Highlights of the Arizona Electric Festival Highlights 2012 - RC Groups

Highlights of the Arizona Electric Festival Highlights 2012

Out of the Blue of the Western Sky came 200 pilots looking for fun at the 2012 edition of the Arizona Electric Festival. On Saturday, they met a Dame named Mariah!



  • Beautiful Giant Scale Cessna available from <a href=Air Show RC. Check out the Website for many other nice planes." /> Beautiful Giant Scale Cessna available from Air Show RC. Check out the Website for many other nice planes.

This years festival will be remembered primarily for Saturday's wind storm that shut down flying and greatly damaged the vendors' pop up tent village (see below video). Two planes flew early Saturday morning but with the wind blowing at an angle, across the runway, and into the pit and spectator area, the CD did the responsible thing and shut down flying. At 11:00 he called flying for the day but later in the afternoon, when the wind died down somewhat, the field was reopened for flying. However, by that time many of us had left for the day. Thursday was a great day for flying with blue skies and a calm morning and an acceptable breeze in the afternoon. Friday was a good day for flying but with high clouds it was not a great day for picture taking. As a result, I took the fewest pictures I have ever taken at the festival. I expected to make it up on Saturday but that didn't happen. Despite these setbacks, there was some good flying, and I got some nice pictures and videos of what I saw. Overall, I had a good time, and I plan to be back next year. But my troubles really started when I got home and started to download the video into my computer. I had to replace two of its four memory chips. Sorry for the delay in getting out this article, but I had to order new chips and wait for their delivery. I was able to download a few clips but it took multiple tries and hours of effort, and I simply had to wait to do the rest.

Thursday Morning

Flyzone Select Scale Focke Wulf 190 With Retracts

I spotted for Dan Landis who came out from Illinois to participate in this year's AEF. With no one else in the sky I got to take some pictures and video of the Flyzone Focke Wulf 190, which is a personal favorite of mine and which I was lucky enough to review this past fall.


Great Planes F-86 Micro Sabre

One of the highlights of this year's event was getting to see the not yet released Great Planes F-86 Micro Sabre flown using the new AnyLink Transmitter flight system that allows a pilot to use his own transmitter to bind and fly the plane using the AnyLink Transmitter system. This was the first time the public got to see the Sabre fly, and that warranted a First Sighting article that I was able to get out despite my computer troubles.


Mike Pope's Mig-15

Mike Pope has become a friend of mine as a result of my annual visit to the AEF. He flies a lot of planes and helps people fly their planes as well. On Thursday I saw him fly his Mig -15.


Mike Pope's Mig 15  23.46 MB

Rick's Windrider Boeing 737 in SouthWest colors

If you were a pilot for Southwest and flew their 737s it would be a natural to have a 737 model custom painted in Southwest colors to fly for your hobby. Rick has a very nice custom painted Windrider 737.


Bob Ruff's Panther

Bob was the event's CD when I first started coming to the AEF. Bob likes large planes, and his Panther is just that. Here are some clips of its one flight at this years AEF. Hopefully it is repairable.


Taylor and his ParkZone Corsair

Taylor, with his dad spotting for him, flies his Corsair.



Sensei Trainer Plane

Dan Landis, the market outreach manager from Hobbico had shipped several kits to Arizona to fly at the AEF. I have shown two of the planes earlier in this article, the Sabre and FW 190. Dan let me fly the new Sensei trainer using the new Futaba 18 transmitter. The transmitter had a very nice feel in my hands, and I really liked the Sensei as a four channel trainer with ailerons, elevator, rudder and throttle. It actually has a fifth channel that operates doors on the Sensei for candy drops or parachute drops at fun flies etc. I have two R/C flight training small groups that have started since I came home from Arizona, and while I encourage students to consider starting with a micro trainer, I am using a Sensei as my buddy box trainer. It is easy to assemble at the field and has a good high lift wing that allows the plane to be flown slowly or sped up for some acrobatics. I was pleased with the plane when I got some stick time on it in Arizona and have a couple of nice flights in on mine here in CA. I recommend it as a very nice large trainer or a Sunday flier. Look for a full review on the Sensei in EZone soon.


