Posts Tagged ‘AMA’

Scale Squadron

January 13, 2010

After many years of not belonging to a club, I’ve joined Scale Squadron. In the past I was worried about politics, endorsing one club over another, etc but this year I decided it was time for me to join and be an official member of a club. Please know that my joining this club is NOT an endorsement of one club over another. The opposite in fact. I think you should join a club and join one that’s right for YOU!

I joined Scale Squadron for several reasons.

1. Frankly, they were very friendly to me. Even though they are mostly scale kit builders, they seem to enjoy many facets of the hobby and as a whole seem to encourage their members to have fun.

2. Convenience.  This club is VERY close to work which makes attending meetings much easier.

3. There are a LOT of interesting people in the club. It makes for interesting conversation at meetings and get togethers. No need to name names but there’s a LOT of local hobby icons in the membership roll.

4. They invited me to join.

5. They let me be the Newsletter Editor and I’ve always wanted to do it. Back “in the day” my parents were newsletter editors in their local club, so I thought it would be fun to continue the tradition. (I’m hoping our club leadership gets my first newsletter posted soon to the website!)

The Squadron is not the biggest club, however,  I’ve already had great fun with these guys at the field, at the meetings, and at AMA last weekend.

Why I highly recommend joining a local club..

1. All of the reasons above.

2. They’d love to have you.

3. You’re in essence participating in grouping like-minded hobbyists together which helps to keep fields, support the AMA, and keep modeling legal and accepted in the local community.

4. The hobby is just MORE FUN when you can share it with others.

OK, shameless plug..

If you like scale airplanes, building them, designing them from scratch, or even “bashing” ARF’s, the Scale Squadron might be a nice club for you. So, if you live in the OC area, feel free to come to a club meeting. The ‘Commander’ of the Scale Squadron (our name for “President” of the club) is Tim Johnson. He’s a great guy. So, if you come to the meeting, find him and introduce yourself. We’ll make sure you feel welcome.

2nd Monday of each month. Info is on the website.

Note that this month I will be giving a presentation on Radio Battery Selection. In the January Meeting Sam Wright gave a presentation on using Promark Dry Transfers and vinyl stencils.

If you want to join a club but the Squadron does not sound right for you, go to the AMA website, and find some clubs. Attend some meetings and find a group of people you like!



AMA EXPO – Huge Success in 2010

January 12, 2010

Jack Albrecht, Craig Kaplan, Eric Biddle - The Airtronics Guys

Thank you to everyone for coming out to see us in Ontario. This year, AMA was a GREAT host. I want to say thank you to everyone at the AMA for their hard work and dedication to make this show a reality every year. It is a positive influence in the hobby.

The Hobby People booth was packed with modelers talking to the folks from our stores. We offered a lot of great prices and it was great to see so many people carrying around blue bags full of Hobby People goodies!

The Airtronics booth was equally busy. We had Jack Albrecht with us all weekend down from his northern CA home. It is good to see Jack every year in person at the show. My father, John, and many of his Victor Valley fellow club members came out and hung-out in the booth. We all got to talk Airplanes and show off the new Airtronics radios, receivers and servos. We just released 9 new servos and a new economy full range 6ch receiver. Airtronics is doing everything it can to make the hobby more affordable!

Colonel Robert E Thacker with Sam Wright - AMA Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony

Besides seeing so many friends and family, the highlight for the weekend was the Colonel’s AMA Hall of Fame membership ceremony. He’s a great guy and deserving of the recognition. It was the feel-good moment of the show with people like the Renaud’s, Gus Ohlsson, and the AMA President along with 3 or 4 hundred others all applauding the man of the hour! The hobby is made up and lead by a lot of great people. And some of them, like the Colonel, even at 92 years young, still like to fly (and fly FAST I might add!) The Colonel has been an Airtronics pilot for as long as Airtronics has been around!

A Fantastic Event. Don’t miss it next year! I know you all bought a lot of new toys at the show,  go FLYING and have some FUN!!! I’ll see you out there!


