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Author Topic: Tower Hobbies  (Read 1993 times)

Offline Tony Drago

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Tower Hobbies
« on: February 13, 2018, 08:23:43 AM »
Heard that the Tower Hobbies in Reno NV. is now closed.


Offline Chad Hill

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 09:40:48 AM »
I ordered some spare OS parts from the main warehouse in Champaign Il in mid-January. They shipped the next day, and I received the order in full a few days later. I did read in a news report, however, that that warehouse was supposed to close at the end of January. Since my order, I have received several discount coupon emails from Tower.

Offline Mike Griffin

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 05:40:17 PM »
I think they are struggling and may not make it.  They are out of stock on a lot of product.

Mike

Offline GERALD WIMMER

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 05:46:21 PM »
Suppose that means we should all look at their web site and find something we need to buy.  #^
Not sure if Stunt-hangar members alone can prop it up .
Seen too many hobby stores go in my time.
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Offline Fredvon4

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 06:09:04 PM »
As Hobbico struggles with trying to find a new owner and CH 11 bankruptcy ----I suspect more and more delayed and back orders...some to never be filled like Super Tiger parts and Engines for last three years...Top Flite Luster coast seems to be dead and gone now

I hope they survive
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Offline Vincent Judd

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 11:10:47 AM »
I'm afraid it's a warning sign.  Our hobby is on life support, it figures that the hobby shops would be as well.  As much as we try to get the youngsters involved, there just doesn't seem to be as much interest.  Too many distractions I guess.  It's not only the kids, it's their parents.  I remember working with my Dad, building our first Ringmaster in the basement.  Crash, rebuild.  Repeat over and over.  Flying in the cold Michigan winters.  Who does that with their kids anymore?  It's not just our hobby, it's everywhere.  NASCAR, NHRA, golf, most of the professional sports are suffering from declining attendance/participation.  Kids today just want to sit in front of the TV playing video games.  They want instant gratification, they don't want to sit there and take months to build their pride and joy.  You can criticize the ARF, ARC movement, but at least it's keeping some people interested and maybe even bringing in a few new ones. 

Our local RC club has had days devoted to teaching kids how to fly.  We got very little interest and finally gave up on the idea.  Very sad.

Getting back to ordering from Tower, I needed some "hobby stuff" lately and went to my go to places, Tower and Horizon.  Many of the items were out of stock.  Huh?  Never saw that before.  Just on a whim, I went to my other go to place, Amazon.  I was able to find everything I needed.  Not substitutes, the actual stuff I was looking for.  I was amazed.  Being a Prime member, I also got free 2 day shipment on everything. 

Just wanted to point out that if you need something and can't find it in the usual places, check Amazon.  In the mean time, I'm praying that Hobbico and all it's subsidiaries will be able to reorganize and stay afloat.

Offline Tim Chenevert

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 11:32:05 AM »
I feel Vincent is right about our sport and the venders who sell the support products. It is really sad. In my day we rode our bicycles to the hobby store and bought what we needed. We built planes and flew rockets and that taught us how to do things, how to build things and to save our money for what we really wanted! Sad to see the decline in parts, kits, stores and the people ( kids ). Tim
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Offline Geoff Goodworth

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 11:56:08 PM »
Vincent, I too, fear that you are correct.

I didn't do a lot with my dad—a child of the depression, he was pretty smart but not well qualified so he had to live off his wits.
I used to build all my own stuff—battle ships out of pieces of wood, etc, then plastic kits then control line models.

My kids are now 32 and 26 and when they were young, I the devil's own job prising them away from what I called the electronic baby sitter.

I too, have watched the hobby shops morph into toy shops to the extent that even though there were OS LA 40 and 46 engines in the show cases of what was once the premier hobby shop in Sydney, I had to ask for the OS catalogue to show the counter jumper—I couldn't call him a salesman—what I wanted when I needed a new wrist pin for an LA/FP 40. 

It's sad really.

Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2018, 12:23:12 AM »
I'm afraid it's a warning sign.  Our hobby is on life support, it figures that the hobby shops would be as well.  As much as we try to get the youngsters involved, there just doesn't seem to be as much interest.  Too many distractions I guess.  It's not only the kids, it's their parents. 

    I think that is the result of several generations of the same problem, specifically, it's more or less incomprehensible to kids, and their parents, that you would go out and do something, anything, that is not organized into a league/group/etc. by someone else. Kids don't go out to an empty lot and play baseball, mom signs them up for baseball, takes them there, monitors their every move, takes the home again.

   And the notion that would could start with a stack of raw materials and end up with some end product is so far out of their experience that that can't even imagine doing it. A very good friend of mine was complaining about her husband buying a Shopsmith and building a few pieces of furniture. When he was done, she wanted to sell all the tools, because he had finished the furniture, and also, she thought it was a big waste, because she could have bought a sideboard at a furniture store for the cost of the materials and equipment. She put no value whatsoever in the effort and care that when into it nor the gain if skills and knowledge it took, or how her husband and son spent a lot of time together working on it. She had her furniture, why continue with all that noisy stuff in the garage?  This is not some harpie or ignoramus, it was just something so foreign to her world that she just didn't grasp it.

    CL airplanes are not even an issue, and trying to explain why CL in particular is doing good or bad is more-or-less pointless. We are talking about the 800-lb gorilla of hobby suppliers unable to make it any more selling RC toys. It doesn't even effect us directly, we will still be able to get anything we need for the foreseeable future, Tower/Hobbico/Great Planes notwithstanding. But you can't fight the larger problem, the world has moved on whether we think it is stupid and shortsided or not.

    Brett

   

Offline Bill Morell

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2018, 07:33:32 AM »
    I think that is the result of several generations of the same problem, specifically, it's more or less incomprehensible to kids, and their parents, that you would go out and do something, anything, that is not organized into a league/group/etc. by someone else. Kids don't go out to an empty lot and play baseball, mom signs them up for baseball, takes them there, monitors their every move, takes the home again.

   And the notion that would could start with a stack of raw materials and end up with some end product is so far out of their experience that that can't even imagine doing it. A very good friend of mine was complaining about her husband buying a Shopsmith and building a few pieces of furniture. When he was done, she wanted to sell all the tools, because he had finished the furniture, and also, she thought it was a big waste, because she could have bought a sideboard at a furniture store for the cost of the materials and equipment. She put no value whatsoever in the effort and care that when into it nor the gain if skills and knowledge it took, or how her husband and son spent a lot of time together working on it. She had her furniture, why continue with all that noisy stuff in the garage?  This is not some harpie or ignoramus, it was just something so foreign to her world that she just didn't grasp it.

    CL airplanes are not even an issue, and trying to explain why CL in particular is doing good or bad is more-or-less pointless. We are talking about the 800-lb gorilla of hobby suppliers unable to make it any more selling RC toys. It doesn't even effect us directly, we will still be able to get anything we need for the foreseeable future, Tower/Hobbico/Great Planes notwithstanding. But you can't fight the larger problem, the world has moved on whether we think it is stupid and shortsided or not.

    Brett

   

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Offline Mike Griffin

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2018, 11:54:59 AM »
    I think that is the result of several generations of the same problem, specifically, it's more or less incomprehensible to kids, and their parents, that you would go out and do something, anything, that is not organized into a league/group/etc. by someone else. Kids don't go out to an empty lot and play baseball, mom signs them up for baseball, takes them there, monitors their every move, takes the home again.

   And the notion that would could start with a stack of raw materials and end up with some end product is so far out of their experience that that can't even imagine doing it. A very good friend of mine was complaining about her husband buying a Shopsmith and building a few pieces of furniture. When he was done, she wanted to sell all the tools, because he had finished the furniture, and also, she thought it was a big waste, because she could have bought a sideboard at a furniture store for the cost of the materials and equipment. She put no value whatsoever in the effort and care that when into it nor the gain if skills and knowledge it took, or how her husband and son spent a lot of time together working on it. She had her furniture, why continue with all that noisy stuff in the garage?  This is not some harpie or ignoramus, it was just something so foreign to her world that she just didn't grasp it.

    CL airplanes are not even an issue, and trying to explain why CL in particular is doing good or bad is more-or-less pointless. We are talking about the 800-lb gorilla of hobby suppliers unable to make it any more selling RC toys. It doesn't even effect us directly, we will still be able to get anything we need for the foreseeable future, Tower/Hobbico/Great Planes notwithstanding. But you can't fight the larger problem, the world has moved on whether we think it is stupid and shortsided or not.

    Brett

   

Brett you put this about as well as it could be said.  I concur wholeheartedly as sad as it is to me personally. 

