Radio-controlled (RC) model airplanes have become one of the widely used tools by falconers to train their falcons, local Arabic daily Arrayah has reported.
A RC model airplane enables faster training to sharpen a falcon's hunting skills when compared to the traditional methods, where they release a prey to be caught by the falcon.
A falconer can attach a prey to the tail of a RC model airplane and control its speed, distance and altitude according to the training requirement of the falcon.
This method also ensures the safety of the precious falcons when they fly in the open for training purposes and minimise the chances of getting lost.
With the start of the competitions, scheduled for early 2021 approaching, the demand has shot up for the RC model airplanes. However, some falconers said that this modern method has its flip side including the potential of exhausting the falcons due to the immense effort it exerts to catch the prey attached to the tail of a RC model airplane.
So, the trainer should have excellent control on the RC model airplane and ensure the falcon does not crash into the craft, which could damage the equipment and may kill the bird itself.
The falconers stressed the importance of equipping the falcon with remote tracking device linked to a mobile application, which enables the falconer to determine the location of the falcon.
Mohamed al-Qrissi, a falconer, said the new methods enables the falconers to train their falcons in a gradual and well-controlled way, which would make it more fit in a well-regulated training schedule. However, one of its drawbacks is that the falcon could get used to following the RC model airplane and the attached fake prey and eventually refuse to chase and catch a live prey. This could be avoided by adopting a blend of both new and traditional methods of training, he explained.
Abdulla Mohamed al-Hinzab, another falconer, pointed out that the new technology is the best method to qualify and train the falcon ahead of major competitions in a short time compared to the traditional methods such as using a live pigeon as prey.