Steve Perrin, a long time Berkeley resident, comes out to the park once or twice a week to fly his electric model airplanes. I watched as he launched his craft by hand into the wind, and admired the height, distance, and acrobatics he achieved with his radio control set. Steve said that planes like the one he has in his hand here can be bought commercially for about $150 and the radio control is about another $200. He gets about ten minutes of flight on a battery charge. Apart from a soft whine on takeoff, this craft flew without a sound. It’s a very different experience from the drones you also see in the park. Although quiet drones are said to exist on the market, the only ones I’ve seen in the park so far are screamers. Cesar Chavez is the only park in the area where they’re allowed.
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