Mike

Offline Fredvon4

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2018, 12:54:51 PM »
Not too sure how many possible renaissances for growing population back to OUR YOUTH can happen in the future as every generation was less and less exposed to garage/basement building... be it radio, cars,boats, airplanes, drones  (yes Virginia there are folks home brewing drones)

I lost track of the numbers of US baby Boomers ... I am closing in on 63....not sure how many are left to enter retirement, remember the toys of youth, and want to be like a lot of us and RETREAD.... perhaps still several million...I just don't know

No matter... this would be last generation to have the memory of post WWII toys and the high interest in a LOT of things Military or space

We are all some product of out personal life's experiences. what was popular, cool, envious of....

I can conceptually be romantically enthusiastic about some 1875 living in the wild wild west but rapidly wonder how I would enjoy that with out a stupid cold coke-cola from a refrigerator and a flush toilet

I remember first TV and a real Transistor radio.... of course large family with little disposable income...we envied the richer kids and parents...so dad wanted to have some of the good stuff... found Heath Kit and he and I toiled hours and hours to understand and self teach electronics to ultimately have a working TV and Stereo pre amp and we even had to Build the testing and calibration tools

I had another thought for the future.... how many millions did the instant gratification thing with toys and were some what disappointed and now 30 ~40 years later... are seeking the fun BUT with more disposable income willing to re-explore some same or similar leisure time activity

Yes times, interests, and technology changed... but I think there is hope for some hobbies...actually thee are some very interesting state of the art changes to a LOT we do and have fin with..... who would have ever thought we could actually get a light enough battery to haul a big assed plane all over the sky and go home with out the slime   (still a IC snob..but just me)

Son and I built a RC 10 electric race car back around 1984.....he raced it locally in VA and was somewhat competitive.... I tried hard to get him the best of the best costume rewound motors and Hand selected Batteries and high end chargers....  these things today are very easy and relatively inexpensive to find

Future the same as we remember....no... are we near the total demise of true model building and fun or professional competition... no

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Offline Robin_Holden

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2018, 01:24:07 PM »
Hi guys from a chilly North Yorkshire , England . It’s very sad , our hobby is disintegrating. So many happy memories after discovering the magic of aero modelling when I was 10 years old. My first kit , around 1956 ,  it was a Veron brand rubber powered Chiltern Monoplane . It cost the equivalent of 30 cents U.S. After that I was hooked. My first engine , a Mills .75. Took me a while to get the hang of starting the little monster , but it was great fun.
Most days after school I would stop off at one of the Hobby shops on the way home on the bus. Then it was time spent on the building board after dinner in the evening. During the summer my pal and I would be on our bicycles with our C/L models strapped to our backs on the way to the local park . No silencers , we just flew and flew until we ran out of fuel or crashed ! The sheer joy of getting a load of balsa together and knocking up a Peacemaker with a noisy 2.5 (.15 cu. ins. ) diesel  up front. We never missed Friday Club Night . Ogling the older club members latest Thunderbird or Nobler . Happy days. We certainly all owe a huge debt of thanks to the like of Bob Palmer and George Aldrich .
I for one will keep it up this great hobby of ours.

Regards ,

Robin.

Offline Gary Dowler

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2018, 01:26:30 PM »
    I think that is the result of several generations of the same problem, specifically, it's more or less incomprehensible to kids, and their parents, that you would go out and do something, anything, that is not organized into a league/group/etc. by someone else. Kids don't go out to an empty lot and play baseball, mom signs them up for baseball, takes them there, monitors their every move, takes the home again.

   And the notion that would could start with a stack of raw materials and end up with some end product is so far out of their experience that that can't even imagine doing it. A very good friend of mine was complaining about her husband buying a Shopsmith and building a few pieces of furniture. When he was done, she wanted to sell all the tools, because he had finished the furniture, and also, she thought it was a big waste, because she could have bought a sideboard at a furniture store for the cost of the materials and equipment. She put no value whatsoever in the effort and care that when into it nor the gain if skills and knowledge it took, or how her husband and son spent a lot of time together working on it. She had her furniture, why continue with all that noisy stuff in the garage?  This is not some harpie or ignoramus, it was just something so foreign to her world that she just didn't grasp it.

    CL airplanes are not even an issue, and trying to explain why CL in particular is doing good or bad is more-or-less pointless. We are talking about the 800-lb gorilla of hobby suppliers unable to make it any more selling RC toys. It doesn't even effect us directly, we will still be able to get anything we need for the foreseeable future, Tower/Hobbico/Great Planes notwithstanding. But you can't fight the larger problem, the world has moved on whether we think it is stupid and shortsided or not.

