I remember it being a very exciting experience. Flying it around involved many different skills, including...
- Learning to operate electronics.
- Learning to fix the plane when it broke during flight.
- The skill of replacing parts.
- Learning how the wind affects the plane in flight.
Then there was the point where I had destroyed the aircraft so much that it was unflyable. What did I do? I salvaged the engines and made my own body from paper, wood, duct tape, and played around until I got something that was flyable.
To this day, I still enjoy RC Aircraft of many different types, and commonly use them as teaching tools with students. Over the years, RC aircraft have become less expensive, more durable, and more electronically sophisticated. There are even flight simulators that help assist people with understanding how to fly the aircraft before flying them.
EDF jets are particularly fun to fly. They are inexpensive and generate a pretty good amount of thrust for the plane. These particular aircraft inspire me to look into furthering the technology of electric power in ultralight aircraft, as many people are already doing (which shall be the topic of some other post).
From a pedagogy perspective, RC Airplanes allow schools to start Aerospace programs. This allows for many schools to provide a child to learn about all of the key principles of Aeronautics without the costs that come from having real airplanes/helicopters.