For the less temperate areas of the country March signals a return to warmer weather and by the time the month draws to a close, spring will have officially arrived. The return of spring brings with it what I like to refer to as the second selling season of the year.
Until next month,
By no means does the arrival of spring even come close to rivaling the holiday shopping season, but this time of the year does bring an up-tick in sales. People whoíve been cooped up indoors for a few months want to get outside to enjoy some fresh air, and they frequently take their radio control cars, trucks, airplanes and helicopters with them. Even the G-scale railroaders will begin to refresh their layouts with additions of landscaping and structures.
Rusty thumbs brings with them the need for repair parts, and repair parts are a cash cow for most hobby dealers. Unfortunately I know a few who have purposely avoided teaching customers how to make a repair hoping to sell not only on replacement parts, but also cashing in on the repair as well. Iím not in the business of telling a dealer how to run his store, but charging for a simple repair is in the long run counter-productive. Everyone gets tired of shelling out money time and time again, so the interest begins to wane. Not only is the dealer no longer getting the repair order, but he isnít selling the repair parts either--heís lost the customer.
Time passes, but it seems like only yesterday that Walt Throne posted a photo on Facebook showing a SIG Four-Star he had constructed. In the post Walt said I shamed him into building a kit instead of assembling an ARF. I donít really recall doing much more than egging him on, but the point is he did indeed pull his well earned skills out of his back pocket, and from the photo itís a very nice looking model aircraft.
Walt electrified the Four-Star, which I will openly admit made my eyes roll. I love glow, so I was prejudice to begin with, especially considering Waltís knowledge of glow motors and his ability to pass his knowledge on to others. I mentioned this to Walt and his response was such that with his hip troubles itís difficult for him to kneel to start a glow motor but plugging a battery in allows him to stay active in the hobby. This was something I understood completely.
All of the products Iíve evaluated over the past few years have been electric, so Iím well versed in this form of propulsion, but for my own use I prefer glow, I enjoy tinkering with all things mechanical, itís just the way I am, so even if it seems to be less popular right now, I still enjoyed glow. That was until this past summer when I had a cantankerous motor. The thing had run like a fine watch for as long as Iíve owned the motor, but for some reason it was having a bad day, refusing to run properly no matter what I did, which in-turn ruined my day.
Later that evening while conversing with a friend I mentioned I was giving in and converting some of my aircraft that had glow motors installed to electric power. Like Walt, at this time in my life, the convenience of electric is beginning to outweigh the love of glow.
It was shortly thereafter that Dennis Andreas, who is one of the original proponents of all things electric, made contact and told me about how he was helping a friend, who was just getting started in the hobby of model aviation, with a glow motor and what a good time he had. Dennis said heíd forgotten how much he enjoyed the tuning and how he quickly fell back in love with the smell of burnt glow fuel.
Talk about a flip-flop, but itís only temporary. My spine issues will ease and Iíll be back on the ground flipping propellers, and thereís no doubt Dennis A. will shortly be exchanging electrons for fuel. But itís the constant revolving of interests that keeps this hobby fun.