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ProModeler Scorpion Power
ICUR1-2

Elite Veteran

Ottawa, Ontario

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It was fun while it lasted

when I started in 2006 the hobby grew exponentially and capped in 2010 now it's on an exponential decline. I blame quads and the FAA for this . How is it a flight controller for a quad cost less than 1 for a helicopter and has more features

spending time, paying attention

01-08-2017 08:01 PM
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jbjones

Senior Heliman

Columbus, Mississippi

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RM3
likely to end up at RC boat levels.

into obscurity
Naaa..Believe it or not, but RC Boating is picking up. Granted it was a small niche market to start with, but both of our (Huntsville Model Boaters) races in 2016 had over 100 boats. They were massively successful. Hell, there's an outboard only race in GA this summer that hit over 100 boats 6 months out from the event. Folks are dusting their boats off and travelling to races again.

I don't think Helis will ever get down to the levels that the boats are, but I tend to agree with wjvail. The levels are just going back to normal (pre 2006 or whenever). The biggest difference between now and then is we don't have those big retailers (Ron's, heliproz, etc.) to keep up our parts supply quickly.

Yeah, we'll pick up a few interested folks that'll stay with it, but you're right on fad part. For most it'll be a fad to some. Hey, it's a hobby...such is life.

-JB

J. B. Jones

01-08-2017 09:15 PM
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greenmeanie

Senior Heliman

connecticut

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Personally I think people where buying them with loans against their houses.
We are back to the amount of people from the 80's flying them now.

01-15-2017 01:01 AM
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T.J.

Veteran

St. Louis

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For the most part the whole hobby is in a decline not just helicopters and not just because of Quads and Drones. Look at Hobbico one of the biggest distributors in the US (if its RC they sell it for the most part) and they are having some financial issues or loss of profit. It is part of a cycle it will go up and down and then back up.

Thanks, T.J.

01-15-2017 01:17 AM
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flycatch

Senior Heliman

Barstow, California

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I personally believe the real culprit is instant gratification. It took me almost a year to become proficient in flying rc helicopters. Being that I was totally alone I had no flight instructor or flight simulator. All I had was the experience of flying fixed wing models. Perseverance and a "can do" attitude eventually triumph over my many expensive failure. The people I now see getting into the hobby lack this perspective and venture toward something like a drone that provides almost autonomous flight. This is fine by me until they call themselves pilots.

01-15-2017 01:37 AM
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birdflipper

Heliman

Northeast United states

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young blood

The younger gen is interested in Drones..the younger pilots..even accomplished heli giys are looking at drones as a hobby and a money maker...me included..but never five up flying helicopters.

R/C is like the mob ..once your in , your NOT gettin out !

01-15-2017 02:35 AM
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oldfart

rrProfessor

Vancouver, Canada

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... when I started in 2006 the hobby grew exponentially and capped in 2010 now it's on an exponential decline.
I think we have been our own enemy.

In 2006, 3D flying was in its relative infancy, what was considered hard 3D then, would be considered sports 3D today. In 2006 and before, many were starting out with relatively low cost helis that were available at that time. An entry level 550 sized nitro or electric could be had (including power system and radio/gyro system) for about $600.00. These could easily take you from initial hover training and on to basic 3D (inverted, forward and backward flips, backwards flight etc.). These were all designed to be relatively docile by today's smack 3D standards. They used much lesser pitch ranges, e.g. -4 to 10 for training and maybe +/-9 or 10 for 3D aerobatics with +/-5 or 6 for cyclic. And they were geared up for rotor speeds from about 1600 to 1900. This made these helis relatively docile by today's smack 3D standards but a lot easier to fly.

A recent poll in HF showed that only about 1/3 of the flyers there are into 3D, the rest are sport or scale flyers. So for 2/3 of them, the inexpensive helis from 2006 would easily fill the bill.

But then everyone started recommending helis with systems that were really "Farraris". Helis with super power systems, FBL heads and costly FBL controllers that required costly servos. I am sure that many that were interested, once they added up all the costs of these items, found it to be too pricey a hobby to get into.

And these new generation helis were all designed and set up for smack 3D, with much greater pitch ranges (+/-14 on collective and +/-10 or more on cyclic) and geared for much higher head speeds from 2500 to 3000. This of course makes the heli very responsive and much harder to train on. Also, considering these much higher head speeds, any repair costs from a mishap will be a lot more costly as there is a lot more energy that has to be dissipated. I am sure many who did initially spent the money - gave up in short order after seeing the high cost of the repairs.

Phil

01-16-2017 10:58 PM
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oldfart

rrProfessor

Vancouver, Canada

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...I blame quads and the FAA for this . How is it a flight controller for a quad cost less than 1 for a helicopter and has more features
Many reasons. Here are just a few.

1 - A quad is a much simpler aircraft to control as it only has to be configured to control 4 ESC's. A heli FBL system has to control 3 cyclic servos (with different specs from many different manufacturers) and deliver collective and cyclic responses from them. Ditto for the gyro system and it's servo.

2 - A modern heli response rate is far and away faster then that of a quad. Consequently the FBL unit must be able to process info a lot faster, calculate the correction required a lot faster and relay the correction to the servos a lot faster.

3 - the number of quad controllers manufactured is probably 1000 times more then those for helis. Their quantities will certainly effect the price an a big way

Phil

01-16-2017 11:10 PM
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PaulBowen

Veteran

East coast Australia.

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Great words oldfart.

As an example a Standard Hirobo SDX or Freya is capable of more than what ⅔ of us will ever be capable of.

Btw the head speeds people are running these days are plainly absurd. With a bit of sensible/intelligent gearing and setup imagive the flight times possible. Not to mention the peace and quiet.

Hirobo fanatic!

01-17-2017 12:32 AM
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KevinB

Key Veteran

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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With a bit of sensible/intelligent gearing and setup imagine the flight times possible. Not to mention the peace and quiet.
For a change of pace and 'just flying around' scale-like, if I put a single 6s5000 pack in my Logo690sx, I can easily get 15-20 minute flights. Not to mention the cool blade sounds at sub-1000 head speeds

KevinB

01-17-2017 12:28 PM
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