Pilot Profile - Curtis Youngblood
Curtis explaining some concepts
1. Tell us about yourself, where you live, occupation,
I was born in 1968 in Texas. I fly RC Helis for a living and I own my own company
CJ Youngblood Enterprises Inc. We make several products with presently the most
popular product is our line of Muscle Pipes mufflers.
2. How did you get started in RC helis? When did you
start? What equipment got you started?
My Father has been flying RC since the 1950s and I grew up around the hobby.
I started flying airplanes on a regular basis in 1980 and flying helis in 1982
when I was 12. My first helicopter was a Schluter Heliboy with a kraft single
3. What do you think have been some of the greatest advances
in RC helis?
Greatest advances- flybars, autorotation units, thrust bearings in the rotor
head and tail rotor, pre-built stable wood blades, single blade axle rotor head,
gyros, engines that actually run, clutch/fan system that does not take two hours
to align, fiberglass/carbon blades pre-balanced, dual tail boom braces, carbon
tail blades, CCPM, heading hold gyros, larger displacement engines and hopefully
the list will continue
4. How many gallons would you burn in a year?
I make on average 1000 flights per year and get about 6-7 flights per gallon
5. What do you enjoy most about the hobby?
I enjoy the challenge of new maneuvers and continuing to advance the equipment
used in the hobby.
6. What advice do you give to someone just starting out
with RC Helis?
For people starting out in helis I recommend a few things;
-get a simulator
-use the same kind of helicopter as the experts in your area so you can get
-start with a 30 or 50 size heli to keep the costs low
-work on the fundamentals before getting too caught up in 3D
Curtis flying my Voyager while Darryll
7. Tell us about the setup of your primary machine and
reasoning for it.
My primary 3D machine is a Vigor CS with V-blades (195g, 700), V - paddles(16g),
V-tail blades(105mm), OS 91 C-Spec, MP2 Muffler, JR 10X radio. I am running
+-11 degrees of collective and as much cyclic as I can get +-8 degrees. Reasoning??
Because it Rocks!!!
8. You're sponsored by JR and also consult to them, can
you tell us your role at JR and the kind of projects you have been, or are,
My role as consultant is to test new products and ideas for the companies that
I work with. I then give the companies reports on the tests. In the end it is
their choice what is done or not done with all this information. My equipment
is in constant change because of all this testing. This is one of the main parts
that I enjoy about my job. Constantly changing and constantly trying to improve.
9. You also design accessories, the most famous of which
is the Muscle Pipe line of tuned exhausts. The Muscle Pipe II has just hit the
market and is quite a different design from the first pipe in that it's a single
piece unit. What was the reasoning for going to a single piece design rather
than the header/pipe arrangement of the first design? What other products do
you have on the design table?
With whatever I design I like to look at what is needed and what is already
out there. Then I try to design equipment to fit all the needs and fix all the
problems. The original version of the muscle pipe worked very well but people
had some problems with couplers burning out and mounting straps breaking. Also
I saw a need in the new larger size engines for a more powerful muffler than
was being offered. So I wanted to come up with a design that gave the power
boost of the more traditional looking MP1 but that would not have the coupler
and mounting issues of the MP1 and some of the soft mount mufflers with "O"-rings.
The present MP2 design grew out the desire to solve these problems.
I have also recently designed smaller MP2 pipes for the 30, 50 and 60/70 size
engines. Along with these we will soon offer a "soft-mount" version
of the MP2 80/90 pipe for people who really prefer a soft mounted muffler. There
are several other completely new products in the works coming later this year.
10. At one stage you were offering a flying school service,
but now that doesn't seem to be available, what happened with the school?
I put the schools on hold after I lost the private flying field that I was using.
For the last couple of years I have been flying at a public field where it would
not be practical to hold the schools. I am presently building a new home and
moving back to my home town. My hope is to find some property there so I can
restart the schools.
Curtis and Carla Youngblood.
11. I know your father was instrumental in getting you
involved in helicopters and would make modifications to your equipment, is he
still involved in the heli scene?
Yes, I still work with my Father when practicing for FAI competitions and he
is helping me with the development of some of the new products for my company.
He does not fly very much nay more but he is definitely very involved with helping
12. Our hobby can be very trying at times, we all sometimes
get runs of bad luck, give us an example of a frustrating run you had.
I have had several. Honestly from early 2000 to early 2002 I had a pretty bad
run. I crashed at most of the major events I attended and as a result did not
advance much in my overall ability. I managed to hang in there and things have
been going much better since then. There was not even any specific reason for
the problems I had just about everything happen including poor maintenance,
equipment failure, poor flying, bad luck and everything in between. But, one
thing I have learned over the years is to just put my head down and keep pushing
forward. Eventually it gets better. I have noticed that the most successful
people seem to be the ones who just do not give up.
13. What would you describe as some of the highlights
of your flying career?
My first World Champs in 1987. Some of my early 3D demonstrations in 1988 and
1989 were also special because it was so new then.
14. What are some of your short term, and long term goals
for your flying?
Short term and long term goals are the same, get better!! I always want to get
better. Once that desire is gone I will be ready to stop.
15. Any closing comments?
I have greatly enjoyed this hobby over the years and I have especially enjoyed
all the people I have met. I have flown in events from China to England to New
Zealand and this hobby definitely attracts a uniquely wonderful group of people.
My best wishes to all of you!!!