Most modelers live in a house that is decorated quite differently than that of their non-modeler friends. I think we can all identify. For example, in a typical household, the vacuum cleaner usually picks up icky things such as pet hair, dust bunnies, and perhaps shriveled-up lettuce pieces that fell to the floor days ago.
An aircraft modeler, however, is used to frequently hearing a ping of epic proportions as a flying wire attempts to make its way through the vacuum cleaner.
Lost a part a couple of days ago? My suggestion is to check the vacuum cleaner bag first before crawling around the floor for 15 minutes. It probably has just as many plastic ties, tiny pieces of covering, and little fuel-tube pieces as it does fingernail clippings and wads of hair.
There’s a treasure trove of modeling goodness to be found in that crazy mess!
I know this is typical in my house because my fiancé and I are both into RC modeling. Translation: double the fun, yes, but also double the vacuum cleaner pings and other random home environment situations … situations that are normal for us, but that undoubtedly raise eyebrows among friends and family who aren’t involved in the hobby and question some of the oddities.
Why Yes, Those are Airplane Wings on the Bookshelf
Anything that has the potential to display or store our models and the tools we use to make them, is fair game. Bookshelves, hope chests, kitchen tables, even bathtubs, are suitable platforms and containers for airplane parts.
Sure, we have plenty of Clive Cussler and Eckhart Tolle books lining our shelves, but it doesn’t stop there. They’re perfect for keeping wings up and away from harm, almost taking on the appearance of a flying bookcase.
Although non-modelers would assume we’d remove airplane parts to make room for more books, it’s the other way around in our home. We remove the books to add more parts, from wheels to covering. If it’s not on the top of the dryer, it certainly can be found nestled between the latest adventure and self-reflection novel.
In fact, RC paraphernalia dominates much of our home beyond mere décor.
Television and Social Media
At home, the news always gets our attention, but rest assured that when an airplane segment comes on, we practically get whiplash as our heads turn to the television set. From there, a detailed conversation ensues. If it’s an unfortunate situation such as a crash, perhaps we beg to differ with what reporters have said about a wing folding or ice accumulation.
If there is a story on a local station about modelers, you better believe our evening plan is scheduled. Dinner and a show it is.
A local station where we live, New Hampshire Chronicle, did indeed feature modelers at a New Hampshire field several months back. We got a kick out of watching the coverage and of course, discussed that at great length too.
I’m not ashamed to admit that we recently watched Planes, the Disney movie filled with a bevy of talking aircraft.
Of course, non-modeler friends sometimes joke about our near obsession with such events. The ways in which we can pick apart flight-related topics—whether it’s about a History channel show, news coverage reported by esteemed reporters, or the creative ways we try to solve our own center-of-gravity issues—lends itself to plenty of silly jabs.
Some border on sarcastic. Perhaps they are attempts to silence our talk while simultaneously trying to acknowledge our wisdom (oh, we’re on to you!). “Why don’t you just write or email the TV station and tell them your thoughts?” some ask.
Many appreciate our understanding of inverted flat spins or terms such as Instrument Flight Rules. Most, however, are impressed with how our models can go from bare bones balsa to a fully covered beauty in a matter of a few short months, or whenever the last time was that they were able to find a seat on the sofa when they visited.
When it comes to social media, modeling is also a prominent part of my life. I enjoy taking pictures at events and posting them to Facebook. Everyone, even friends of mine who don’t fly, must see what’s going on. After all, I wonder, how could anyone not marvel at an aircraft with a 60-inch wingspan or the images of an inverted helicopter suspended in midair, its blades just inches from the top of grass?
I’ve also recently been dabbling with Pinterest, a site filled with inspirational “boards” based on a person’s interests. Of course I have an aviation board, along with ones of animals, photography, humor, and healthy eating, that includes everything from intriguing sayings about flight to images of craft that I enjoy.
I even have an aviation-related image in a cooking section. Can you imagine my thrill of discovering a creative edible airplane made of celery (a portion of the main part as the fuselage and tinier slices for the propeller), crackers (the wing), and sliced meat chunks (wheels)?
Waking Up to the Sounds of Flight
There used to be a coffee jingle about the best part of waking up with a certain brand name in your cup. Well, at my house, easing into the day often involves lounging on the sofa with a cup of coffee while watching videos other hobby friends have forwarded, or suggested we watch on YouTube.
So while the homes of many of our non-modeler friends and family may be filled with the sounds of television, cartoons, or music, ours is filled with the roar of airplane engines. Neither of us can resist peeking over at the other’s computer or telephone when we hear the sounds—model or otherwise.
In fact, one of us tends to alert the other first with “you’ve got to check this one out.” The thrill of starting the day with coffee and the sights of some new covering design or turbine heli is always welcome!
Some of our family members went to Disney last year, while others enjoyed an island getaway. As for me? Not too long ago, when my fiancé and I were feeling cooped up and thinking up possible getaway destinations, we didn’t consider Paris or the Grand Canyon. Oh no. I excitedly mentioned giving consideration to the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, or any kind of Dawn Patrol RC event—ideas that were met with enthusiasm.
Who needs Mickey Mouse hats when there are RC T-shirts to be purchased at an event we’ve never before attended?
And when we do get those shirts, I know just the bookcase shelf on which to fold them.