RCU Review: Aero Flakes R.I.T. Indoor Flying Festival


More On This Product

  • Research Airplanes
  • Research Boats
  • Research Cars
  • Research Helicopters
  • Research Engines & Motors
  • Research Radio Equipment
  •  
     
    Contributed by: Greg Covey | Published: August 2005 | Views: 21802 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RIT Indoor Event

    Review by: Greg Covey
    Photos by "Papa" Jeff Ring and Shirley Hunter


    Introduction


    The long winter indoor flying season in upstate NY was concluded with an incredible indoor flying event on March 19th in Rochester, NY that combined many local R/C clubs and attracted several prominent sponsors. The Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.) hosted the event in their brand new 60,000 sq. ft. Gordon Field House and Activities Center.

    The AMA-sanctioned R.I.T. Indoor Flying Festival was attended by over 200 people and had 45 registered flyers with three scheduled demonstrations. My event report will include the festival details and some surprising new trends emerging in the world of indoor R/C flying.



    Festival Highlights
    The R.I.T. Indoor Flying Festival was a cooperative effort between several local R/C clubs that shared a common desire to fly in a large facility. Since most of our indoor meets take place in smaller school-size gyms, the brand new Gordon Field House seemed to be a perfect spot to host the event with its 60,000 sq. ft. venue and state of the art facilities. The RIT Aero Design Team met with the local AeroFlakes Indoor Club several times to hash out a plan to make the event happen.

    Our first goal was to convince the facility director that we would not cause any damage to the Field House. As with most non-R/Cers, they typically vision a noisy .40-size glow plane flying by remote control. We calmed the director's fears with a combination of demonstration flying, a sensible set of rules that included frequency management with a 10 ounce weight limit, and, insurance coverage from an AMA sanction. The facility director was happy with our plan and a date for the event was set on March 19th, 2005. We solicited some sponsors to donate products to be raffled off to help pay for the facility fees. This worked out very well and we were all grateful to our many national sponsors as well as our local sponsor, Performance Hobbies in Webster, NY.

    Since the facility was so big, we decided to dedicate a third of the area for continuous helicopter flying. The other two thirds were time-shared between groups above and below 3 ounces in weight. If a plane weighed in at greater than 10oz, we made a judgment call to let it fly based upon the pilot's known flying skills and speed of the aircraft. The 72MHz. radio channel allocation was managed through a set of clothespins that each had a unique number on it from 11 to 60.

    Just before the event started, we were informed that the ceiling contained several infrared sensors to detect smoke in case of a fire. Since the alarm went directly to the local fire department, a costly charge was invoked if the alarm was tripped. The Event Director, Paul Weigand, promptly decided to eliminate any rubber-powered free flight since this type of flying is prone to reach the ceiling. Once the event started and the pilot meeting was held, everyone started to have fun including the many spectators.


    Demonstrations
    The modified Pat Trittle kit of the Wright Flyer built by the Event Director, Paul Weigand

    Wright Flyer Kit

    The Wright Flyer has two IPS-A drives, with 9-4.7 props cut down to 8.5 inches scale diameter. GWS R4-P with twoHS-55 servos

    The Wright Flyer also used a Castle Creations Pixie-7 ESC, and a 2S2P 340 pack (2P was used for balance)

    It draws 3.4 amps at 24 Watts full throttle…which is very seldom used.

    The 24 page manual is complete with photos and diagrams


    There were three demonstrations during the four hour event; one after each hour. The first demonstration was a highly-detailed and modified Pat Trittle kit of the Wright Flyer built by the Event Director, Paul Weigand. The scale model representing the birth of aviation flew beautifully!

    In the audience was Dr. Kevin Kochersberger who flew the full-scale Wright Flyer on national television for the 100 year anniversary celebration of aviation. Professor Kochersberger is also the RIT Aero Design Team's faculty advisor. The professor commented on how much better the R/C model flew than the original recreation of the full-scale model.


    The second demonstration was performed by the AMA's Model Aviation columnist, Ray Stacy, or so we thought. Ray started the impressive helicopter flying and almost immediately turned it over via buddy box to his nine year old son, Kyle. After the flight, everyone was amazed to learn that Kyle flew most of the demonstration! We expect to see him entering competition events soon!


