Rich’s Words

Model Airplane News - - IN THE WORKSHOP -

These days nearly any­thing with wings can “push my modeler but­ton,” and that’s part of the prob­lem! It is also the pri­mary rea­son why I’ve got such a poor “PCR” (project-com­ple­tion rate). It doesn’t take much more than a pic­ture of a full-scale air­craft to get me to the com­puter to start draw­ing. Some­times, draw­ing is as far as I get; other times a com­pleted, fly­ing model is the re­sult. I’ve got a folder la­beled “New Projects” on my PC, and the num­ber of de­signs in that folder keeps grow­ing. I’ve also got a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of framed-up pro­to­types from those draw­ings, only await­ing propul­sion and ra­dio sys­tems’ in­stal­la­tion prior to fin­ish­ing. Some­day... There’s not re­ally much I look for in de­sign and style any­more; the sub­ject just has to ap­peal to me at some level. With all the tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances that have been made in elec­tron­ics and power sys­tems, al­most any­thing can be made to fly fairly well. Back in the day, you re­ally needed to know some­thing about aero­dy­nam­ics and trim­ming a model for sus­tained, sta­bi­lized flight. The avail­abil­ity of gy­ros, au­topi­lot sys­tems, real-time data record­ing, and other off-the-shelf goodies has made projects we only used to dream of re­al­i­ties. I think we’ve nearly reached the point where the model air­frame is be­com­ing just a con­tainer for highly evolved (and stille­volv­ing) tech­ni­cal sub­sys­tems. That’s progress, I guess, but there are still plenty of guys out there who still en­joy build­ing their mod­els, and thanks to guys like Nick Ziroli, Jerry Bates, Mark Rit­tinger, Pat Tri­tle, and some other tal­ented folks, their needs and dreams can be achieved. (Ed­i­tor’s note: For more of Rich’s de­signs, go to ModelAir­ Rich shows off one of his re­cent tur­binepow­ered de­signs: the Sub-Sonex.

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