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HomeAircraftHelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › WHY AND WHEN DID YOU START THIS HOBBY?
09-19-2013 03:09 AM  5 years agoPost 21


Cookeville, TN

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Back in 65 my Dad got me involved in U-Control. I still like to fly UC.

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09-19-2013 03:14 AM  5 years agoPost 22



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I started playing with the cars in the early 80's. My first was a Tamiya Hornet and an Astro stick tx. I remember looking through my Dad's Tower Hobbies catalogs(he had some planks he played with) and dreaming about helicopters. I finally got one in 1997, A Horizon Hoverstar. It was a fixed pitch nitro heli that used a .46 size airplane engine. I still have the training VHS tape that was included in the kit. The instructor was Len Sabato. I completely failed with it though and gave up until 2002. Then I stopped by the LHS just window shopping and saw a micro electric and was immediately hooked again. Learned to hover and fly circuits with micro electrics and then got a raptor 30. The rest is history..

09-19-2013 05:18 AM  5 years agoPost 23

rrKey Veteran

Campbell, Texas

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I started with Estes rockets in about 1970. U-control followed soon after that. Had a lot of fun and learned to love the smell of nitro.
1972 I was riding my bicycle home from work and saw a man flying an r/c plane in the college rec center parking lot. He was shooting touch-and-goes and buzzing the girls as they walked across the tennis court. The second buzz run wound up in the tennis court lights and it rained servos and balsa for days. I went over and helped him pick up the scattered parts and strange looking bits. This was the bite.
Got married and got my first plank in 1983 and never slowed down from there. In 1983 helis were only for the rich and famous and were a real handful to fly. Simulators came on the scene and I played around until I could fly the sim helis. In April 2012 I got a used Raptor 50V2 here on runryder and haven't been able to concentrate on anything else since.


I love the smell of nitro in the morning.
RIP Roman

09-19-2013 06:14 AM  5 years agoPost 24

rrKey Veteran

Granbury, TX USA

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Started out about the age of 4 building models with my dad (1952). Never flew them, nor did we really ever get them built. Dad would get mad and toss the kit for about a week until the next one showed up. Started flying C/L in 60 - Ringmasters, Ruffys, Thunderbird, Voodoo.

In 67 got my first RC plane - a Schoolgirl single channel escapement controlled 1/2a powered freeflight. About 2 months later, I got my first Galloping Ghost proportional (Rand LR3) and a Jr. Falcon. Had a ball with it till it flew west.

First real multi was an Ugly Stik with a basic 4 channel Kraft series 69 proportional. No reverse, D/R, or adjustable end points. Servo placement was real important. Still have that model flying.

First heli was a blade 400 RTF about 3 years ago. Lost a blade on the initial spoolup just at liftoff. It was wooden, thank goodness, and when it flew over and hit me on the kneecap, it just bruised it pretty good.

Now I pretty much go through the Align model line. Also have a Logo 600 and a Goblin 700 as well as an X7. I fly them all.

The why is I just like the thrill of pulling some new maneuver off and the general satisfaction of successfully being able to get something back if I do it right.

Logo 700, Specter 700, Goblin 700, Trex 700DFC, Gaui X7, Logo 690SX, Logo 600SX; Trex 470 Trex 500
Amain Team Rep

