The state of our (dying) sport 2022

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

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Pops

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It's called : "Kid Crack" !
It's an easy solution to make a child ShutUp ; but parents never
consider the consequences to their child's social well-being.

I asked a 12 year old neighbor, if he would like to learn
to fly an RC airplane one day ; he said : "I have that program
on my computer" ------- meaning No. I did teach his older sister
how to fly my Quad drone though ; she is in Space Force ROTC
now , but I didn't have anything to do with that.

Bille
Full size airplanes or RC airplanes, they think that if they can fly it on a computer they can fly the real thing. That is reality to them.
They are not the only ones that think they can make up reality.
 
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challenger_II

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Remember when cap guns used a roll of caps? The rolls came five at a time, I think, in a small box. Always wanted bigger bangs, and we found that laying a whole roll on the sidewalk and whacking it with Dad's hammer produced a nice big bang. The neighbors didn't react much in those days., Now, they'd be calling the cops to come and see who is shooting who.

View attachment 128559
Properly known as Maynard Tape Primer. Your Great-Great-GREAT Grand Daddy was playing with "cap" guns way long ago! :)
 

challenger_II

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Full size airplanes or RC airplanes, they think that if they can fly it on a computer they can fly the real thing. That is reality to them.
They are not the only ones that think they can makeup reality.
I have offered to teach my girlfriend's youngest son to fly R/C on many occasions: he just can't be bothered with it.
 

Hawk81A

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Remember when cap guns used a roll of caps? The rolls came five at a time, I think, in a small box. Always wanted bigger bangs, and we found that laying a whole roll on the sidewalk and whacking it with Dad's hammer produced a nice big bang. The neighbors didn't react much in those days., Now, they'd be calling the cops to come and see who is shooting who.

View attachment 128559
I smashed a WHOLE BOX with a red brick. My ears rang, I staggered around for a few seconds. it may have been the beginning of my tinnitus (.45 ACP didn't help much, neither did loud open port two cycle engines, nor 15 years of heavy equipment mechanic) Dennis
 

reo12

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I had fun with roll caps, then 35 years later discovered aluminum powder and perchlorate. Then rediscovered acetylene and oxygen. I started flying rubber band balsa planes. In the late 60's there were rubber band planes that were whimsical characters. Then RC.
I dreamed of the Rogallo gliders I saw on the cover of Popular Mechanics. We don't see that anymore.
Lee Fischer is leading a USA based effort to bring affordable entry level flight to our youth. His Snapdragon towed plane is the work in progress. There is also a flight simulator project that Rick Hayes - Hayes Aero - has built and is refining. It is able to be built at a very significant savings over others and is portable to the point of being able to fit through classroom doors.
Here are some links to see what I'm talking of.

this link has some video of the Europe based effort.

This link has recent flight testing and much of January through March has info on the flight simulator. www.facebook.com/groups/996863550844900/
 
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reo12

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I had fun with roll caps, then 35 years later discovered aluminum powder and perchlorate. Then rediscovered acetylene and oxygen. I started flying rubber band balsa planes. In the late 60's there were rubber band planes that were whimsical characters. Then RC.
I dreamed of the Rogallo gliders I saw on the cover of Popular Mechanics. We don't see that anymore.
Lee Fischer is leading a USA based effort to bring affordable entry level flight to our youth. His Snapdragon towed plane is the work in progress. There is also a flight simulator project that Rick Hayes - Hayes Aero has built and is refining. It is able to be built at a very significant savings over others and is portable to the point of being able to fit through classroom doors.
Here are some links to see what I'm talking of.

this link has some video of the Europe based effort.
No it isn't. Burns too slow. But being a long time black powder hunter, I had the stuff on hand. Double F if I recall. But I proved my concept with it.

Game plan was to see about one or more M-80's lined up in the body tube. Detonation either via the contact one in the nose or by the flame ejection charge of the rocket motor. Hmmm! How many M-80's could be lined up in a body tube?

But Dad found out what I was doing and put an end to that. About two weeks later, when I could sit down again I turned my focus to other things.
No it isn't. Burns too slow. But being a long time black powder hunter, I had the stuff on hand. Double F if I recall. But I proved my concept with it.

Game plan was to see about one or more M-80's lined up in the body tube. Detonation either via the contact one in the nose or by the flame ejection charge of the rocket motor. Hmmm! How many M-80's could be lined up in a body tube?

But Dad found out what I was doing and put an end to that. About two weeks later, when I could sit down again I turned my focus to other things.
Never got your hands on 7F grade blasting powder ehh? We used it for priming the pans on flintlocks.
 

Appowner

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I had fun with roll caps, then 35 years later discovered aluminum powder and perchlorate. Then rediscovered acetylene and oxygen. I started flying rubber band balsa planes. In the late 60's there were rubber band planes that were whimsical characters. Then RC.
I dreamed of the Rogallo gliders I saw on the cover of Popular Mechanics. We don't see that anymore.
Lee Fischer is leading a USA based effort to bring affordable entry level flight to our youth. His Snapdragon towed plane is the work in progress. There is also a flight simulator project that Rick Hayes - Hayes Aero has built and is refining. It is able to be built at a very significant savings over others and is portable to the point of being able to fit through classroom doors.
Here are some links to see what I'm talking of.

this link has some video of the Europe based effort.


Never got your hands on 7F grade blasting powder ehh? We used it for priming the pans on flintlocks.

Nope! Always used percussion. Though I have fired flintlocks, just never went that route for myself.
 

Dana

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You can buy a device that makes percussion caps for muzzleloaders out of toy roll caps and beer can aluminum.

