Report on the X Annual RCX Show Now in Long Beach - RC Groups

Report on the X Annual RCX Show Now in Long Beach

Learn about Hobby People's new FPV Spy Hawk (left)! Which of two large jets at Banana Hobby would you buy? See the Calypso electric glider, the Carbon Cub, micro ASK-21, multiple helicopters & MORE!



I was able to attend this year's RCX show in Long Beach. I was only able to attend on Saturday and early Sunday so I missed out on seeing some things that were only going to be available on Sunday. As I always do before a show I reviewed who was going to be there, what I wanted to see and what I wanted to buy. I needed a new Liposack so that was first on my list. I wanted to see two jets at Banana Hobby and decide if I couldn't live without one of them because I couldn't afford both of them. Finally, I wanted to see and report on the new FPVs Hobby People will soon be selling: the Spy Hawk plane and the Invader helicopter. As a reporter I decided I should make that my first priority. I was also hoping to see the new Calypso electric glider from Hobbico, the new 130, 300 and 500 helicopters from Blade and the beautiful E-flite Albatros and ParkZone Habu 2 coming this summer. Accordingly, armed with a plan of attack I went to the RCX at 9:00 on Saturday hoping I could get in early as a member of the press and I did. There were lots of interesting goodies to see but no Albatros or Habu 2 on display. Neither Hobbico nor Horizon Hobby had their larger planes on display at the show but I did get to see the Calypso which looks very nice and I learned about the Hubsan Spy Hawk.

The Battle of The Builders

The RCX organizers presented space for builders to display their models and their talents. There was not much information but I think I got a picture of every plane on display early Saturday morning. The weathered WWI fighter would have gotten my vote...but I didn't have one. Some very nice work on display below.

Hobby People and the FPV Hubsan Spy Hawk Plane, FPV Lynx and FPV Invader Helicopters

I learned of these three new aircraft from coverage at the Toledo Show. They come Ready to Fly and the aircraft is controlled on 2.4GHz and the video signal is sent and received on 5.8GHz. The camera and electronics are already installed and it looked like a great way to get a taste of FPV (First Person View) without breaking the bank. At RCX Tim Johnson from Hobby People demonstrated the system to me and answered my questions.

The helicopters come with the camera mounted between their landing skids and angled slightly down. The camera is a 5 million pixel camera. The control distance is 100m-300m on the helicopters and the Live Video distance is from 50-100m with line of sight (Nothing in the way to block the signal). The Lynx helicopter is a coaxial helicopter and the Invader is a single rotor helicopter. The transmitter comes with a monitor installed in the center of the transmitter. This FPV monitor has shade shields on three sides to allow you to see what the helicopter is seeing. Pivot the helicopter and change the view. The helicopters looked interesting and even a novice should be able to fly the Lynx with its coaxial rotors. I found the Spy Hawk to be even more interesting. It comes in two versions, Basic and Deluxe.

The Spy Hawk is made of EPO foam so it is very damage resistant and the foam can be repaired if damaged. The wingspan is 842mm and the length is 617mm. The camera is mounted in the fuselage in the nose and is angled slightly downward. The Spy Hawk is powered with a brushless 3000 Kv motor and reported flight time with throttle management is 20 minutes. Tim advised that 12-15 minutes with more motor use is average for him. Importantly the range for both control and the Live Video distance with the Spy Hawk is 400m. The transmitter for the Spy Hawk is the same one as with the helicopters and one transmitter can control all three aircraft, one at a time.

The Deluxe version of the Spy Hawk includes an on board recorder for saving what the plane is showing through the FPV system and also has an autopilot so you can go hands off on the transmitter and it will level itself and fly without transmitter input. They were taking orders for the Deluxe version at the show for $400.00 complete. The inflight battery for both planes is the same 7.4V 450mAh Li-Po.

If you don't want to watch your plane on the transmitter monitor they have optional video goggles for just under $200.00. These plug into the transmitter for power and video image. Pilots should always have a spotter with them who has eyes on the aircraft when doing FPV. As I said I am particularly interested in the Spy Hawk Deluxe as I would like to use it to get in air video recorded of some of the planes and helicopters that I review. I think it would make an interesting presentation to see the plane being reviewed from the air and not just from the ground.

All three of these aircraft are currently scheduled to be available at Hobby People about the end of May. This is to be an exclusive for Hobby People so go to Hobby People's Website and check them out if you are interested. They are accepting advance orders at this time. It looks to me to be a great way to experience FPV.