09-19-2013 02:53 PM  5 years agoPost 25


Concord, NC

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What a great thread - I had to join in – mostly planes but here goes… I’ve been all over the spectrum with RC. I am convinced that’s why I am only a “jack of all trades” when it comes to my flying skills as opposed to a “master of one”. Mine started with Dad in the late 70s when we scratch-built a big orange CL plane with an OS20. I was amazed that he could walk into a LHS, purchase $12 worth of balsa and make it fly. I remember we used an RC motor and Dad just safety-wired the throttle wide open. That plane is in my attic today. Other notable RC vehicles include the old Cox .02 SkyCopter. My best friend owned this but I thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread right up until we let it go and it flew into the top of the biggest tree around. Model rockets were a big thing for me. I had a 6 foot Estes Mean Machine that I would launch at the local school yards. AWESOME rocket. We also built a rocket called a Sea Strike D which was a two stage “D” rocket. On the first and only flight, once the 2nd stage lit, it flew out of sight and we were only able to recover stage 1 as it fell back to earth. We never saw the rocket again. I never could afford any real RC planes as a kid but somehow mustered up at least $1,000 in high school for a Kyosho Turbo Optima and all the gear. This must have been around 1985. Chain driven 4WD, friction throttle and NiCad batteries – I remember it came in a box with 9 million screws and bolts. No such thing as RTR back then! After college and obtaining a “real job” I would visit Action Hobbies in Charlotte where a ¼ scale J3 hung from the ceiling. WOW what a HUGE plane right? This was the early 90s when computer radios were becoming popular – you were a nobody unless you had a computer radio. This was obviously important for helicopters. My first plane was a PT20 trainer with the same OS20 off the above mentioned CL plane. And my first RX was the JR XP642 computer FM radio. The rest is history… Since then I’ve flown (and crashed) a slew of planes (with exception of turbines) all the way up to a 41% Cap 232 with a DA150 on twin canisters – Extras, MXRs, Stingers, Cubs, Whiplash with a Jett 50, Predators, AstroHogs, Sig Kadets, hotliners, DF Jets, foamies, SPADs, pizza boxes, float planes, and even a local club custom-build called a Happy Harry. At one point I had an enclosed trailer to carry this garb and big enough to sleep in at fly-ins. Since I live close to Woodruff SC, I have been to the Joe Nall event every year since 1998ish even before it was at the current Triple Tree location. Pat Hartness has been instrumental to this hobby especially for those that live within a few hours of Triple Tree. This weekend I will be at the Triple Tree Heli Extravaganza and next weekend I will be at EWeek. I only recently got into helicopters, last year, and I’m currently at 7 if you count the MCPx and MSRx. Notables include 3 Trex 450s, a Trex 600N and a Trex 700N. I’ll never give up the planes but I sure am enjoying the helis for now!

09-19-2013 03:07 PM  5 years agoPost 26
Stephen Born

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2007, Swap Shop, Ft. Lauderdale.

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09-19-2013 04:51 PM  5 years agoPost 27

rrElite Veteran

Northern California - Fly at Morgan Hill Field

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Started flying free flight planes in 1967 - way before many on this forum were even a twinkle in the eye of their parents!

Saw my first heli in the display window of a hobby shop in San Anselmo, California in 1984. My eyes could not believe what I was seeing! What an incredible machine! (Can't recall what it was!)

Bought a Kyosho Concept DX 30 size nitro in the mid 1990's. Put it together and stared at it for about four years until I had the guts to start it up. I had that thing bouncing in my driveway; my wife thought I was an idiot! Those early years were sheer agony. Mechanical breakdowns every couple of flights. Engine never ran properly. Very frustrating!

Late 1990's, I bought a Kyosho Nexus 30 size and then things started to click. By 2000 I was beginning to fly around and really enjoying the hobby.

Verba volant, scripta manet

09-19-2013 05:22 PM  5 years agoPost 28


Newport news va

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Started in the early 90's with my father and I as a father son hobby. Purchased a Carl Goldberg eaglet25 from Norms TV in Fredericksburg Va. We built the kit and me being a kid and knowing everything it was totaled in about 45 seconds after takeoff. Father made me rebuild it myself and was hooked from then own. quit flying planks around 2000 and went to scale helicopters and have not looked back. I stopped for a few years for my son to get old enough and started teaching him on scale building and when i retire will teach my father to fly helicopters.

09-19-2013 08:43 PM  5 years agoPost 29


Ft Worth, TX

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Since you axed Back around 1994 I just got curious out of the blue if there was such a thing as an RC Heli, (I never flew anything b4) having never seen one. I went to a hobby shop and he had 1 hanging up that was used. I wasn't impressed, but looked around a little more and soon discovered Aero Hobbies. Went there and met Mike Cingari, Kent, and of course Andy who was working there part-time before he bought out the place.

They hooked me up with Shuttle ZXX, radio, etc. They also test hovered the beast after I had it together, then I start learning on a RotoPod. I soon got more helis, Tsurugi, GPH346, etc. Loved learning to fly - hated crashing all the time back in the day.

I took about 8 years off starting around 2003 due to layoffs, life, jobs, etc. Recently jumped back in last Nov 2012 - once again I bought out Andy's store with 130x, 300x, TREX 550e. I also have an old Raptor V2 that flies good only underpowered due to its weight, and a TTiger Titan 50 SE.

