A Like any hobby, if you go top-of-the-line across the board there is virtually no end to the amount you can spend. Your up-front costs are Club dues and AMA insurance...less than $10/month.* For airplanes plan on spending $500. Subtract a hundred or two if you do not mind used equipment, add a couple hundred if you would like a few bells and whistles. Helicopters offer a very wide range of options and set-ups, and are subject to greater continued maintenance (wear and tear). Therefore it is best to talk to a club member directly to get a feel of how much it will cost.
Q Where/how can I learn to fly?
A The Seminole Radio
Control Club field is located on Highway 27 south about 3 miles past Wal-Mart.
The field is open to spectators whenever club members are present (the
front gate is otherwise locked). The field hours are from noon to dusk,
seven days a week. The club has an instructor program, which is free
to members. The preferred method of instruction is with
use of what is called a “buddy box.” The instructor has a cord running from his radio to the student’s and can assume control of the aircraft at anytime.**
Q How hard are they to build?
A There are kits with the beginner in mind called “VRTF’s” (pronounced “verts”) which stands for “Virtually Ready To Fly.” The airplanes come with the engine and radio equipment already installed. While these kits do save time, usually they come with “bottom-of-the-line” equipment. It might be worthwhile to look into the next option, called “ARF’s.” This stands for “Almost Ready to Fly.” The plane components are assembled and covered, and all that is left is the final assembly. The radio, engine, and sometime additional hardware, like the fuel tank, are sold seperately. These kits claim building time anywhere from 5-20 hours, and usually come with detailed instructions including photos. A novice builder should plan on doubling the expected build time. Also available are kits called “ARC’s” which stands for “Almost Ready to Cover.” Similar to ARF’s the additional step of covering the aircraft allows for a more personal model. Kits that are non-ARF’s are designed with making building easier than yesteryear, but can still be challenging.
Q Where can I buy one?
A Support your local hobby store! Our local hobby shop is HobbyTownUSA. The store is owned and operated by Frank Bastos and it is is located at 1812 Thomasville Road, in the Capital Plaza near JoAnn's Fabrics. Give them a call at (850) 671-2030. Store hours: M-F 11-7, Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5.
Q How high can they fly?
A The radio equipment can reach up to two miles. That is over 10,000 feet...higher than you would ever be able to see them!
Q How long can they fly?
A Obviously, flights
with a continued full throttle setting are going to be shorter than if
you were practicing touch-and-go’s. A typical flight can last 15
minutes. The duration of electric powered models depends on a number of
variables including the type and size of the motor and the battery which is
used. The technology is rapidly changing and the flight times can easily match
or exceed those obtained glo or gas power. Glider flights
can last from 2-3 minutes to several hours!
* Contact AMA for current costs.
** Instructors provide the best possible assistance, however,
SRCC or the instructor cannot
be held responsible for damages caused to equipment.