Then there was the Estes model rocket catalog with the technical pages in the middle, where they always has a thing on the "basement bomber", what not to do: "Bob blew off his fingers when he put 250 match heads in a 3/4" copper pipe..." and we'd be, "250 match heads, check. Brian, does your dad have any 3/4" copper pipe?"

Shooting off match head rockets in the old sandpit up the road, good times.
 

Pops

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Used to put match heads in a spent .22 brass , crimp the end and place it on a rock an hit it with a hammer. Closed my eyes and hand over the eyes for eye protection. Some time you will get a little brass in the skin.
Young and dumb.

Why is it that we all seem so much alike ?
 

Vigilant1

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Why is it that we all seem so much alike ?
Indeed. It was a lot of fun, figuring out what worked, using what we had or could get, etc.
And, going back to the inferred point of the OP: Where are the stories about little girls doing these things? Surely they are just as smart (or dumb) and just as resourceful.
Aviation: It's good and right to break down any existing barriers and make a big effort to welcome everyone who desires to participate. It's not realistic to think every demographic will have an equal desire to participate. Go to a quilting show and see who is there. Are they wringing their hands about it?
 
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Young and dumb.

Why is it that we all seem so much alike ?
I was wondering this a couple of pages back. I'm guessing that we just all have the same kind of curiosity and need to create and that guides us down similar paths.

I remember taking the obligatory tests in grade school that were to deduce the best career paths for us. Mine said I should have been an artist or scientist. My grandfather was a good artist and it allowed him to be a good architect. Though I could draft and letter well I couldn't paint or sculpt like him so I thought the test was just so much fantasy.

Decades later here I am. My 'art' is things and structures that have uses. If I had continued down the path to become an architect like my grandfather I'd probably have been a pretty good one. My buildings wouldn't have the 'style' my grandfathers did but they would have been very functional and efficient buildings.

I think there is a little more 'artist' in most of us here than we think there is................

Perchlorate and aluminum powder needs just a touch of brimstone to give it some brisance. ;)
 

Bill-Higdon

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Salem, Oregon, USA
Indeed. It was a lot of fun, figuring out what worked, using what we had or could get, etc.
And, going back to the inferred point of the OP: Where are the stories about little girls doing these things? Surely they are just as smart (or dumb) and just as resourceful.
Aviation: It's good and right to break down any existing barriers and make a big effort to welcome everyone who desires to participate. It's not realistic to think every demographic will have an equal desire to participate. Go to a quilting show and see who is there. Are they wringing their hands about it?
My daughters after hearing some of my friends and my brother reminiscing about our youthful "experiences" asked why I didn't show them these things. As I explained the police had become a lot less forgiving in the intervening time. Now it'd get you a possible Felony Terrorism charge
 

mgmorden

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I don't think this is anything new or alarming.

Flying is expensive. DAMNED expensive. Most people aren't going to have the money to put towards something like this when they're young unless they're trying to make a career out of being a pilot.

As to light and homebuilt General Aviation most also don't have the time to put into doing something like building an airplane until after retirement. So yeah, what you see is older people (and yes they are mostly white but I don't think that's due to any discrimination or anything - the aviation community as a whole is pretty open and welcoming but people aren't going to fly if they won't want to). The newly recruited members will also be older people.

If you want a younger crowd then honestly there needs to be enough loosening of the regulations to make aviation affordable. I can buy a NEW car for under $15k. A new jon boat (with engine) for $7k. There are motorcycles for between $2k and $3k new. All are correspondingly cheaper when used.

All those are entry level options, but for similar entry level aviation options you're looking at starting around $100k new, and even decades old used planes are $25k to $40k. That's just priced well out of range of anyone financially lower than upper middle class.
 
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Vigilant1

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I'm one. My wife and her sisters quilt. One sister was a factory rep for a sewing machine company and they all help her in the company booth at national quilting shows.


I've been to some local shows with my wife. The workmanship is amazing and I admire it a lot. Still, I have a hard time enjoying the pieces because I wouldn't enjoy spending the hundreds of hours of skillful labor to make them. Hand woven rugs, needlepoint, beadwork, etc all hit me the same way, which reflects poorly on me.
I should be satisfied that some people do enjoy every hour of these crafts and I should just appreciate the dedication that produced those finished pieces.
 

Jerry Lytle

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Everett, WA
Do you think that being locked out ot where the aiplaness are has anything to do with lack of interest?
I Pedaled my bike to the nearest airport and spent hours admiring the equipment and longing for the day I could fly.


Now that I am 80 the locked gate brings me to a halt.
 

DanH

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If you want a younger crowd then honestly there needs to be enough loosening of the regulations to make aviation affordable. I can buy a NEW car for under $15k. A new jon boat (with engine) for $7k. There are motorcycles for between $2k and $3k new. All are correspondingly cheaper when used.

All those are entry level options, but for similar entry level aviation options you're looking at starting around $100k new, and even decades old used planes are $25k to $40k. That's just priced well out of range of anyone financially lower than upper middle class.
+1. ...but it's our own fault. We had inexpensive choices, and let the FAA take them away, with the blessing of the alphabets. They were the two-place "ultralight trainers" of the 80's and 90's. When Light Sport was created (mid-2000's, with much trumpeting about "affordable airplanes") most of them had to transition to an N-number or be grounded/junked. Most of the folks who made them switched to the new, more profitable segment.

Myself and a dozen friends had years of fun with legal, illegal ,and N-numbered light flyers of all kinds. I paid as little as $2500. The most I ever spent was to obtain a new Maxair Rocket, about $15K, and I acro'd the snot out of it for years.

Video from before the introduction of GoPro cameras:



Right now some of you are muttering "I don't wanna fly no ultralight".
 

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