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Modelglasses Perfect for Winter Use

Here at Rapid Eyewear, we see a seasonal surge in sales when Spring comes around. Not that surprising, you might think, given the anticipation of long summer days and lots of sunny weather. However, in a purely practical sense, it would almost be more usual to see sales in the autumn being just as strong – but why?

Well, let’s face it, when Autumn comes around, the sun doesn’t actually put on its night clothes and hibernate. Throughout the winter, sunny flying days can happen at any time, with low and potentially dangerous winter sun causing all sorts of problems. Modelglasses’ interchangeable lenses are designed to cope with all eventualities; the category 2 polarised lenses are perfect for winter sun, as they cut out blue light, improving definition and reducing glare at the same time. If the light is quite poor, and not even sunny, the Category 0 lenses will improve contrast and definition – effectively, this makes RC Modelglasses the perfect eyewear solution for all light conditions you might encounter throughout the year.

Photo: Dominik Haegele after winning 3D Masters, wearing the Category 2 polarised lenses. On a changeable day with no strong sun, these lenses were the perfect solution.

So, if you already have a pair of Modelglasses, don’t consign them to the spares box in the shed – keep them handy, and make use of those extra lenses. If you don’t have a pair, why not? Getting your hands on them at this time of year makes just as much sense, of not more so, than waiting until the Spring.

In the Beginning… How Did Modelglasses Start?

I remember the day very well. My Technical Editor on Rotorworld magazine, Colin McGinn, had come to visit as we needed to do some stuff for the next issue. he started talking about an opticians in Redhill, Surrey, that he’d visited to try and get a good pair of Rx sunglasses for model flying. This had, apparently, proved difficult.

Colin and I started a more general chat about RC and the potential problems of prescription eyewear that would work best, when the idea came to me. If we could source the ideal sunglasses for the job, we could share our success and perhaps start a small sideline business selling them to modellers – hence, the idea for Modelglasses was born, and the search for suitable eyewear was on.

As luck would have it, the solution actually fell on my lap a short time afterwards. I’ve played cricket for many years, and one day, a brochure dropped through my letterbox (how DO you get on these mailing lists?) for equipment related to that sport. Browsing through it, I came across some sunglasses made by a brand I’d never heard of before – Sunwise. There in front of me was an Rx pair of sunglasses with interchangeable tints, and an Rx clip. Could this be what Colin and I had been looking for?

I managed to track Sunwise down to their Oxfordshire HQ and got some samples. Before long, we had a trade account set up, and we were offering Sunwise products, both prescription and non-prescription, to modellers. This proved highly successful, so much so that we soon expanded the operation to include offering the sunglasses to model shops around the UK and abroad. The photo above shows me sporting one of those early pairs of Sunwise sunglasses (this was taken back in 2006).

The original Sunwise prescription sunglasses were exactly the right concept, however they were rather flimsy and fell apart quite easily. Having realised the potential for Modelglasses, we decided to contact some factories in the far east and see if we could make our own branded products, thereby allowing us to further improve the quality of the eyewear, and tweak the interchangeable lens specs further to make them even better tailored for RC model flying. After a strenuous search, and checking loads of samples which I have to say included some absolute rubbish, we could a manufactory that could, and still does, make us fantastic sunglasses to our own specifications. Moreover, they had the perfect Rx frame that took away the flimsiness of the Sunwise version (presumably they drew the same conclusions because they stopped making that pair years ago).

Using our respective contacts around the world, Colin and I built up an impressive array of distributors and to this day, RC Modelglasses remain on sale in many, many countries. They are still revered as being the best eyewear option for RC and I am very proud of what we achieved. Colin isn’t part of the business anymore – many of you will be familiar with his new company Area 51 Distribution. And us? We’re about to move into a larger, 1,800 sq. ft. warehouse from which we can distribute and sell not only RC Modelglasses, but also the extensive range of dedicated sports eyewear we now manufacture.

To view all of our Rapid Eyewear products, please visit the main website here.

John Clark

Polarised Lenses – Can You Read Your Tx?

Now, when we started up the RC Modelglasses business all those years ago (nine years, to be precise!) there was concern about the possibility of customers not being able to read digital Tx screens (even in those days, we had them). For that reason, I hedged my bets a bit and decided to develop both non-polarised and polarised versions of both prescription and non-prescription sunglasses. Within the first year of trading, it quickly became apparent that modellers were going for the polarized option, despite the well-known potential problems associated with that.

So, this raises tow questions: firstly, why did modellers ignore the warnings and go for polarised, and secondly, in use, does it actually matter? Just to complicate things a little I am going to answer the second of those questions first because the answer to that leads into the answer to the first one… if you know what I mean.