Congratulations – Team Airtronics

July 22, 2009

Yesterday in 2-Meter Sailplane Mike Fox WON with the Airtronics SD-10G.

Airtronics and the SD-10G now has a win from the 2009 Nats and 3 top-10 finishes!


Airtronics Blog

Airtronics and Global at AMA Expo 2009

January 16, 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!


RDS8000 yet another positive review

June 30, 2008

OK, call it blowing my own horn, self serving egotistical commentary, or a commercial shameless plug.. it’s ok.. I understand…

But I just have to point out that the Airtronics RDS8000 2.4GHz radio just got another GREAT review. This time the review is in the AMA magazine, Model Aviation. It’s written by Bob Aberle and I think it’s a nice article.

He called me this morning. He had a slight mis-hap with the radio (it got dropped… ouch). During the conversation he told me how he likes the radio, has already purchased several extra receivers for it (yes, paid.. not free…) and is enjoying flying it. He has it in a scale Beaver and is using flaps and elevator compensation for the flaps and he’s also using it in a small Ultra Stick with the 4 aileron/flap thing and has the crow, etc all set up.

A somewhat Unique thing Bob asked us to do was to publish a “quick start guide”. He showed us how the directions were detailed but kinda “jumped in with both feet” and maybe was a little lacking on the introductory stuff about the programming and setup of the radio.

So, Jack Albrecht has already written the draft, we’ve proofed it with Mark Atwood (Airtronics Team Pilot) had our technical writer format it up, and it will be on the web next week and printed and inserted in new radios soon.

This one is bent toward aircraft. We’re now working on one bent toward heli’s.

Anyway, thanks to Bob Aberle and Model Aviation for an interesting and great review, and thanks to Bob for suggesting the quick start guide.. AND Thanks to Jack for writing it so quickly!

Yep, I’m proud. Airtronics’ first step into aircraft full-range 2.4GHz systems is I think an amazing one.

Does anyone really “Model” anymore?

June 27, 2008

Just got the latest AMA Magazine, Model Aviation. July 2008 Issue. On the spectacular cover (I really like float flying, thus the cover is spectacular since there’s a float plane on it) one of the featured articles is “Skin Wings Like a Pro”.

The guy featured in the article is none other than Mark Atwood. Mark is a long time pattern buff, a National Pattern Champion, and an Airtronics Sponsored PIlot. So, of course I’m intrigued to see his article in there (Mark won’t admit it, but in pattern competition circles he’s still a Rock-Star). Can’t say enough good things about Mark.

Anyway, so I was looking at the article and thought… I wonder if this helps anyone? Who really builds today? Then today I was talking to one of the Scale Masters Competition Qualifier CD’s and he was telling me about one of his project. And he was saying how it would take forever to get done because he hardly has time to build, even ARF’S! And, if he wants to build, he has to start from scratch because there’s so few kits on the market today.

I realized it has been WAY TOO LONG since I’ve even built a plane, from a kit or from plans!!! Far Too Long!!! My days seem tied up in business meetings, staff planning, advertising meetings, and Prototype testing (which are all ARF’s and RTF’s!!!). So, what are we all to do? I’m sure most people have daily lives even busier than mine!

The President of Hobby People, Matt, is constantly preaching that we need to take a little time to enjoy the hobby more, get away from the TV, etc. and be more active in the hobby. I couldn’t agree more.

Today, there are still an amazing number a great kits, and great plans services that have some beautiful plans designed by some really talented people. And truly building brings such a high level of satisfaction and has such creativity involved. It’s Good fun AND Good therapy! There’s good advice out there too. Read Mark’s article (July 2008 Model Aviation, Page 49), get some good tips, and enjoy your building.

So, does his article really help anyone? Absolutely! There’s still plenty of people building model airplanes! But it helps in other ways too. It reminds people of how great the hobby is in all aspects. Sure, an ARF is so convenient and there are so many good ones on the market today! But building is truly rewarding. Set aside a space and a few hours each week and get that kit done. Go flying with your buddies and use-up that ARF! Have a good time! But I say always have a kit on the bench, in process so that you’ll always have something to build.