    Our last demonstration was by two sixteen year old "hover masters"; Eric Powers and Devin McGrath. Eric and Devin stood back-to-back in the middle of the facility while hovering Shock Flyers close in and performing wild aerobatics on their own half of the gym. The younger pilots always make it look so easy!

    Eric Powers hovers the authors Tensor 4D which was powered by an Esskay 400XT motor, 10x4.7 SF prop, and a 3-cell Kokam 640mAh pack.

      AXI 2204/54
    Jeti 4-amp ESC
    Kokam 2-cell 340mah
    FMA M5 Rx.
    PS-20 Servos
    GWS 9x4.7 SF
    AUW - 5.4oz
    Devin McGrath hovers his ShockFlyer Yak only inches off the ground.
    The author prepares one of the few micro-flight planes at the event for flying. The 0.9oz Icara Hangar Rat was originally a bit-charger conversion and later changed to proportional rudder and throttle control using a DWE RFFS100 module.
    The Hangar Rat flies very slow using throttle level to control altitude. The KP-00 geared motor is powered by a single Kokam 145mAh Lithium cell and uses a U80 prop.
    The RIT Aero Design Team poses under their blimp used during school sporting events. The blimp made a debut at the beginning of the flying event.


     



    Trends

     

    3D Planes Ruled the Event
    The last season of indoor flying has revealed some very distinct trends in the hobby. Years ago, the dominant type of indoor plane was a GWS slowflyer like the Lite Stik and Tiger Moth. Although micro-flight planes also enjoyed a surge in growth from new technology advances in recent years, the expense of micro receivers and small power systems combined with the difficulty of using magnetic actuators has limited its popularity.

    Micro-flight is still considered a specialized market segment by larger vendors and it often gets muddled with the toy market. Senior hobbyists have problems seeing very small micro-sized components and their declining hand dexterity makes tiny components hard to work with. Young hobbyists shy away from the complexity and expense. Our newest pilots in the hobby greatly prefer 3D-style planes and they adapt very quickly to the required skills needed to fly them. Indoor 3D and freestyle flying competitions are becoming hugely popular and attract some of the biggest name pilots in the hobby. Most foam profile 3D planes are very inexpensive.

    One of the more experience modelers readies his scratch built design at the pilot line.
    The author describes the back-to-back demo to the hover masters; Eric and Devin.
    John Gardner brought his "Blue Core Army" of planes made from inexpensive sheet foam.

     

    The two large growth areas in indoor flying have been micro helicopters and Shock Flyer-like flat-airfoil 3D planes. The introduction (if not flooding) of smaller brushless outrunner motors and Lithium cells has created an abundance of power system options at very reasonable prices. Smaller micro-helis are being sold in Ready-To-Fly packages that are all set up to fly right from the box. The introduction of counter-rotating blade helicopters has created stabile "hover machines" that allow for entry-level pilots to be successful on their very first attempt! It was clearly evident at the RIT Indoor Flying Festival that these two categories dominated the venue.

    One the registered pilots assembled a tiny paper free-flight give-away of the Fliton Infinity and then gave it to a kid after test flying it.

     

    The modified Lipol-One from Hobby Lobby used a LensRC 17t motor, 8x4 SF prop, and a 2-cell Kokam 1320mAh pack
    Greg Covey was assisted by DWE owner, Dan Hurd, on the micro P-38 setup and launch
    The micro P-38 had a good toss from Dan but wanted to bank left in descending circles



    Conclusion


    The AMA-sanctioned R.I.T. Indoor Flying Festival was a complete success. It was accomplished through multi-club teamwork and some experienced hobbyists that were dedicated to seeing people have a good time with a safe format.

    In the four hour long event, we only had one inverted helicopter crash and one mid-air collision between two 3D planes. In the last half hour of the event, we relaxed the rules a bit and had over 10 planes and several helicopters in the air all at once! With this event, people knew that the indoor season had come to an end and we looked forward to the upcoming outdoor summer season. Our hope is to make this an annual event which not only allows for existing hobbyists to enjoy themselves but also attracts new enthusiasts to the exciting world of R/C!



