|Welcome to Hip Pocket Aeronautics
A place that takes a serious look at the art of miniature aviation.
Throughout the world, in basements, garages and sheds there are people making aviation in miniature. To many, these people seem to be playing with toys, to others, they are building personal flights of fancy. Model aviation involves all types of science, art and mechanics that we take for granted in our everyday lives. Many an airmans' lives have been shaped by their activities in model aviation during their youth. Many engineers began their careers because they ran model airplane engines as kids. The most important thing about the activity of model aviation is the creation of a functioning work of art from an idea or picture. Much of model aviation is creating flying machines in miniature with all the characteristics that full size airplanes exhibit. Just because model airplanes are small does not remove them from the physics of flight. In fact, because of their size, the nature of flight for models takes on its own characteristics.
Here, I hope to help people learn about the traditional discipline of model airplane building. In recent years model aviation has been changing because of our fast paced world. Many people do not have the time or resources to create and build their own works of art. Today, many models can be built from ready-made snap together kits but, over time, this prevents people from learning building skills and really understanding the whole point of model aviation. Model aviation changed my life and set me on a path that I have never been able to leave, it has shaped my career goals and kept me focused on goals relating to aviation both as a hobby and as a career. Much of my life revolves around aviation and I would not have it any other way.
Model aviation takes up a good part of my time and has helped me create an enormous network of very resourceful people, both in their hobbies and their lives. Just as there are relationships with people, there are great relationships with airplanes and the people that are attached to those airplanes. Much of this hobby is connected to the people that you share it with.
I have a number of interests in model aviation including the design and building of model airplanes of all types; Control Line, Free Flight Indoor & Outdoor and Radio Control. The science and mechanics of flight are a complex knowledge with a rich history. Much of our aviation today got its start in model building and flying. So as we go through this web site I will try to showcase some of my designs as well as review the airplanes that have carried me through the years of my model airplane building. I will try to relate these projects to the art of airplane building and I hope to bring a perspective that has been missing in our world of instant and disposable toy aircraft.
Why I Build
Anyone can tell me that I am playing with toy airplanes but, for
me, it's more than that, it's my art. For some reason, I have liked things
that fly ever since my days as a kid of age 5 playing with those 25 cent North
Pacific Sleek Streek or Star Fliers. Those airplanes were made by the thousands
and were available everywhere. They always performed as advertised and many
hours were spent flying these around the lampposts out in the front yard or
on the street when there was little traffic.
I am impacted by the hobby on two different levels, the craftsmanship level and the flying machine level, both of which contribute their own benefits to my involvement in this wonderful hobby. In my early days, to get an airplane and make it fly, you had to build the airplane. Yes there were some products that came ready to fly, but most all airplanes came as kits and we were forced to build before flying. I have enjoyed the building process since the beginning and learned to develop a degree of patience in order to achieve the goal of flying a model airplane.
Building airplanes brings with it an attention to detail and procedure, and a sense of being connected to the project through forming your own parts in order to get to a finished product. Over a number of airplane projects you become a craftsman, with ever-expanding skills in creating more elaborate and higher performance flying machines. New procedures and techniques continually challenge your abilities. During the building process you get time to relax and focus on the task at hand. Many people find the building process most enjoyable and rewarding because they are putting their time to good use and look forward to the goal of making their creation into a viable flying machine.
Nothing beats receiving a new kit from the hobby shop or from the mail order place. You open the box and look at all the pieces, how they are arranged, their quality and you envision the airplane completed as it is pictured on the box. Perhaps it is a favorite design and the activity of showing up at the model airplane park is exciting enough. Once the airplane is completed, you take your chances at flying it. It's important to make your creation present itself in the air successfully and gain a feeling of accomplishment that is bound to last a lifetime. Perhaps you have a contest to go to and need a certain airplane design to win. Perhaps, like me, you just like to build and use your spare time making some basic materials take form so that you become a better craftsman.
No matter who you are, or what you build, you will learn what it is about making aviation in miniature that satisfies your own interests and those interests are as varied as the people that do it. It is this discovery that makes the activity of model airplane building and flying a life long endeavor as you build relationships with your creations and other people that you meet along the way.
One thing is for sure... there's nothing more satisfying than flying a model you've built yourself.