Challenge: Fly Just Five Model Airplanes

The Challenge

It seems like we all own more model airplanes than we know what to do with. In my case, it has been years since I bought a brand new model airplane kit or ARF. I just don’t feel the need. I’m always picking up used models from other local pilots. There seems to be no shortage of fire sales, if you keep your eyes open and act fast. Between folks moving away, passing away, dropping out of the hobby, going broke, or just plain getting tired of the models that they own, I have built up a large collection of perfectly serviceable models.

The problem that I have, like so many others, Flyingslot is that then I end up with a whole bunch of models that just collect dust. What if instead I only allowed myself to own five model airplanes? Fly the hell out of them, and then when they break beyond repair, throw them out and get a replacement.

I know what you are thinking. You would then be forced to pass up on all these fire sales! The horror! This is what you can do about it. Whittle down your count to just four, so you have an open slot in your stable to add one on the spur of the moment.


I see many advantages to this strategy. Of course, it will keep your flying costs down. You will be forced to honestly assess every purchase before you make it. Are you in love with the airplane? Are you absolutely sure you will enjoy flying it, weekend in and weekend out?

No more broken airplanes lying around waiting for “someday” to get fixed. Guaranteed. You will either fix them right away, sell them, give them away, or just throw them away. One of your five slots is just too valuable to be left idling by in your hangar.

Much more importantly, you will become a better pilot. You will learn all the quirks of the five airplanes, and will then be able to focus on improving your flying skills.

Honestly, I’m not ready myself to commit to this limit. It would take some planning to do it well and make it work. But I am a lot more careful about what airplanes I buy than I used to be.

A local friend, Les, uses this strategy. He has given himself a personal limit of four airplanes to own. To keep things simple, everything he owns is glow powered. He’s been doing it like this for a while, and he seems happy with the arrangement. However, as he described his latest fire sale purchase, I counted five…

My Choices

Think very carefully about which five airplanes you would choose. What are the types of flying that you do on a regular basis? To help you think this through, here are the five types of airplanes that I would pick for myself.

1. Aerobatic Park Flyer

I like it slow, but I also like it fast. If I could only own one model airplane, this would be it. I need to have at least one model that will keep me on my toes. Something that will do a 360 roll in a second or so.

2. Lazy Sunday Park Flyer

Something that I can throw in the car and fly almost anywhere. A model that I can let a friend fly without worrying too much about a crash.

3. Indoor Model

I like flying indoor models. I like it even more when it is cold or windy outside. I have flown my Parkzone Vapor many times, but I’m now ready for a bigger challenge. My choice would be a four function indoor aerobatic type.

4. Motorglider

I’m a licensed full-size glider pilot, and I like to fly model gliders once in a while.

5. Project X

In my case, I’m always experimenting with new designs. Hey, it’s my job! I need to keep a slot open for these.


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