And RC models are no longer considered toys, although there are still plenty that are aimed at the younger market. The most typica RC model enthusiast these days is likely to be a middle aged man with a keen interest in vehicles and engineering.

To get the most from an RC model it’s useful to have an understanding of how they operate. Every radio control system has the same basic components. These are the transmitter, generally held in the hands; the receiver, which is contained within the model; the drive motor which powers the wheels or propeller; and the steering system which may be a rudder or control of a vehicles wheels or tracks.

The transmitter or controller is the handheld device that you hold. It usually provides one or two joysticks which are used for control of the speed and the steering. This device transmits radio waves over a relatively short range. These are picked up by the antenna attached to the vehicle or craft. These signals are modulated with control information which tells the motor how fast it should run and the wheels or rudder which way they should be pointing.

All of these electrical components need power and this is generally provided using rechargeable batteries. In RC aircraft these batteries need to be small and lightweight so they can need to be recharged regularly.

It is this aspect of the hobby that can make it very engrossing as hobbyists attempt to get the most from their systems by customised engineering.