The Arizona Electric Festival 2013 - RC Groups

The Arizona Electric Festival 2013

The Arizona Electric Festival 2013 featured great people, some very good flying and a lot of fun. Come on in for a taste of this year's event!



This is the Ninth Annual Arizona Electric Festival, and it has become an annual event for me. I have to admit that I love the background scenery at Superstition Mt. Airfield, but that is not why I go. I go because it is an annual get together of once a year friends who all enjoy my favorite hobby, RC flying. Unfortunately, the fates conspired against the event for the second year in a row. Last year we had horrible wind on Saturday. This year we had the seventh rainiest day in January in Phoenix history. But flying was done on all four days of the event, and I was able to capture some of it to share. This year I was assisted by Phil Todd who lives in Gilbert, Arizona. Phil was nice enough to give me a disc of the photos he shot when the sun was out. I think you will agree that he does very nice work. The following collection of pictures were taken by Phil. I also used his photos of the E-flite Albatros posted in this article with my video of the plane.

All videos in this article are YouTube Videos. I am sorry if you can't see them on your computer device.

Photo Gallery Featuring Photos by Phil Todd

(Double click on any picture in this article to enlarge it.)

Weather - the Big Story: Rain Rain No Go Away

Thursday we had some minor rain in the morning but flew with overcast skies. Friday we had no rain and actually had some sun when Phil took his pictures above. Friday started and ended with clouds. Saturday was the seventh wettest January day in Phoenix history, but as you will see below some people did fly in the rain. Sunday was overcast with a few brief showers before I headed for home. Next year will be the 10th annual AEF, and I hope to get back for it. I have been promised good weather for next year but to watch out for locusts. (OK I made that up but I am hoping for good weather next year.)

Thursday Dinner at The Tilted Kilt

We had about 30 people turn out for dinner at the Tilted Kilt, and everyone seemed to have a good time and a good meal. The long table really confused the waitresses, and they couldn't remember or find who order what. It took Bob Bruff most of the night to get his dinner. But most of us had a good time and it was nice for me to see fellow reviewer, Jerry Festa drive over from the east side of Phoenix. I even had my son David join me for dinner. Posted below are a few pictures of the event.

Friday started out with a real sunrise but switched to clouds with the sun making an appearance for a few hours in the late morning. That was the last I saw of it at the festival. Rain came very briefly late Friday. While some of us were able to night fly most stayed away. Phil's pictures above were taken on Friday during the sun's all too brief visit.

The E-flite Albatros

I am in the process of reviewing this beautiful plane from E-flite, and one was flown at the festival on Friday. Posted below are Phil's stills and my video of the Albatros. One note about the landing: Just as the pilot was landing someone called out, "Plane on the runway!" so he went to the outer side of the runway. That led to the ending you see below.

The E-flite Albatros looking for any and all enemy fighters.


The Banana Hobby SBD-5 Dauntless

I brought my Dauntless to Arizona, but before packing her up for the trip, I removed the antenna mast from by the cockpit to protect it from possible damage. I put it and the decorative antenna cable in a safe place, which I finally remembered when I was unpacking back home. Fortunately, they were just decorative, and my plane flew great in Arizona. She flies on a four cell 2200mAh pack. As you can see she has very nice detail.

NitroPlanes Me-262

Several of my friends got the Nitroplanes Me-262 at the AMA Expo. Dick Andersen bought one but he brought our friend Ray's plane to fly in Arizona. They have added some cooling holes to the plane and get nice fast flights of 3 1/2 minutes. Unfortunately, there were no B-17s for them to attack this year at the AEF.

The Flyzone Select Scale Corsair with Rotating Retracts and working wheel bay doors

This was the plane that people were most talking about on Thursday night at the Tilted Kilt. She is a nice size at 48.5 inch wingspan. She comes with rotating retracts and working wheel bay doors that function very well, and she's surprisingly quick. Best of all, she handles beautifully. She was so special she got her own "First Sighting" "First Sighting" article. This is the same video shown in that article.

