Radio Control Hobbies

These Are Not Your Ordinary Humdrum Toys

By Michelle Ochsner

Radio controlled hobbies has burst forth as men from all walks of life come together for nothing but one commonality; to play with big boy toys. Hopeful of ideal conditions, these hobbyists congregate together for nothing else but the sport of it.

In 1898 Nikola Tesla acquainted the world to the radio control at the first Electrical Exhibition in Madison Square Garden. Tesla demonstrated his “Method of and Apparatus for Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vessels or Vehicles” with an R/C boat and was granted a patent in 1898 for his magnificent invention.

After WWII, numerous R/C designs became available commercially for those interested in the hobby. Radio controlled entertainment includes airplanes, helicopters, cars, trucks, boats, and many more models that  hobbyist can build themselves or buy factory finished, fit to immediately entertain.

R/C models have vastly improved with the first aircraft of its kind on display at the National Aerospace Museum. Today, radio controlled airplanes and cars are ingenious weaponry conducive to the military and an exclusive novelty with regard to hobbyists.

In most cases hobbyist start with cars and trucks. Without having to fight with gravity or weather, these are the easiest models to learn basic radio control. However, there is nothing like piloting your very own airplane.

Whichever model you decide, the key to becoming an R/C connoisseur is patience! One must understand how a plane or helicopter flies, how a boat glides on the water, the difference between on-road and off-road R/C auto’s. These models are life like to scale with working mechanical parts. It’s essential to know how to tinker or fix them when they crash and it’s necessary to have an aptitude for repairing things, especially while learning the craft. It’s imperative to accept the fact that things go wrong.

Becoming a member of a club or getting involved with a venue opens up opportunities to learn from the experts and will save you valuable time and money as well as extreme frustration. Radio control recreation is neither easy nor cheap. From beginner to expert, taking part in an R/C club is a great way to meet other like-minded enthusiasts.

The best way to get started is to find an instructor affiliated with a club or local venue. Local hobby stores like Action Hobbies in Meridian and Hobby Town in Boise have updated news and information about R/C instructors, clubs and venues.


The nonprofit R/C model airplane club, Boise Area Radio Kontrol Society (B.A.R.K.S.) is open to the public. The club meets off Kuna Mora Rd at a forty-acre flying field. Flight training is available and highly recommend for the novice pilot.

TQ Speedway and Hobbies features an indoor off-road race track for R/C cars. Located in Meridian off of Franklin Rd, the venue has about 5000 square feet of race track.  Classes are available for off-road and on-road models.

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