    Brett

   
Very well said, Brett, very well said.
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Offline John Watson

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2018, 04:56:53 PM »
If all the US vendors belly up it will be the overseas vendors we would have to turn to. Tower doesn't really have anything C/L. Brodak is go to for C/L.


Offline Peter Nevai

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2018, 06:25:45 PM »
The world has certainly moved on. Technology has made it increasingly easy to reach almost anyone on the planet, resulting in marketers fighting for the attention of the mass market. People are bombarded with marketing campaigns tailored to the individual. Kids have so many choices thrown at them right in their homes via just about every electronic device so that they need not go out and look for something to do. Just sit back and download games and entertainment that covers every possible adventure, location, activity imaginable. You can play NFL football, Basket Ball, Base Ball, you can surf, you can fight any war....... on and on ad infinitum.

It has grown to such alarming proportions that several national health agencies have even given it a medical term "Technology Addiction" and passed laws governing how much time kids can spend in the virtual world. It is a real and growing problem. As Brett said it is a generational problem. Once air and space travel became almost common place kids and adults lost interest. Air travel is deemed mass transportation nowadays, and we are renting Russians to get us up and back from the ISS.

Many material science and engineering workers are growing gray with fewer and fewer young people entering those fields, while there is a glut in just about any IT related field you examine.  There are still those who gravitate towards fields that require direct hands on, but those are getting fewer and fewer as advanced CAD CAM robotic machine shops advance in capability. So there you have it, short of a cosmic event that generates a EMP pulse large enough to wipe most every electronic device I do not see people reverting back to doing things by hand, or even taking interest outside of the few niche enthusiasts like us.

All we can hope for is to maintain enough visibility that those with disposable income and enough time become interested enough to give our hobby a try. As mentioned ARF's and ARC's are the vector that mitigates many of the hurdles a newcomer faces joining the hobby. Some will progress to trying to build their own, many will not, most will tire of it and move on. All that can be hoped for is that enough of a cottage industry remains to keep the hobby from going the way of the buggy whip.

Visibility is the only thing going for the hobby CLPA particularly. Because no matter how you cut it when we fly we draw attention, it's the one unavoidable fact. We participate in a curious activity, which is close in to potential spectators. We are not consigned to large open out of the way spaces that RC requires. We just need to remember that not all visibility is necessarily good. So when we fly we need to step on as few toes as possible. Use a Muffler, Be courteous to others in a shared space environment, be nice, and be out going to inquiries. It is the only thing we have to compete with the technological realm because it is harder for people to get all immersed in their technology when they are outside, away from their Wifi Hot spots, and screens with poor performance in sunlight.
Words Spoken by the first human to set foot on Mars... "Now What?"

Offline Mike Griffin

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2018, 07:48:31 AM »
There are several facebook groups that deal with control line flying and components and it seems that there is still a fairly strong contingent of CL hobbyist in foreign countries as well as other aspects of flying models.  Whether is be here or overseas, I think the hobby is suffering from attrition that everyone else has mentioned.

Mike

Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2018, 10:07:40 AM »
There are several facebook groups that deal with control line flying and components and it seems that there is still a fairly strong contingent of CL hobbyist in foreign countries as well as other aspects of flying models.  Whether is be here or overseas, I think the hobby is suffering from attrition that everyone else has mentioned.

        As mentioned above, CL in particular is doing relatively well. We aren't suffering the sort of massive collapse that the modeling hobby in the large seems to be suffering. We have two large suppliers, RSM and Brodak, and a host of cottage industries. The result is that you can get better stuff more easily than you could at any time in the past, as far as stunt goes. The stuff we actually need from major industries (raw materials like wire, cable, silver solder) will always be available. We will always be able to get 4-40 Allen screws. You can make, and part of the point of the entire event, is to make things yourself.

    Of course, you *could* argue that we have long since "collapsed" from the late 50's-60's where CL was all that held the entire industry together, but that was inevitable as soon as you could buy a 5-channel digital proportional RC set, pre-made, for $200. The boom happened because CL was essentially the only game in town, not because people thought it was particularly great.

