I know that the typical RCHR viewer doesn’t come here for a pessimistic rant about our world economy’s dismal state of affairs, so I will keep this brief.
We all have been affected by the recession of the past two years. And the RC industry as a whole has been hit much harder than other industries simply because this hobby is funded by enthusiasts disposable income, which at this time, simply doesn’t exist. While the world continues on and is seeing some reassuring signs of growth, it appears that our hobby is slowing down as each month passes by. The evidence can be found everywhere. At my home field, a good 20-30 pilots could be found on a summer Saturday evening. Now it’s an oddity to find more than a dozen.
The same can be seen at some of the most popular events. I remember a time just three or four years ago when a club event could draw over 150 registered pilots and even more spectators. Now it seems that the small town event is dead; even the larger annual events that have been happening for the past fifteen years are drawing low crowds.
No doubt this pain is being felt by the vendors and manufactures as well. It has come to a point where I wonder just how much longer this hobby will last. The RC helicopter world has always been a niche inside a niche, and in a time where hundreds of pilots are giving it up to feed their families, we as pilots have to look on and wonder how long it will be until it will no longer be feasible to bring products to market. Now more than ever it is necessary to help spread the word of our passion. The general public has so little exposure to the world of RC that the average Joe has no idea that there is more out there than the toy helicopter sitting on the shelf at Walmart. So as a fellow enthusiast, I believe now more than ever it is critical that we help spread the word about the hobby. Tell a friend, a neighbor, or a coworker. Flying is one of the best legal highs you can get.
With that being said, let us remember just how fragile the economy of our industry is. The helicopter world relies on word of mouth as the primary source of growth. And without new people, more small businesses and manufactures will continue to struggle. We have to remember it is these people who keep our passion alive. So before you make your next trip to the local flying field, invite a friend, and let them experience the magical world of rotary flight.
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