, Washington

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-19 0:53:26
“As a kid I had dreams of becoming an aeronautical engineer. I dabbled in model rocketry, and was obsessed with the idea of having an RC airplane, but such ‘toys’ were beyond what my family could afford to buy me. As an adult with my own disposable income, I have re-discovered the lure and joy of flight and the hobby I’ve discovered around it. If I had the time and even more disposable income, I would probably become an actual pilot, but as it is I spend countless hours building, tinkering with, turning, tearing apart, rebuilding, testing, and less often than I would wish: flying small unmanned aircraft. I primarily fly FPV (flying via video feed via goggles from a first-person view camera on the aircraft along with an observer who maintains visual line of sight) including organized racing ( and ‘freestyle’ flight. I’ve also recently become interested in the technical aspects of autopilot software and autonomous flight control and sensors. I build all of the aircraft that I fly — I do not build from kits, I source the various components separately (sometimes fabricating additional parts via 3D printer) to build EXACTLY the aircraft I want. In pursuit of the hobby, I have explored all sorts of subjects and gained skills I otherwise may not have, including: electronics, digital signal processing, soldering, firmware programming, servos, brushless motors and electronic speed controllers, radio theory and application, propeller theory, 3d modeling and 3d printing. As a direct result of the hobby, I also got interested in amateur radio and obtained an amateur radio operator’s license from the FCC, and recently obtained a Part 107 remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating in order to eventually participate on the sUAS Unit of my county’s volunteer search and rescue organization. I don’t have children, but I have young nieces and nephews, and I very much want them to have the opportunities that I have had as an adult to harness aviation as a vehicle of exploration of STEM topics, and to experience the sheer joy of unmanned aviation. When they are a bit older, I would love to be able to bring my self-built aircraft with me when I go visit and be able to let them experience RC flight without having to hope there is a nearby FRIA that doesn’t require ‘membership’ just to fly.”