Since one transmitter can control all aircraft I hope in the future they will sell the helicopters in a BNF version for those who have bought the Spy Hawk and already have the transmitter. It would be nice to have both without having to buy two full systems.


Hobby People also had there usual store at RCX with planes and cars on sale.

Horizon Hobby

I took most of my pictures of the Horizon Hobby area before the show opened and I am glad I did! Once the doors opened this area was the first one people came to and it was pretty packed with people looking at the merchandise. I was able to examine first hand the new Carbon Cub scheduled for release in mid-May and the ASK-21 micro glider scheduled for release in June. Both looked fantastic and are must additions to Heer Force. I also liked the new 130, 300 and 500 helicopters and shot video of the 130 and 300 being demonstrated. They didn't have the scale body on display for the new 500 but I am thinking about getting the 500BNF basic and the scale body this summer with retracts but I will have to work some over time or land a review to pull that off. All of the above looked great.

However, because the event is combined RC they didn't have much by way of their larger planes. They had their new float plane as shown below and the Firebird Stratos but neither the ParkZone or E-flite Albatros nor the new ParkZone Habu 2. I got to fly a student's new Stratos and the automatic input of up elevator when making a turn should help make flying easier for the beginner. Turns are made with a combination of rudder and motor differential when pushing the stick to the side. Once students have learned to fly that function can be turned off so the student can learn how most planes fly with a combination of turn and up elevator. I recommend that beginners give the Stratos a close examination as it looks and flies like a good trainer.

They had a flying cage where they let children and teenagers fly coaxial helicopters like the Scout and I saw a lot of happy kids enjoying their first flight experience. They had two track areas and they were encouraging kids to drive an RC truck. Waiting in line seemed to go quickly as they watched others driving while they awaited their turns. Finally, lots of staff to answer questions of the customers.


Banana Hobby

Banana Hobby had a very nice display of planes. Some were available to purchase at the show but some were only available on the website. I bought a plane and some of their new Genesis Power 65C battery packs that I and three other authors have been reviewing. By buying there I got a special code good for 20% off my next internet purchase from them that is good one time per person through 5/15. I also got to see their new metal blade Genesis Power fans for ducted units. I am glad I got in early to take my pictures as later in the day it was very busy in front of their area.


FMS 1400mm Planes Coming in May

FMS makes some beautiful planes and among those are there Focke Wulf 190 and the Me-109. These planes are scheduled to arrive at Banana Hobby in May along with a few other FMS 1400mm planes. What is special about the FW-190 and the Me-109 is that they are scheduled to be reviewed here in E-Zone so look for a review of these two new FMS planes here this summer. It was nice to get to see them at RCX.

Two Fighters, which one do I buy?

There is very little in common between the Mig 29 and the Warthog other than they are both big twin 70mm ducted fan planes. However, I liked both of them and certainly couldn't afford both nor do I have space for both. They weren't for sale at the show but they were on display and seeing them in person helped me make my decision and I plan to buy the Mig 29 in green camo. Additionally, since I bought some Genesis Power 65C batteries from Banana Hobby I got a coupon with a discount for my next internet order so I will save money on my purchase as well. A win win for me.


Hobbico kept their larger planes that they displayed at the AMA Expo at home and had other things at the RCX show. They had their new, coming soon, Calypso electric glider and I have to admit that I like its lines, colors and graphics. It is a few inches short or two meters but it is a good size and looks like it should be a good flyer. I discussed the Calypso with John Stokes, a Product Manager for Hobbico, and he shared how he had been at SEFF earlier in the week and that the Calypso had flown great even in a strong wind that was keeping many planes grounded. I look forward to learning more about this sailplane when it comes out in about a month or so. (Click on the two pictures of it in the bottom row to see larger picturtes of the Calypso.)

Nitroplanes and Nitro Girls

The age old question of: Who wears short shorts? Has been answered. The Nitro girls wear short shorts. Pilots beware. Girls in short shorts can be distracting to young pilots as can be seen in the first video below.



Cermark was selling their full house Eagle two meter electric sailplanes in both a V-Tail and T-tail version. A review of these sailplanes will appear in RC Groups this summer. We will fly the two side by side and post the results. They also had a nice looking Spitfire and the DC-3 that Dick Andersen and I reviewed recently. They had two Hausler 450 helicopters for sale. One had more plastic parts and the SEV2 had upgraded metal parts. I was thinking of buying the upgraded version but they sold out before I acted so I lost out on that one. Very nice looking 450 considered a TREX clone.

