NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center had several of its research UAVs
and a remote piloting trailer on display at the Expo.
Col. Robert Thacker posed with the E-flite B- 17, a micro-size model of the full-scale bomber that he flew during World War II.
Although the scheduled speakers covered a variety of hobby-related topics,
they all touched upon the importance of safe and responsible participation
in the hobby.
be remotely managed. And this system is friendlier to
novice operators than comparable ones.
Tyler Collins was on hand to display and discuss the
PrecisionHawk Lancaster Mk III UAV platform. This fixed-wing vehicle is the core component of a complete aerial
mapping system. It is designed to stay aloft for up to 45
minutes, helping make the Lancaster a perfect platform
for many agricultural and geographic information system-related tasks.
The Past and the Future
Some members of the hobby may reminisce about
past AMA Expos and a time when the aisles were not
dominated by ARFs, RTFs, BNFs, and turnkey, instant-gratification products. Many of the exquisitely detailed
models entered in the Expo’s static competition and
around the perimeter of the large hall paid tribute to a
time when scratch-building a kit from plans or a box of
wood was the only option.
Those hungry for the thrill of the build spent time
browsing the twin rooms devoted to the swap meet, where
there were many old kits available for sale.
Vintage aircraft and gear were also available at the estate
sale of Leonard Anthony Ball, who recently passed away. It
was held in a separate room adjacent to the swap meet and
proceeds were donated to the AMA Foundation.
One purpose of an event such as the Expo is to
introduce the hobby to those who may not already be
familiar with it. The AMA works hard to do this, as do
many of us who have spent our lifetimes enjoying it.
` The future of the hobby is dependent on newer
generations cultivating an interest in all things RC, but in
doing so in a responsible manner. The roster of speakers at
the Expo presented a composite message that was squarely
centered on safely and responsibly enjoying the hobby in
The advanced sensors, programming, and technology
used in multirotor flight controllers have made it possible
for nearly anyone to purchase and successfully fly one
of these amazing aerial vehicles. Unfortunately, this
development has also resulted in the FAA seeking to
redefine its authority over this type of aircraft.
The message presented by the AMA Expo 2015
speakers throughout the weekend was to take the safe and
responsible operation of our RC vehicles seriously. May all
of us continue to focus on these priorities, and encourage
other newer enthusiasts to do the same, as we pursue this
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