The Flyzone Select Scale Beaver

There were three Select Scale Beavers at the AEF this year and a fourth after the raffle. Dan Landis demonstrated some things I hadn't thought of trying with my Beaver but after seeing him do them I will get them into my flying routine. She always looks good but in the light at sunrise on Friday she looked particularly good.

Great Planes Proud Bird EF1 Racer

The Proud Bird is Great Planes new EF1 (Electric Formula 1) Racer. It is an ARF kit that comes all white, letting the pilot make it his own color scheme. Mine was decorated with a custom design by Alan M. Mostek Designs. He is an RCGroups member, FASTALJR , and can be found on the web here. I highly recommend him for custom vinyl decals and much more. The pilot of the Proud Bird was Dan Landis who borrowed my plane for the weekend. Mr. Jim Allen, the designer of the Proud Bird model, lives near Apache Junction, and it was nice to meet him. The plane was flying so well I really didn't have any questions for him.

E-flite's Deuces Wild

The Deuces Wild is the third in E-flite's series of Platinum planes and is always a sweet flyer. Here is one without the playing cards, still flying great.


A half hour every morning and every afternoon is allocated to the flying of helicopters and multicopters. Because so much was rained out I only shot a few clips of each.

A Cloud of 70mm Jets

This "cloud" or "gaggle" of jets took off and landed together for a group flight in the morning and in the afternoon. The video is from the morning session on Friday before the sun came out.

Esprit Model Three Meter Albatros

Esprit Model came out all the way from Florida, and they where able to get in couple of flights on Friday. They brought out their 3 meter Albatros which was a beautiful flyer with lines that remind us of the Bird of Time sailplane.

Hangar 9 Giant Pawnee

The Hangar 9 Pawnee has a Hacker motor, a 200 Amp ESC and a 130 inch wingspan.

The Calypso Sailplane

Dan Landis brought out a Calypso electric sailplane to the event. I was going to fly it on Saturday ... and then on Sunday, but the weather didn't cooperate. I wanted to thermal her and not just run the motor, but on Friday three pilots shared a flight with this very nice flyer.

Saturday & Sunday

Saturday saw over 1.7" of rain. Except for the raffle (see below) the scheduled events for Saturday were rained out. Despite all that rain some people flew and some tried to fly. Several people took their planes up into the clouds and tracked the sound. I am not just talking Slow Sticks but some 70mm ducted fans. One came very close to going down out in the desert but it popped up and he flew it back for a safe landing on the runway. Hitting the big puddle on the far side of the runway stopped takeoffs cold as seen with the picture of the jet below. I flew only a small quadcopter on Saturday but that was not at the field but in my hotel room. Sunday had rain on and off in the morning when I went out to the field, and the clouds were down almost on the deck. So I headed for home at 9:30 and found sunshine when I crossed back into California. LA had rain but the Central Valley had a beautiful blue sky.

Saturday Clips


The Arizona Electric Festival has always had an outstanding pilot's raffle where pilots almost always win something worth the price of their admission or more and this year was no exception. Hobbico donated some Select Scale Flyzone RTF planes, and the winners of those shouted loud and happy when they won. The Flyzone Corsair and Beaver were both assembled and flown at the field on Sunday. I saw several Axe helicopters, and from Horizon Hobby, some excellent E-flite motors, an Ultra-Micro Mig and a Mini Vapor. Eliworm won a very nice P-47 kit donated by Manzano Laser Works and Crxmpat won a Hyperion Blue Bear Reno Racer. Charlie Brown reported that for the ninth year he got a rock. Friends won battery packs, Hacker motors, glue and servos in addition to planes. I won a Hacker FW-190 in desert colors. Thanks to the vendors and the companies that supported the event. They were listed and announced at the event and the event website. Here are some pictures of a few of the winners.

