When January rolls around, that always means it’s AMA Expo time! It’s hard to believe that’s it’s actually been a year already since the last show. Every year the expo is held at the Ontario Convention Center and features a bunch of vendors and manufacturers in the RC industry so it’s always an interesting show to head to. It’s more than that though. The RC community is like a family, so the show feels almost like a reunion as I get a chance to catch up with friends that I don’t get to see but just once or twice a year plus meeting new friends too.
This year, I was honored to be asked by the AMA to be one of the presenters for the show. Truth be told, when the AMA asked me to speak at the show, I was humbled by the opportunity. I’ve been coming to this show since I was a kid and as I mentioned in my article about this show last year, I even met my wife at this show 15 years ago if you can even believe that! But, to share the presenters stage with so many amazing people is something I never imagined truthfully. The AMA was cool enough to video and provide my presentation to post on my YouTube channel, so here it is in case you missed it!Continue reading →
The road getting to the 2016 US Scale Masters Championships was not an easy one for me this year, that’s for sure. Ever since crashing my Jet Hangar Mirage IIIRS last year, I had been plagued with mishaps and bugs throughout the year and truth be told, it got pretty discouraging…to the point that I contemplated not going multiple times. But, the championships were at the Woodland-Davis Aeromodelers field which is where they were in 2013 and it was such a great event, I knew I had to get there in 2016. With everything leading up to the event (I even had a mishap requiring repairs two weeks before I was due to leave!), I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would be reporting that I came out of the event as the “Grand National Champion” finishing 1st place in Expert! And to have my dad there calling for me while competing with an airframe that stemmed from the very first RC jet design he kitted back in the late ’70s was just such an honor for me.
Organized by the US Scale Masters Association, the US Scale Masters Championships have been ongoing since 1980. From the beginning, this national championship has hosted some of the best scale builders and pilots in the world and have continued to do so for more than two decades. In order to attend the national championship, a competitor must qualify at a regional qualifier event (I covered the Gilman Springs Qualifier a few months ago). The truth is, I remember attending numerous qualifiers and championships out at Mile Square Park (that flying site is sorely missed!) in Southern California as a kid with my dad and I have always remembered the caliber of the airplanes being just incredible (I tried my first qualifier at 18 with a Royal Zero kit I built). 2016 was no exception as the airplanes in attendance were beautifully crafted and masterfully flown!Continue reading →
After attending the Warbirds & Classics Scale RC Airplane event last year, I couldn’t wait to come back! Between the awesome assortment of airplanes, the fellowship with old and new friends, and the incredible backdrop you get from the flying site, it is a must attend for me. It helps that it’s local enough for me that the drive getting there isn’t too bad and I get to have a fun weekend flying with my dad. Needless to say, this year’s Warbirds & Classics did not disappoint! The Scale Squadron hosted event had even more pilots and even more airplanes and it was a blast! I was there Friday and Saturday and got my fill of all the flying I could handle and filled up my memory card with pics and videos…twice! I had my trusty A-7, Mirage, and Tigercat in tow. I was eager to get the Tigercat out to an event. It was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle to get them all packed into the back of my Sienna, but somehow it worked! If you weren’t excited enough to see what was at the event, here’s a quick compilation video of some of the action at the event (more pics and video further down).
Located at the OCMA rc airplane field in Black Starr Canyon (next to Irvine Lake in Irvine, CA), the event has open flying for any scale aircraft (warbirds, civlian, jets, etc.) which Continue reading →
Obviously, I’m a scale nut! I think it seriously runs in my blood. I actually cut myself once and started bleeding Federal Standard color chips! 😉 In all seriousness, the big scale projects I build, I’m always building with scale contests in mind…it’s kind of a sickness. When I found out that the US Scale Master’s (USSM) championships are once again being hosted by the Woodland-Davis Aeromodelers this year, I knew that this year was a contest year for me! You see, I had attended the championships in 2013 at Woodland-Davis and had an absolute blast and have been hoping for a chance to go back and fly with them again!
