At the September 2014 meeting of the Santa Barbara Aero Club, EAA Chapter 527, the topic was small scale Radio Control (RC) aviation. We were fortunate to have a fascinating talk by 2013 U.S. Scale Masters Grand Champion Tom Wolf . Mr. Wolf included a demonstration of his magnificent 1/5 scale model of a British WWII DeHavilland Mosquito.
My wife and I brought along and flew the $40 RC quadcopter glimpsed at bottom-right, and the $60 model with VGA camera used to shoot this video (stabilized and processed on You Tube). The original VGA video was taken with the black QuadCopter flown at meeting, and was a sharper video with larger file size. VGA is basically comparable to old NTSC 4:3 ratio video.
We brought these to demonstrate the point made in the presentation, that these are very cheap and are rapidly becoming both cheaper and more capable. As such, they will inevitably become more of a hazard to GA. At the same time it must be admitted that they’re a lot of fun. I especially like some video I shot climbing past the trees on the street in front of my house, looking out across the rooftops. It’s quite reminiscent of childhood dreams in which I would fly up through the trees and over the rooftops much lower than even helicopters can legally fly. This low-res wide angle camera isn’t much of a privacy concern since anything beyond 20′ or so becomes rather blurry, but that point too was raised in the presentation since more expensive models can have much better cameras and stability.