Slow Stick Combat Was Kill TBolt

Here are video clips of the one Slow Stick combat session that took place. A quadopter went up as a camera ship and a link to the video shot on it is included for seeing the fight from the air. The pictures below of the combatants and the quadcopter pilot were originally posted by Eliworm.

The Combat as seen from a quadcopter. Originally shot and posted by E Zone member bbberry.

Creative Designer

The planes pictured below are all one of kind made by my creative friend, Barrett Hochhaus. He is to RC airplanes what McGyver is to emergency escape contraptions. Give Barrett some glue. some cardboard and a basic radio system and he will come up with an original RC plane. He enjoys seeing a nice new kit just like the rest of us and he told me he even buys one on occasion but when it comes to flying he wants it to be his own creation. Enjoy the pictures of some of the planes he flew this year. They are made of foam and cardboard. His Spruce Goose won first in 2011 with four working motors and four shells. Now he has added props that are suppose to be free spinning to the the four shells without motors. I can't wait to see what he comes up with for next year for the 10th Arizona Electric Festival.

For an interview of Barrett as Howard Hughes or to see his Spruce Goose in flight visit my review of the Arizona Festival from 2011 found here..

Mike's Photo Gallery

Last edited by Angela H; Feb 12, 2013 at 05:30 AM..
Thread Tools
Feb 12, 2013, 12:34 PM
Wind Powered
george@dream-flight's Avatar
Great coverage! Thanks for sharing Mike.
Feb 12, 2013, 05:59 PM
Watts up ?
OzparkPilot's Avatar
fantastic cover ! thanks for us that cant be there
Feb 12, 2013, 07:03 PM
Stay Thirsty My Friends
swarick's Avatar
As usual great coverage of a great event.
We here at the Arizona Model Aviators hope to see everyone back next year.
Feb 12, 2013, 11:41 PM
Registered User
tailskid2's Avatar
Great review Michael and I'm sorry it rained on Saturday.....
Feb 13, 2013, 12:09 AM
Registered User
SunDevilPilot's Avatar
Thanks for all the name drops on the photos, thats one of my other hobbies.

I gotta give thanks to Weaser42 for the double yellow cub photo, he took that one. My cubs the bottom one and I believe Brandon Chitty ( Hoping name is correct) is flying the top one.

Great coverage Michael, it is really appreciated and clearly shows the spirit of the Arizona Electric Festival.

Feb 13, 2013, 09:24 AM
Yeah, I can fly...
wyldkrd's Avatar
Love all the photos and stories. Winning the FZ Corsair and flying it many times already really made for a great weekend. Thanks for your dedication to telling the story of AEF. It gets better every year (weather excluded)

See you next January!
Feb 13, 2013, 09:45 AM
RCGroups Editor
Matt Gunn's Avatar
Very nice review as usual.

Feb 13, 2013, 11:39 AM
Flutter-Bys are fun
Conehead's Avatar
Great photos. Thanks so much for posting them. It is a lot of work. Also you put captions on many of the photos. That is no easy task.

Orrin Eldred
Feb 13, 2013, 02:51 PM
jrb's Avatar
What kit are these?
Feb 13, 2013, 03:05 PM
RCGroups Editor
Matt Gunn's Avatar
I could be wrong, but they look like Carbon Cubs from Aeroworks...
Feb 13, 2013, 10:00 PM
Registered User
SunDevilPilot's Avatar
Yup, they are Aeroworks 50CC Sport Cubs..... Obviously converted to electric which is really easy to do. The plane has great access to the interior for battery changes.

Feb 16, 2013, 01:20 AM
Registered User
Dennis Everett's Avatar
nice pics ! what camera is used ?
Feb 16, 2013, 08:45 AM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
Both Phil and I used Canon with L lenses.
Feb 17, 2013, 10:21 PM
Registered User
SunDevilPilot's Avatar
Originally Posted by Dennis Everett
nice pics ! what camera is used ?
I have a Canon 50D Camera and used a Canon 100-400L lens.

Thanks for the compliment!


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