Today’s Model Aircrafts Are More Than Just Toys

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Aeromodelling has leaped ahead in recent years. With investment pouring in from numerous sources, who knows what tomorrow holds for the world of drones and unmanned craft?

Aeromodelling has come a remarkably long way in the past hundred years or so. The small balsa wood models that many of us may remember from our youth are now pretty much a thing of the past. Today’s models are high tech, with the ability to take things to the next level. The tech surrounding models has advanced at a similar rate to that of the aircraft themselves. And today, with drones finding no end of practical uses, the line between hobby and job has become increasingly blurred.

Today’s Unmanned Craft Have Come a Long Way

The earliest model planes were little more than wood and canvas gliders, mirroring the approach used to build real planes. While some of them could get up to pretty decent heights, they tended to lack a key aspect of flight: some means of self-propulsion. Motors were far too large to be practical for a scale model, so the restrictions imposed on these models were fairly heavy. That changed when the models got smaller and lighter, and someone struck upon the idea of propulsion using energy stored in an elastic band or spring. Once wound up, the energy could be expended via a coil, forcing the propeller to turn and push the craft forward. Naturally, the limitations were still fairly significant, but the concept was sound.

Progress Is Accelerating in the World of Drones and Models

It wasn’t long before we saw electric motors used in the model craft. Combined with radio controls, these allowed for fairly good scale models of planes and helicopters that could fly better than anything before. However, it’s only recently that things have really come into their own, with the arrival of commercially viable drones. Generally featuring four rotors on outstretched arms, these lightweight craft have found no end of uses. From photography to logistics to the emergency services, these little pieces of technology are proving to be a sound investment for a wide range of people. In fact, they are now recognised by the FAI, and investment in their future is pouring in from multiple sources. Max Polyakov, to name one of many interested, has put his backing to numerous drone-related projects. And in the grand scheme of things, we are still in the early days of this new technology. We will have to wait to see what the future holds.
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