The Inside Loop

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Editor Jay Smith jays@modelaircraft.org
During the last few years, I have had the opportunity to interview several people behind many of the companies that support our hobby as part of the “About Us” feature. I interviewed Fai Chan from Airborne Models for this issue and a comment he made, as have others who design model aircraft, stuck with me. That comment is that while we are lucky to be working in a hobby we love, it also comes with a degree of pressure to be successful.

In the case of a model aircraft designer, that means creating a model that can be mass produced, will fly well, and most importantly, sell well. In my position, I have that same level of pressure when putting together an issue of Model Aviation. It is my goal each month to have Model Aviation satisfy the needs and interest of the majority of the membership.

We have received much positive feedback from our readers on the redesign, the addition of the “I Am the AMA” feature, and on our float-fly-themed May issue.

This month I am bringing you another issue with focused content, that of Free Flight. I pondered this idea for a little while, because the largest interest of our readership is RC. Would the readers appreciate an issue dedicated to our roots and beginnings in flight? I found my answer this year at the AMA Expo at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, California, in a ballroom dedicated to Free Flight.

Model Aviation's “Safety Comes First” columnist, Dave Gee, and several others spent the weekend demonstrating their models and helping kids of all ages learn to trim and fly their own aircraft. AMA’s Ambassador, Hoot Gibson, even got in on the action flying a rubber band-powered Space Shuttle.

The ballroom was a flurry of activity during weekend, with people wanting to get in on all the fun of building and flying their own creations. They found the balance that Free Flight modeling provides: that of aerodynamics, science, and in some cases art, for those who chose to color their models.

Even if you don’t participate in Free Flight, there’s something to be learned from those who do. The skills to build and trim a model airplane that can fly free of any control from the ground, can benefit other aspects of aeromodeling.

If you enjoy issues of Model Aviation based around a common theme, such as World War I, helicopters, or floatplanes, as we have done in the past, let me know what interests you would like us to cover.



Columnists

I want to take a moment to thank all our columnists. Without their expertise, knowledge, and support, my job as Editor-in-Chief would be much more difficult. One of the best things about Model Aviation is our ability to provide coverage for all disciplines of modeling.
Providing such a broad scope of knowledge would be impossible without their contributions!

We have added Scott Stoops to pen our new “Flight Training” column and Gordon Buckland will be replacing Lee Estingoy as our “Soaring” columnist.

That’s all for this month. I hope you have a great summer filled with flying!MA




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