As some of you close to me may know, my Father John Greenshields was the first employee here at Hobby Shack when it opened May 2, 1972. John flew freeflight back in the 40’s while he learned to fly full-size, and has been active in the hobby ever since. From U-control to most types of R/C, he’s always been very active.
A few years ago, he suffered a heart attack and a stroke which lead to the loss of use of his left arm. One of the things that upset him the most was that he lost the ability to fly model airplanes. My brother, Jim worked with Mike Mayberry at Hitec to make my dad a custom single stick radio and foot pedel. That radio served him well and got him flying again. He originally flew mode I, so he had to switch to essentially single stick/mode II and learned to run the throttle with a foot pedal!
Since then, Jim and I have been working on how to get him something even more refined. Jim found an industrial knob that could be attached to the end of the stick for the rudder. This part mated perfectly to the Airtronics RDS8000 and this was the birth of his 2nd generation single stick/pedal radio.
Here’s where I think it gets kinda’ neat…
The radio is switchable between regular mode II and single-stick/pedal. We have a switch that chooses between “knob” and left rudder stick and a 2nd switch to choose between foot pedal and left throttle stick. The pedal also plugs into the radio so that is the pedal is not being used, it can simply be removed.
It’s neat, simple, and since it’s mostly stock, our technician can easily work on it. I did all the installation of the physical parts and Minh, our Airtronics Senior Technician did all the wiring and testing to ensure it works properly.
The pictures are not that great, but it gives you an idea of what we did.
The next step is to switch to an industrial/commonly available foot pedal instead of this original home-made version. It works fine, but it’s a little big and a little hard to make.
It is our goal to make this type radio available to those who need it. It would be special order of course and unfortunately is somewhat expensive, but it certainly gets the job done and allows people who normally can’t fly to fly again!
Flying was an important part of my Dad’s recovery. And thanks to Mike Mayberry, Jim Cook, Hitec, and now Airtronics, he’s flying a modern radio, on 2.4GHz several times a week.