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Post  MauricioB Thu Jan 11, 2024 3:14 am

For a few years now, I would say 2010 onwards, I have been noticing that airplane modeling activity in general has been declining. A few years ago, the clubs in my country had a lot of activity, many people practicing airplane modeling, but that is no longer happening.
There are fewer and fewer who cut wood and assemble a model airplane, just as there are fewer and fewer who fly model airplanes.
I understand that many things happen at the same time:
Some people have an initial enthusiasm that passes after a short time.
Some people see and feel it as a significant financial expense.
Some places to fly have many restrictions that make them increasingly less viable to carry out the activity.
The younger generations of people have other incentives, a lot of digital in hand (to name a few) and like that I could list many more issues.
Personally, I remain connected to my past, my past almost always feeds my present, I have countless memories of my beginnings, of magazines like Lupine in Argentina, the Cox engine as the jewel of my beginnings, the adventure of imagining all the time which was a project in my head, being at school thinking only about airplanes... then about girls haha, then about airplanes again and sometimes about girls haha.
My club, where I practice the hobby, is losing that strong activity that happened years ago, some of its founding members are no longer here, unfortunately they have already started the bigger flight and those of us who are still active are less and less, as I said. out there, children have so many other incentives that model airplanes no longer arouse that curiosity that happened to us back then.
Anyway, this makes for a lot of talk, I would like to know what happens at your club, at your flight location and what happens to you personally.
The forum is an important and magical place for me, which is why I am here giving true thanks to all of you for being part of this.
I hope you feel like sharing your thoughts here with me!...THANK YOU!
MauricioB
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Post  Kim Thu Jan 11, 2024 6:26 am

Hey Mauricio,

The Breezy Hill Flyers have always kept at least one (and often two or three) training type planes, while tow of our members assisted a local Experimental Aircraft Chapter with their "Build & Fly Program", where an ARF Sig Kadet was assembled and flown by a group of kids.

Only a couple of the involved kids have flown the plane, mostly due to scheduling of other activities, even though the Flyers have offered to set flying dates to be at Breezy Hill.  

Even when we've had kids out at the field, they tend to fall into the same situation as we see with adults...as our President said, "Once they see there's a learning and skill curve to work on, and they can't take control of a plane and fly it like a long-time modeler, they lose interest pretty quickly".

We have a lady who says her grandchildren "really love model airplanes", and want to learn to fly them, but it's obvious that it's her, trying to get them involved that's the case.  I'd promised her that, as long as they show an interest, I'd provide an avenue to flight training.   I'd pack my simulator, computer, and TV set to our meetings, and they quickly got bored with it.  The same is true with trainers at the field, preferring to chase each other around the benches, rather than flying our planes.  Their grandma told me, "Well, you got to get after them", but I'm not gonna try to harass kids into a hobby.

It's just the way it is.  Nothing can beat the instant gratification of video games and all the other stuff.

All we can do is offer the opportunity for that rare child who has this sport in their blood and wants to peruse it.

Fond as we may be of our childhood adventures, our memories can't be their memories.

Kim
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Post  GallopingGhostler Thu Jan 11, 2024 8:00 am

Another impediment to flying is government excessive regulation of activities, under the guise of some drone flyers who lack discipline.

I learned a while ago, that if you nip the problem in the bud, then the rest fall in line.

Hijacked
We live in a society now that is into agendas versus respect for the common good of all, and the fallacy that adding more laws makes us a better society. The good for the common man is sacrificed for the ultra wealthy. It is about instant gratification and the dinero.

Pero quizás en otros países los reglas son diferentes.
But perhaps in other countries the rules are different.
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Post  sosam117 Thu Jan 11, 2024 11:00 am

And it is not getting cheaper to acquire the equipment and more government intervention (FAA).

Just received my "Sky Remote ID Modules" from Horizon Hobbies.

Now I'm legal when I fly this year to where the FAA can track me now.

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Post  cstatman Thu Jan 11, 2024 11:40 am

Science Olympiad is probably the only hope.

Kids want to play on computer, phone, tablet.
they don't go outside unless heavily supervised, so they learn to not go outside

my kid doesnt game, he programs and he does robotics.
As much as I wish he would come fly airplanes, ride dirtbikes, bicycles, target shooting? he prefers inside, clickety clack of the keyboard.

