July 19, 2013 10:55:49 AM EDT
There is a sub-set of the model airplane hobby that is a throwback to the early beginnings of the hobby. They deal in balsa stick and fabric (tissue) covered planes powered by rubber bands and flying free flight (i.e. no R/C or control lines). This is what model airplanes consisted of back in the 1930’s to 1950’s before control line then R/C took over. A lot of ‘modern’ modelers would laugh at ‘rubber band’ powered planes but these things can be quite sophisticated in that they fly for several minutes, they need to be built with built-in controls so they don’t fly away, and they often are scale models of real airplanes. Despite their typical small size and their mode of propulsion, they require REAL modeling skills to build and fly. The ‘Flying Aces Club’ (FAC) conducts a national contest of these free flight models each year in Geneseo, New York about 2 hours from where I live. I am going to their 2013 FAC NON-NATS event tomorrow. This will be my first time attending a free flight event and I am excited at what I will see and learn.
Here are a few links describing the FAC and free flight (especially look at the second link which has photos):
(BTW: I have found out that there is a museum of WWII planes also located in Geneseo, so I’ll check it out tomorrow as well.)