Photos and text by Kenneth K. Lam
On an unusually warm early February morning, about half dozen members of the Harford County Radio Control Modelers (HCRCM) gather at the club’s rural flying field to practice their passion and crafts: the flying of radio controlled electric drones to 1/3 scale jet fueled airplanes.
Club vice president Drew Wilkerson, Associate Director of Vehicles Technology Directorate at Aberdeen Proving Grounds and UMBC lecturer, said members will fly their model planes year round as long as it’s not raining or high wind. They will fly even if there’s snow on the ground; they just put skis on the landing gears.
Some of these planes, with wingspan over 10 feet, are made of hundreds of pieces of light weight balsa wood painstakingly put together by the modelers. They can perform amazing aerobatics in the hands of a skilled RC pilot. One can even fly it as if he is in the cockpit through the use of modern digital camera and FPV goggle.