With the hobby industry in decline the future for me to earn a viable living in the RC flying business has run its course. The current Issue of the magazine is the last. RCM News and Flyboys websites - Facebook pages will shut down July 14. I couldn't think of a more fitting day to celebrate a new direction selling Winnebago Motorhomes, Coromal and Adria Caravans than opening a bottle of French champagne on Bastille Day. I will be in touch with Print Subscribers after the VMAA AGM later this month.
RC is now at the cross roads and choices made today will impact whether we go the same way as Free Flight and Control Line. A few secret locations out in the sticks to ply our trade. Hobby shops used to supply model clubs with a source of beginners. It looks likely the wholesale profit margin in the RC business will all but disappear in a few years time. Large importers selling direct, a few key businesses around the country and more part time concerns operating from home. Model clubs and Associations that want to survive will have to become proactive in generating new people. Getting mass market media and politicians to attend an aeromodelling event way out in the suburbs has been improbable for years now. Sandown offers a way to showcase our hobby and responsible flying operations with pretty serious equipment to inspire people to give it a go. I floated the idea of a Melbourne Festival of Aeromodelling to VMAA President Reeve Marsh last year. Kick it off at Sandown with SIGs hosting a national Championship at various flying fields all within and hours drive of the CBD. Sandown 2015 was an example of what is possible when a magazine offers editorial clout and advertising deals to industry to get something going. Whether there is interest from others or pushing it past the dead wood on VMAA committee is no longer my problem. Behind the scenes it has been an interesting ride dealing with the dysfunctional the past few years to say the least.
The problem for SIGS is talking over flying fields for a weekend and not making it worthwhile for host clubs isn't going to go away either. NSW is looking to purchase another flying field. Victoria doesn't have that problem but future funding of its flying fields is set to become one. Generating $20G nett over a weekend is easily achievable in Melbourne or Sydney. Pursuing my goal to create a Formula One Festival of Speed weekend, hiring a large marquee for a pilots lounge and over night model storage, paying for pylon marshalls, protective barriers and prizes all cost money. I was well on the way with this seven years ago until the perennial problem when members vote for stupid people to run clubs happened again. A year ago I offered this to P&DARCS but the committee knocked it back. It prefers the 110 db noise generated by some scale aerobatic aircraft. This was a fantastic business five years ago. A heartfelt thank you to advertisers, contributors and most of all readers who have supported Radio Control Model News magazine since 1991.
Happy landings to all." Stephen Green. AUS 5932.
ps RCM News Racing's stunt pilot WG Gilderslag remains gainfully employed, downsizing the hangar then re-engineering the Cassutt for stunt work.