HobbyTron and The Worlds Largest RC Coaxial Helicopter

While I saw a lot of booths selling coaxial helicopters of various sizes only one was claiming to have the World's Largest RC Coaxial. It was listed as 47 inches long and was selling for only $150.00. They had a video of it flying in an outside park setting and I would have loved to see it demonstrated at RCX. If they did demo it, I missed it.

RCX General Pictures



Last edited by Angela H; May 03, 2012 at 04:28 PM..
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May 03, 2012, 04:54 PM
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mooneypilot's Avatar
Thanks for the report. I missed out this year.

May 03, 2012, 11:23 PM
Registered User
Lol Antonio was so excited that he crashed haha
May 05, 2012, 10:05 PM
Registered User
Bare's Avatar
Curiously interesting.. sadly.
Bit too much like the the "carnival' that now has to set up in out of the way Malls... in the summer.
Attractive stuff... that is no longer attractive once one is 5 mins out the door.
May 05, 2012, 11:54 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
You must choose wisely grasshopper or suffer from Buyer's regret. No regret here with what I bought. Mike H
May 06, 2012, 10:59 AM
Gravity sucks.
mrittinger's Avatar
I haven't seen so much foam since I went to Home Depot....
May 09, 2012, 02:27 PM
Registered User
not sure i like the idea of out of the box FPV >.> to many people dont know what there doing to start with

also the lack of heli coverage makes me sad
May 10, 2012, 05:00 PM
Foam abuser!
crxmanpat's Avatar

Nice write up, as all your reports are. It was good to see you again too!

I went mainly to check out the foot traffic at the new venue to see if I want to have a booth there next year. And the concensus is yes, Nico Hobbies will be there next year!

May 11, 2012, 10:55 AM
Plane crazy
Tartago's Avatar
I love the "Porco Rosso" red seaplane with italian flag.

Which manufacturer?
Last edited by Tartago; May 12, 2012 at 07:10 AM.
May 11, 2012, 04:13 PM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
Tartago that was at the Kyosho booth. It is a very pretty plane. Mike Heer
Thanks Pat, it was good to see you. Your planes will be a nice addition to the RCX.
May 11, 2012, 04:22 PM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
Dear Elios000;
I shot videos of the two new Blades that were flown at RCX. I showed the WORLDS LARGEST RC coaxial helicopter and would have shot video if they flew it.
Too many people not knowing what they are doing can be said about almost every aspect of our hobby and many more as well. There is the possibility for abuse with almost every phase of our hobby and I would hate to have what is available controlled by what might happen. I look forward to flying a Spy Hawk and if I were to review one I will discuss the proper way to fly one with an assistant with you with eyes on the plane and flying at a proper site. Mike H
May 12, 2012, 07:10 AM
Plane crazy
Tartago's Avatar
Originally Posted by Michael Heer
Tartago that was at the Kyosho booth. It is a very pretty plane. Mike Heer
Thanks Pat, it was good to see you. Your planes will be a nice addition to the RCX.


Very good coverage.

May 12, 2012, 07:14 AM
Plane crazy
Tartago's Avatar
Found it!

I think it's going to be my first seaplane.

SQS Electric Powered Scale Air Racer


Seaplane from the famous animated movie flies for real in R/C.
Return to the golden age of the great seaplane races of the 1920's!

The nostalgic era of seaplane racing was symbolized by the chase for the Schneider Trophy and the most advanced competitor of the time was MACCHI of Italy. As a competition between Europe’s best aeronautical engineers, the Schneider Trophy won and lost records and reputations for its many famous participants. Competing at the peak of the biplane era, the cantilever monoplane design of the MACCHI M33 made its appearance in 1925 and while it finished a credible 3rd, its innovative modern form is still talked about even today. Kyosho has recreated the magic of this historical seaplane in a magnificent fully assembled FRP fuselage. While maintaining scale accuracy, this model has been designed to produce optimal performance and control in the air and on the water with the overhead position of the power unit recreating both the MACCHI’s unique form and its responsive control. Without compromising the watertight design necessary for a seaplane, all components can be accessed through just one hatch on top of the nose section. Also, as the airplane is nearly fully assembled, you can be in the air or on the water without delay. Re-establish the connection between sea and air that was first created in the golden age of seaplanes with this magnificent MACCHI M33.
Jun 04, 2012, 10:50 PM
Registered User
I love long beach,one of my favorite place!!hope I would be there next year with my girls!!

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