RC Park Flyers and Slow Flyers
You've probably seen the terms Park Flyers and Slow Flyers when reading about radio control flying, but what are they exactly?
Well, the terms really just refer to any electric rc airplane that's small enough to be flown in an area such as a public park, parking lot, school field or similar kind of space.
It's important to remember, though, that when considering flying your plane in any public area you need to check whether or not flying an rc model airplane is permitted in that area. Some local authorities don't allow it, and the fact that you've just bought a new park flyer rc plane doesn't necessarily give you the right to fly it in a public park!
Above: me getting ready for some park flying fun. But check you have permission first!
Park Flyers and Slow Flyers can be any number of channels but 2 or 3 channel airplanes are the most common. They can be purchased in RTF and ARF form or can be scratch built or built from a kit, depending on your preferences. RTF electric airplanes are by far the most convenient, and there are some excellent value deals around right now.
Ready To Fly rc Park Flyers are very widely available these days and make up a huge number of sales globally. The recent and ongoing revolution in radio control and electronic technology has resulted in a massive increase in the number of smaller size RTF electric airplanes being sold in the last few years, bringing thousands of new pilots into the hobby of radio control flying.
An RTF rc airplane is very convenient because it can be charged and flown pretty much straight from the box, and a very simple 1 or 2 channel Park Flyer doesn't take much learning to fly - the main reason why these kinds of airplanes are so popular.
RC Park Flyers and Slow Flyers can cover a wide variety of planes; shown below are two very different examples, the simple ParkZone Slo-V, left, and the fast delta-wing Stryker. In fact, these two airplanes are at the extreme opposite ends of the Park Flying scale in terms of design, price and performance!
With electronic rc components ever-evolving, such rc airplanes are getting better all the time. Electric brushless motors and Li-Po motor battery packs are standard issue with Park Flyers nowadays, giving them more power and lengthy flight times between charges.
RC Park Flyers and Slow Flyers are an excellent introduction to rc flying, but please remember to check where you can and cannot fly in your local public places. If you're trying to come up with ideas of where to fly your airplane, here are a few:
- Large open public parks
- Sports fields
- Empty parking lots
- Large back yards
- Private fields or meadows (with owner's permission, of course!)
When you're looking around for a suitable flying site, use Google Maps. This saves a lot of footwork, and you can check out areas very quickly. Make up a shortlist of likely places, and then go and check them out for yourself.
Above: this kind of public playing field is perfect for park flying.
When you do fly in a public area with your Park Flyer or Slow Flyer, common sense must prevail. Keep well away from people,property, animals, buildings and vehicles etc., and if there are other rc pilots around go and speak with them and find out which frequency they are flying on, if you're using a MHz radio. This is very important because two rc airplanes on the same frequency cannot be flown at the same time.
With that said, more and more flyers are using 2.4GHz radio systems, and interference isn't an issue with these newer radios. But if you are using an older MHz system, be very aware of anyone flying close by, and talk with them about frequency control.
The important thing is just to act and fly responsibly, but have fun - park flyers are just a great excuse to get out there and fly!