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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › What made the hobby go bust
12-23-2018 05:33 AM  11 months ago
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SkySurfer

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usa

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What made the hobby go bust
Did the Flybarless units make it too complicated for the average folks?
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12-23-2018 05:58 AM  11 months ago
SkySurfer

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usa

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Or did they get to pricy.
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12-23-2018 08:46 AM  11 months ago
TMoore

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Cookeville, TN

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Economics and the FAA were huge issues. When all the FAA horse $hit started it took a lot of wind out of the hobby sail plus the fact that there were too many manufacturers making the same thing coupled with the fact that a lot of folks found other things to do with their time. There have been ups and downs in the hobby for years but this last run up was huge. When it ran its course the fall was rather precipitous.
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12-23-2018 03:00 PM  11 months ago
Jerry K

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Houston Area

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It is a society issue. The younger generation doesn't like hobbies. Most actives are down across the board, NASCAR NFL golf & RC hobbies. Sure they purchase drones but only as a novelty not as a modeler. If they do get into RC they purchase a ARF spend 2 days (ASSEMBLING IT) go out and crash it because their parents told them there are no failures in life and they can do anything. They discovered that flying is maybe rewarding, but crashing, well is defeating. Then roll in Helis which have a veeery steep learning curve and just simply forget that altogether.

This generation is very different that the previous ones. I know I have turned into my father but it is true.

My daughter cannot talk on the phone! She just turned 16 and wants her DL we told her to call and make an appointment for the DT. As bad as she wants it she cannot call to make the appointment. Of course she could TEXT them but that is not accepted in the business world. She has no interpersonal skills because all the kids today text each other (All day Long). When I pick her up from dance she takes picture of herself and text them to her friends. I ask did you or your friend forget what you look like? If photography was still involving 'development' it would be a gold mine. She had he first BF it was a TEXT book romance. All they did was text each other, that is not romantic. (In this case it was fine by me)

THIS GENERATION IS DIFFERENT!

People tell me it is the economy. Everyone is driving a brand new MB BMW Audi that they have financed for 7-10 years. They do not wash their cars in the driveway. They do not change their own oil. Their wives do not even trim their own nails. they all have highlights put into their hair, some even left it in tooo long and it turned their hair some strange color. They are filled with tats and I have never priced one out but they have to be expensive.

YA, SURE ITS THE ECONOMY!
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12-23-2018 05:46 PM  11 months ago
nappyroots2182

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Moline, il

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Younger people just don't have time or money or ambition. I pulled away from helis in general as they are getting too expensive even though I love building and flying them.
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12-23-2018 07:01 PM  11 months ago
rotor- shark

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uk

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I got out of the hobby 10 years ago in 2008,The helicopters were getting more and more complicated, and more expensive (with more to go wrong).They were also extremely unreliable.servo manufacturers were and are still making servo leads out of fragile non robust wire, that damages very easily, plastic gears used in critical areas(tail drive) were also an issue.

my personal opinion was that the manufacturers wanted to produce the stuff as cheap as possible, sold at the highest price, with no regard to reliability taken into account.

it was only a matter of time before the industry broke down.I wondered at the time how long things would go on for like this.

i have had no helicopters since 2008.

i may buy a dji phantom drone in the future though.
all comments are my opinion only!
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12-23-2018 07:21 PM  11 months ago
fastflyer20

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N. Tonawanda, NY

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I feel as a society our free time and $'s are being infiltrated by so many areas that any one topic or interest is becoming diluted. Marketing research and advertising is becoming available to any size business that wants it. You can make a internet site look amazing and sophisticated being run out of a house or very small business. Malls and movie theaters are suffering, electronics continue to change at such a rapid rate, our total disposable income and time could go just to this topic. Online shopping and the internet is changing so many areas, LHS being one of them. Some of this is good for research, but reduces the local support and interest. We are now often driven to find goods, services and knowledge exclusively online. I think heli's is just one area that is changing with the times.Tom
CAUTION - my posts are based on my experiences, yours may be different.
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12-23-2018 07:30 PM  11 months ago
Aaron Judge

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Central New Jersey USA

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I don’t think that people have the expendable income to get into our hobby. Not to mention that internet entertainment and gaming is accessible almost instantly on your phone. I also believe that our hobby and others go in cycles and what’s not that popular now can come back into popularity later.
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12-23-2018 07:50 PM  11 months ago
Jeff polisena

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westpalmbeachflorida usa

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Younger generation don’t like to be told what to do or follow rules . Cash is limited but when they show up to field and there are club rules to follow they loose interest . Most game online or buy low cost flyers and go to empty lots .
Things might turn around in some time but you never know .
I stole it ,flew it and gave it back ;)
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12-24-2018 02:33 AM  11 months ago
gorhambirds

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Hickory Hills Illinois, usa

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Sadly, this hobby has been going in the wrong direction for a long, long time, and not just helicopters. I enjoy this hobby because I like model aviation, not flying expensive toy helicopters, which is what this hobby has become. I can’t see a way clear that anyone can seriously learn the technical side of rc helicopters, planes, cars, or whatever when purchasing these ready to run models. Guarantee that NONE of these current model helicopters, be it nitro or electric, FB or FBL have the stability as my old original Hirobo Shuttle from 1985, which was designed as a trainer. These manufacturers are to blame. I see nothing out there designed as a true training helicopter. They’re all designed with 3D in mind, which is light years from what a beginner needs. No wonder the newbies get discouraged and leave the hobby.

