Humans have always been fascinated with the idea of flying. Long before the Wright brothers flew on their maiden flight the Ancient Chinese flew small hot-air lanterns and bamboo-copter toys with spinning rotors. Leonardo da Vinci's passion of Flying and his Paintings about it are not unknown by anyone. But did you know that the References to a self-moving aerial car called Vimana has been thoroughly documented in Vedas a 5000 year old Hindu scripture. The Passion to fly has been so intense that in order to fulfill it people throughout history have been more than willing to take the risk of losing their lives. Thanks to the Wright Brother we are not losing lives trying to Tower jump any more, we can now just sit in an airplane and travel all across the globe. Alphonse de Lamertine once said,“Limited in his nature, infinite in his desires, Man is a fallen god who remembers heaven.” The desire of flying does not stop with the fact that you can now buy a ticket and fly, we as humans need to try something to satisfy our needs.
Buying an Airplane or enrolling in a pilot training program is not possible for everyone, so we made Radio controlled Flying Planes to satisfy the urge of flying. The advancement of technologies has helped RC planes come off age and become an epitome for aviation. Personalization of these RC planes is a latest trend that has recently picked up, and leading the charge is Ralf Paehl a Germany Pilot.
While the Other RC Plane or Model Plane customizing companies focus on the exteriors and the interiors of the Airplane itself, Ralf’s expertise is making custom RC model airplane pilots. His company TwinPilots uses 3d scanning and printing to make exact copies the owner to fill in the empty Cockpit of the RC planes. Paehlc added that people invest a lot of money and time customizing their model planes, however until now there was no company that could fill in the cockpit; he said that his company makes Pilots that look exactly like the owners. These Dummy pilots are custom-weighted for different types of airplanes.
If you need one of these custom made pilots, you need to send a reference image to TwinPilots, the instructions to send the same is mentioned on their website. The company then uses Sculptris a free 3d modeling software and prints the model using ABS plastic and uses a CreatrFDM 3D printer from leapfrog. The company has plans to soon move the production to a higher precision Zortrax M200 3D printer for better results.
Once the models are printed using ABS Plastic, each prints are smoothened and polished with a sandpaper and then hand painted. The body of these pilots is made using the foam based material to keep the weight down. Hands and feet too are 3d printed along with other accessories like shoes. When required CNC Machines and Millers are used to make Glasses while the Clothes are hand sewed for the models.
All this customization comes with a hefty price tag,a 1:3 ratio model with basic clothing's costs 220 Euros and a 1:25 model cost 260 Euros. Further Personalization would cost according to the price chart mentioned on the TwinPilot Website.