       We seem to tend to start with the premise we are failing and then launching immediately into what we can do to "fix" it. I don't see it that way, I think we are succeeding pretty well, and many of the supposed "fixes" seem to cause more problems than they solve, when you look at them objectively.

    As everyone knows, I am a Pollyanna optimist and a "people pleaser" but I genuinely believe we are in a lot better shape than we could be otherwise.

     Brett

Offline FLOYD CARTER

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2018, 01:30:49 PM »
It seems impossible for a "big box" hobby retailer to go bust these days with all the interest in high dollar ARF models and those drones.  Must have been some terribly incompetent business management going on.
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Offline Fredvon4

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2018, 01:48:45 PM »
I was sincerely impressed by Brett's observation that I agree with

"We have two large suppliers, RSM and Brodak, and a host of cottage industries. The result is that you can get better stuff more easily than you could at any time in the past, as far as stunt goes. The stuff we actually need from major industries (raw materials like wire, cable, silver solder) will always be available. We will always be able to get 4-40 Allen screws. You can make, and part of the point of the entire event, is to make things yourself. "

We can argue if MECOA buy up of all of FOX parts and tooling and NEVER producing one FOX Item is worthy of angst

For near term in my eyes..... lost Super Tiger and looks like many Top Flight products...like Luster Kote
Norvel, Fora and some other desires engines are scarce...but Hobby King seems to find a way to fill some of the void

Brodak seems to actively try to get new proven stuff into our hands
Randy Smith fills a void as does Dub Jett

many sources for good and near perfect props
many sources for near perfect plans, laser cut wood, parts, tanks, better glues, and indeed I can now find real good wood vs the hit and miss of kit wood....yes I miss Lone Star...

Potential with all the available supplier via inter net is NOW so much better than when I was 15~25...60S~80S
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Offline Peter Nevai

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2018, 04:59:43 PM »
So long as I can still get Dubro Hinges,ball links, horns, tanks, props Monokote and the like I'm good. The one draw back is when the big box suppliers go out the cost of everything goes up. Which does not help the hobby.
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Offline Scott Richlen

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2018, 07:35:09 AM »
What concerns me is that current activities are very passive or "passivating".  Too much cultural push for virtual "activities" (not!)  The arrow points in the direction of a lot of adult drones being developed by the current culture where possession is valued over accomplishment (why work hard and train to win when you get a trophy for just showing up?)

However, there are still kids who actually get enthused when given the opportunity to create something with their own hands.  We are now in our 5th year at our first school and this year started activities at an additional Middle School.  My experience is that there are about 10 kids at any given Junior High/Middle School who would like to build model airplanes.  But it only happens if someone goes counter-culture and leads them.

If you want it to happen, you just gotta step up and make it happen!

Offline Dane Martin

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2018, 08:10:34 AM »
I agree with Brett and Scott on several items here. I only learned what control was about 5 years ago. I actually completely stopped flying RC because of it. I have had no issues finding equipment. I quit flying RC because my favorite part of model airplanes is the building. It's getting reallydifficult to find quality RC kits (was for me. I know they're out there with cottage industry suppliers). BUT! It is extraordinarily easy to call Eric at RSM or John at Brodak and say, hey I wanna do this. .... what do I buy?  Problem solved. New beautiful kit, awesome hardware and loads of advice.
I wanted to fly combat. I went from never actually seeing someone fly combat to winning matches in a year. I said, what do I do? Guys said, go to this site and buy this..... done. Easy peasy.
I agree the hobby is dying down for builders. But overall, I don't think we are hurting yet. But maybe I'm still in the honeymoon phase.

Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2018, 09:47:21 PM »

However, there are still kids who actually get enthused when given the opportunity to create something with their own hands.  We are now in our 5th year at our first school and this year started activities at an additional Middle School.  My experience is that there are about 10 kids at any given Junior High/Middle School who would like to build model airplanes.  But it only happens if someone goes counter-culture and leads them.

       Oh, don't get me wrong or misunderstand. If someone can get sufficient exposure and mom or dad doesn't make them stop, some kids can definitely get jazzed about building something if someone can make it seem real or achievable. But it seems to be so far out of any experience they have had or heard about, they just can't imagine that they could do it. Point to a pile of balsa and say you can make an airplane out of it, and they look at you like you have lost your mind, that's just impossible/incomprehensible to them.