Things have changed unbelievably in the almost 20 years since I started (with a spinning bearing tail gyro!). I am again impossibly hooked. Since I'm a pretty big chicken (and was out of it for 8-9 years), I'm just now back to doing flips and rolls pretty good, and I'm learning inverted hover now up high. Flip over backward until it looks level, center the cyclic and give negative pitch to hold it. I'm pretty excited my first attempts at this are getting better, and I will slowly be getting down lower form the 200 feet up!! where I do this now... Next step is rainbows and tictocs.

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09-20-2013 04:24 AM  5 years agoPost 30

rrElite Veteran

O.C., CA

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False starts

My older brother took and crashed my Testors .049 UC P51 that my dad bought me at the drug store. About the same time ~'83 he destroyed my Peck Polymers All Nighter? that my dad built and gave to me. It's OK, he lost the Peck Polymers Stringless Wonder he got

Better to diy and a lesson learned.

I built numerous stick and tissue planes. Finally built a Carl Goldberg "Wizard" UC. Saved and saved for a motor. Dad sent a check to "AHC" America's hobby center. I'd hurry home after school everyday asking my mom if a package came. Ruined my Jr high grades!
Turned out I should of got a .049. Instead I got Pee Wee .020. The Wizard with my 60 layers of dope was heavy and ended up a powered UC glider. Lesson? More power less weight or both!


After walking right under, sometimes way under them at the numerous hobby shops. I wanted a helicopter. The memories of Crickets, blue Shuttles (in foam) planted a bug. It wasn't till I was out on my own, could I afford it. I learned on a Concept 30 with an Airtronics Infinity 660 radio. It took me through hover, ff, 1 auto, and loops. Never did learn to nose in though.

A hobby sabbatical and return.

After a year of marriage, my wife tells me I need a hobby. A coworker knew I used to fly helix and asked me to try and fly the Ikarus Piccolo. I was hooked and bought one a few days later. I learned to nose in hover on it and have been at it since

I think back and would have never imagined how good things could be.

Heli-itis sufferer.

09-21-2013 03:23 AM  5 years agoPost 31

rrKey Veteran

west seattle

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oh gezz forgot too mention around the late 90s the HS I hung around hada used Kyosho DX hanging up with motor/servos, I kept looking at it every time I was their and thinking hummm rent is coming up and I need to eat, need I say what happened and still today rememeber how sweet that old DX was to fly! recently have seen a couple for sale.......MUST RESIST MUST RESIST!!!

CAUTION!!! politicians may be hazerdous to your well being

09-21-2013 03:31 AM  5 years agoPost 32

rrElite Veteran

Flat Land's

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Loosing a hand launch at around 7 - Darn thing made me give up after I ran out of wind and couldn't see it any more - Broke my heart - my dad brought it home after a Saturday Sales meeting

Then I started getting dangerous - Still Looking for the DAM THING


09-21-2013 05:42 PM  5 years agoPost 33


Nashville, TN

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Long Island in early 70's.

First was single chanel in 73'.

People were flying behind my house and I wandered to see what's up.

Still involved.


Futaba - Kontronik -SAB Helicopters - GensAce -

09-21-2013 06:24 PM  5 years agoPost 34

rrKey Veteran

Midland, MI USA

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Clinton, Indiana, around 1972. Dad bought a Dubro Whirlybird. It was pretty cool to me at the time, but watching it try to lift was painful. I was about 7 yrs old. Then, Dad ordered one of the very first Hegi-Schluter AH-1G Cobra kits. That fuse was immense. He detailed it well. By then, I was reading everything about helis I could find. Dad kept buying kits. Kavan JetRanger, a Kavan gyro. Several Schluter kits...Enstrom, BO-105. He had all the Dubro kits..Hughes 300 (with O&R gas engine). Then came the Shark - originally with O&R engine. He told me that at the time, you could send your O&R to Curtis Youngblood for a work-up. Then, was a Shark 60. Eventually, Dubro produced their Tristar series based on a 40 powered glow engine. The first had a Rotorway Scorpion canopy. Was really a pod and boom concept.

