To the exciting world of radio controlled model aircraft, boats, and cars. We believe that you will find this to be one of the most interesting and fascinating hobby-sports. This overview will introduce you to the "Davenport Radio Control Society" and answer some of your questions about its activities.
WHO ARE WE
Based in Davenport, Iowa, the "Davenport R/C Society" is an organization of people interested in building and flying radio controlled models. Some of our members build model boats and cars as well, but most prefer airplanes or helicopters. Our club has been in existence for more than 30 years, and many of the charter members are still active in the club. We have grown to over 100 members from just a handful 30 years ago. Our members come from the entire Quad Cities area and from every walk of life. We meet on the second Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Eastern Avenue Branch of the Davenport Public Library in Davenport, IA. For the months of May through September we meet at the Norman Frye Memorial Field when weather permits. All our meetings are open to the public. You are welcome to attend any of them if you would like to learn more about this fascinating sport. Our club is chartered by the Academy of Model Aeronautics "AMA". The AMA's function is to coordinate the activities of many clubs across the U.S. in an effort to assist each club in formulating a better, and safer program.
WHERE DO WE PRACTICE OUR SPORT?
Model airplanes need lots of room to maneuver. The field is located on Seven Cities Sod Farm and is called Norman Frye Memorial Field. The sod farm is located off highway 130 north of Interstate 80. Frye field features sod and polymat runways and is favored by most fixed wing flyers.
WHAT IS RADIO CONTROL?
Radio control (R/C) is a method of, for example, controlling a model aircraft in the air by an observer on the ground. No physical connection between the plane and ground controller is required. Instead, the pilot on the ground uses a small hand-held radio transmitter (about the size of a walkie-talkie) to send commands in the form of a coded message to the airplane. A small receiver in the airplane receives and decodes the messages and operates one or more servo mechanisms connected to the planes control surfaces. Thus, the pilot on the ground can make the airplane climb, dive and turn with a precision limited only by his skill.
The electronic wizardry involved in the transmitter, receiver, and the servos is about as sophisticated as a color television set but fortunately, like the television set, it is not necessary to know anything about electronics to thoroughly enjoy it! The radio equipment is ready to install in the model when purchased; no knowledge of electronics is required.
Radio control has come a long way since its first use in model aircraft. The radio that Dr. Good designed controlled only one function, was large, heavy (over 6 pounds), and unreliable. In comparison, today's radios control normally 4 functions, are small, light (under 1 pound with batteries and 4 servos), and reliability problems are almost nonexistent.
The earliest radio control systems had only one channel (one function). This was used to give either full left or full right rudder control to steer the model. Modern equipment developed in the past 20 years or so uses from one to fourteen channels for primary controls of rudder, elevator, aileron, and throttle. Some models even have retractable landing gear and landing flaps just like full scale aircraft. Modern radios are of the simultaneous proportional type. This means that any or all of the controls may be used at the same time, and the amount of the movement of the control stick on the transmitter functions just like the control stick in a full size aircraft; fore and aft movement of the stick gives elevator, left and right movement of the stick gives left and right aileron control to bank the aircraft. Rudder and throttle are usually controlled by a separate stick.
The transmitter has a range of several miles, further than the model can be seen. Through efforts of the AMA and in conjunction with the Federal Communications Commission, new license-free radio channels have been made available for the explicit use of R.C. models. These R.C. systems are available through most hobby shops.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
|Minimum costs to get started
|Covering (plastic film)
|Prop & spinner
|Fuel, Batr. & Clip
The most commonly used radios have from four to six channels and cost from $120.00 to $500.00.
Several brands of good quality, reliable six channel radios are available for $150.00 - $200.00. While this might seem like a lot of money, it is a one-time expense. Modern computer radios are designed specifically to be used with more than one model. Also, the price includes rechargeable nickel cadium batteries for the transmitter and receiver and a battery charger.
The Davenport Radio Control Society is a group of friends who help one another and are willing and eager to help new pilots learn to fly. Many experienced builders are also willing to help new members with construction problems.
Model airplane kits and engines cost from about $20.00 to well over $300.00. The model helicopters are the most complex, most costly, and most difficult to fly of all the models. It is possible to enjoy this hobby on a budget; a simple airplane, small engine, and a two channel radio can be purchased for under $150.00.
The variety of aircraft which can be controlled is virtually unlimited. You will see large and small single engine planes, racing planes, gliders, multi-engine planes, flying wings, and helicopters. Some planes have floats for flying off of water or skis for flying off of snow. Some models are just for sport flying, and some are exact scale replicas of full scale aircraft.
Further information can be obtained by attending our monthly meetings which are open to anyone. You will be most welcome.