Science Olympiad and STEM in schools is the only hope.
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Post  rdw777 Thu Jan 11, 2024 3:07 pm

Hi Mauricio …. That is a great question, I’ve thought about it often….I think good answers have been given… Competition with electronics technology and increasing government regulation…. One more I add is maybe our experience is part of a generational and maybe even a social thing…. The average age of our CEF members and probably most club’s members is decidedly mature…. When we were growing up there were flying models of every kind not only in local hobby shops but in department stores and even five and dime stores…Given and received as gifts…. To be compared with your friend’s….Talked about at school…. In other words, They were simply popular at that time….Some took it a little more seriously and stayed with it for a life time…

Yes, the strength of its popularity is dwindling because that generation is getting older among other things as well…...It’s just not as mainstream popular as it was when we were kids… But I think there will always be a core group including new people trickling in that is infatuated with flying their handmade creations….
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Post  roddie Thu Jan 11, 2024 6:58 pm

Mauricio my friend! Happy New Year!! Hand Shake Beer Cheers

There are many reasons why fixed-wing Aero-Modeling is in decline. Of the younger generation that has any interest in aeromodelling.. (and that's a small percentage...) it seems to be the helis and quad-copters that fascinate them.

Balsawood airplane "kits" are getting harder to find and ARF's don't teach building or finishing skills.

"Mentoring" young people with the rich history of our hobby would help.. but how could we do that in a way that would catch and HOLD their interest?
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Post  andrew Thu Jan 11, 2024 8:33 pm

All points made in previous posts are quite accurate -- modeling as a hobby is ageing out.  Two of my close friends, who were builders, have passed.  Now, I'm the last member in my club who scratch builds from plans; an occasional kit plane shows up at the field, but the vast majority are ARFs, usually electric or larger gas engines.  I'm not complaining, mind you, since these ARFs have been instrumental in keeping folks active in the hobby.

But, with more and more restrictions and regulations being imposed by the FAA, I'm beginning to see flyers, particularly among the older generation, begin to adopt a "Why bother anymore." attitude.  Noise restrictions, flying time and location restrictions, size restrictions, radio restrictions are eroding the fun of just flying.

I wish I had a crystal ball or could wave a magic wand, but I'm convinced that modeling as many of us have known it will vanish in the future.

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Post  HalfaDave Fri Jan 12, 2024 4:02 am

Hi Mauricio, and All,
Sure,  the past is not the same as before... Smile
But,
The future is here.
Electric 250g and flying safely under 400ft is working for me.
I'm meeting local neighbours and they like it. (even Cops want to try flying !)
It is like letting glue dry. Wait for it.
Then, Cox engines will be 'Cool' again.
On my bucket list is:
Flying safely a 5 min halftime show at a local baseball/football game/event.
Wish me Luck.  Smile
It will only get better from there, when I can run a Cox engine,   I hope ! Very Happy
Take care,
Have fun,
Dave
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Post  Ken Cook Fri Jan 12, 2024 4:31 am

While most of the major manufacturers in the control line kit business are long gone, there's a long list of what is out there. While new engines aren't as readily available, good used examples are out there. Thirty years ago, it was harder to find this stuff not too mention the readiness of finding parts and accessories. No hobby shops are left in these parts. The hobby business even 20 years ago didn't have much in offerings as far as kits and balsa supplies were concerned.

Hobby shops were typically geared for r/c and what they stocked never fulfilled the needs of those in the area that flew it. Business is business, the shops would always have a huge spectacular looking jet hanging from the ceiling with a outrageous price tag. There was never any room in these parts to fly that type of model not too mention deep enough pockets to afford it. It was eye candy to attract one into the store. Somehow there's a fixation with bigger is better.

What I'm suggesting is that I fully agree that the hobby is going away. Just about everyone has a phone or a home pc which enables a Google search which yields most information needed at the touch of your finger. However, while pushing buttons and keypads is easy, assembling balsa sticks and covering is like black magic voodoo to others. People I know have bought the stuff, they ask questions and say they don't want to mess it up. The best advice I can offer to anyone is learn to read, do it yourself and mess it up completely, smash the plane and then repair the plane. Don't cry about a smashed plane, picked up the pieces and repair it or build another. When home, diagnose the reasoning as to what happened and learn to prevent it.

This is the problem with a hobby such as this, it's expensive to a point and a lot of people can't accept failure or positive criticism. As much as most love the Cox and plastic model offerings, it's very difficult to have received such a gift and have it relinquished to crap in less than a lap. This in my opinion caused a lot of grief and frustration. I myself was included in these unwanted gravity surges early on in my learning. My dad however, was just the most amazing individual who could put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Parental time has decreased immensely and in my opinion, this is very critical to the hobby as well.

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Post  akjgardner Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:25 am

Very Well Putt Ken
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Post  HalfaDave Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:28 am

Hi Ken,
I'll quote you on, "gravity surges", Love it ! Cool
Perfect name for a model airplane. Very Happy
I am going back to throwing chuck gliders, and giving them to kids.
Eventually, Cox Engines will rule.
Again.
Take care,
Have fun,
Dave
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