Hello there, please login! Home | Why R/C Heli's? | Getting Started | Set up | Flying Lessons | Articles | Newsletter Archive
Product Reviews | Links | Glossary | Buy/Sell Market | Find a pilot in your area | Login
Asia Pacific F3C Open
American Adventure
JR Challenge 2004
How to setup your rotorhead
9Z for Dummies
3D Downunder
Victorian F3C Champs
Visit to Model Engines
Flying the Fury Tempest FAI
Pilot Profile - Pete (Panos) Niotis
Australian Trip 03
Introduction to the Century Predator
Building the Fury Tempest FAI
Professional Aerial Photography
Pilot Profile - Dwight Schilling
Pilot Profile - Russ Deakin
Pilot Profile - Dwight Schilling
Toolbox Essentials
Setup for F3C
Vigor Refit
Pilot Profile - Curtis Youngblood
JR Challenge 2003
Pilot Profile - Len Sabato
Helicopter Resources
Comparing the Webra 91AAR and the YS 91ST
Engine Tuning
Curtis Youngblood in New Zealand
Futaba GV-1 Governor
Pilot Profile - Malorie Zastrow
Scale: Flybarless Heads
Pilot Profile - Jason Krause
JR 10X
Pilot Profile - Mark Christy
Futaba 9Z WCII
Pilot Profile - Alan Szabo Jr
163km/h with a Vigor CS!
Raptor 60 V2
Low cost, high camera!
TSK & the Squirrel Part (V)
Follow up - Hirobo Freya
Follow up - Hirobo Shuttle RG
Sceadu 30 update
Hirobo Shuttle RG
Vigor CS - My thoughts
Bye bye little Ergo
Kyosho Caliber 30
OS 91
JR Voyager 50
Hirobo Sceadu
TSK & the Squirrel Part (III)
NZ Team Returns from Heli World Champs
Hirobo Freya
OS 50 Review
Millie vs CS (Part III)
Living with the CS
TSK & the Squirrel (Part II)
Promoting the Hobby
Ergo Z230 Gasser
Millie vs CS (Part II)
Millie vs CS (Part I)
TSK & the Squirrel
TSK & the Squirrel (Part IV)
The case, fitted out with it's velcro straps.
Everything installed and ready to go.
Ready to go!

Australian Trip 03
Simon Lockington

Earlier on in the year a couple of us decided that we'd travel across the Tasman to compete in the Australian Victorian State F3C Championships. Having never competed against any non-New Zealanders I was very keen on the whole idea. The Victorian Champs are on November 29th and 30th. Around the same time some guys from another club in Australia were planning a 3D competition similar to the JR Challenge we held here in New Zealand earlier this year. I was keen on attending both events, however they were a couple of weeks apart from each other. Luckily though, after a few discussions with the organisers, the 3D Downunder boys decided to move their event to the weekend before the Vic champs which would allow guys like myself and others who'd travelled from various parts of Australia to attend both events.

3D Downunder
I'm entering the 'Open' class of 3D Downunder which means creating a 3D routine to music. I'd always been very keen on doing something to music after seeing New Zealand's TOC pilot, Frazer Briggs perform to music.

I had grand ideas for what I could do for a routine which proved to be fairly successful on the sim. However when it came time to actually do it at the field, I got half way through it to find I was a nervous wreck as I'd over committed myself. I knew from my F3C experiences that when it comes time to actually perform on the day, the nervousness is much greater which would mean I crap display.

I decided then to concentrate on my basic maneuvers and try to do them well and came up with a routine that definately won't make Curtis or Jason nervous, but at least will look half presentable.

Now it was time to raid the CD collection and see what music I could use for the flight. I also watched a lot of DVD's from American and British competitions where competitors had to fly to music. It mostly appeared to me that the majority of people were just flying with music in the background rather than flying to the beat of the music. Now I know why!

Once again I'd had grand ideas about doing stuff to each beat of the music. However that idea didn't last past trying it on the sim... Instead, I've tried to concentrate on doing some things to music at various stages of the routine rather than all the way through. My logic here is that if I get behind or in front of where I'm supposed to be in the routine, I have 'breathing spaces' where I can catch up to where I'm supposed to be. The last thing I wanted was a tightly scheduled routine where the slightest bit of wind at the wrong moment would put me out of time.

At this point in time, we're less than two weeks away from flying out to Melbourne and I still haven't done the whole routine yet! However, the Vigor is ready to go and is going very well. Today will be the first time I string the routine all together so fingers crossed!

Visit the 3D Downunder site at http://users.netcon.net.au/maldemo/3D/3Ddownunder.htm

Victorian State F3C Champs
The weekend following 3D Downunder is the Victorian State F3C Champs being held just out of Melbourne. A couple of the old school helicopter guys here in NZ have attended the Vic Champs before and always talked about how it is a great event and will give you a good idea of how your skills are.