    Of course they *could* do it, they are no less capable than anyone who came before, but they have nothing like that as an experience, even small bits of it - like getting a pocketknife and whittling. Essentially no practical experience with anything at any time. When the air conditioner breaks, dad calls someone and it is magically fixed, when the car breaks down you get a new one, no one gets out the wrenches and attempts to fix it. These are people who rarely even see anyone cook a meal, a meal is something you call and it comes to your door, a box you shove in the microwave. Bake brownies from a mix? Yeah, I saw grandma do that once.

    Brett
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 10:14:42 PM by Brett Buck »

Offline Wayne Collier

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2018, 11:19:13 PM »
Creativity is not completely dead. A coworker recently told me that her son wanted nothing but pvc pipe and fittings for his eighth birthday. I remember when my son and his buddies figured out how to build stuff out of pcv pipe. The real fun was when they figured out how to reshape the pipe with a heat gun. I told my coworker about heat guns. I realize that's a far cry from model airplanes but it does show that creativity can live just about anywhere that raw materials and imagination exists. Don't know what the future of modeling may be but we should have good plumbers for another generation or two?

I think encouraging imagination and design is the key.  I have been blessed with highly creative children that seem to be doing better in their mid 20s than I did. Even if I wasn't able to pass on an interest in model airplanes.
Wayne Collier     Back in Northeast Texas
<><

never confuse patience with slowness
never confuse motion with progress

Offline Scott Richlen

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #25 on: Yesterday at 06:12:48 AM »
Brett and Wayne:

I agree!  But we have to do more than observe and complain.  By doing that we comply with current culture (plus we act like grumpy old men, but that's another story... ;D)

We each have to go "counter-culture".  That doesn't mean we go and picket some person or place (that would be fitting in with current culture.)  To go Counter Culture we need to emulate the wise teacher that teaches children what they need to learn.  I do this by volunteering at a local school to conduct an after-school activity.  It is intended just to keep the kids entertained for two hours so they don't go home to an empty house.  I "hide the learning".  They (teachers, parents, students) think this is just something to entertain them.  They discover that it teaches all kinds of skills and introduces rudimentary STEM knowledge (one of the kids in our first class, 5 years ago, is now a senior in high school and visiting various engineering colleges for enrollment next fall: Success!!!!)

Model airplane builders (FF, CL, or RC) are actually conducting counter-culture activities in their shops.  They need to become activists and fight the coming nanny-drone-world (and here I am referring to human drones, not those stupid ready-made-in-China quad-copter things.)

In a way, all of the Zomby movies are prophetic: a world with half-dead people wandering around asking for "brains, brains!"

Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #26 on: Yesterday at 10:32:57 AM »
Brett and Wayne:

I agree!  But we have to do more than observe and complain.  By doing that we comply with current culture (plus we act like grumpy old men, but that's another story... ;D)

We each have to go "counter-culture".

     That's great, but when both mommy and daddy either don't care, or will actively prevent it, that's a problem. Bear in mind, anything you can do requires mommy to haul them, someone to buy the equipment, agree that sure, little Jimmy, you can have a $25 for 100 scalpel blades and go off and hack up some wood and a gallon of "gasoline". Bearing in mind my friend above, who despite being a highly intelligent person, considers any sort of skills development either pointless, worthless,  or a negative thing.

   I have also seen exactly no indication that you can proselytize people into liking CL Stunt, CL, or anything. Bill Osborne's class had thousands of people who learned to fly CL in an organized class sanctioned by the City of Oakland (and/or Alameda). As far as I can tell, and Heman Lee concurred, *not a single person ever came back and flew CL after the class was over".

   Lastly, even I (who would love to see your suggestions work, although I am highly skeptical), might consider the use of the word "counter-culture" or "activist" off-putting. The "counter culture" and "activists" you normally associate with the *very worst elements* of current American society - drug legalizers, "occupy whatever" people, "resistance", and every other evil thing trying to destroy the country. Back in my youth "counter-culture" was communist-inspired hippies, draft-dodgers, drug addicts, and leftists of every stripe. Now we have these same idiots infesting the federal government and spouting the same crap, and using the iron-fisted control of the major news organizations and the power of government (in ways that would make Stalin blush) to force it on the rest of us. Use either word, and you immediately at least somewhat alienate about half the public, and an even higher fraction of likely participants from CL.

