Radio control flight can seem a bit intimidating, complicated, and full of nuance. Perhaps you or someone you know spent months on a balsa wood model only to see it explode into splinters just seconds into the first flight. If you don’t already know someone in the hobby, it might feel like a long road ahead of you. This is starting to change with the growth of the internet, dramatic innovations in electronics, and overall growth of the industry.
Though R/C flight can be a solo activity, it is best enjoyed with others. There are thousands of model flying groups and fields, so there’s likely one in your area. In the United States, you can use the Academy of Model Aeronautics to find local flying sites. People who are interested in newer aspects such as first-person-view (FPV) flying can find local companions through Multi GP for racing or Drone Squad for social flying.
Getting plugged into a community such as Flite Test is also a great way to find cool projects, fun content, answers to technical questions, and flying buddies. Flite Test has been around for close to seven years and a big reason for our average growth of 100,000 members a year is due to how our community makes flight so approachable, affordable, and achievable. Just about anyone can get building and flying, even if you don’t have a vast base of technical ability or hundreds of dollars.
Along with getting plugged into a local group or field, you can also keep an eye out for one of our Flite Fest events. They are exactly what they sound like: “a festival of flight.” These events are perhaps the perfect indoctrination and exposure to the R/C flying hobby. At Flite Fest you’ll find foam flying in every shape imaginable, the smell of solder in the build tents, the whirr of a 3D printer making spare parts, and an incredibly helpful group of people who want you to succeed.
With cheap DIY materials, affordable ready-to-fly models, FPV drones, and increasingly reliable electronics, the model flying industry is experiencing a resurgence! If you have ever had an interest in defying the laws of gravity as a hobby, there has never been a better time to start.