I have been struggling for a while with how best to develop Red20RC. What I do know is that things need to change and I’m quite excited about the possibilities…
The RC hobby is undergoing something of a paradigm shift. This has been driven in part by a dramatic increase in Chinese manufacturing, online retailers and media interest in drones and the possibilities they present.
We are no longer just a group of old men sitting around in a field with our nitro fuelled, balsa and ply creations. Drone racing in particular has already produced a number of “personalities” and has attracted investment from mainstream industry keen to capitalise on these unlikely sportsmen and women of the future. The larger manufacturers are clamouring to sponsor any pilot who can fly well whilst pushing free products out to any YouTube channel that commands more than a handful of subscribers.
Meanwhile, the innovators and small companies are being pushed to the sidelines as they can’t keep up with the “big boys”.
Red20RC cannot continue to operate solely as a mini quad frame manufacturer in this current environment. To even try to compete with the mass-produced, low quality/high-gloss products would be foolhardy and I simply cannot match the prices of the high-end production line RTF models. I started the Red20RC store with the idea of providing a way for designers to produce and sell the creations but this has been both a blessing and a curse. I have had the honor of working with some very talented people in the past couple of years but carrying so many different designs means my focus on any one product is always diluted and promoting them difficult.
From today, Red20RC will no longer aspire to produce any multirotor frame in large numbers. I will continue to carry and produce the current Red20RC range of frames for as long as my designers want me to though and will help connect them to the relevant people should they want to produce their frames in larger numbers. The Red20RC Team Pilots will continue their crusade to promote the brand as well – without them I would be lost!
Red20RC will now operate as a “Custom Drone Workshop”
My services will focus on the design & manufacture, build & repair of bespoke projects and prototypes for the miniature aviation community.
I am keen to point out that this does not mean just “mini quads”. Red20RC operates in all areas of miniature aviation and can work on fixed wing aircraft as well as larger multirotor platforms. As a result, Red20RC will now be joined by two other brand names to differentiate the services provided:
Red20RC remains the primary business identity and community site. It will operate under the original slogan “For the Pilot” and the new slogan “Custom Drone Workshop”. There will be two websites:
- www.red20rc.org – is the original and continuing community site
- www.red20rc.com.au – will be the new store site and custom services hub
BallisticFPV will focus on fixed wing FPV aircraft for recreation and racing purposes. It will operate under the slogan “High Performance Wings”.
Remote Pilot has been around for a while but in hibernation. It will serve as the brand for high spec commercial and industrial applications for both fixed wing and multirotor UAVs/RPAs.
Initially both BallisticFPV and Remote Pilot will be located within the Red20RC.com.au site to keep things easy to maintain and dynamic rather than trying to spread content over 3 sites.
So, how does the “Custom Drone Workshop” work?
Think of the new Red20RC as a “dream factory”! Maybe you are a seasoned pilot and know exactly what you want in an airframe, maybe you are new and don’t know where to start. Red20RC can help shape the craft you want or need. It might be a completely new design or it might be a custom modification to an existing airframe – there isn’t anything that can’t be achieved with a bit of thought, skill and experience.
You can also still buy Red20RC frames, only now you have the option to tweak them to suit your flying style!
As most of you already know, I have in-house facilities for CAD work, CNC milling, 3D printing and hotwire foam cutting. When time and finances allow I also plan on installing a large bed laser cutter to speed up production of foam and ply pieces. This is backed by over 25 year’s experience in the miniature aviation field as both a pilot and designer.
Work is currently underway on the new site and when it launches you will find more information on how you can realise your drone dreams. In the meantime the current Red20RC store (www.store.red20rc.org) will continue to operate as it always has done.
I’ll finish up by saying thank you to the RC community for the help and support over the past couple of years. Red20RC would not be here without you.
This isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning…