About the hobby

Aeromodelling, a general description of models

The hobby of building and flying model aircraft predates the successful flight of full size aircraft, and provides avenues for a diverse range of activities, from buying and learning to fly a “ready to go” model, to designing and building your own model from scratch.  

The types of model aircraft that we fly in the club include Fixed-wing aircraft (Including Gliders), Helicopters, and specially designed quadcopters, which are flown (and raced), using First Person View over an obstacle course.

Fixed wing aircraft are conventional aircraft, having a wing at right angles to the fuselage, and a tail at the rear of the fuselage consisting of a vertical fin and horizontal stabiliser. They can have one, two or more motors and propellers. Aircraft with propellers in front of the wing, that pull the aircraft are known as tractor type, and aircraft with the propeller behind the wing as pusher type aircraft. There are a wide number of variations on this arrangement including ducted fan and turbine powered model jets, and aircraft with the horizontal stabiliser in front of the wing (Canard type configuration).

Gliders are another form of fixed wing-aircraft, and are typically designed to suit the manner in which they will be flown. Thermal gliders are designed to make use of rising air currents to stay aloft (look at buzzards soaring without using their wings), while slope soaring gliders are designed to make use of rising air flow from land formations such as hills and cliffs (Look at seagulls flying along the tops of cliffs without flapping their wings).

Helicopters come in two forms. Flybar helicopters have a small set of fin shaped controls, which help the main blades operate and assist the servo mechanism in control. Flybar-less helicopters use direct servo control of the blades to adjust their angle. All helicopters have a tail rotor. The forward – backwards and sideways movement of a model helicopter is controlled by shifting the angle of the spinning rotor blades relative to their horizontal axis. The lift is controlled by the pitch of the rotor blades. The way the nose points on a model helicopter is controlled by the speed or pitch of the tail rotor. Model helicopters have sophisticated electronic systems on board to assist the pilot, such as directional gyros.

FPV drone racing (where FPV stands for first-person view or first person video) is a sport type where participants control “drones” (typically small radio-controlled aircraft or quadcopters), equipped with cameras while wearing head-mounted displays showing the live stream camera feed from the drones. Similar to full size air racing the goal is to complete a set course as quickly as possible.