable motions being performed. It was amazing.On the other side of the street, again lined from one end to the other, were scale model airplanes. I learned these models were reproductions on a scale of 15 to 28% of the REAL AIRPLANES. The men behind the controls of the planes were extremely knowledgeable and eager to share their experiences.
On the other side of the street, again lined from one end to the other, were scale model airplanes. I learned these models were reproductions on a scale of 15 to 28% of the REAL AIRPLANES. The men behind the controls of the planes were extremely knowledgeable and eager to share their experiences.
One pilot boasted of 30 years experience with this hobby and suggested it is not for everyone. Another pilot, extremely sensitive about how close I got to his plane, suggested the hobby was not for the light of heart – or the light of pocketbook. Apparently, these aircraft can cost upwards of a couple of thousand dollars.
A Free and Entertaining Way to Spend a Couple of Hours on a Beautiful Spring Saturday
Watching the flight of one pilot, his stunts consisted of what was called an ‘avalanche’ and a ‘snap role,’ not to mention something he called a ‘lunch-upchuck.’ There is an imaginary flight pattern that all the pilots stay within and a maintained ‘run-way’ for landings and take-offs.
The maneuvers and stunts performed by the various pilots of these scale planes were both interesting and entertaining. Not something you would see performed at your local airport. One plane was essentially ‘hanging’ in the air, pointed upward. I later learned this is what is called ‘hovering.’
Tons of spectators lined the ‘flight-line,’ oohing and awing the bright colors and designs that decorated the planes’ surfaces. Children were particularly entertained by the flights of fancy and parents were eager to snap photos of their child standing next to the grounded planes.
Some Saturday afternoon, when you are driving on the Bush Tollway and not in any particular hurry to get where it is you are going, trace these airborne objects to their renegade airport and spend a little time enjoying the free entertainment of the talents of these radio controlled hobbyists. The show is worth the price!