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Prices in the RC Hobby

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The magic of "made in China" or competing with "made in China". 

Since I know helicopters better than buggies, I did a back of the envelope calculation and figured that, if someone was to buy an r/c helicopter in the 1980s when I was a kid, you were looking at around $1,500 US to get started.

Imagine the looks on my parents' faces if I told them I was going to spend a grand and a half on a toy helicopter. 

And that was if you were on the cheap. That got you a nitro r/c copter that you assembled yourself and needed to make wooden blades for, and didn't fly all that well, honestly speaking, if it flew at all. 

Today, any jerk can walk into a hobby shop and walk out with a fully aerobatic electric r/c copter, rtf with beginner mode, all for a bit over US $100, all up.

Batteries included. 


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Step back another 2 decades to the 1960s & see what our grandfathers bought at LHS -_-


So that’s £20-50 for a single plane kit.... a box of balsa sheets & sticks plus printed plans. (I don’t think the wood was die stamped into parts back then, that would be 1970s. Or laser cut parts like 2010.)

Glow engine would be another £50 on top.

But good news, you wouldn’t need to stump up for servos & RC gear - early 60s the IC transistor HADN'T BEEN INVENTED YET :lol::lol::lol: 

Basic wage Melbourne in early 60s would be around £1100pa or say £50/wk. 

https://www.smartcompany.com.au/finance/economy/how-everything-but-housing-has-become-more-affordable-in-the-last-50-years/#:~:text=For instance%2C 50 years ago,non-managerial) was %2449.40.

So yeah you’d be spending a fortnights gross wage for a toy plane that you had to carve & glue together, then tissue & dope it, install power train etc then start it up & watch it “free flight” runaway into the far horizon. 

Of course the various professions would earn more than basic, a pilot/doctor/barrister would get 3-10X basic wage. 

Other life’s modcons back then, a re****erator cost £200 and a new Holden/Ford £1100. 

Groovy! :D 

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