Expert Author NB Humble

Although here I am going to refer specifically to radio controlled helicopters, much of what I have written in this article can be applied to nearly all remote control models.

Almost everyone will have, I am sure, heard that radio controlled helicopters are the most amazing fun. They are totally exhilarating to fly. It is the most exciting, thrilling and at the same time challenging hobby that you can engage in. You only have to take a look at any one of the many YouTube videos of a 'professional' flying aerobatics in an RC helicopter to appreciate this. I guarantee you that the first time you see one you will stand back in jaw-dropping wonder. Even a very average pilot is great to watch.

This is one hobby that you can certainly get totally engrossed in, and that is something that almost everyone benefits from today. Let's face it, we all need something to take us away from the daily stresses and strains of life; away from our worries of work, family and finances to name but a few. Most of us can only take a get away from it all break once or twice a year but anyone can find half an hour or an hour every day to lose themselves in their favourite pastime and just go down to the park or over to the local flying field to get the blades whirring on one of your favourite helicopters. Maybe you have a micro-helicopter, in which case you can even fly it indoors. On those long, cold dark winter nights you can get on the flight simulator to attempt some of those advanced moves you have seen professionals pulling off on those videos. Then come Spring you have it wired into your nervous system so that you can smoothly reel it off without faltering when you go back down to the flying field.

Make no mistake, it can be a most demanding hobby but so, so rewarding. That is in the simple nature of achieving anything that is a challenge and this is a hobby where there is always another challenge, always another goal to achieve, ever another level to pursue. If you take a look at the face of anyone who has just hovered a collective pitch helicopter or successfully flown inverted for the first time you will see the immense sense of achievement written all over it. Yet whilst it can be most demanding and require great levels of concentration, once you have the basics well honed, you can fly within your capacity and find it very relaxing.

With radio controlled helicopters there is always another level you can take it to and with this hobby technology is always advancing, brings in an extra aspect of learning. Not only keeping up-to-date with the new technologies and how it works but more importantly perhaps the impact it has on the performance of flying. For example the new flybarless breed of helicopters just fly differently to the previous flybar type helicopters and the introduction of this has led to a need to adapt to these different flying characteristics. It is an ever-changing hobby.

The benefits however have now been shown to go well beyond what you might realistically have expected. A classical music station recently announced on the news that studies had shown that learning to play a musical instrument helped to prevent age related deterioration in mental function, such as senile dementia. I would propose that the same is true of flying radio controlled helicopters or planes, or driving a radio controlled car or boat for that matter. The motor neuron skills, hand-eye coordination, sharp reflex actions required and left brain-right brain interaction of coordinating simultaneously independent movements of the two hands is highly stimulating to the brain and will help develop and maintain mental function.

It is also my belief that the stimulation and pleasure of flying helps to lift mood and thence helps avert depression. The relaxation and release from the stress factors of life may have a broad effect on health, including lowering blood pressure. This is only my opinion but there is sufficient anecdotal and observational evidence to make it a reasonable proposition.

If you have been to some extent inspired by this article to dive into or progress in this pastime then my intention has been realized. Enjoy your hobby. Have fun.



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