     Brett

« Last Edit: Yesterday at 01:51:50 PM by Brett Buck »

Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #27 on: Yesterday at 06:59:58 PM »
 Once again, Brett nails it.  y1

 And back on the subject of Tower, I really do hope they find their way and survive. I was just thinking though, in the nearly 20 years since I returned to the C/L hobby I think I've only ordered from them two or three times.
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
Albert Lea, MN U.S.A.
IC Aircraft Modeler, Ex AMA member

Offline Randy Cuberly

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #28 on: Yesterday at 07:50:02 PM »
     That's great, but when both mommy and daddy either don't care, or will actively prevent it, that's a problem. Bear in mind, anything you can do requires mommy to haul them, someone to buy the equipment, agree that sure, little Jimmy, you can have a $25 for 100 scalpel blades and go off and hack up some wood and a gallon of "gasoline". Bearing in mind my friend above, who despite being a highly intelligent person, considers any sort of skills development either pointless, worthless,  or a negative thing.

   I have also seen exactly no indication that you can proselytize people into liking CL Stunt, CL, or anything. Bill Osborne's class had thousands of people who learned to fly CL in an organized class sanctioned by the City of Oakland (and/or Alameda). As far as I can tell, and Heman Lee concurred, *not a single person ever came back and flew CL after the class was over".

   Lastly, even I (who would love to see your suggestions work, although I am highly skeptical), might consider the use of the word "counter-culture" or "activist" off-putting. The "counter culture" and "activists" you normally associate with the *very worst elements* of current American society - drug legalizers, "occupy whatever" people, "resistance", and every other evil thing trying to destroy the country. Back in my youth "counter-culture" was communist-inspired hippies, draft-dodgers, drug addicts, and leftists of every stripe. Now we have these same idiots infesting the federal government and spouting the same crap, and using the iron-fisted control of the major news organizations and the power of government (in ways that would make Stalin blush) to force it on the rest of us. Use either word, and you immediately at least somewhat alienate about half the public, and an even higher fraction of likely participants from CL.

     Brett

I usually find Brett's comments very insightful and in line with my own thinking.  These latest ones in this thread are no exception and I definitely agree with his conclusions.

I sincerely wish there was a solution to this situation but alas I truly believe it does not exist.

Perhaps what we are witnessing is simply the general decay of society that seems to befall all civilizations.  What happens next?  Is there another road.  Personally I doubt it, but then I'm just an old guy approaching the end of the line and admittedly somewhat negative in my beliefs!

As a Christian I feel perhaps what we're experiencing is the Story told in Revelations of the end of things and the beginning of a New and better existence!  I hope that is true!

At any rate thanks for your insights Brett.  They are a bit comforting at least in their familiarity to my own feelings!

Randy Cuberly!
Randy Cuberly
Tucson, AZ

Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #29 on: Yesterday at 08:19:25 PM »
By the way, I got put a bit off the topic by the semantics above, but just to be clear - what Scott (and other like him) are doing is an unabashed good thing to be doing, and for sure, if you don't do anything, nothing will happen. So there's nothing negative about doing it.

    My point was more that we shouldn't end up too disappointed if it doesn't end up changing the situation. I would love to be wrong, and hope I am, but I am also comfortable with the idea that the things we find fascinating and challenging do not  engage other people the same way. We can't force people to like CL stunt, and we should just enjoy it for what we have now (which is pretty darn good).

     Brett

Offline Randy Cuberly

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #30 on: Yesterday at 08:28:50 PM »
By the way, I got put a bit off the topic by the semantics above, but just to be clear - what Scott (and other like him) are doing is an unabashed good thing to be doing, and for sure, if you don't do anything, nothing will happen. So there's nothing negative about doing it.

    My point was more that we shouldn't end up too disappointed if it doesn't end up changing the situation. I would love to be wrong, and hope I am, but I am also comfortable with the idea that the things we find fascinating and challenging do not  engage other people the same way. We can't force people to like CL stunt, and we should just enjoy it for what we have now (which is pretty darn good).

     Brett

Indeed!  The only logical way to deal with anything!  Even in my negativity I always reserve a corner for hope and space for other opinions! 

Randy Cuberly
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Offline Scott Richlen

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #31 on: Yesterday at 08:39:17 PM »
I'm not thinking I can change the world.  I'm just pointing out that it is likely that in every Middle School/Junior High in this nation there are about 10 girls and boys who, if given the chance, would really like building model airplanes.

Think how many Junior High/Middle Schools there are in this country!  Multiply by 10.

This, despite a culture that is mostly focused on self-gratification and, basically, a lot of mental onanism.