Helicopters are given a half hour in the morning and in the afternoon for flying. In past years I have seen some beginners and some quad-copters. This year it was all helicopters flown by expert pilots. Here are some pictures from the morning and afternoon sessions on Thursday.

Thursday Night at the Tilted Kilt

The Tilted Kilt was the restaurant selected by me for a gathering place for dinner on Thursday night based on a suggestion by fellow Ezoner, Neck. The Tilted Kilt is a Sports Pub and Eatery and admittedly the waitresses are easy on the eyes. However, the food was excellent so we will be going back to the Tilted Kilt next year. I strongly recommend their Bacon Cheeseburger with onions and Jack Daniels Bar-B-Que sauce with a side of onion rings and a beer to wash it all down. We had a good group of people, and I am sure everyone had a good time.

That was: Mike "Huggy Bear" Pope in the bottom row of pictures with just some of his friends.


GWS Slow Stick Combat

This year the participants were allowed to organize a GWS combat session on Friday morning that followed the morning helicopter session. There were a few hits and a couple of ribbons were cut but it is amazing how hard it is to catch and cut the ribbon of another plane. Hopefully the event will have blue skies to allow for better pictures next year.


Cermark's DC-3 in a flight of three planes

I first saw the new DC-3 being sold by Cermark as an ARF at this years AMA Expo in early January. It has working mechanical retracts and two brushless motors and speed controllers etc. At the AEF they flew three of them together a couple of times on Friday. They need some more practice at formation flying but it was great to see them in the air together. My buddy Dick Andersen and I were so impressed we bought one and it followed us home in the back of the van. Dick and I will be reviewing it soon here in E-Zone.


Multiplex Dogfighter

Arizona was my first chance to see the new Dogfighter in person, and it's true what they say about it being a good flyer at both fast and slower speeds.


Horizon Hobby, Hangar 9 33% Pawnee with Hacker A-150 Motor

I had given some thought about buying a 33% Pawnee and installing an electric motor in one, and it has been done by someone else. They used the Hacker A-150 but told my friend that the motor was really more than the plane needed and that the Hacker A-100 would probably power the 33% Pawnee just fine. It was fun to see the plane in action with a nice clean powerful Hacker motor.


Hitec/Multiplex FunCub Table Top Landing Contest

The guys from Hitec apparently didn't think an aircraft carrier made sense in the desert so they had table top landings with their FunCub on Friday. They had some touch-and-go's and a few crashes but mostly they had fun and so did those of us watching. They realize that FUN is what this hobby is all about!

Friday's Night Fly

I was pretty excited about this year's night fly as I had brought two planes with lights and got a new set of lights on Friday from Gorilla Bob for my Slow Stick. I had no trouble installing the lights on the Slow Stick in the afternoon. However, we did have trouble getting back to the field that night as we got caught in traffic behind an injury accident that completely blocked the north direction on Gibson. When we got out to the field about 7:30 the wind was building and most of the pilots had already packed up and left. The first three pictures below are of planes at the night fly and are from fellow E-Zoner, Quiet E. Flyer, posted here with his permission. The last two pictures are by me of my planes.

SATURDAY: They Call the Wind Mariah!

The vendors' pop up tent area took the worst of it from the wind. Here is a slide show with pictures of the vendors' area on Thursday and then early Saturday. Most of the vendors cleaned up, set up and sold on Saturday and kept a good sense of humor about what the wind did and got back into helping customers.


