Model airplanes and the things you never grow out of

That badboy up there is an A-10 Thunderbolt II anti-tank fighter plane.

Well… let’s be honest, it’s a small, plastic version that a 10-year-old MK glued together and gave a dubious “camouflage” coat using enamel paint from the local toy shop. See, a younger me had a thing for model airplanes – and planes in general. I chose aircraft for my Year 6 history project, I used to love going to the Royal Air Force museum in London and I loved flying.

I have a relative in the UK who I almost never see, he builds and flies remote-controlled airplanes. When I was a child, this was the most amazing guy I knew and all I ever wanted to do was fly one of them (he never let me do that). Now that I’m older, he’s a nerd/research-chemist and I don’t really want to spend time with the guy flying his stupid planes.

Yup, as I grew older, other interests came up and I lost my childhood obsession with flying. I stopped going back to the RAF museum, I stopped buying model kits to build and I stopped caring about remote-controlled planes. I still do like flying though, which people tell me is weird, but fuck them. I enjoyed myself on the mammoth 30-hour Tel Aviv-Zurich-Tokyo-Sydney journey that I did recently, the stopovers were the bad parts.

However, something happened recently that reignited my childhood passion – and it wasn’t drone strikes (although I do think drones are pretty cool, which is probably not unrelated). A good friend of mine hooked me up with this beautiful piece of machinery:

That is a little remote-controlled helicopter. I recently discovered that these can be purchased on eBay for about $30 including shipping. As you can see, it is small enough that if I am sitting for hours on end doing something boring like researching NSW bail reforms, I can take a break for 2 minutes and fly my chopper around the room.

I cannot explain to you how much fun this thing is. It’s almost like my childhood dream has come true.

Of course, this made me curious about what else is out there. One quick eBay search later and I was inches away from spending $150 on a helicopter that’s half as big as I am, but then I made another discovery: they have planes.

As it turns out, I can have a reasonably large RC version of my A-10 up there – that actually flies.

Anyway, I know that this has been a complete detour from my usual material, but I thought I’d share it anyway. My readers who don’t know me get a little insight into my non-political side and everyone I do know gets to understand why I’m going to be talking about RC planes for a while. I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t buy one – and haven’t yet – but common sense can only take you so far. This could become an expensive hobby…


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