Who is this hacker then?

I'll call myself a hacker because I love taking stuff apart. Changing it, building something out of it, flying it balls out till the tits fall off it and usually crashing it. I also have an aerospace and software engineering background. I'm not a criminal, I don't make viruses and I won't gain control of your computer if you look at my website.

My first RC aircraft experience was building an Aeroflyte Brolga 2. I bought the kit for $100 from a real life hobby shop, spent weeks building it after school. Sanded the trailing edges to a knife point, added extra thin ply to strengthen the wing it was even all glued with pvc. My paper round money went towards a 4 channel transmitter and two very expensive hitec servos. Mum went nuts at me when the wing covering melted on her iron.

The first throw into the wind, over correcting and smacking the nose in for its first crash. I stuffed the electronics back in and added some grass padding and taped the canopy down. After much practice, some cartwheel landings and epoxy on the tail I soon was doing circuits and catching it by the nose.

Then the power launch. Well, two bags of 64 size rubber bands linked together to make a bungee, power launch. Boy did it go up fast, and I was sure that if it was made with CA rather than PVC the wing would never be able to flex that much. Pretty soon loops, low passes, stall turns and starting to wish I had ailerons. The Brolga gave me many hours of fun.

My soon brother built his first glider, his had air brakes. He even built a nice box to transport it. It also flew much better, clever little bastard.

Magpies started making swiss cheese out of our noses. I solved it by my making my own circuit board to hook up a 12v siren that I could switch on with the throttle. Have you ever seen a magpie crap itself while upside down?

My brother and I towed our gliders down the runway using the car and a fishing pole out the roof. One kilometer of payout towing melted the drag mechanism on the fishing reel. Well worth it as we gained a lot more height. I made my first video at a whopping 320x240 pixels by strapping my camera to the wing. It was draggy and flights were short but the view out the back on the tow launch and watching the broken rudder flop around were priceless.

Many years, a few more planes and lots of crashes later: We now have the internet, forums and loads of information on the hobby. Like anywhere on the internet there is a lot of crap. Still if you swim through it all there is gold in there:

On helifreak my brother discovered the Esky belt CP electric helicopter. We bought two for $250 each on Ebay. We practiced for hours on a simulator. Balanced, tuned and got up early to fly in the still air with the big training gear. A few weeks later our helicopters were chasing the magpies around the footy field, the magpies completely cleared off after a few days. Holidays over, I made a box out of an old suitcase and took my helicopter back South America with me. My job at the time involved lots of traveling, I flew whenever I had time and space. I flew it on the beach and it started to rust. Even in high winds on the altiplano at 4000m altitude. The tail gyro stopped working but I was getting so good I didn't really need it. Eventually I pranged it beyond my collection of spares and it is yet to fly again.

Now I live in Ecuador. I discovered Hobbyking and pretty much the same helicopter except better for $60. Will they deliver to Ecuador? will it get through customs? No worries! A few dollars and 2 weeks later I have bits for my first quad, a transmitter and a foam flying wing. Time to stop buying and start building. I also discovered rcmodelreviews. Love your work Bruce, and I hope you get your airfield back. FPV? click, click, click and the bits are in the mail and I'm poorer again. So now I'm getting back into RC and am having a lot of fun doing it. I'm starting from scratch with all new gear and I hope to share this experience through this website.