We here at Motoworld Central are not prejudiced at all. Got a motor in or on it? We love it. Gas, diesel, electric, we don’t care as long as it powers something fun. Over the course of time I have gone from a lawnmower engine powered mini-bike to a barn packed with thirteen motorcycles. A couple of boats along the way…a hole in the water you pour money into…electric trains all over the place, slot cars and I still have a ’63 Ford Fairlane hot rod parked in the driveway. But yesterday I met a group of guys who have a sickness worse than any of those I have…model airplane flyers.
My good friend and traveling partner Jeff is one of these guys. Jeff loves building, making, fixing, tinkering with any and everything. No wonder he’s high school shop teacher and handyman. Anyway…a couple of years ago he got into flying model airplanes. At first it was pretty innocent ” oh, I remember I had one of these when I was a kid and I thought it would be fun to do with Amy” . Reality check here…Amy, his daughter, has nothing to do with this, Jeff is a ‘gadget, gizmo, widget, what can I tinker with next’ junkie. Now, his shop is floor to ceiling airplanes and yesterday I learned that other motorcycling friends of mine have that same disease. I wore a necklace of garlic so I woudn’t catch the sickness.
The Channel Islands Condors Flying Club put on a classic old school style ‘all you can eat breakfast’ to raise money for some good cause or another and I volunteered to help cook. Yeah, I’m a sucker for that sort of thing and besides, I haven’t been around model airplanes at all since I was a kid and it sounded like fun. My how things have changed. It was quiet.
It was too quiet. Where are the planes flying? “Look up dummy and welcome to the 21st Century”. Model airplanes powered by electric motors. OK. But wait, whats missing? There is something about the sound of a plane climbing and climbing and climbing then starting to spiral down, dead engine, and then at the last minute the engine starts again and the plane avoids a close encounter with the ground. That’s what’s missing, the ethereal experience of the sound of a motor. The planes were beautiful,the flying skills were wonderful to watch and it was just like sitting around at any motorcycle hangout and listening to riders talk about their motorcycles. There are guys having a great time flying their $200 airplane and guys crashing their $30,000 airplane. Just like a Sunday at the Rock Store, but with wings instead of wheels.