I've finally got the Tempest flying how I like it now and have done one round of F3C competition here in New Zealand with it with good results.

This competition is the primary reason for this Australian trip and I would have liked to have done a lot more F3C practise than I have for it. However the Tempest if flying very well and I will go with the flow.

There are a couple of hot shots coming over from Hong Kong for this event and I know they're pretty flash. The Aussies also have a number of excellent pilots who placed quite highly at the recent World Champs, so I'm expecting it's going to be a VERY TOUGH competition!

I'm very much looking forward to this event, I shall be interrogating each and every Tempest flier while there too :).

Visit the Victorian Champs site at http://www.mrchc.org.au/events/states_2003/flyer.html

I've never flown anywhere with my helis before so I had a lot of learning to do. I posted a lot of questions on RunRyder.com and also asked Aaron Williams, a fellow F3C competitor here who has gone to the World Champs a couple of times about travel advice.

The common thread was always:

  • Turn up early at the airport.
  • Pack everything well.
  • Have lots of documentation about the machines and the events.
  • Ring the respective Customs authorities to find out any obligations there.
  • Double check that everything is packed properly.
  • Take your TX as carry on luggage.
  • Refer to everything as a toy or model.
  • Make sure the fuel tanks are so clean you can eat off them. Take spare fuel tanks.
  • Call everyone Sir.
  • For Gods sake, make sure everything is packed well!!

Luckily I brought the plane tickets a couple of days after they dramatically dropped in price which cut about a third off that part of the cost of the trip. I've organised to hire a large station wagon which will be enough to cart the helicopters and ourselves around for 10 days in relative comfort.

We've booked in at a motel from the 20th (the day we fly in) through to the 23rd, then we'll have three or four days of as yet unplanned activities exploring some places, chasing kangaroo's and avoiding snakes and spiders before travelling to the Vic Champs where we're booked in at the motel where everyone else is staying from the 27th to the 30th. We fly back to New Zealand on the 1st of December.

Curtis Case
I acquired a Curtis case which I found out is really just a large 50 x 20 Microphone Stand Case. It's very high quality with three locks and little trundler wheels for cruising around airports. It's very sturdy.

You have to make up all the mountings and things for it. Sharon and I lined the box out with foam and then Darryll and I set to work one afternoon on the first of what would be many iterations of mountings. Darryll made up the cradles for the heads to rest on and a bit of wood to secure the skids. The head cradles worked great but the wood for the skids didn't really. Sharon and I pulled the bit of wood out and bolted in some velcro straps to tie around the skids which has secured the helis very well.

The booms come off the helis and are velcroed into the top lid just above the NHP blade bag which contains surprisingly, the blades. The helis are then velcroed into the bottom of the box with the starter motor velcroed in between and the charger positioned in one corner. It all works very well and should be secure enough for the airport loading guys.

As there are three of us going, Sharon, Darryll and myself, between us we get a baggage allowance of 60kgs which I've been told we can 'pool'. I'm expecting the helicopters in their case are going to come in around 25kg which is 5kg over the normal single person baggage allowance. As long as Sharon doesn't try to pack the kitchen sink (which has been known to happen), we should be ok.

Travel Insurance
Due to the large amount of money invested in the Vigor, the Tempest and the 9Z, I definately wanted to ensure that they were fully covered while in Australia from theft, damage (apart from operational damage ofcourse) etc. The normal travel insurers just didn't have any policies that were close to covering this, so I approached an insurance broker whose details were given to me by Aaron Williams who came up with a comprehensive policy that covered the machines for everything while they were not in operation. This as well as the usual travel insurance features for the three of us came to around $450 as I recall which I thought was a great deal considering the replacement cost of the helis and the 9Z.

With this being my first trip where I've had to take the helis in a plane, I'm preparing myself for the inevitable hassles of getting through the airport security, however, I'd like to think that having done my home work and got a fair amount of documentation, the hassle should be minimised.

I'm really looking forward to meeting fellow pilots and talking helicopters over a few drinks at the bar, also having a bit of a look around Aussie should be good fun too.

Once I get back from Australia I'll be ofcourse writing another article on how it all went!

Featured Link!
Model Flying UK (RCM & E)
A lot of great articles from RCM & E have been replicated on this site. Although it's mostly plank ...

Suggest a link

Free newsletter!
Register for the monthly newsletter, pilot locator & Market
Click here


Email this page to a friend!
Click here

© Copyright LittleRotors.com 2001 - 2004
Contact simon@littlerotors.com for comments/questions.