A young Man Was First to Fly on Saturday


Hobby People's Phase 3 F-16 Performed a Harrier Landing on Saturday Morning


The Annual AEF Raffle

A big thanks to all the vendors and sponsors who contribute to the annual raffle for the Arizona Electric Festival. Their goal is for every pilot to hopefully win a prize or prizes that exceed the cost of the entry fee. This is a pilot only raffle and each pilot gets one ticket with his entry. Mike Pope won a nice scale Beechcraft model from Aerodyne that required multiple boxes to hold everything he won. I was hoping for a Multiplex Dogfighter after seeing the one fly on Friday. I got close with a small older Multiplex kit but I was a couple numbers off from the Dogfighter. It was a great raffle with lots of kits, brushless motors and a variety of goodies. I was told a secret by one of the local pilots. "If you don't win the plane you want ... go see the vendors and buy it. When you go home you announce: 'I won a great raffle prize!' Do this while holding the new plane. Wife assumes the new plane is the great raffle prize and all is good on the home front." I recommend an honest relationship with your spouse as my plan A, but now you have a plan B.


The micro Sabre was the first plane I saw fly on the breezy Sunday morning but a ParkZone Habu was the next plane I saw. I heard from a fellow pilot it had been discontinued and didn't see it on the ParkZone website when I got home. I hope it is just under going a refit for molded in spaces for retracts and a new color scheme. (I don't know!) The PZ Habu was/is flying very nicely as seen below.


It was approaching 9:00 and it was about time to start our drive back to Northern California. Time for one last video. I caught parts of flights for a P-47, a Stryker flown by a young man with his father spotting for him and two E-flite Habus.



Once again the pluses far out weighed the minuses on my trip to the Arizona Electric Festival. I got to see some old friends and made a few new friends. I got in a little flying and got to see some very nice flying and some not-so-nice flying. I sold a few old planes, and Dick and I came home with three new planes. I know my beginner classes are going to love flying my new rather large Flyzone Sensei on a buddy box as a four channel flight trainer with built in drop doors on a fifth channel. Dick had a beautiful new Flyzone Cessna, and we had a Cermark DC-3 that we bought and will be seen here in an upcoming review by Dick and I. When I got home I ordered one of the Great Planes Micro Sabres with the new AnyLink Transmitter. I had great times and meals at the Tilted Kilt in Mesa. Although the flying was good on Friday the gray sky made for less than perfect pictures and videos. I took only a few expecting to take a lot on Saturday but Mother Nature had different ideas about that with a strong wind blowing across the runway and into the pits at an angle that made it wise not to fly on Saturday morning. I had a good time, won a nice raffle prize, and I hope to be back next year.

Plan on dinner and a drink at the Tilted Kilt on Thursday night at the 2013 AEF. Thanks again to all the workers who volunteered their time for this event!

My thanks to all who helped me at the event including Dan Landis and my good friend, Dick Andersen.

Last edited by Angela H; Feb 13, 2012 at 05:23 PM..
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Feb 13, 2012, 06:23 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Saved for future use by author.
Feb 13, 2012, 08:33 PM
E-flyer since 1981
Michael in Toronto's Avatar
Looks like fun!

I like the big (electric) crop duster, the DC9 and the 737.
Feb 13, 2012, 08:55 PM
I still get nervous on final
FlyDude's Avatar
And Channel 10's reporter, Christie looks pretty good too

Feb 13, 2012, 10:18 PM
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TBolt's Avatar
See ya out her next year Mike, and the first Kilt Lifter is on me.

Feb 13, 2012, 11:50 PM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
Thanks Victor! I accept and I will get the second round. Mike H
Feb 14, 2012, 01:11 PM
Great report, Mike! I guess it was breezy when I was flying the Habu!
Feb 14, 2012, 09:07 PM
Registered User
interplanet's Avatar
Man, I gotta go now that they have a Tilted Kilt. They have one near a swap meet we go to, and fortunately I am never the driver for it. I always get in trouble for coming home late and being a little "tilted" as it were.
Mar 30, 2012, 01:28 PM
Lookout For The!Radio Silence.
wingspan100's Avatar
Thanks Michael for the nice picture of the Giant Cessna 182!

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