I have never been intrigued with flying – in fact I get really frustrated with flying video games. But, I find watching these little airplanes and flying objects fascinating.
There are few places in the Bay Area for model airplaneflying.
If you want to pursue this as a hobby you might want to join Bay R/C.
If you are like me a watch-only kind of person, your best chances to see the little flyers are at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale (parking is $6 from March to October). Rancho San Antonio also has a field for non-gas powered model airplanes.
For those of you who like to get hands-on education, the Hiller Aviation Museum offers the Drone Plex. Each Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am to 12 pm there are demonstrations; from 1 pm to 3 pm you can sign-up for the flight experience – (an extra $5 for 20 minutes; museum fee is $16 for adults and $11 for seniors and youth, 5-17 year olds, under 4 year olds are free). The museum also has flight simulators.
Another inventor, who started in a garage in Berkeley, was Wunderkind Stanley Hiller Jr. He was only 15, but already accepted at Berkeley University when he build his Hiller-copter.
Hiller, at age 8, the inventor, build a motorized buggy with the engine of his mother’s washing machine, at age 10, the aviator, he learned to fly, and by 12, the businessman, he had a $100.000 a year business.
The Hiller Museum of Aviation in San Carlos shows a lot of his prototypes. The volunteers who know so many great stories of all the helicopters and planes that are surround you, bring it alive.Some of the stories are about people that made aviation history, like General Valérie André, the first woman to have piloted a helicopter in a combat zone.
They do a tribute to women aviators with short descriptions about them. Did you know that there were two Amelia Earhart’s (not related) that made flight history?
This is a great museum for kids of all ages. Lots of exhibits that allow you to climb in. On the weekends they teach you how to fly a drone or you can try to operate a plane in a flight simulator.