Dustin

Hanlin

, Malvern

, Ohio

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-14 19:47:18
“I got into RC flight just a few years ago. To me, it’s an amazing shared experience and a fantastic opportunity for education. Regarding the experience — as a hobby, it’s fun to constantly build new models and take them out to fly with others. The experience of defeating gravity with simple supplies is a real treat. Flying FPV (First Person View, with a camera mounted on the aircraft and a screen with goggles on my face), especially with others and around obstacles is as close as a person like me can get to the experience of actual Superman-like flight. I put on the goggles and sort of *become* the aircraft — whether it’s a wing, a quadcopter, or a fixed wing aircraft. I also fly LoS (Line of Sight) more often than not these days, and there is a certain bliss that comes from sending up a plane and putting it through the paces. Whether it’s a warbird and I’m doing tricky maneuvers or a glider with gentle flying and searching for thermals, it gives me a kind of peace that’s hard to find on the ground. Flying with friends adds even more fun, camaraderie, and excitement to the mix. Regarding the education — I’ve built almost all of my aircraft myself. Using a few electronics and some foamboard or other materials, I can create an aircraft capable of doing anything I ask of it. I started with racing FPV quadcopters and while working with those, my soldering skills improved vastly. I came to understand how the various electronics interact with each other. I’m capable of using various firmwares and hardware components from the motors and ESCs (Electronic Speed Controllers) on up to FPV cameras or GPS receivers. I have come to understand how they each work individually and corporately. I took those lessons over to fixed wing aircraft and even though I don’t use them all, all the time, I have the ability to do so. Further, I’ve learned more about aerodynamics and other flight science, as well as the history of flight. I’ve also begun to learn about some of the programming for the various flight controllers, specifically using Ardupilot. This opens up a whole world of opportunities for delivering all kinds of capabilities for vehicles of the land, air, and sea — RC scale and full-size. Not only that, but Ardupilot is based on Arduino, which itself is useful for all kinds of machinery and electronics outside this specific hobby. These are all lessons I share with my family and I’m working on creating some opportunities to share them with other people in the area — adults and children. I know a few people who have gone into the aerospace industry solely because of the influence Flite Test has had on their lives. Indeed, if I were a bit younger or well-off, I would be going back to school for a corresponding degree. For now though, I have attained my Part 107 certificate and am just beginning to do some commercial work with my expertise. I can honestly say that, if I had never been introduced to RC flight through a friend, I would have much fewer opportunities in life currently.”
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