As a silly (but fun) gift, I got my brother a small RC helicopter.
It’s amazing how model aviation has changed. Just a few years ago flying something this small in a living room would have been reserved only for the highest priests of aviation. Today, it’s available to anybody. Micro-controllers, batteries, materials and marketing have toy-ified some of the model airplane possibilities.
I’m not sure this is entirely bad. The DIY space is very different too because of these advancements.
One one hand the plane is pretty fun. On the other, because makers have mastered the art of making these things, there is no need to make it or experiment much with it. I guess the things we used to DIY as kids eventually get solved as a business and we need to move on to solve new problems.
The one thing that’s not so obvious here is the amount of engineering that’s in a toy like this. Micro-controllers, sensors, and some fancy mechanical in the miniature rotor head take a lot of the workload off flying it.
Perhaps for some people, this sort of magic and miracles will entice them to dig deeper.