The Lodi Radio Controlled Club is a group of volunteer model aircraft club members dedicated to providing a quality, family-oriented environment for the enjoyment and educational aspects of flying radio-controlled aircraft. But don’t let these small planes fool you, once you get them off the ground just about anything is possible. It’s what helped draw hobbyist Kevin Kopp to the club in the first place.
“We can do anything a full-size air airplane can and then some,” Kopp said. “Mostly I do loops rolls, spins, vertical maneuvers, pretty much anything that you would see at EAA at Oshkosh we can do with these airplanes.”
And if you think these aircraft are just gliding around, think again. According to Kopp some of his own planes have reached speeds upwards of 120 to 130 MPH. That’s a lot of force for something that fits in the back of your car.
“We can go higher than you can see,” Kopp said. “I’ve never wrecked one that I have not been able to fix.”
These hobbyists aren’t just flying the planes, they engineer them as well. It forces you to not only understand flight patterns but how the machines work as well.
“You have a transmitter that you hold in your hand, and it sends a signal to the receiver that’s in the airplane,” Kopp said. “And then each of the control surfaces has a servo connected to it which actually moves the physical surfaces on the aircraft.”
For Kopp though, being part of the Lodi Radio Controlled Club isn’t just a hobby, it’s a chance to connect with people and form lasting relationships.
“A lot of times I’ll go to different events and meet different people. You just walk up and down and talk to people and it’s a way to get into aviation,” Kopp said. “It’s fun to come out here and hang out in an afternoon and fly and teach people new stuff too.”