Archive for April, 2008

Hal Parenti’s Zero

April 26, 2008

Hal Parenti has been a long-time Airtronics pilot. Since we started with Airtronics last year, I have been honored to know Hal and to have him fly Airtrnoics. He’s a multi-time Scale Modeler National Champion. Hal’s one of those guys who simply has a refined talent that has pushed his modeling to an art. Hal is sponsored by Mark Engines (Moki-Hungary) and of course, Airtronics. And best of all, he’s a nice guy to talk to! We met at Chicago last year and it was great to meet him person finally!

I thought some of you might enjoy seeing this prior to Hal taking it to competition this year. Here’s Hal’s comments about the plane…

“Here are a few of the specs.
The kit is from an old Bert Baker fuse I’ve had around for years.
Controls- rudder,elevator,aileron,throttle,flaps,retracts,and drop tank.
Mark 1.8 engine
18-8 A P C prop
Span 82″
Weight 19 1/2#
Covered with 3/4 oz. class cloth and epoxy resin.
Finish-semi-gloss latex exterior house paint. (easy to get a color match ) also not too expensive.
Top coat Klass-Kote clear flat.



RCX – I hope we see you there

April 17, 2008

Here’s my last shameless plug for RCX before the weekend.

We’ve got a ton of good stuff we’re showing. And, RCX is doing a lot of stuff too. Here’s their latest announcement!

I we see you there!


RCX 2008
Check out the Action Live at!

We are proud to announce that we will be providing live, streaming coverage directly from RCX, the ultimate RC expo. Starting Saturday morning, click on for exciting, live video. You can also check out special RCNet videos directly from the show and see all the hot products on our forums. RCX will also be live on KTLA out of LA! And in addition to dozens of RC manufacturers showcasing their hot new products (many seen here for the first time), you can check out these cool special RCX events:

Sizzling Supercross Race. This is action! Watch the world’s top pro racers compete in hardcore, fast-paced races for cash prizes.

RCP Crawlers Rock Crawling Challenge. See an actual rock crunching, chassis breaking rock crawling competition in action.

Best of the West Micro Heli Showdown. Check out talented micro heli pilots as they vie for a $1,000 first place prize.

Battle of the Builders Static Display Contest. See builders show off their amazing RC aircraft building skills.

RCP West Coast Micro Challenge Race. You’ll be amazed as pros go head to head with 1/24-scale race machines around a tight, action-packed road course.

HPI/HB Drift Challenge. Check out sick drift demos and awesome side-by-side battles.

MHRA Drag Racing. Blink and you’ll miss it. Watch the world’s fastest RC drag racers ripping up the tarmac on a 1/10-scale drag strip.

NATC 1/5-scale Championship Race. See the biggest of the big in RC do battle on an outdoor, high-speed racetrack.

Southwest Armor Group. These are not your everyday RC. Check out 1/6-scale RC tanks fir for battle.

Remember to check out everyday for news, product information updates, forums, video and much more!

Look Ma! No Hands!

April 16, 2008

The RDS8000 was flown in demonstration at the E-TOC this year. Obviously this is a spectacular event and it was great to be able to participate in the demonstrations.

The pilot flying the Airtronics Demonstrations is from France. His name is Nicolas Pietu. He is the designer of the MERCURY profile foamie and competed in the E-TOC as well as doing this favor for us by piloting his Mercury with the RDS8000. He used a stock radio, Mode I, and the stock receiver with the case removed.

Nicolas knows his stuff! He is after all, the French International division F3P champion. He is sponsored by


www.skipmillermodels. Skip is the exclusive agent for the MERCURY in the USA . It is an awesome plane! Nicolas makes it look easy too!

Anyway, thanks to E-TOC, TNT, Airtronics, Skip Miller, Mark Atwood, and of Course Mr. Nicolas Pietu for making this great demonstration happen!

MikeFrench Champion Demonstrating Mercury and Airtronics RDS8000

BH Models Reviews at Ezone

April 16, 2008

Hobby People has been releasing new BH Models at a pretty amazing rate. They are great airplanes, made well, that are light and look great. I’ve been flying the Mosquito, Mohawk, Extra 260 as well as the T28 EP prototypes for some time now. They are superb. There’s two reviews at Ezone right now. The Stick 4D and the Mohawk OV1. I like Ezone, but I find their reviews particularly good with video, pics, and tons of info.

BH continues to put out great stuff.




