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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › What made the hobby go bust
12-26-2018 09:16 PM  10 months ago
MattJen

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UK

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BeltFedBrowning I get strange looks at the field when I tell them I don't have a driven tail for autos
Ha Ha, same looks as I get with my fly bar helicopters, love flying them when I get time and inclination.. I also do a lot of indoor heli flying, with my hummingbird and Hornet ( proper hellies lol)
All The Best
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12-26-2018 10:06 PM  10 months ago
RM3

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Killeen, Texas - USA

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I don’t mind the advancements... the tech like FBL and digital simply added more facets to the hobby. Old springed flybared fixed pitch crickets floating around in a simple circuit are still neat... but so is a 14s 700 electric pushing 2400 on the mains barking across the field at a full collective near flat rainbow.

The tech will never go away nor will the classics.

What we are not gaining are the new fliers... at all ages.
showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...
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12-26-2018 11:11 PM  10 months ago
Smoggie

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Aberdeen

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PaulBowen Mass produced FBL 3d has almost ruined this hobby for me and I can’t wait to see it disappear for ever. Just my 2 cents.
I was with you until the last sentence. If flybar 'old school' helis is what 'floats your boat' then fine enjoy!.. But wishing that the helis other people enjoy would "disappear" is just narrow minded and petty and is perhaps part of the 'grumpy old man' mentality what puts people off the the hobby.

In any case there is absolutely no chance whatsoever of FBL disappearing and the flybar replacing it.. it's just not going to happen. No more than points ignition on cars will make a comeback or CRT televisions will replace flat screens, or VHS cassettes will replace online streaming. It's called 'progress' and like it or not it happens.
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12-26-2018 11:15 PM  10 months ago
Jerry K

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Houston Area

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Smack Talk pod cast #1, Are helis Dead? From 2 years ago!!!

Watch at YouTube

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12-27-2018 12:38 AM  10 months ago
PaulBowen

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Australia

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Yes I am grumpy about certain issues. We all are.

As for progress I’m not sure anyone but the 3d crowd and some of the scale flyers really needed much more progress. If it’s all about an endless need for progress then why haven’t you all gone permanently to drones?

It’s not because that level of progress has brought absolute boredom as well is it? I think it is.
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12-27-2018 03:41 AM  10 months ago
lgibjones

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Chicago, IL

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Hello everyone,

For me, R/C helicopters were mesmerizing when it was rare to see one in person that actually flew. I spent over 100 hours on my first machine, and it never got off the ground. I spent over 100 hours on my second machine, which flew where it wanted to, and then crashed. It’s amazing I kept trying, but I did because the machines just fascinated me. The drive to make one work was intense.

Now, it’s easy to be densensitized to the wonder of small machines hovering. A $20 toy can do more than my first helicopters did.
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12-27-2018 06:19 AM  10 months ago
AWittleWabbit

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O.C., CA

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Howdy all! It’s been a while but this thread gave me deja vu. Aside from all the excellent points already covered, I’d like to say we are each ambassadors for this hobby. Being the grumpy old man saying words like “them” and “you gen xyzers” certainly won’t bring new blood into the hobby. I remember those grumpy folk when I started in planes long ago. It kept me away from the field.

Our hobby is competing with more and more activities (whether you approve of them or not). The best we can do is be as welcoming as possible. I wish knew the answer but if I did, I would be in marketing.

Anyways glad to see RR again, I’ve been on a Heli Sabbatical™️
Heli-itis sufferer.
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12-27-2018 11:50 AM  10 months ago
S.Dykes

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Wesley Chapel, FL - USA

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Decline in hobby is simple. The folks that made it boom years ago are not passionate about flying rc helis so they moved on to the next shiny thing or app or whatever.

Those of us who are real hobbyists and passionate about flying rc helis will be what continues to keep the hobby alive, just like before the boom came along.
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12-27-2018 12:42 PM  10 months ago
Jim-bob

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Little Hocking OH USA

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I can only speak about my own club. None have left the hobby but almost all fly fixed wing almost exclusively with there heli taking a backseat. There have been many debates and threads about why this is but it all started going that direction around 2010. I know myself I miss the individuality of the machines from the mid 2000's. Everybodys heli had different blades, paddles, motor and pipe, canopy paint, etc. Just look at the gallerys on this site. As for the "grumpy old man" comments, I've helped more than my share of youth with there Blade or other mass produced electric. Almost all ended the same. Learn enough to hover a little, then rip off the training gear on there own and try some smack ending in a crash. Daddy has to get out the credit card for the repair, try to explain they need to learn the basics first, yeah yeah okay and the same thing happens. The ones I helped back when you had to build your machine are the only ones still around. Anyway, I've got 6 Vibe airframes and a bushel basket of parts so I'm good for a while. Flew this one yesterday.

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12-28-2018 01:21 PM  10 months ago
bunnywithdrum

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HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT

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Good one Jim Bob
A good friend and I refer to ourselves as members of
O.M.A.H.A. The old mans antique helicopter association

He flies raptors and i fly fury's (and we try to help the young)
(\__/)
(='.'=)
(") (")
BUNNYWITHDRUM ( i ain't no stinkin novice---23 years in!)
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12-28-2018 09:19 PM  10 months ago
dschertz

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Jackson, MI

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I think the have to buy the latest and greatest crowd didn't help matters either. I won't be able to explain my point very well, so I'll leave it as is.
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12-28-2018 09:39 PM  10 months ago
Ace Dude

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USA

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I wonder how many here had another hobby in their lifetime they no longer participate in. Just think about why you no longer participate...the same reasons apply to those no longer active in helis.  
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12-28-2018 10:52 PM  10 months ago
RM3

