The 2013 AMA Expo in Ontario California

Some indoor flying videos and pictures from the vendor hall at this years AMA show in freezing cold (31 degrees) Ontario CA. (All videos are on You Tube)


Why do People Go to the AMA Expo?

I go is to the AMA Expo each year see what new creation Carl the Tray Man. This year he really came up with a beauty! The color straws looked great and the plane looks very graceful in flight.

There are a lot of different reasons people go to the AMA Expo but having talked to my friends the majority of them go to see the vendors. They want to see what is new and pick up a bargain at the Expo prices. This year my friends and I bought items from a number of vendors, and one friend started a trend with his purchase. Of course a number of vendors are not at the show to sell, but to display or demonstrate their items.


The Hobbico booth is an annual stop for me. Great Planes, Futaba, and Flyzone are just three of the many companies whose hobby products they distribute. They always have experienced employees who can talk about their products and answer most questions you might have on the current products.

Horizon Hobby

Horizon Hobby has one of the biggest displays every year, and this year was no exception. This year I meet Quique Somenzini at the Horizon Hobby booth and had a couple short conversations with him. There is a short First Sighting article about the ParkZone VisionAire that includes Somenzini discussing and flying the plane in two short videos. Here, I am featuring other planes I saw at the show and a long video of the Horizon Hobby West Coast Demonstration Team flying a variety of their products there at the AMA show. John Redman is the narrator during the demonstration flight video.

The Horizon Hobby West Coast Demonstration Flying Circus with John Redman narrating and Quique Somenzini flying the VisionAire. This show was a lot of fun, and John Redman is a great Master of Ceremonies.

Maxford USA

Maxford USA got some Stockton money this year: At least two of my friends bought planes from them, another friend and myself bought transmitter boxes, and I got a 1/5 scale WWI pilot. They had a number of planes discounted, and some were half price. But if you subscribe to their e-mail you could get the Expo prices.


NitroPlanes had a nice display and sold a lot of planes to my club alone. In fact we will have a squadron of Me-262s flying over Lodi very soon. It is nice to be able to see the planes in person and not just on their website.

Dominic Grasso flew a tune-up flight to get his Seb Art 30 size SU29 tuned-up for later demonstration flights. Dominic flies for Thunder Power and the planes uses a 3-cell 2250 mAh 65 C pack.

Mark Wood makes a quad copter a best seller.

On Friday Mark learned about these little quad copters that can actually do a flip in flight. They were selling at the show for $35.00 at one booth, and up to $60 at other booths. Mark works the flying site, and when there was open air he would fly his little quad copter space ship. (It was also available as a Bee or a UFO.) It flew very well. People would ask Mark about it, and then they would go and buy their own. Mark did such a good job of demonstrating, and so many people were buying them that one booth raised their prices and another booth lowered theirs. It was capitalism in action.

Banana Hobby

Banana Hobby also had a very nice display of planes for sale. I am currently reviewing their SBD-5 Dauntless which was selling well at the show. I was considering getting the Super Sky Surfer to use as a camera ship, but at the show I learned that they have a new plane joining the Sky Surfer lineup in about a month: the Sky Surfer Pro with a 63" wingspan, a powerful motor, a folding prop and camera mounts for GoPro cameras. I decided the new Sky Surfer Pro fit my needs the best, and I will wait for it to arrive.

Airtronics/Hobby People

Hobby People had a small store at the convention and had the Hubsan helicopters available for a very nice discount. Unfortunately they were all sold out of the gliders. These are FPV aircraft with a monitor in the transmitter so you can see what you would see if you were in the aircraft. I still plan to get the glider version when they restock. They had a number of items for sale, and I almost bought a Mr. Bill to use as a pilot or ground crew member. They had great prices on the Airtronics transmitter/radio sets. Airtronics has always been a great manufacturer of servos. When I learned to fly, I was taught that servos were critical to flying successfully. A lot of what people called "radio interference crashes" were actually due to having the wrong servos in the plane. Don't go cheap on servos. If you go to a bigger motor you should probably go to stronger servos, especially for the elevator. Airtronics is coming out with some new servos soon as discussed in the video below. Remember not all 9 gram servos are the same.

Nico Hobbies

Nico Hobbies was one of the fifteen new vendors at the AMA Expo this year. The owner is a friend of mine who I first met at the Arizona Electric Festival. He didn't have a hobby business on the side back then; he just made and flew these amazing little foam planes. At the AEF he was constantly flying one of his planes and making these crazy little loops that where so fun to watch. Now he sells the little planes in kits or RTFs. These plane's are designed to fly outside, but his test pilot was doing a pretty good job until the ceiling jumped out and swatted the plane.

Gorilla Bob's

Bob had some stuff I needed at his little booth. My friend Dick got a night light set for his Fun Cub, and I got some more lights to add to planes that already have some lights. I also got a motor to use in a Reno Racer review. The instructions call for a 250 watt motor But I went a little more powerful with a 350 watt motor.


Here are a few demonstration flights including a scale flight and 3D flying.

Sea Cadets

I was happy to help take some promotion shots of the Sea Cadets at the show.

Static Display Competition

An annual part of the AMA Expo is the displaying and judging of models. The Weathering on the World War I plane shown below is so good, I can almost taste the oil in my mouth when i look at the plane or even just the picture.

Pictures Around the Main Room

Part of the fun of the vendors area is just going around the room and taking in the sights, stopping to talk with some club members and learning about their club and why they decided to get a booth at the AMA Expo, and seeing a product as you are walking around and then trying to remember where you saw it an hour later.