Airtronics at Scale Masters

April 15, 2008

Chris Wolfe just sent me an image of his Jet entry at the Scale Masters Qualifier this weekend. I thought you’d all enjoy it. Chris’s father is Larry Wolfe, owner of Jet Hangar Hobbies. Chris just like his dad is very involved with the hobby and as you can see, pretty accomplished. Congrats to Chris for an awesome showing at the event!Chris, Airtronics, and the A7 at Scale Masters

Here’s what Chris had to say:

Hi Mike,
I just wanted to pass this pic along to you. This past weekend was the Scale Master’s qualifier at the Hemet Model Masters. I was there with my turbine A-7. I scored 100 in static with an average of 93.2 in the flight scores which was enough to put me on top in the expert category. 🙂 Unfortunately, the championships are in Florida (only a 2500 mile drive) so I will have to try again next year when they are a little closer to give it a go at the championships. I’m flying the airplane with the Stylus at the moment and is a perfect candidate for the 10 channel Tx when it’s available. 🙂 That would mean I could add more features as right now I’ve maxed out the 8.
P.S. to this, I put a link to Jet Hangar in case you didn’t know what it was. Look in the Hobby Links section. – Mike
P.S.S. – Chris won at RCX too. There were a LOT of beautiful planes there and they were impressive. Chris’s sure got a lot of looks!!!

RCX – You GOTTA get there!

April 15, 2008

OK, we’re in the final preparation for RCX ( and I thought I’d share what we’ll be doing (of course in an effort to attract you to come!!! Obviously!!!) I am excited about the show and hope some of you can make it!

“Pomona Fairplex is going to be jammed with excitement, crowds, and fun on April 19th and 20th 2008.” (taken from the website)

Here’s the deal Sparky… there’s TONS of new and interesting stuff from us!!!

1. Global is now the agent for Ultrafly and we’ll be showing the Ultrafly line AND the NEW SPEAR EDF in the Ultrafly booth. These models are beautiful, the new BL motors Ultrafly has really make them scoot, and we’ve negotiated much better pricing on the models.

2. The Prototype Airtronics 10CH will be there under my careful watch! Not publicly, but if you find me and ask, I will show it to you. No pictures please! That will be in the Airtronics booth (The Airtronics booth will be in the Car side of the show and we will show ATX also in the Global booth on the airplane side, but the radio will be locked up in the Airtronics booth)

3. Z-Car from SH Engines. Global is now the exclusive agent for all of the new SH products including their new 1/8th buggy, the Z-Car (it’s got some long winded name, but that’s it…) Greg Degani, World Champ AND Z-Car driver/co-designer will be on-hand to answer your questions in the Z-Car/SH Booth.

4. We’re showing the new VQ stuff including the new Hein, Pilatus Porter, and Cap 10 120size.

5. Hobby People will be teasing some new BH Models AND they will have tons of everything in stock! The store is huge! Gigantic even! And it will be filled with deals and stuff from as many exhibitors as we could get. It will be special…

6. We’ll be showing the ASM A-26 And the NEW Sukhoi SU-26 140 size ARF. It’s very nice….

7. XTM will be showing the new XST and will have live demonstrations of it. The Paint scheme is HOT. XTM will also show the Rage and all the new Hopups coming for it! They look great too! Makes that little sport car a HOT racer! Yes, I’m biased, but so what?!?!? The car is GREAT and these new parts are perfect for everyone stuffing bl motors in it and making it do 55mph.

XTM is showing another all-new, never seen before product in a new category for us!!!! It’s awesome. (again, I’m biased, but I think I’m right!) You have to come to the show to see it!!!

8. Flying Demos: Eric, our new Cypher/ATX pilot will be showing off the Cypher on the indoor field. And for those with some preparation/training, they might even have their chance to put the heli up with the trainer cable! I will be flying a MASH and a new Prototype Indoor/outdoor slow flyer from SportFlyers by Hobby People. It’s only a prototype, but it fles great. I will try to have the buddy box ready for that little guy too. It’s called the Wingsail.

9. Try-Me-Track! Want to give RC Cars a go? Want to let the kids play a little? Everyone can drive an RC CAR! Yes, it’s FREE…

10. We will be showing the new Model Tech planes including the Mini Mach Racer and the Super Cub. There’s a lot of interest in that Cub already and the Mini Mach Racer I’ve posted about here. Now you can see it in person.

Craig and I will both be there. Want to talk to us in person? Stop by!!!

So there you have it. 10 reasons to come to RCX and they don’t even involve any other brands! Think of all the other great stuff you’ll see at the show?!?!?!


