Airborne has closed!

It is with great regret that we have to announce the death of a great magazine. After 46 years and 274 issues the curtain has fallen, due in no uncertain terms to the buying habits of aero modellers forsaking their traditional bricks & mortar hobby shop for the vagaries of a quick and sometimes questionable purchase from an Internet site.

These purchasing habits may seem innocent enough, but when these purchases are multiplied, they affect the entire industry from the local manufacturer, (yes, we did have quite a few once!) the wholesalers, the retailers and of course their window to you, our Airborne readers.

Next time you wonder why there is no longer a hobby store near you or a hobby magazine to read, check your buying habits and ask "where can I get sound advice, a friendly face and all the nick knacks that are needed for a model in one place?" If you answer it used to be my local store but it has gone, then more likely you are part of the problem.

Support the shops that are still here because without your support the will not be here much longer. Fly safe and goodbye from us all at Airborne.

Coffs Helifest 2014

I again attended what probably might be Australia’s longest continuously running model helicopter fun fly. It’s an event that resonates with the flyers, as it’s all about flying, and doing as much of that as possible, so lots of people turn up and bring heaps of model helicopters.

This year was no exception. Six pilot flight positions were allocated along the rather long flight line, plus there was a hovering area only for beginners. At times all these spots were being fully utilised, plus there were pilots and their spotters in line waiting for their turn to fly.

A few of the guys tried their hand at speed runs, mostly from what I could see they used TDR model helicopters. Speeds were in the high 250kph region from what I was told, which is awfully fast. Lots of sky was needed and the sound from the blades at these speeds was unreal. Understandably, flight times were not great for these speed runs as a lot of power is consumed in going this fast.

As usual there were a number of trade tents which has been a feature of all Coffs Helifests, and is much appreciated by the flyers. I was talking to one of the first timers at his trade tent, and he was amazed how much people were buying. Actually he said he wished he had brought more stock! He’ll know better next time!

Quite a few had a go at the night fly, and these intrepid flyers now fly to music with the lights on and their night machines flashing in tune with the music. It looked, and sounded, spectacular and you’re only limited by your imagination and technical ability to sort the electronics et al and judging by the crowd reaction the effort was well worth it. When I get a spare moment to sort out this aspect of flying, I must have a go at this myself one day. All too soon the event was over, but before we all hit the road to go home, there was the usual pilots draw. There were more than enough prizes to go around. Our thanks have to go to the organizers of the Coffs Helifest 2014, and I for one hope to be there again in 2015.

Until next time,

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