Friday,19 October, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1390, (19 - 25 April 2018)
Friday,19 October, 2018
Issue 1390, (19 - 25 April 2018)

Ahram Weekly

For big boys

Some people never get older; only their toys get bigger

Getting a model rc car running in your backyard has a unique joy. This doesn’t mean the stereotype plastic rc car with the transmitter antenna sticking out of it. Scale rc cars are the real deal. Scale cars with different sizes range from as big as 1:2, which means it is half the size of the real car, up to 1:20. These rc cars have everything you can find in a real car, only in a smaller scale, which makes them more special: small petrol or Nitro engines that send the power to a gearbox and a differential, all cushioned with a real suspension system with all what it holds in terms of control arms, linking up to the oil filled shocks and coil springs and more.

The hobby of rc cars has many joys other than just controlling a car and racing it. The entertainment starts from building the car when it comes just a kit – planning the setup from the beginning, what kind of engine, electric or gasoline, the remote controller and how to tune the car to drive it in different modes. Getting started in this hobby has several roads: the lazy way and the fun way. For the lazy way all what you need is cash and ask your hobby store manager to pick you a preassembled car ready to run, and you are ready to smash it into the nearest concrete wall.

The fun way starts by watching as many reviews on YouTube as you can, from the car itself that you wish to buy to the remote that you will use to control the car with. Better to choose a kit that is popular and has many reviews to make sure you will get help in assembling it yourself, like YouTube assembly tutorials. Splashing spare parts on the car is another joyful moment, especially when you are sure what you are buying for your car. Spare parts and accessories are endless, from the setup tools to the different types of tyres that suit your driving style up to the big engine upgrades that can take you to top speeds of up to 140 km/h. Imagine controlling an rc car at such speed. The madness of it.

You can find in the United Kingdom several rc car championships held by the British Radio Car Association (BRCA), from drifting cars to off-road competitions. This hobby can be taken to the professional sports level or kept for endless enthusiasm. Building one’s car is just the beginning of triggering your imagination. Like in the picture, some people in the US went into building big trucks capable of transporting a full size adult. A company in the US called Mammuth Works custom built a stunning 1:3 truck that cannot pass into your front door. The rc car is fitted with a 270cc 4 stroke motorcycle engine. It weighs 170kg and costs around $5k. 

Such rc cars are not only used for joy; they are also brought to the cinema industry. A 1:8 scale rc car called Baja 5b SS was transformed by an American company that is specialised in cinema equipment called Movi which turned the hobby car into a professional camera rig, carrying a cinema camera held by a gimbal attached to the rc car. This system, named Tero by Movi, is used to take low angle shots for cars, individuals and objects.

In Egypt there is an rc community but there is no association that holds competition in order for the hobby to expand. So why not establish an association and use an already existing track like Auto-Vroom as a venue to hold tournaments? This sport or hobby attracts communities from all over the world, and Egypt has enough charm to turn the heads of rc freaks from all over. 

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