    Sponsors

    Event Sponsors & Hosts




    Comments on RCU Review: Aero Flakes R.I.T. Indoor Flying Festival

    Posted by: roflmcwaffle on 01/11/2011
    thanks greg for that coverage! i know this is an old one, but im looking for some info. Is this event still going on? I just got into RC over the past year and am loving it, thanks!!
    Page: 1

    EMAIL THIS ARTICLE OR CHECK OUT THESE OTHER GREAT REVIEWS!
     
    PhotoManufacturerProductSummaryReviewed
    GraupnerV-Venture HoTT Glider ARF & RTFI'd like to introduce you to the new V-Venture from Graupner. The V-Venture is a mid-wing glider ideal for training new pilot...12/12/2014
    RealFlightRF7.5 RC Flight SimulatorIf you're like me, you fly every chance possible. Be that when the weather is decent at my local flying field, or in our loca...12/07/2014
    NICESKY Decathlon Scout SLT TX-R w/ FloatsI'd like to introduce you to the Decathlon Scout from NICESKY. Distributed through Hobbico and Tower Hobbies, the Decathlon S...11/29/2014
    Hobby PeopleMicro Super Cub Front Yard Flyer RTIt's small, it's lightweight and it comes out of the box Ready To Fly. Let's open 'er up and have a look!...11/29/2014
    DromidaKodo Micro Quad"You can pay two — even three — times more for a camera-equipped quad if you want to. But why would you do that when you can ...11/23/2014
    RCGF60cc Twin Cylinder Gasoline EngineWhile RC gas engines have been around for quite a while, the demand for high quality twin cylinder variants is fairly recent....11/15/2014
    Ares Ethos HD and FPVMeet the Ethos HD and FPV - as their names indicate, one carries an HD camera while the other has FPV equipment. The HD versi...11/15/2014
    SIGT-Clips 70 EG ARFThough just in the prototype stage, the guys from SIG had a new T-Clips 70 at the 60th Annual Toledo Expo. Having reviewed th...11/10/2014
    Ares Ethos PQIt seems as though every model company has at least one multi-rotor aircraft in their lineup. Ares (pronounced Air-Ease) has ...11/10/2014
    SigSomethin' Xtra EG I flew the original kit version way back when it was first introduced and loved it, so when Sig's Vice President Mike Gretz a...11/02/2014
    DromidaOminus QuadWhen I opened the shipping box, one of the first things I read on the container was 'nearly indestructible'. This piqued my i...11/02/2014
    The World ModelsUltimate Biplane 27% (50cc) ARFA little extra power never hurt anything, so I figured the plane and engine would go well together. The 27% Ultimate has been...10/25/2014
    The Southern Minnesota Model Aircraft Club (SMMAC)Watts over Owatonna 2014The Southern Minnesota Model Aircraft Club (SMMAC) is the host of several warbird and giant scale events, but for the last fi...10/25/2014
    WarbirdsOver the Rockies 2014Now in its 11th year, Warbirds Over the Rockies has become one of the country's best warbird fly-ins for RC warbirds, and it ...10/18/2014
    Great PlanesFactor 3DThe Factor 3D from Great Planes is a conveniently sized electric airframe that is intended to give pilots an unlimited flight...09/14/2014
     

      Return to Magazine Homepage






     
    RCUniverse is a service of Internet Brands, Inc. Copyright © 2001-2014.
    Terms of Service | Privacy Policy
     
    GET FREE RC CONTENT FOR YOUR WEBSITE

    Search | Marketplace | Event Central | Local Clubs | Magazine | Product Ratings | New Products | Discussion Forums

    Photo Gallery | Instructor Search | Field|Track|Marina Search | RCU Youtube Channel | | RCU Twitter!

    Member Locator | Advertisers | Hobby Vendor Resources | Rate Manufacturers | Sign In/Sign Up

    Products Videos WattFlyer.com RC Classifieds

    RCU4 | 54.90.251.197 | 0 | 1 | 05:24:14 PM EST | NC