Horizon Hobby has done plenty of work in R&D for the radio control hobby. Today, they announced the next leap forward. It's called SAFE. SAFE stands for Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope. Horizon has a video about it that I have embedded after the break, but basically, it's a way of preventing a beginner from over-extending the airplane. It limits the amount of roll and pitch to a specific 'envelope' depending on the flight mode. So even if an airplane is capable of rolling, for instance, the SAFE system will not allow it if set to beginner mode.
SAFE also features full-time AS3X stabilization, to eliminate turbulence from wind and other environmental factors.
Is SAFE just another gimmick? I don't know. AS3X sure sounded like one, but that turned out to be a very popular technology. SAFE doesn't appear to really have a role much past the beginner stage, but this technology could make learning to fly easier than ever, thus broadening the market and allowing more people to experience the thrill of flight. Only time will tell if this technology takes off.
To learn more about SAFE, visit their website at www.flysaferc.com/.