Did you ever wonder what people who have some technical capability do in their spare time? The answer is, they make things like art, craft, and models. Modelling is a very popular leisure pursuit with “practical” people, and if they happen to like speed, then model aircraft have a great attraction. I built my first model when I was about 10, and I’ve been flying model planes down the years since. Nothing can describe the excitement of your first aircraft takeoff! Your own aircraft climbs into the sky and YOU are the pilot!
There is a special pleasure to be got from releasing something you make yourself, and seeing it fly away to great distances, and then return safely later. Now I should say two things right now. First we repair our planes many times after a bumpy landing, so our creations are way tougher than people think. Second, the flying part is only half of the fun, since we spend some pleasant time building, and fiddling with it and tuning our aircraft at home, when inclement weather.
Beginner model fliers ask how difficult it is to fly. Well, it’s like riding a bike, because a plane must move fast to balance right, and it’s like swimming because the first few minutes are the toughest, and it gets easier from there. So flying well, is something you practice and get better at as time goes by. A lot of model pilots actually progress to become pilots of the full size aircraft in later years, many others become engineers. So flying model aircraft can teach some useful skills.
The time required depends on your preference. Fully pre-made models can look a bit basic, but they fly fine. Almost ready to fly (ARF) aircraft require only a few evenings to assemble and are bigger and more elaborate. If you want do do the full construction thing, then traditional model airplane DIY kits consist of the wood to build it, plans, instructions, and accessories. But pre-made and almost-ready-to-fly ARF aircraft have pretty much taken over and dominate the scene.
You can see many Irish locations to fly here: www.greenhobbymodel.com/slopesoaring/ … there are several flying sites near Dublin, some locations are free, and others have clubs with prepared runways available.
How fast does it go? – The best answer is, It depends on the shape. A small plane designed for blistering speed can easily do100mph! A race motor glider (google “F5B hotliner videos”) can do 200mph+ with or without without an engine, and we can do turbine jets ,electric jets, twin engine places, every shape and design. A friend of mine is building a life size flying Ironman right now!
Norman Greene works with www.greenhobbymodel.com, where you can find, amongst other things, a list of available spaces to fly in Dublin.