RDS8000 Serving Special Needs

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.



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7 Responses to “RDS8000 Serving Special Needs”

  1. Tom Says:

    Bravo, Mike!

    Cheers to your Dad, and this is a great invention!


  2. mikegoesflying Says:

    Thanks. I talked to him this morning. He flew it over the weekend and said it is working great.

  3. Tom Says:

    One of the guys in my model boat club just bought an RDS8000 for use in his scale boats. I will report back later how it is working out for him.

  4. Garry Y Says:


    Knowing your Dad and how much he loves to fly, I am sure he is enjoying be able to fly again

  5. mikegoesflying Says:

    Hi Garry!
    That is for certain! He’s flying quite a bit.

    We’re putting together the prototype of the new BH Models Katana for him right now (91 FS size). He has to have a helper when working with the glow engines, but he’s a Magnum guy and still loves flying glow.


  6. Hugh Nelson Says:

    SOrry to hear about your Dad, Mike. Great that one fo the thigns is eh still wants ot fly. You Dad has a great heart twords people and the hobby, very generous. one of th ethings besides the customers and people i miss there was your dad. Always great ot chat with, (even with the generation gap), and get building ideas.
    My pops has told em many stories form the 70;s when he and my grandpa woudl go int he original store , (which used otbe what about 1 mile from where my house is, same house back then also. and stories of Mr Bender at the front door. and your Dasd gettign partsinside. OR when a customer came in, had a boat ont he counter. WEll its a hobby store and my dad thought it was a display. so as we all do in our Big Boy Toy store. he looked at it. ANd the owner fo the boat got angry with my dad. Calling him names. and such. and your Dad Stickuing up fo rmine , sayign it was a mistake, and he didnt need ot get all upset fo rpeople looking. no need ot be angry.
    But glad to hear he is still flying, and you all helping him still fly. Loosing feilds sucks, BTU loosing pilots from being able to go to the feilds sucks. BUT glad more pilots help them to stay there.

  7. mikegoesflying Says:

    He’s actually really active. Was out flying today in fact. We put together a plane and have him testing it for us! Good thing we tested it! This prototype had a bad stab and failed in flight!

    So, not only is he active but he’s still testing for us! Pretty cool I think.

    Thanks for the kind words! Anyway, glad to hear from you!


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