The massive influx of small electric rc airplanes and helicopters in recent years has given rise to indoor flying meets being held more often and in a wider variety of venues than ever before.
My personal love of flying model planes involved many indoor flying meets when I was younger, but never radio control at that time. In fact, indoor rc airplanes just weren't around and the aircraft being built and flown were mainly rubber or CO2 powered free flight ones.
Such planes are still popular and have their dedicated aeromodellers, but these days micro electric RTF rc airplanes have become so widely available that indoor flying has become more radio control oriented.
Planes like the ParkZone Night Vapor and Ember 2 really kicked off the trend, and these two slow-flying examples are perfect RTFs for flying around the limited airspace of school halls, gymnasiums, aircraft hangers and other similar spaces where regular indoor flying meets are held.
Above: the ParkZone Vapor is a perfect indoor rc airplane.
Once this rc micro technology was developed and available, the floodgates opened and more and more micro rc planes have appeared. Horizon Hobby's range of so-named Ultra Micro planes have become hugely popular, although to be fair not all of them are suited to indoor flying venues; some are just too fast and need to be flown outdoors on calm days. But, of course, if the indoor venue is big enough then anything can be flown indoors!
Above: just a few examples of the 'Ultra Micro' planes that
have taken indoor flying to a new level!
Of course, rc airplanes like these haven't completely taken over the gymnasium. Indoor flying meets will always include the smaller free flight planes; indeed, many indoor enthusiasts shun the new breed of micro radio control aircraft and I know of more than one monthly meet that won't let an rc airplane or helicopter through the door!
RC helicopter indoor flying
Flying model aircraft indoors isn't restricted to airplanes. Electric RC helicopters have also become smaller and more 'flyer-friendly' in recent years, and the choice of helicopters available now is quite staggering.
Coaxial rc helicopters in particular have introduced many many people to the joys of rc flying indoors - not only in the typical venues, but at home as well!
Helicopters like the E-flite Blade CX3, shown below, make excellent indoor rc aircraft; their stability makes learning to fly one very easy indeed, in fact almost anyone can have a successful first flight out the box with a good quality coaxial rc helicopter like this.
Micro-size coaxial rc helicopters like the Blade mCX and mCX S300 make indoor flying around the home a very realistic option, while micro single rotor rc helicopters such as the Blade mSR and Walkera 4#3B are perfectly suited to those same indoor flying venues that the planes shown further up the page are.
Above: 4 different micro helis, all perfect indoor flying helicopters.
Traditionally indoor flying meetings take place during the winter months when the weather isn't so good for outdoor flying. Below is a short video to show a typical rc indoor meeting...
Whatever your taste in model aircraft, indoor flying is there to be tried! Nowadays, the array of rc aircraft capable of being flown indoors is vast and ever-growing. Whether you're into airplanes, helicopters or blimps, there's an aircraft out there to suit your needs.
And if you like the sound of a free flight rubber or CO2 powered plane, then why not try that too! Balsa kits for such airplanes are very cheap, although you'll need a certain level of model building experience - they're most certainly not RTF!
Above: Jersey Coast Sport Fliers enjoy some indoor flying