I need a new project too. I’m thinking the new small Turbinator for Nick Ziroli plans might do the trick. EDF, nice size, affordable power system, and Nick can supply the molded canopy.

I asked the question. Do people really Model anymore? Take one look at the Ziroli plans service, take one look at Scale Masters, go to the Nats, go to Top Gun. YES people still model. Not only build but build sport AND SCALE and they sure are pretty. ARF’s dominate the market due to people’s time constraints and the convenience and quality in those ARF’s, but modeling is alive!

Yep, it’s time to fly, it’s summer! But I think it’s time to get that next building project going too!


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…

Menifee Club in Temecula

March 20, 2008

260Trojan 36 ARFTrojan CanopyTrojan CowlClub Meeting Show and Tell 1Club Meeting Show and Tell 2Club Meeting Show and Tell 3Menifee Flying FieldWent to a club meeting out near the Hobby People Murrietta Store. The Menifee Valley Flyers.

I love clubs. This one was especially well-manners. They all seemed to get along so well! And, new members were there and were welcomed, and the meeting was overall just really fun!

First, I met Mike Braun, one of the Hobby People District Managers at the store. Had a nice conversation with some of the guys down there. They were busy of course helping customers and what not, but generally seemed to be very pleasant (as they should be!) And, they had some great questions for me so that made it fun.

Then Mike and I went to the Menifee field as temporary guests for the day (we would only fly there, of course, with the permission of the officers and of course, we have AMA). The field is at the edge of a hill and while the flying area is not too big, it is protected and there’s no houses, roads, etc to hit. It’s very pretty this time of year too! Thanks to the club!

Mike B flew his Mini Magic Extra. Mike used to be a car guy (he and I raced cars together back at Bob and Jim’s in Riverside when I was in College! 88-91!!!). Bob now owns Dynamic Hobbies out there. He’s an official Global Dealer and a heck of a nice guy.

The Mini Magic Extra Flies Great. Mike has the same motor out of the Fledgling along with an Impulse 1450 3 cell pack. Mike flies it great too! No longer just a car-guy, Mike is becoming quite an accomplished pilot!

I flew a prototype BHModels Exra 260 EP and a smaller T-28 Trojan. It’s a 36 size version of the 91 size we already carry. Both were fun!!! They are so well made. It could go on and on, but the bottom line is they are GREAT.

Flew both with the Airtronics RDS8000 as expected. These radios continue to fly perfectly. Secure, reliable, rock solid. Don’t know what else to say! They simply work.

At the Club meeting, there were 3 show and tell planes. A Cermark Extra with E-power. A BHModels Yak 46 with an OS46, and a VQModels P-40 Checkertail with a 4Stroke!

The members all say the like the models and impressed with the quality, flight performance, and price. What more could a project manager ask for?!!

So, why am I posting about something so mundane? Day of flying and a club meeting??? wooohoo like that doesn’t happen everyday?

My point is: It does happen! And it happens mostly because Nice groups of people who put modeling and club success first over petty differences make the best clubs! And, this club is no exception!! They are leaders, in my opinion, of what a club should be! Lots of activities, lots of fun, while making sure they have a safe, reliable field that encourages fun, learning, and participation. Yet another prime example of why clubs are great and how great they can be when organized and lead by decent people who care. I was truly impressed and was thankful I was invited in and treated so well!

All of you clubbies out there, you know who you are! Keep up the GREAT WORK and THANK YOU for making the hobby fun and keeping those flying fields up and running!!!!

AMA Convention 2008

January 10, 2008

AMA Convention is this weekend. The medical board is …. oh wait, that’s Modelers, not Medical…

Airtronics and Hobby Shack and Global will have booths showing some new products. If you all get to attend, stop in and say Hi at the Airtronics booth. I’ll be in and out all weekend at the show.

Get details at the AMA site.

 Have a Great Weekend. Happy Landings