Airtronics and Global at AMA Expo 2009


The AMA Expo (formerly AMA Convention, formerly IMS/Pasadena Show) wrapped up another great event last weekend in Ontario California. There were LOTS of attendees, many standing in very long lines to get in as soon as the show opened both on Friday and Saturday.  It is always great to have so many hobbyists at one place. There really are a lot of modelers in So. CA!


At Airtronics, we showed off the latest prototype of the SD-10G 10 channel 2.4GHz radio from Airtronics. This radio, now planned for an April release, attracted a HUGE amount of interest. Pilots collected as I walked through the features and as we discussed the radio’s features. As we get closer to April, we will be able to distribute more and more information, but here are the basics:

10 channels, 2.4GHz (full range of course!), backwards compatible with the RDS8000 receiver (as well as the 3 other 2.4GHz receivers in development for the RDS radio), and has advanced programming for Sailplanes, Aero, and Helicopters.

The initial negative feedback was that it is too shiny! This is not the final finish! The final finish will be more like the matte/textured chrome look on the Stylus. So, don’t worry, it will not blind you in the sun. So, while it might look a little bit like a Cylon from Battlestar Gallactica now, in production, it will be more “refined”.

What we like most about it is the ease of programming. The menu structure is easy to follow, the concepts behind how to setup the model are simple, yet powerful, and the list of features is LONG. From tons of curves, to triple rates, to assignable switches, to 5 flight modes, there’s a Lot to be happy about with this radio. 6 servo wings, twin engine aircraft, dual elevator servos, 4 servo ccpm swash plates, JR HELI 140 degree swash plates, 9 point throttle curves in all modes, name-able flight modes, etc will be no challenge for this radio as these things are all built in. And, you’ll even have the ability to share setups with other SD-10G users both at the field and even online at home!

I know I’m a tease because I’m not telling you more. I simply can’t just yet.  But truly, this porcupine with extra switches in places no other radio has, I think has the ability to satisify Many Many Many modelers in just about every facet of the hobby.

At the show over the weekend, we had Jack Albrecht, Craig Kaplan, Russ Greaves, and I all working our shifts at different times throughout the weekend. We all agree that this show was surprisingly well attended and that the overall excitement about the new 10channel was motivating and re-assuring. We’ve all put a lot of work into Airtronics and we’re glad to see the pilots respond so positively to our new “baby”! Truly we hope to have it out for Toledo and we’re looking forward to seeing you there!


Global Hobby Distributors (the whole-sale division of Hobby Shack) distributes 10’s of thousands of products to dealers throughout the country including of course our star: “Airtronics”. Of course, we had many other items that we exhibited as well.

From Ultrafly we showed of the Cirrus SR-22 and the Speark. Both are truly beautiful aircraft, the detail work is amazing, especially for aircraft in this more affordable electric category!

From Phase 3 we showed the Little Spitfire ParkFlyer and the new (on their way, we’ll have them by the end of the month!) P-40. The P-40 is the latest aircraft and it features some awesome accessories already built into the plane! It has mechanical retracts installed, a brushless motor, and a 3 cell lipo. All of the electronics are installed and ready to use. All the pilot ads is his transmitter and receiver. If you have an RDs8000 or plane on getting the new 10 channel, note that planes like this will be perfect for our new, very affordable 6 channel park flyer receiver or 7 channel economy receiver. You will soon  have more options for Airtronics which will be perfect for applications like these!

From Wattage we showed off the new Sea Vixen Ready to Fly. This plane is a nice stand-off-scale version of the British Sea Vixen Jet. This version is a pusher jet with a brushless motor and 3 cell lipo. It even includes a balancing DC charger. The plane bolts together in just a few hours and flies quite well with its brushless power system.

Kinda hidden in this picture, we also had on display a selection of KMS from the BIG motors that can replace a 45cc gas engine to the tiny little guys for the park flyers along with Impulse batteries. From EF Heli, we has the Cypher and the MASH. Both great helicopters in their class, the Cypher is simply the best 450 heli out of the box (I know, I’m opinionated).  Cyclic and pitch response is outstanding.

The show really blew some air up my skirt, I must say! I’m motivated in my job by the positive effects our products have on Modelers. And when I talk to so many who are so excited about the hobby, it simply spurs us on to work harder and to give you new, great products.

There’s a Ton of great stuff coming this year, I’m glad we were able to show some of it at AMA. But mostly, I was simply glad to see all of you there. Thank you all for coming by!



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11 Responses to “Airtronics and Global at AMA Expo 2009”

  1. Tom Keliher Says:

    So glad to learn the ‘bling’ chrome case will not be a production item. It was just so extremely garish.