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Killeen, Texas - USA

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You know what I think lead maybe contributed to the boom in 2008? I think it was YouTube videos of szabo flying a nitro 3D... which linked to watts, Kramerer , Stacey and other pros, which lead to a proliferation in the market flooded by 450 class 3D capable electrics... this fad boosted advancement in technology and a desire for ever more performance ... the fad simply died off and those that jumped in for fun have either grown up, or moved on to other things... the youth now are simply not interested

Or hey it was just a fad... like mullets and shoulder pads of the 80s
showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...
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12-29-2018 03:40 AM  10 months ago
shaggy

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USA

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I see a lot of similarities between the RC heli hobby and the world of Ham radio. I’m 45 years old and have had my ham radio license for about 5 years. Needless to say finding young people interested in getting into ham radio is about next to impossible. Why go through all that work and money when they can just pick up their cell phone and accomplish the same thing more efficiently. I think it has a lot to do with this generation. Instant gratification has a lot to do with it as well as everything is taking care of for kids these days. They don’t have to do anything.
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12-29-2018 04:28 AM  10 months ago
aerosmith

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Mississippi - USA

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shaggy I see a lot of similarities between the RC heli hobby and the world of Ham radio.
I agree with you. I've been a extra class ham for many years, back when you had to know CW. Gone are the days when guys would spend countless hours at the antenna farm building & experimenting with home brew antennas. That was my thing...
This generation uses digital modes via internet & call it a contact. Back to the subject of rc helicopter. Ive noticed the same mind set with this hobby too. I am happy to take the role of "that grumpy old man" I've earned it! I'm 53 years old.
Look me up on QRZ some time.
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12-29-2018 12:56 PM  10 months ago
Jim-bob

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Little Hocking OH USA

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"O.M.A.H.A. The old mans antique helicopter association"

I love it. Sign me up
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12-29-2018 03:02 PM  10 months ago
iskoos

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Orlando, FL

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My Take...
I read most of the posts. I was looking to see who is going to blame it on the drones. Really, I didn't see the name "Drone" till the end of the first page.
For me, it is one of the biggest reasons. Not only the "Drone" as a flying machine. It is the technology it brought with it.
Back in days, we would buy a kit, build it, set it up, learn how to fly it (even with a training gear), have the pride and the thrill of flying an expensive machine that would require a lot of time and money if it were to crash!..
These days, someone walks into a department store and buys a ready to fly system and up and flying within an hour. After a few tries (he/she crashes it as many mentioned above), then he/she gets bored and puts the item for sale on Craigslist and moves on...
How would a person want to spend time to built and setup a heli these days?
Can you really imagine you would convince a teen to sit through a process of doing a pitch setting of an R/C heli without his phone buzzing 2500 times with texts and notifications and he HAS to answer all of them and all has to have a emoticons of sort in the end???
I don't think so...
They can fly an R/C heli in their phone by just installing one of those free apps within seconds...
The above is to me the main reason why we couldn't recruit new members into the hobby.

And the below is the reason why we lost many that were once in it:
We (True R/C flyers) are NOT welcomed and liked anymore!.. Nowadays, you can't find a small open space to test hover an electric heli. If you do so, someone will come to tell you that you CAN NOT fly there Period...
Back in days, I do remember joining my buddies in an open field close to a large department store and we would fly nitro machines after work till it got dark. People would stop by to watch us with a smile and envy on their face.
You try to do the same (or similar) these days and a police will escort you out of the property within minutes.
Things are destined to change in time. Nothing can stop the change...
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12-29-2018 07:18 PM  10 months ago
John Benario

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Las Vegas

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I agree with Paul. Having flown helicopters since 1977 I have seen lots of ups and downs, but I do think that the change from helicopters that you built and set up to your satisfaction to all helicopters being the same and you program the little box to set the flying characteristics reduced the overall popularity. Machines are easier to build because no flybars, but how does a beginner know how to program the box to learn, unless he has someone with him who knows that box. I have my Raptor G4 (best flybar helicopter ever) and my Vibe Scott Grey edition (flybar), and when I fly the 3D wannabees ask how I get my helicopters so vibration free and how I get my engine so smooth and how it is I auto so well. I simply respond that in years past it was considered a goal to learn how to achieve those results. I can't fly anything like I used to (no more pirouetting flipping autos with 10 flips on the way down!), but the satisfaction of having a perfectly set up and smooth helicopter is still rewarding.

The advancement of technology has dumbed down the learning requirement which then dumbs down the standards, which dumbs down the long term interest. I loved Jerry's description of his daughter and calling the DMV. My wife's niece is the same. I asked the young girl (13 yo) why she didn't call someone and she just looked at me like I was crazy.
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12-29-2018 08:15 PM  10 months ago
RM3

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Killeen, Texas - USA

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John Benario The advancement of technology has dumbed down the learning requirement which then dumbs down the standards, which dumbs down the long term interest.
that parts of the core problem...

despite our best upbringing, tech giants have found the magic key to stealing our kids attention and hard earned money for the sake of being cool in a make believe world. welcome to the world of buying virtual "goods".

Nowadays taking someones phone/internet away is akin to a death sentence for some.
showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...
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12-29-2018 09:31 PM  10 months ago
Jim-bob

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Little Hocking OH USA

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John Benario The advancement of technology has dumbed down the learning requirement which then dumbs down the standards, which dumbs down the long term interest
Agreed. Wonder if things would've been different if contests had only allowed tail stabilization instead of allowing 3 axis stabilization. Fixed wing contests I believe don't allow any gyro's. Someone correct me if I'm wrong
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