So, there is hope.

Offline Dan McEntee

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #32 on: Yesterday at 09:07:44 PM »
   When I started to volunteer at the KidVenture venue at Oshkosh, we decided early on the let ANYONE fly, no age restrictions, no "kids only." In early discussions, I offered my opinion that our target should really be the parents. If you get a parent interested, the kids come with the deal. The parents are the ones with the minivan and the bank account. The parents, especially the Dads but maybe Moms also, are older and more mature, have some experience with things mechanical, and may be looking for a hobby or outside activity, and can appreciate what it takes to build a flying machine and be challenged by the thought of it. I have also preached that you can't point a gun at someone's head and make them like model airplanes and want to build one, but there are people out there like us and they don't know it yet,  that just need the spark, just need the exposure of something that they had never seen or maybe only heard of or saw on YouTube, and their curiosity leads them to search more on this computer thing, and maybe that plants the seed. There won't be the big hoards of people like there used to be, but I believe there are enough people out there with the gene in their DNA that lets them get excited about things like our hobby. In this day and age, aviation does not hold the attraction and romance that it did years ago. The current space race, while interesting, doesn't grab the entire nation like it did in the 60's. It was thought that free flight models would die out in the 60's and 70's but it continues on, and I have read a lot on participants that discovered free flight later in life. That can be the path that any discipline of model aviation can take. We just have to keep putting it out there for people to see and make ourselves available to help and answer questions. There are a few of this kind of newbie that are present right here on this forum. And the computer will make things easier for any newcomer as long as the information is available for them to find. And it has to be on the internet. There are no more magazines out there on drug store magazine racks for them to stumble upon like we did. As old fashioned as I am, I believe we have to learn how to take advantage of the new mediums to reach those that may want to join in on the fun. I think that in this day and age, that is what the AMA can do to promote model aviation, and not just drones and large scale R/C jobs hovering a foot off the ground. They have to make a commitment to promote ALL forms of the hobby as equally as possible. One way to do that would be to find places on the net to place a simple add that mentions the Academy of Model Aeronautics, and has the web address. Place the simple add anywhere and everywhere they can. Something like "Academy of Model Aeronautics, modelaircraft.org, Discover aviation!" or something more catchy. If someone has what I'm talking about inside them, their curiosity will take them to the website, and then see what happens there.We have those little pop up adds on Stunthanger that have nothing to do with model airplanes. Why can't the AMA have little pop up adds on other websites that don't have anything to do with model airplanes?. Enough rambling, it's time for bed!
   Type at you later,
    Dan McEntee
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #33 on: Yesterday at 09:27:21 PM »
I'm not thinking I can change the world.  I'm just pointing out that it is likely that in every Middle School/Junior High in this nation there are about 10 girls and boys who, if given the chance, would really like building model airplanes.

Think how many Junior High/Middle Schools there are in this country!  Multiply by 10.

 Not to argue or stir the pot here Scott, but Been There Done That. Our club in Minneapolis has tried many times over many years to go after the exact demographic you describe above. Most recently was about a year ago by providing kits and engines along with tutored, hands-on building and flying sessions that also included all necessary supplies. All the people had to do was show up, of which half or better who had initially expressed interest did not. Admittedly, a percentage of the no-shows can definitely be blamed on the parents, who also have to include support for the idea to work.
 After all these attempts over the years we have had ZERO individuals who have ever continued at all with any of it. Many other clubs and C/L hobbyists nationwide can make this same claim, and reiterate the same stories. Sad as it is, anymore the whole idea is just fantasy. I do hate to sound negative but this simply is the reality.
 If you still disagree with these typically proven results please feel free to pick up the reigns, find your 10 kids, and give it all a try.
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
Albert Lea, MN U.S.A.
IC Aircraft Modeler, Ex AMA member

Offline Randy Cuberly

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Re: Tower Hobbies
« Reply #34 on: Today at 12:36:46 AM »
Yeah, The Cholla Choppers MAC here in Tucson has had precisely the same results from reach out programs over the years.
We currently have one member under 60 and most are over 70 with a couple in their 80's.

Same old guys who have been doing this since the 50's and 60's.

It's very depressing!

We fly and have fun but it's just not possible to interest younger fliers in this area!

When we're gone I suspect so will be the Cholla Choppers MAC and our field!

Randy Cuberly!
Randy Cuberly
Tucson, AZ


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