The last time I attended The International Model and Hobby Expo was in 1991. I don't remember very many electrics on display. This year however, the shelves were full of them.
By Andrew Leonhard |
This is my first article for The EZone, so here is a little bit about me. I'm a relative newcomer when it comes to RC aircraft. I built plastic models as a kid, but didn't actually fly RC until I was 19. As far as I know, my two brothers and I had the only electric flight club in the town of Tamale in Ghana, West Africa. We slapped together a number of planes using only the "that looks about right" method, with no plans. They flew with varying success. Some were hopelessly overweight and underpowered; others were just not sturdy enough for the impressive crashes to which they were subjected. It was fun anyway. I currently live in the greater Chicago area with my wife of two years, Jamie. I have been playing around with pink fan-fold and Sturdyboard, and have had fun trying to get the results to fly.
The last time I attended The International Model and Hobby Expo was in 1991. I don't remember very many electrics on display. This year however, the shelves were full of them. I decided to stop at all the main e-related booths and ask about their latest products.
At Hacker USA, I spoke to Sean Plummer who proudly showed off their (as of yet unnamed) motor for aircraft in the 10 to 13 pound range. It is a 30 cell, 50amp geared motor that turns 18 to 20 inch props, and works with the Master 77-3P speed control. He said it should allow aerobatic capability in 100-inch wingspan aircraft, and will be flown at TOC. Apparently, Gary Wright flew with it at NEAT.
PowerFlight's Kevin Cobble had two new lithium packs. A 650 mAh 7.2v parkflyer pack for $25 with an approximate duration of 15 minutes, and a tiny 350 mAh 3.6v micro-flyer pack for $15 with a 5 to 10 minute duration.
GWS had a large display, but I got down to brass tacks and asked all the questions everyone really wants to know, and here's the latest. Both the A-10 Warthog and the P-51 Mustang are due for US delivery in November, but they are still working on the manuals. The EDF-75 will arrive early next year as they are fine-tuning the ducting. As with all things GWS, I'll expect them when I see them. They even had an Islander on display that apparently will not come to the US market.
MegaTech showed off its XEC parkflyer, which gives an 8-minute flight with a 5-minute charge. It ran $130. In addition, here's my one non-flight related bit. They were showcasing their new "Ocean Explorer 1" mini RC sub in a fish tank. It will run for 30 minutes per charge up to 6 feet deep (they've done 12ft) and lists for $110. It was really remarkable with LED lights flashing, and highly maneuverable. I would love to hunt my African Cichlids with it. (Sorry about the lousy photo)
Watt-Age had its new Super Decathlon EP-ARF on display. It uses a geared 370 motor and four channels. It should be available now.
I spoke with Brian Bychowski of DuBro about their new products. They have a bunch of new parkflyer and indoor accessories. New 30" micro pushrods, micro tail wheels, tailskids, and a 90° bell crank system. The coolest was a new micro aileron system that comes with all the connectors and links you need in one package.
Dumas had a new Brewster Buffalo that would make a good conversion. They also showed a video of their USS Bluefish submarine.
Finally, Guillow's had a new delta foam glider, the X-Racer. I see definite possibilities for bashing these into great new parkflyers. All you balsa fans will be happy to know that Guillows has a new wood supplier for their stick and tissue models. Apparently, they have heard our cries of foul over their heavy wood, and are attempting to remedy it.
Until next time,
May all your aircraft fly high (without flutter) and dodge the attacks of the plane-eating trees, buildings, telephone poles, cars, bikes, dogs, goats, small cute children, and may they return to earth gently from whence they came to rise again with fresh batteries.