  2. Jack Black Says:

    Hopefully it will be realistically priced….ie around $400. If this is another $600 Tx…don’t expect big sales.

    • mikegoesflying Says:

      Well it has the same or more features than other radios in the 600 to 1000 dollar range. But no, it will not be 600 dollars.

  3. R Scott Says:

    I’m ready to buy one but getting info on this TX for a side by side with the 2.4 9303 has been difficult. There just isnt much out there yet. I have been waiting 4 1/2 months now for a radio I can put in my hands. Does anybody plan on doing a side by side feature to feature with a 2.4 9303 so we can see what the advantages of the 10G are? I have been a JR fan for too many years to jump ship withoutn reason. Give me the reason please.

    • mikegoesflying Says:

      I do not have an exact point for point publishable list. Off the top of my head, I’ll point to 3 things I like about the radio.
      1. For typical usage, regardless of heli, glider, or fixed wing, the basics of the setup are really easy. Punch in the basic setup (how many servos you have for elevator, flap, aileron, etc) and then the radio tells you where to plug in the servos and then you can balance/adjust all the centers and epa’s all in one really easy to use menu.
      2. If you’re flying helis, the swash plate controls are amazing. Compensate for slow moving servos, un-even geometry, and even the arc of the servo arms, again all in one menu.
      3. If you’re flying gliders, the setups are really easy. Dial in the wing type (4 or 6 servo wing, for example), go adjust it up in one menu, and then you’re good to go.

      These are the things that seemed the most obvious to talk about.

      There’s others.
      For example, You can assign your 3 favorite models to buttons on the front of the transmitter and switch between them without having to go into the menu, find the plane, etc.

      LOTS of mixes are already in the radio and you can program 5 more (these 5 are all curve mixes too.)

      ALL the switches are assignable. It’s awesome. Put the rates, etc. ANYWHERE you want.

      5 flight modes in Aero, Heli, and Glider.

      The sticks can double as switches.

      The functions can be assigned to two switches with an “and/or” selection. So, for example, your snap-roll switch can be disengaged if the gear is down.

      There’s tons of other ‘little’ things that are very refined on this radio. It’s really amazingly simple to use.


  4. R Scott Says:

    My last question before shucking out my $499 is ……….I do a lot of flight training. Our club has added about 6 new good flyers a year for the last 3 years. We have a very active training program. Everything I have is set up on JR. I can continue to train with my JR equipment however if I switch back to a Sanwa system at some point I will want to have all of my stuff on “One ” system. I really dont want to purchase a second 10G just to train. My question is when will Airtronics have a “trainer box” available for 10G owners to train with. My understanding is it will not “train” with the 8000 or any of the other currently available Sanwa Tx’s. Jr sells the Trainer box for approximatly $40.00 street price, the cord is another $9.00. Can I expect the same from Airtronics and when will we see something available ? Training is a very important part of any club and without new guys coming in where would we be?

  5. R Scott Says:


    Can you please explain what the following “features” are? I am not familiar with their functionality. I am especially confused about “cross trims”, but maybe this is a glider term, I fly helis and airplanes. I also see what looks like two digital trim buttons on the inside vertical of each stick gimbal? My current JR radios have only one trim button with the throttle trim “NOT” being digital ( which I like by the way ). Can you give an explanation of these switches ?

    ” *Complete Trim Authority And Sensitivity Adjustments and Cross Trims”

    Thanks again for your help
    R. Scott

  6. mikegoesflying Says:

    Training: The SD-10G is only compatible with other SD-10G radios for training. We are ‘in the works’ for a new trainer box that is compatible with the RDS AND the SD-10G, but I do not know when that will be.

    Cross Trims: Essentially it is switching the trim positions. So the trims on the left stick work the controls on the right stick. The idea is that you can have your right thumb on the right stick flying the plane’s ailerons and elevator and your left thumb adjusting the trims for ail and elev more easily by having them on the left side. Remember, this is an OPTION. You can have the trims in the normal position or “cross-trims”.

    Hov trim and pitch trim: The two upper trims are hov and pitch trims. They are only used for helicopters.

    Trim Authority: You can make the trims more or less effective according to the application.


  7. R Scott Says:


    I just placed an order with RCBuyers warehouse in NH for a new 10G. This is a big jump for me after 20+ years with the JR camp. I’m excited to see it and get it into an airframe……………Thanks for all of your support. You made a difference in my decision.

    R. Scott
    Lancaster NH

  8. mikegoesflying Says:

    I’m pleased to hear it. I think you’ll like the radio. It’s comfortable for one. It’s fairly light. And it is certainly flexible. Lots of freedom due to all the assignable switches.

    Our 10 channel receiver (you’ll want extras eventually) is more affordable than the other brands too:)


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