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First Sighting: Horizon Hobby ParkZone VisionAire & a Talk With Quique Somenzini

I got a chance to talk with Quique Somenzini and briefly interview him on camera and record an indoor flight of the new VisionAire which was designed for outdoor flying. I am happy to share this first sighting!

Splash

Introduction

Thanks to Jay Smith, the editor of Model Aviation, I received a Media pass to the AMA show, and I was able to get in before the doors open to the public. I met and talked with Mr. Quique Somenzini about the new VisionAire ParkZone plane from Horizon Hobby. On Saturday afternoon he demonstrated the plane by flying it indoors at the AMA's flight center as part of the Horizon Hobby demonstration show. I want to say I was impressed by both the man and the plane he and his design team have created.

If you are not familiar with Mr. QuiQue Somenzini, he is a champion 3D pilot and is considered a 3D originator and the Father of 3D flying. He works for Horizon Hobby and has been very involved in the design and testing of a number of planes for Horizon, including: the Carbon-Z Yak, The Carbon-Z Scimitar, The Firebird Stratos (trainer plane), the Edge 540 QQ 280, and now the new VisionAire, which features his hollow, carbon-reinforced Z-foam wing construction that allows for light but very strong wings. In talking with him on Friday, it became obvious to me that he has a true passion for RC flying and a real desire to help pilots become better by designing planes that help them improve and move their skills to the next level. I shared with him how I have used the Firebird Stratos to help some students learn to fly and that the automatic up elevator when making turns had proven very helpful to them. He became more animated and happy in discussing this with me. I gave him several very sincere compliments about his designs, and he was always quick to share the praise with the other people involved in the design of the planes. Although our conversation was brief, I quickly found he is very much a gentleman and that he is very passionate about designing planes that move our hobby and us as pilots forward. He not only knows his stuff, he can talk about it in conversational terms and made sure I understood it.

I heard a story on Saturday from one of the men working in the flight center at the show that further supported my impressions of Quique. On Friday the flight center volunteer bought an E-flite Edge 540 QQ 280. One of the wings would not go all the way onto the wing rod. He went over to the Horizon Hobby booth to show them, and QuiQue spent about a half hour working on the wing to get the glue out of the wing rod channel, all the while talking with the man about the plane and flying.

The Horizon Hobby ParkZone VisionAire

The Horizon Hobby booth was my first chance to see this new plane. I had read a release from Horizon Hobby about the plane and knew it was due out sometime in February. Horizon reported it was designed to with the intention of helping Sport pilots become 3D pilots.

Click here for more information on the VisionAire.




Promoted Features

  • Spektrum™ AR635 DSMX® receiver with AS3X® System, installed
  • Powerful 10-size BL outrunner, 1250Kv, installed
  • E-flite® 40A Lite Pro Switch-Mode BEC Brushless ESC (V2), installed
  • E-flite 13-gram digital micro servos, installed
  • Clear belly window for monitoring AS3X System status
  • Carbon-reinforced Z-Foam™ construction
  • Leading-edge vortex generators
  • Double-beveled hinges for large control surface throws
  • Durable wire landing gear and large wheels for flying off grass
  • Two piece wing for easy transportation and repair
  • Sharp, Mirco Pecorari signature trim scheme
  • Includes 3S 2200mAh 25C Li-Po battery
  • Includes 2- to 3-cell DC variable rate charger
  • Requires a full-range 4+ channel DSM2®/DSMX aircraft transmitter, sold separately

Quique Somenzini Discusses and Demonstrates the VisionAire

Downloads

Downloads

Last edited by Angela H; Jan 15, 2013 at 03:55 AM..

Discussion

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Old Jan 15, 2013, 08:27 AM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,378 Posts
I made You Tube videos of both of the above videos but we are having some technical difficulties with them and hope to get them added to the article soon. Mike Heer The links below are working as I post this Reply.

Quique Somenzini discusses the VisionAire RC Plane (4 min 31 sec)


First Sighting VisionAire at AMA Expo (3 min 19 sec)
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 08:36 AM
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CSpaced's Avatar
Oak Ridge, NC
Joined Jun 2006
1,431 Posts
Looks like it is a pretty awesome 3D plane, can't wait to try one myself.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 09:03 AM
Transmogrified.
DismayingObservation's Avatar
Southern California
Joined Feb 2006
2,812 Posts
I happened to see him at a table back by the snack bar. I was hoping to be able to go up and say hi, but I didn't get the chance.

You're right about how nice he is. I saw him answering questions a couple of years ago...and brother, did he put on an indoor show.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 06:57 PM
Flutter-Bys are fun
Conehead's Avatar
United States, MI, Honor
Joined Dec 2005
5,029 Posts
Quique is one of the greats. i talked with him at Toledo one year. He is awesome.

Oh to fly like him. So many hours behind the sticks and so smooth of a flyer. I watched him one year at the JR Indoor. I was blown away. I have never seen anyone who can put music and fly an airplane together like Quique.

Conehead
Orrin Eldred
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 11:28 AM
Mach 1
pathfinder's Avatar
walterboro s.c.u.s.a
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AwesomeAire!
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Latest blog entry: Nice
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 12:34 PM
"Aircraftus Fragmentum"
kydawg1's Avatar
Motor City USA
Joined Mar 2007
3,568 Posts
I am too wanting this one.... looks like great fun.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 05:16 PM
R.I.P. my 70" FB Slick
Wildman777's Avatar
Moody, AL
Joined Jan 2006
1,655 Posts
The comment about the new Spektrum receiver with AS3X built in is very intriguing as well. That sounds like just the ticket for making some of the smaller 40" to 48" balsa 3D planes fly like their much bigger brothers.

-Dustin
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 09:12 PM
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USA, CA, Westlake Village
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Looks really interesting but a bit overpriced imho.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 09:44 PM
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United States, CT
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Was he just limited by the space or what?
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 02:18 AM
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United States, CA, San Diego
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$299.00 is the starting price from what i have seen.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 01:25 PM
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They are available now in the UK. Well I'm getting this too
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 02:49 PM
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United States, CA, Burlingame
Joined Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovespicyfood View Post
Looks really interesting but a bit overpriced imho.
Comes with a $120 receiver. I'm sure you can sell it for at least $80-100 if you want to put your own non-as3x stuff in there
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 04:04 PM
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United States, FL, Dunedin
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Chinesse Junk

Another Chinesse Foamy
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 06:28 AM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
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I completely disagree with you Dunedinflyer.

As mentioned in John Redman's narration of the plane being available in a week to a week and a half ... it became available yesterday. Mike Heer
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