VQ Models A-26 ARF

April 11, 2008

I thought I’d share…. Here’s some pics of Matt Stein’s VQ A-26 on some early test flights (notice the cowls are still off while the engines break in). Matt is part of the management staff in the Hobby People store in Murrieta and part of the club leadership at the club meeting I went to last month. Nice guy! And, in Korea, he flew the A-26 Invader (well, I know.. in Korea, the nomenclature was changed to B-26 after the retirement of the Maurader.. but let’s not get caught up in that whole “thing”… :A-26 over the fenceCross wing gusting flare!Touchdown!)

Matt’s Update:

I am using two Magnum XLS 46 2-stroke engines, two 3-blade 9×7 Master
Airscrew props and am burning 15% glow fuel.

I am using the fixed landing gear  supplied with the kit and my radio gear
is as follows: Transmitter is a Hitec Eclipse 7 with Spectra module, Hitec
Supreme IIS receiver, Hitec 635HB servos for the ailerons, elevator, and
throttles, and  a Hitec 645MG servo for the rudder/nose wheel steering.

As for flying tips, I really don’t have enough flying time yet to get too
detailed. The plane tracks straight down the runway with very little rudder
correction, lifts off at approximately half throttle and climbs out with
authority. It shows a slight tendency to drop the nose on right and left
hand turns. It looks awesome in low passes and responds to control inputs
like a trainer. Landing is just a matter of lining up with the runway and
setting up a smooth rate of decent. It is a war bird and does require some
power on the final approach, and roll-out is smooth with a slight tendency
to keep the nose up until a lot of speed is bled off.

I have not yet had it do any loops, rolls, split-s, inverted, or high speed,
full throttle low pass strafing runs. However, I hope to do all that during
the next several weeks.

Once I stopped shaking and realized that I was airborne (the VQ A-26 is my
first twin engine airplane), she flew just as nice and easy as any other war
bird I’ve flown. It’s definitely not a trainer, but anyone that has flown a
war bird before (intermediate to expert pilot) can easily fly and enjoy the

As I get more flying time in, I’ll be glad to update you. I can sum up my
flying experience so far in three little words: “It’s a Keeper!!”

Actual FAQ’s for RDS8000 Airtronics

April 11, 2008

Previously I posted asking all of you for some pertinent questions you want to know about 2.4GHz equipment.

After giving my speech about 2.4GHz radios at the Toledo Show, I could see I need to light a fire under this subject. So, I’m trying it out here first…I’ll throw up a few, then you all can comment and we’ll build this database up!

RDS8000 FAQ’s

1. Why 2.4GHz? Why not 5.8GHz, 900MHz, etc.

2.4GHz is in a open consumer band that has many benefits. For example:

-There is simply less ‘model airplane’ interference through the 2.4GHz band. Most interference from vibrating metal parts, motor controllers, brushless motors, etc. all seem to be under 100MHz or so, thus making 2.4GHz very resistent to typical interference in our applications.

-This band is becoming more universal world-wide. For the first time, we benefit from the development of big industry electronics. And while “over the counter” components do not really work on their own for our applications, there is some much great support and technology already in existence it makes for better and faster development of the technology adjusted for our application. So, there’s equipment and technology available world wide AND when our pilots travel around the world, more and more countries use this same band, thus making the radios useful without modification world-wide.

-The FCC rules are different! The band is designed around preventing interference, thus the radios are working to keep your model safe from interference. It’s a whole different way of looking at how to use digital technology to work for the user.

2. What is FHSS?

-This stands for Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum. What is means, in effect, is that the radio frequency is actually jumping around all the time. The idea is if the radio is transmitting on a specific radio frequency for a moment that has interfering transmissions, by the time these radio waves might have an affect, the radio has already switch to another frequency. It happens several times per second.

3. Can the radio loose it’s unique code?

-The Airtronics RDS8000 is written such a way that the code cannot be lost.

4. What about antenna placement?

-Antenna placement is important. The two antenna portions (the last inch of what looks like antenna..the black part is just an extension) at the end of each extension must be perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to each other. But they can be right next to each other or far apart, that is up to you. Why the extensions? So that you can position the antennas away from wires, carbon fibre parts, etc.

5. What is the range?

-As near as we can tell, no one is claiming a specific range. Why? Because so many factors can affect range! We tested the radio side by side with other brands and found it to be as good or better. Our empirical test was run on the ground and we had over 4000 feet of range. As you may know radio range will be vastly less on the ground than it is in the air. Also, keep in mind that at 4000 feet, you generally can’t see a 60 size plane well enough to tell orientation. 40 size planes tend to disappear.