April 23-24, the Gilman Springs RC flyers hosted the USSM Western Regional Qualifier. This is a new home for this event as years previously it had been hosted by the Hemet Model Masters. The Gilman Springs venue is great for flying since it’s on private land and has minimal limitations for airspace and aircraft type that can fly out there (rare for sitesContinue reading →
AMA EXPO 2016 — The place to geek out on the latest in RC!
Ah, the AMA Expo. Heralded at the Ontario Convention center, it’s a great show to geek out on everything RC while scoring deals you wouldn’t normally get on RC products. Though not always known as the AMA show, nor held at the Ontario Convention Center, this show has been ongoing in Southern California for a long time. I remember attending a different incarnation of the show as a kid with my dad. In fact, I even met my wife at this show when it was still held in Pasadena…wrap your heads around that one, haha! It’s really hard to believe just how much the hobby has changed and I’ve watched it change each year through this show! Even in just the last 10 years things have changed so much.
Now, an RC trade show means many things to many people. For most however, it means three things — scoring deals while seeing what’s new and exciting and catching up with Continue reading →
In case you couldn’t tell, I love RC jets. I suppose that comes from a combination of a secret desire I have always had to have been a military fighter pilot (my eyes went bad in Jr High, so ended that dream which led my trajectory towards engineering) and growing up watching my dad fly RC jets most every weekend. He was one of the early pioneers of RC jets helping to make common place ducted fan and later turbine powered scale jets. In fact, he was one of the first 10 to even hold a turbine waiver in the US. So I suppose it’s a family passion that runs multiple generations, haha!
The Arizona RC Jet Rally
When it comes to events, the Arizona Jet Rally is probably mine and my Dad’s favorite event of the year. My dad has not missed this event in it’s entire 27 year run thus far! Always held on the weekending before Thanksgiving and hosted at Superstition Air Park in Mesa, AZ by the Arizona Model Aviators, the event is Continue reading →
If you’ve never been to an all electric model airplane event, it’s an experience. These type of events bring all sorts of different kinds of modelers ranging from guys who love pure scale (like myself) to others who just love to build atypical type models that you wouldn’t even expect to see fly let alone built, but it’s awesome and always unique. Of course, you still get the range of 3D fliers too, but most importantly, you get a bunch of folks sharing what they love and having a good time which is always the sign of a good event.
Big Jolt is a Southern California event that’s been going for the last few years and has been a pretty popular electric model airplane fly-in. Though not an event I’ve been a regular attendee of the last few years, I decided to go this year and I’m glad I did. Unfortunately the numbers were down from years past but there was still plenty of fun to be had! Hosted by PVMAC in Chino, CA, it’s an immaculate field with a huge 800 ft runway (same location as Wings Over Prado from earlier this year) so it’s always worth the drive!
Labeled as one of the largest air show in the country, the Miramar Air Show is a must see if you’re ever able to make a trip to San Diego and see it. It is an awesome combination of static displays and incredible flying from some of the best pilots and air show teams in the world. Also, being a military air show it always features the latest and greatest technology (the last couple years they’ve featured the F-35B). As a kid, I spent numerous weekends at this air show and so it always brings back memories. Growing up, my dad was invited to fly for many years as part of the RC demonstration — I even flew as a part of it too. In fact, I used to fly a duet formation flight with another Chris not much older than I was. Believe it or not, I can even remember attending the air show when the Blue Angels were still flying A-4s! But, I digress. The air show is something that I love not only for the aviation aspect but also for the nostalgia, the reminder of walking the same show I did as a kid while now also being able to share that experience with my own kids.
Friday was the day I was able to make it (a day off work for an air show? Heck yes! 😉 ). The goal is always to be up early and out the door to make a complete day of it. I arrived to the sound of Sean D. Tucker flying heavy aerobatics (if you’ve never seen him fly, he is an incredible pilot, I have video below) and quickly parked and hopped on the tram to the show. I spent most of the morning walking the static displays before Continue reading →