I got to see a lot of friends and a lot of interesting RC stuff. I enjoyed watching some great flying, and I bought some items. At Common Sense I got a small charger (that I needed) and a helicopter in a ball (that I didn't need) that I know I will have fun with at my office. At another vendor I picked up a battery pack sensor. At ROC I picked up a couple of battery packs. ROC sells battery packs to hobby stores around the country. Guys in my club bought some of their packs at RC Country in Sacramento and have been very happy with them. I will report on my findings in connection with some up coming reviews.

On the drive home we listened to the football games on the radio, and we got to my house as the 49ers wrapped up their game over Green Bay. Good friends, helpful vendors, interesting speakers, some great flying and some needed stuff at good prices. It was another enjoyable AMA show and a great weekend.

Stolen Multi-Blade Copter and camera gear

As reported by E Zone member, Alpea 41, a large multi-blade copter and the camera gear that goes with it was reported stolen at the AMA show. Al has a video of the Hex copter and lots of pictures and videos of the show in the AMA thread in the E Flight event section. I strongly recommend you check it out as Al has lots of great pictures and videos.

Last edited by Michael Heer; Jan 15, 2013 at 10:11 AM..
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Jan 15, 2013, 01:37 PM
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DismayingObservation's Avatar
My grandson had the time of his life there on Saturday. He's still talking about the big Fokker!
Jan 15, 2013, 01:56 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
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A friend notified me that none of the You Tube videos embedded in the article are showing up on his ipad but the ones in the Reply in the Quique article can be seen on his ipad. I loaded links to the first six videos here and three more video links the second reply down and have been told these can be seen on ipads and hopefully any other system that wouldn't show the embedded videos in the article above. If you still can't see the videos ... sorry I tried. Mike Heer

Carl The TrayMan and his 2013 Colorful Straw flyer (1 min 50 sec)

Horizon Demonstration Flights at 2013 AMA Expo (11 min 54 sec)

Dominic Grasso flies 3D forThunder Power at AMA warm-up (2 min 29 sec)

Mark Wood demos this years AMA hot toy (1 min 3 sec)

Airtronic servos discussed at the AMA Expo (1 min 48 sec)

Nico Hobbies F-15 Flies at the AMA Expo 2013 (1 min 44 sec)
Last edited by Michael Heer; Jan 15, 2013 at 02:32 PM.
Jan 15, 2013, 02:11 PM
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tailskid2's Avatar
Sorry I missed you on Saturday and yes I too bought tooooo much
Jan 15, 2013, 02:27 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
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Here are the last two videos featuring Gorilla Bob flying a Flame Wheel quad copter and Align's great helicopter demonstration followed by a slide show of the static display models at the show.

Gorilla Bob test flies a Quad Copter (2 min 10 sec)

Align demonstration flights at the AMA Expo 2013 (10 min 56 sec)

Static Display Models AMA 2013 RC Groups (3 min 8 sec)
Jan 15, 2013, 03:23 PM
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alpea 41's Avatar
Mike, nice seeing you at the show even though at the time I didn't know it was you. Maybe next year we can talk. Im guessing it was you at the flight directors table where I got that pic of your "heli in a ball" And I agree I always go to see what soda straw Carl "The trayman" Ryker has created. He's very proud of those creations too and walks thru the event with them held over his head. At one sighting of him doing this I asked," Carl are you making motor noises with your mouth?" " Of course" he replied
Last edited by alpea 41; Jan 15, 2013 at 03:32 PM.
Jan 15, 2013, 03:30 PM
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It was a good show but you sure this is a P-47
Jan 15, 2013, 06:02 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
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Yes! Look closely at the red cowl behind the tail of the big T28 Trojan taking up most of the picture and you will see the P-47: )

Actually entered the wrong picture number but at least I did post a NitroPlane picture and there was a P-47 you just had to look closely. Mike Heer
Last edited by Michael Heer; Jan 15, 2013 at 06:08 PM.
Jan 15, 2013, 06:47 PM
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alpea 41's Avatar
Ha ha ha ha . And about 5 or 6 other war birds.
If anyone thinks working with Digital media technology is easy . Give it a try sometime. So much can go wrong . And it usually does. Nice job on the article Mike. I love it.
Jan 16, 2013, 01:57 PM
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crxmanpat's Avatar
Nice write up Mike! I'm glad I was finally aboe to swing getting a booth there. I've been there as a buyer before, but not as a vendor. Thanks for the video of Al's son James flying the F-15 indoors. You're right, it is a tough area to fly my planes in, but it can be done!

Now we have the AZ Electric Festival to look forward to!

Jan 16, 2013, 02:18 PM
We had a blast at the 2013 AMA Expo! See you guys next year! 2013 AMA EXPO Academy of Model Aeronautics (5 min 26 sec)

Jan 16, 2013, 02:20 PM
It was our T-28! I grew attached to our display models over the weekend and I got so sad to see all of our babies being sold on Sunday =[

Originally Posted by Mikemynameis
It was a good show but you sure this is a P-47
Jan 16, 2013, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Nitro_Nancy
It was our T-28! I grew attached to our display models over the weekend and I got so sad to see all of our babies being sold on Sunday =[
Ah, but those babies all went to good homes, Nancy! Dynam had some really tempting tidbits on display.

It was a real pleasure meeting you and that picture of you, I and my grandson Stephen turned out great. I still need to upload all of those photos and when I do, I'll send the ones I have of you to you.
Jan 16, 2013, 03:32 PM
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tailskid2's Avatar
Nitro Nancy....nice to meet you face to face...

Jerry Festa
Jan 16, 2013, 11:56 PM
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furballll's Avatar
is it just me or is the prop on the back of the seagull cessna on backwards?

for being a pusher configuration the cuping in the prop is on the wrong side of the prop isnt it?

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