Ok, Here’s 5 to get started. Give me some more questions and I’ll answer them! We can build the FAQ for RDS8000 together!


Preachy about the AMA

April 10, 2008

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I read TONS of comments about problems at the AMA, long winded criticism, and cutting jokes and comments about the AMA.

I must say first.. Criticism is important. It gives scope, perspective, and in many cases can initiate change. However, I feel there are two types of criticism…

Destructive Criticism

Constructive Criticism

The AMA is the ONLY organization we have. It is the binding body that gives our hobby longevity, established flying fields, insurance, and an advocate for our hobby that is powerful enough to actually lobby position to politicians, the FAA, Homeland security, etc…

So, it really BUGS ME when I see nothing but anonymous criticism of the DESTRUCTIVE sort. Frankly speaking, here it is…

SHAME on those for going about it this way.

On the other hand, like I said, Constructive Criticism is AWESOME. Making things better, solving problems, fixing bad decisions, standing on good ones, sharing ideas, and moving our group forward… Yep, Constructive Criticism is AWESOME.

So, why do people choose to simply tear down the one thing that actually (while certainly not perfect) is kinda’ the only system we have? Don’t know really. Anger, Fear, Lack of Confidence,? Whatever the motivation, don’t let these people fool you.

We are BETTER OFF for having the AMA.

Is there stuff you don’t like? GREAT! Go to your local club and share. If others agree, maybe you’re onto something? Can you think of a suggestion? GREAT!! Check it out….turns out the AMA has local representives and their contact information is in the AMA Magazine! You can go to someone who can actually voice your ideas to those who can do something about it!

Bottom line: Don’t be a Hater… GET INVOLVED…

PLEASE. I feel that as modelers together we can really make a difference. If all we do is offer destructive criticism, all we’re doing is spinning our wheels. And that’s really never really a very good idea, is it???

Sorry for the preachy comments. I’ll step down from my little soap box now.

Wait, I’ll get back on.. One more thing…

Talk to your AMA representative about the Park Pilot Program. TRY to see this new program from their point of view. This program is really in its infancy and for an organization sometimes noted for moving slowly or not at all, this is a pretty out-of-the-box program that could help truly make our hobby grow and truly soar, especially in crowded urban and suburban areas in our fine country.

So, please, for the good of modelers, share your ideas and criticisms with the AMA leadership, or better yet, get involved yourself!

Truly you can make a difference (I know… a pretty trite thing to say.. don’t care.. I said it anyway!)

Keep on Flying!!!


P.S., Ok, no one can be completely informed, I found this today AFTER I posted this. Not only can you approach your local AMA representative, but here…You can read about and approach the President of the AMA DIRECTLY!!!!!!

Pretty cool I think…


April 8, 2008

Just got back. My coverage of the Toledo show is NOT very good. Why? I NEVER LEFT the BOOTH!!! We were so swamped at the Airtronics and Global booth that there simply was NO TIME to walk the show!

So, what was new in our neck of the woods?

1. RDS8000. EVERYONE wanted to see it it seems. And since our dealer there, Peak Electronics, sold out, I guess that means they wanted it too.

2. We selectively showed the prototype of the new Airtronics 10 channel. Due probably Jan 2009 (well before the next Toledo show), we had a transmitter there getting feedback on ergonomics and features. I can’t show it because it will be heavily modified from its current prototype state before release.

While we did this, Sanwa also flew in the radio programmer and he interviewed top glider, helicopter, and aerobatic pilots to get their views on the programming needs of pilots who will use this new radio. YES, we’re putting YOU and our Engineers TOGETHER to make sure we’re making stuff you actually want! I can tell them but it is sure more powerful if we have them talk to the pilots directly.Miss Ohio at the Airtronics Booth

3. New Digital Airtronics Servos. (and for you dealers, they’re in better packaging too). These are high performance standard case size servos. UP to 200 oz/in is in and we’re about to go into production on the 350 oz/in variety.

4. Global is now the exclusive agent for Ultrafly Models. I’ll have pics of the new plane and information soon (about a week probably). But they’re great looking and great quality and I think they’ll be well-received.

It was a fantastic show!

Oh, and THANKS to everyone who came to my 2.4GHz symposium! I was really nervous about it but everyone was very nice and the questions were all outstanding! There sure were a lot of people there!

More soon!