WOW what a great event! The first annual Arizona Electric Festival is in the books and most attendees left pledging to return next year. The event was hosted by the Arizona Model Aviators in East Mesa, Arizona, the weekend of January 28-30 2005. This club's site offers great facilities and was also well organized so all attendees and pilots were able to maximize their time. This facility has a large paved runway and over 250 feet of covered pit areas. The club arranged for 2 DC power stations at either end of the pits as well as lights and AC power. There was a huge parking area adjacent to the field that easily accommodated the hundreds of cars over the long weekend. Another nice feature was the on-site camping and RV parking which allowed many of the out of state visitors to stay at the event. The vendor booths were arranged in a large U shaped area at one end of the runway making it very convenient to see all the vendors without unnecessary walking. The club also arranged for “The BBQ Crew” to be their food vendor on site with excellent food at reasonable prices.
The flight line was well organized and very efficient, offering four flight stations with two pilots per station. At any given time, there were up to 8 planes in the air. When you were ready to fly, you just gave your pilots pin to the “impound person” and you received your transmitter with the frequency pin, and then proceeded to any one of the 8 positions. There were very few times all weekend that someone had to wait. Another big bonus for the Pilots was the raffle. Only registered pilots were entered so there were more prizes then pilots. Not only did the pilots get a free meal, but they also received at least one prize, worth more then their entry fee. This event had a full array of planes from tiny micro flights all the way up to a 46% Biplane torque-rolling down the runway, and yes, electric only. Interestingly, I did not see any underpowered planes and even flight times were no longer an issue with Lithium Polymer batteries.
Electric flight has advanced so much in the past few years that it’s hard to keep up. Having 23 vendors at this event was a great way to bring the latest and greatest electric planes and accessories to the pilots and spectators.
I arrived at the field at around 8:00am to find many pilots prepping planes and getting in some early morning flights. By 8:30am when they called for the pilots' meeting, most of the vendors were set up and selling there wares. The pilots’ meeting covered some basic club rules and flight line procedures. After that everybody took advantage of Friday’s great weather, and there was non stop flying till dark with just one break for the noon time air show. There was an amazing array of planes, countless foamies, high speed Duct Fan Jets, beautiful scale models and some of the best flying sport planes I have ever seen. By the end of the day, 95 registered pilots with hundreds of great planes had participated in the event.
The weather report was not good for Saturday so when I woke up I was happy to see blue skies. Again I arrived at the field by 8:00am to find even more pilots all ready flying. It was non-stop flying until noon when the demos were scheduled to start. At this time the rain began to fall but we were very lucky because it stopped after 40 minutes and we were able to resume. Many of the vendors showed off new and soon to be released planes with some amazingly talented pilots. After the demos, open flying continued until around 3:30pm when the really dark clouds rolled in.
Sunday brought more great weather with blue skies all day. Flying, Flying, and more flying!
I think this event was a tremendous success across the board and look forward to next year. Some of the highlights for me were seeing Chris Wolf’s F-14 and Chris True’s A-10 in person. These are very well detailed scale jets that fly as good as they look. Also seeing 40%+ electric planes performing as good as glow was a real treat. Mark your calendars January 27-29 2006 for the 2nd Annual Arizona Electric Festival.
Good article however there are quite a few errors with the images and their labels.
Both charging station pictures are the same
"Mystery ship" is the Adventure Hobbies model of the White Knight
"Nice twin engine Warbird " is a GWS C47 (from Adventure again)
"Big Taylorcraft " Looks more like a Decath or Citabria
"Twin Mustang" is a P38
"Steven’s Aeromodel Cap232 landing" Not a SA cap - looks more like the Sukhoi that was flying.
"This Grove wants to be a Funtana" Definately not a Groove (or a Grove for that matter). It looks to be a mini funtana. Why would a Groove want to be an ARF anyways?
Yep, Scott of Adventure Hobbies owns the White knight. It actually carries up a model of Spaceship one, and launches it off.
The "Mr. Lins" ( Merlins Witches...) were flown by my Brother and I It was a great event, I can't wait for next year!
It's already been mentioned, but the image labels are downright aweful. I wasn't going to pick out all the ones I noticed off the top of my head, but hey... what the heck
- the "mystery ship", even with all the glorious publicity around SpaceShipOne and White Knight's space flight...
- saying the mini Funtana next to the Funtana was a Groove. Certainly not a Groove.
- the "Steven Areomodel Cap" is actually a photo of a Sukhoi
- "twin engine warbird" is the old faithful DC3 or "Dakota" if people want an actual name.
- "another nicely detailed plane" is a Pilatus Porter (made famous in the film "Air America")
The worst one...
- calling the P-38 Lightning a Twin Mustang!!!??? ...that's insulting.
And if we're being nit-picky...
- calling the witch "Merlin". Witches are female, warlock's are male, etc etc...
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