Then, Dad sponsored a fun fly in nearby Terre Haute (about 2.5 hrs from Muncie). He invited several distributors, who, in turn, brought some skilled pilots, including Dave Grey of Dubro. The Graupner 212 Twinjet was there - first collective pitch heli I saw fly. Seeing these birds fly circuits all around and hovering nose-in was the bomb. I was really hooked. Watching Dad's efforts, though, showed me I'd have a nearly impossible time to pilot one...I was about 10 by then. I found the mechanical complexity and precision so entirely cool.

Fast forward to 2008...I picked up a drug store toy heli for my kids to try. It was junk, but I was thrilled. I then ordered a CX2 from Horizon. Lost it in a tree, never to be seen again. By then, I was already hooked and seeking a Blade 400. At that time, I was an avid angler with a nice Lund fishing boat. I was flying the CX2, and decided to sell the boat and tackle and focus on helis. I now rep for Compass, enjoying flying, building, tinkering and helping others. Funnest thing I've ever done.

People ocassionally ask if I fly planes too. I tried my hand at the controls a few times with Dad's planes, but never really got hooked. So, primarily, although I can fly planes, I've really never spent any time doing so. I love planes too, but nothing like the helis for me.


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09-21-2013 06:33 PM  5 years agoPost 35

rrKey Veteran

Central Pennsylvania

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I started with Estes rockets in about 1970.
I used to build/launch rockets when i was a kid til the motors got so expensive. Now, they are just boxed up. Can't even sell them. There was another company i believe was called quest that had rockets as well. Motors are probably more expensive than heli fuel now.

Team HeliProz - Retired
AMA #513507
IRCHA #4011

09-21-2013 06:47 PM  5 years agoPost 36


New Port Richey, FL

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I first got interested in RC helicopters in about 1986 when I was 12 with my family visiting friends of my parents. I walked down the street with a friend and saw an older gentleman hovering an RC Helicopter about 3 feet off the ground in his driveway. He was very precise with his hovering and the heli seemed to never move from that spot in the air. I never talked to him about it (because he was flying) or saw an RC heli again for a many years after that. I was just amazed and I wanted one every since then.

It wasn't until I was out of high school and had a job that I could actually afford to get one. I purchased a Concept 30 DX and a book explaining RC Helicopter setup (Ray's Complete Helicopter Manual) around 1992. I had no input from anyone about it as I didn't know there was a such thing as a club or even that there was anyone within 300 miles that was also interested in RC Helis. I only got to hovering and moving around with tail in before FM glitches got me scared of hurting myself or others caused me to put it down.

I was out of it until 2006 when I met Turtle who appeared next door one day at my next door neighbors house showing off his flying with a 450 heli. I found out about Spektrum and how FM glitches like I had with the DX 30 would be a thing of the past. That is what got me back into helis the second time knowing that there was better transmitter tech.

I still have that Concept 30 DX with spare parts (blades, etc) but the motor ceased up a long time ago.

I have never flown an RC Airplane btw.

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09-21-2013 07:00 PM  5 years agoPost 37



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1978 saw my first heli at the hobby shop wanted one ever scence had a gmp cobra in the late 80s and 90s but never flue it. baught a concepts 30 in 95 flue it a couple times crashed it a couple times is more like it. then in 2007 0r baught a t-rex 600 nitro
and been in it every scence.


09-21-2013 08:53 PM  5 years agoPost 38



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Started dec 2011
Fortmyers florida at a crackerbarrel
They had a 20.00 3 channel coaxial for 20.00 done .. Now i have 3000.00
Logo 7oo extreme align700 dfc
3-4 planes taylocraft hanger 9 ,
trex 450 had three of those
130x two of those,
now have dji evo s 800 setup arriving to start aerial photog biz
Yea gone totally nuts for sure but love it only live once so get it while u can
Happy Flyin yall )))

09-22-2013 03:04 AM  5 years agoPost 39

rrKey Veteran

Dublin, OH

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Had a whole bunch of money I needed to get rid of, and it was either fly helis or get married again, so......

I've always been intrigued with helis and my friend is a planker. I used to go watch him fly a lot, and one day wondered "why not?" Bought a used Raptor 30 in 2001 and the rest is history.

09-22-2013 04:38 AM  5 years agoPost 40
wc_wickedclown (RIP)


long beach calif

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i saw a honey bee doing 3d on youtube

Insha Allah made in america

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HomeAircraftHelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › WHY AND WHEN DID YOU START THIS HOBBY?
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