Why can’t I find a CHEAP hobby?

As you’ll know if you’ve read my Videogames section, computers and videogames have been my main hobby for most of my life. But I fear another hobby may be about to intrude on their dominance. And of course, it just had to be another expensive one, didn’t it?

As I recently posted, I bought a small remote controlled helicopter. As small and simple as it is, it has proven to be insanely addictive, and now that I’ve got the hang of it, I’m already looking to upgrade to something a little more realistic. And of course, this isn’t a cheap hobby.

Looking around the web, there are lots of options, from the ‘toys’, through the Micro Co-Axial type (like my Apache), and upwards through several other types until you reach the Scale RC models – full-blown miniature versions of real-life helicopters. So where do I go next?

Fortunately, there’s a lot of excellent info on the subject to be found on the internet. My favourite site so far (i.e. the one that has been most useful in figuring out where I go next) is that of Canadian flier, John Salt. He’s been flying these things for more than 20 years, and his site – http://www.rchelicopterfun.com – has tons of useful information, including advice, tips & tricks, flight tutorials and much more.

I want to move up, eventually, to flying what I now know are referred to as single rotor collective pitch helicopters. That is, ones which handle and fly like the real thing, not the counter-rotating dual-rotor designs like the Apache. To start on this path, after reading John’s website, I’ve decided to get an E-flite Blade CX3 MD 520N. Or I should say, I’ve asked for one for Christmas.

This model is again a co-axial rotor system, meaning that it’s stable and easy to fly, but it also has cyclic controls, meaning it can fly sideways – something which the Apache cannot do, and one step closer to ‘real’ controls. Once that is mastered, I would imagine my next step will be something like the Blade SR – a beginner’s single rotor heli, which supposedly eases you into the world of ‘proper’ RC helicopter flying.

If I should make it that far without too many crashes/write-offs, then who knows… maybe I’ll save my pennies and move on to something like a Blade 400 – but that’s where things start to get a lot more pricey, and I may need to win the lottery or rob a bank to continue.

So like I said: Why can’t I find a cheap hobby?