I never had a remote controlled anything when I was a kid. My father, being a joiner, did build a couple of sailing boats that we took to Verulamium (St. Albans) lake but they were free-sailing with no more than some rudimentary rudder control that I failed to understand. I once built an aeroplane with a glow plug engine that took for ever to start but that was a control-line plane designed to zoom around in circles on the end of two wires that operated the elevators. Eventually the time came for its inaugural flight and my father struggled gamely to start the recalcitrant engine. Once started, yours truly grabbed the control lines in preparation for my patient father to release my new toy. Being a complete and utter novice, as dad let go, I unwisely applied a handful of elevator whereupon the hapless balsa wood plane left the safety of my father’s hands, flew straight up, arced over my head and smashed itself to smithereens into the ground behind me. Its maiden flight was all of ¾ circuit. It never flew again. Given my apparent piloting skills, I certainly didn’t want to break anything as expensive as a remote controlled aeroplane, not that I could have afforded one.
On Wednesday, a delivery van arrived with three boxes containing the components of a mover for Billy Bailey (our caravan). I’ve been watching such devices increase in popularity over the last few years but until recently had resisted. They looked very handy for the infirm or those who can’t get their head around the logic of reversing an articulated unit but I didn’t put myself into that category. However, we did seem to have increasing situations when we’d like to have pitched Billy differently were it not for having to have the car attached. Occasionally a “discussion” would arise revolving around where someone would like Billy pitched versus where I could actually pitch Billy. Flexibility overcame reversing pride and we placed an order with Powrwheel.
This morning soon after 8:00 AM a fitter arrived to fit Billy’s mover. It consists of two electric motors, one to drive each main wheel. These are powered by the on-board leisure battery. I decided to go the whole hog and order the power actuator too, the device that puts the motor’s drive shaft into contact with the wheels and retracts them. That’s frequently a manual exercise. The fitter was delighted with Billy’s pedigree since the Bailey Pageant Monarch is apparently a straightforward fitting job. He clearly knew what he was talking about ‘cos he was done by 11:00 AM.
After a little instruction I managed to drive Billy off our neighbour’s driveway (borrowed while they are away for the fitting job because it’s flatter than ours) and park him in his usual space to prepare for the off. Billy didn’t hit anything and Billy didn’t crash. Much better than an aeroplane in lots of pieces!
Later, heart in mouth, I even managed to drive Billy out of his parking spot and up to the towing hitch of the car, and all without the aid of a safety net. Brilliant!
I’ve got a remote controlled toy at last. 🙂