Team RCU - Mike McConville



  

 
Team RCU Pilot Mike McConville
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Mike McConville
 
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Accomplishments:

  • Worked in Hobby Industry since 1991
  • Designed and brought to market over 40 RC aircraft designs (and 2 boats)
  • 8 time TOC competitor
  • 2 time TOC finalist
  • 4 time Don Lowe Masters Competitor. 2nd 1997, 2nd 1998, 4th 1999, 3rd 2001
  • 5 time competitor in IMAC US Nationals. 1st 1998, 2nd 1999 (1st Freestyle), 3rd 2001, 2nd 2002, 2nd 2004
  • 2 time XFC Competitor. 3rd 2003, 7th 2004
  • E-TOC competitor 2004. 5th
  • 11 time competitor in US Pattern Nationals. 1st 1981 Expert class
  • 6 time competitor F3A US Team Trials
  • 3 time competitor US Nationals in Pylon
  • Winner of over 200 pattern and IMAC events
Video Clips of Mike 'ShowTime' McConville

Mike McConville at the
2004 E-TOC 6.22 MB

Mike McConville at the
2004 XFC 13.70 MB

Mike McConville at the
2004 E-TOC 6.85 MB


About Mike by Mike:

I'm a second generation RC'er and was born into RC. My dad Jim, who now lives in Sarasota, FL and still flies, first put a transmitter in my hands when I was age 4. Though I grew up at flying fields, I was a pretty normal kid, played a variety of sports and various activities other than RC. At the age of 11 something really clicked and that's probably when I became an RC addict.

Growing up in Cincinnati, OH in the 70's I was exposed to some of the biggest names in pattern at the time such as Dave Brown, Mark Radcliff, Dean Koger and Don Lowe (still my hero's), so my primary interest was always in aerobatics. Having decided RC was my thing, I sport flew for a year. Toward the end of that year my dad and I joined a new club where we met Dick Hanson who was also an avid pattern pilot. Flying with Dick and his son Guy really got me interested in competition, and so we built a couple of Hobby Barn Curares and the next spring, 1978, I began to compete in pattern.
I remember a very humble beginning at my first contest. Flying Novice class, I placed 14th out of 16. I beat the guy who crashed and narrowly edged out a guy with a 3-channel flying wing. A much younger Steve Rojecki won Novice class at that contest.

Shortly after my first contest, an up and coming FAI pilot named Tony Frackowiak moved to Cincinnati. For the next several years I was able to fly with Tony and learned a huge amount from him about flying, model design and set-up. I was very fortunate to have such world class guys around to learn from. With their help I was lucky enough to go from a humble start in competition to winning the US Nationals for the first time, in Expert class pattern, in 1981. I competed in pattern very heavily until 1996, when I shifted my attention over to scale (IMAC) type aerobatics, where I have focused my most of my attention ever since.

In 1984, at the age of 20 I was invited to the Tournament of Champions for the first time to fly warm-up flights for the judges. In 1992 I was invited to compete in the TOC for the first time, and competed in every one since, till the event ended after the 2002 TOC. Being a TOC competitor is something that I will always treasure and feel extremely privileged and grateful for the opportunity to have been part of such an amazing event.

I started designing airplanes while competing in pattern. My first design was called the Newwave, which I first few in 1984. The Desire series was first flown in 1990 and that was the first of my designs that became commercially available. I'll never forget the rush I got in the early 90's when I arrived at the NATS and saw several of "my" Desires on the flight line. Many, designs later, it's still a thrill to go to a field and see guys flying models that I was able to be part of bringing to market.

Since really getting involved in RC as a kid I had set my sights on building a career in the Hobby Industry. My first summer job at the age of 16 was with World Engines in Cincinnati. There I started to learn a little about distribution and proprietary product. After college I worked in Control Systems Engineering for GE Aircraft engines for 6 years. In 1991 I decided to take a stab at my life long dream and try to build a career in the Hobby Industry. I worked for Hobbico for a short time, then moved to Hobart, IN to Midwest Products as head of model design. Among several designs we released between 1994 and 1997 were several IMAC type models such as the Extra 330S, Cap 232, Giles G202 and Pitts Super Stinker.

In late 1996 an opportunity opened up and I moved to Champaign, IL to work with Horizon Hobby, where I've been ever since. Its been a lot of fun being part of the growth Horizon has seen and particularly with the Hangar 9 line which I've been head of for the past several years now.

Its interesting that a lot of people I meet have the impression that I fly for a living. In reality, I probably fly less than most folks. A lot of my time these days is spent planning product releases, working with manufacturers to get them made to our standards, marketing them etc. However I still find time to compete some and fly some demos.


Mike and his daughter Grace
For the past several years I've been fortunate to have the friendship of people like Dennis and Caroline Gergits of Carden Aircraft, Brian Hueffmeier who now works for Desert Aircraft (worlds best gas engines IMHO) and George Hicks (aero genius). Carden makes some of the best flying aerobatic models I have ever flown, and Brian puts them together better than anyone. George is a sounding board for many projects and ideas. However its the friendship with people like this and others, not what they do, that makes doing all of this worth while.
 



 
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