Glare is caused by sunlight bouncing off horizontal surfaces, with naturally reflective areas being the worst hit. This makes glare target tarmac roadways, clouds, car windscreens and, important for modellers, shiny RC aircraft wings. Polarised sunglasses remove this glare by filtering out horizontal blue light; it’s as simple as that. So, what is the issue with a Tx? In filtering horizontal light, polarized lenses can also remove parts of an LCD or digital display, potentially rendering it unreadable. Oops.

This subject is often discussed on RC forums, at shows etc. and I also know from the high numbers of modellers who have asked me about it over the years that the awareness levels of this potential issue are very high. However, there is one very important aspect of all this which needs to be considered. After you’ve placed your model out on the patch, done your pre-flight checks and trimmed the surfaces, how often are you going to look at your transmitter screen once you start taxiing (or hovering) for your flight? Hopefully the answer is never, because let’s face it, nobody likes to bin-bag their models. And that’s the main point – wear the specs on your head for all pre-flight activities, then slip them down when you’re ready to take off. Simples. you shouldn’t be looking at the screen during a flight, and that is when you need the sunglasses.

So, we’ve answered the second question above, now for the first one – why do modellers prefer polarised Modelglasses? because on the whole you’re an intelligent bunch and you know that you don’t need to read that screen during a flight. It is therefore pretty easy to see that the benefits of having polarised lenses far outweigh the downsides.

The truth is, we stopped making non-polarised RC Modelglasses a long time ago because the sales were so poor! That said, if you do want non-polarised lenses, you can buy some glasses from our Mile High range of sunglasses for full-size pilots (they do need to look at their displays whilst flying and so polarised lenses are a no-no for them) or, if you have the Nimbus or prescription Innovation Plus models, you can buy additional non-polarised lenses in the spares section of the Rapid Eyewear website. TTFN

John Clark

Altius RC Aviator Modelglasses

Since their launch in 2005, RC Modelglasses have always been made from high grade polycarbonate and TR90 materials. However, Rapid Eyewear, the company behind Modelglasses, recently launched some aviators, called ‘Altius.

Traditionally, aviator sunglasses have always had that Ray Ban look, with big, rounded lenses and thin side arms. The Altius do not depart too far from that track, but there are some subtle yet important differences. The most significant of these had to be the fact that, instead of having a flat shape, they wrap-around, meaning you won’t get light encroachment from the sides of your vision. This is an important and welcome aspect of the Altius sunglasses for RC modellers who find sun glaring into their eyes when they turn their head right or left.

The sunglasses are not polarised, which sounds like a negative point but it definitely isn’t because, with polarised, lenses, you can’t always see the digital instruments on your transmitter. John Clark explains: “with the plastic-based Modelglasses we make, some of these have polarised lenses but the level of polarisation is such that you won’t find your Tx display unreadable. However, the polarised Altius we make for the general sports market contain an ultra-efficient polarised lens which will completely obliterate the horizontal parts of a digital display.” To compensate for the lack of polarisation, Rapid Eyewear have added an anti-reflective coating to the rear of the lenses, which helps to cut down on glare.

On the front side of the lenses, oleo phobic and hydrophobic coatings ensure any water or grease that comes into contact with the Altius will form into globules and simply run-off – a nice touch. The overall quality of the optics is first-class – “we asked the factory to make the best lenses they could product, and they came up trumps”, explains John.

Incredibly, despite the sophisticated feel of these sunglasses, the high build quality and fantastic optics, they are comfortable under £100 to buy – even the prescription options are not expensive.

To find out more about the Altius sunglasses with grey or red lens options, visit the Rapid Eyewear website.

 

Polarised fit overs are so cost-effective

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Regular RC Corrector Overglasses

Modellers who wear prescription glasses want the best quality, dedicated RC sunglasses should consider the Innovation Plus which provide a highly cost-effective solution, and interchangeable polarised tints. However, if you’re on a really tight budget and you just want something simple that works in bright, sunny conditions, the new over glasses might be an option.

 

Modelglasses’ new Correctors over glasses are designed to fit over your existing glasses, providing 100% UVA and UVB (UV400) protection in sunny conditions. The enclosed nature of the over glasses prevents unwanted light encroachment from the peripheries of your vision, whilst the polarised filters greatly reduce glare. Finished in an attractive black colour, the over glasses are available in two different sizes – please check the dimensions on the product pages carefully before making your choice.

View the regular Corrector overglasses here, and the medium size Corrector overglasses here.

Our New Look RC Modelglasses Website

Welcome to our new-look RC Modelglasses website. We hope that you find the site easy to use, and that you discover the information you need about the fabulous RC Modelglasses range.

Please note that the Rapid Eyewear website is now our main outlet. When you select a product from this website, you will be taken to the Rapid Eyewear website page for that item. Once there you will find all the detailed information you require about the sunglasses, and the option to buy if you wish to do so. To continue viewing the range, simply hit the back button on your browser, or select another product from the thumbnails on the Rapid Eyewear site.

We would like to thank you for your interest in RC Modelglasses – the world’s number one option for RC flying since 2005.