Steve Z
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12-24-2018 03:23 AM  11 months ago
Doublah

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USA

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Also, the hobby is dangerous and like Jeff said there has to be rules and safety followed. If you do not have a local hobby shop or club it is almost impossible to learn the rc helicopter hobby. The local hobby shops are mostly gone.
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12-24-2018 06:07 AM  11 months ago
ticedoff8

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Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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These are all funny answers.
In 1987 - 1996, I was the President for one of the most popular and competition friendly RC glider clubs in the Bay Area.
Our main concern was the lack of growth in the club.

We came up with the same excuses as listed here.
And yet, the RC glider club still exists.
+ > ÷
Believe 1/2 of what you see and none of what you hear.
Fake News will be the downfall of our Republic!
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12-24-2018 07:51 AM  11 months ago
nap_tan

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Santa Clara CA, USA

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Flying sites are also scarce these days
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12-24-2018 09:00 AM  11 months ago
Smoggie

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Aberdeen

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gorhambirds Guarantee that NONE of these current model helicopters, be it nitro or electric, FB or FBL have the stability as my old original Hirobo Shuttle from 1985,
Sounds like you havent flown helis for a long while?

That would be a guarantee you would have to pay out on, because modern flybarless systems have the facility for 'self levelling' stability which can be adjusted from 'off' through 'very subtle' to quite literally 'flies completely by itself'.. and all points in-between.

If you ask me the reason for drop off in popularity is simply that kids have more options. They are more focused on social media and their phones. Kids have become normalised to technology so RC flying just doesnt seem to have the 'magic' in that it used to have a generation ago. This doesnt mean it's doomed, just that the hobby might not again have the numbers involved that it once did.
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12-24-2018 11:02 AM  11 months ago
Andy from Sandy

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Bedfordshire, UK

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You have to get up and go outside! lol.

Angling is even worse, it might be raining.

As I have stuck with a particular set of manufacturers, to equip a fly-barless model is very expensive compared to when I first started with fly-barred models.
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12-24-2018 01:22 PM  11 months ago
Blades345

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FL

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It’s cyclical just like anything else. It’s still here and companies are still producing new things so it’s not going anywhere. I got out in 2011 but I’m back. I have 3 kids so it’s harder but I get out still.When u don't feel like soaring through the air with a plane, beat it into submission w/ a heli!
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12-24-2018 03:05 PM  11 months ago
Ghostrider-rc

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BC Canada

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my opinion it's just plain too expensive ...
when you can have same amount of fun with a race quad that cost the price of an ESC in a 700 ! ok you need a $300 goggles but once you have them you good for a while.
I had 3 700 high end helis for a while and now down to 1 and 1 500 neither of them been flown much this past year.
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12-24-2018 03:39 PM  11 months ago
Jerry K

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Houston Area

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Expensive is a relative term. You are describing the top end of the hobby a 700E class heli that is running 12S 5000's the batteries, chargers and PS are expensive. I see most without the top of the line equipment running $60 ESC and motors. FBL units are only slightly more that a good gyro a few years ago. Cost can play into the equation, but society has changed. Kids have no interest in this hobby like they did a generation ago.

It is what you make it. Turbine planes are even more expensive so lets compare those if you want. But as a general rule there are no more hobbyist. The hobby see transients through the hobby and that is the reason for the dwindling numbers. We never had huge numbers when in comparison to other hobbies but now those are a fraction of what they once were. But the issue is there is no feed stock coming in and that will be the death of the hobby. Manufactures cannot deal with the severely reduced numbers.
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12-24-2018 03:48 PM  11 months ago
Heli Fanatix

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Fountain Valley, CA

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Based on my observation,may be on an individual's
#1 - Attitude
#2 - Expectation
#3 - Drones!

Without drones we would still have RC heli for aerial photography, an entry point for all the newbies looking to get into flying along planes and gliders and the FAA new regulations.

However it's part of advancement and the evolution of the hobby. It's such a twist of irony. What gave us the FBL gave us the Drone.

The only Constant in the Universe is Change. However we can't change the fact, we just have to deal it and move on.

My we suggest focusing on these ideas:
#1 - We do what others Won't
#2 - We are the top Elite 1% of the RC Enthusiast
#3 - Grateful we can still do what we're passionate about.

Happy Holidays everyone!
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12-24-2018 04:48 PM  11 months ago
gorhambirds

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Hickory Hills Illinois, usa

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Somggie’s reply of “Sounds like you havent flown helis for a long while?” couldnt be further from the truth. I’ve been flying helis since the mid 70’s. I’m not going to get in a pissing contest over who’s opinion is more correct. All I am saying is that today’s models depend way too much on technology. If you’re not doing 3-D or striving for the ultimate scale model, then a we’ll designed flybar Helicopter doesn’t need to have all these fancy electronics to fly in a stable manner. I used to fly a GMP Cobra with no gyro and no autorotation and when trimmed properly, you could take your hands off the sticks in a hover. Helicopters were more economical back then too partly because you weren’t buying technology that did the job for you.
Steve Z
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