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March 23, 2010

RC Flyers take flight at Osky mall

OSKALOOSA — The Ottumwa Radio Controlled Flyers came to town Saturday morning and converted Penn Central Mall’s Center Court into a mini airport.

The club held one of its two annual mall shows in the area to give the public an idea of what the radio-controlled flying hobby is all about. There are about 25 members in the club and they come from Ottumwa, Oskaloosa, Ollie, Fairfield and Bloomfield.

Radio-controlled airplanes come in all shapes and sizes — from small planes that are shaped like and fly like birds to large gasoline-powered aircraft.

“Everything we fly indoors today is battery powered,” said club member Don Wasson, of Ottumwa.

Wasson brought a foam electric-powered biplane to fly around Center Court.

“I bought this from one of our members — Dave Kabe,” Wasson said.

Gene Kindley, of Oskaloosa, had a couple of his gasoline-powered RC airplanes on display Saturday.

“Mine are all gasoline powered,” he said. “I prefer the gas. They’re cheaper to fly.”

Kindley joined the club in 1992, “but I’ve been doing this since I was a kid,” he said.

“I like things that fly — I always did,” Kindley said.

RC aircraft can be made of a variety of materials such as foam, balsa wood or plywood.

“I have nine flyable airplanes and a few that ain’t,” Kindley said. “Mine are mostly balsa wood.”

Kindley and others in the club say that RC flying is a hobby that can be expensive — it depends on how much you want to put into it.

“When you start, you’ve got to buy your radios, all the electrical components,” he said. “You can buy plane kits to build” or there are ARF planes — Almost Ready to Fly — where all you have to do is install the electrical equipment, he said.

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