The Horizon Indoor Electric Festival, formally known as the JR Indoor Electric Festival, has remained my favorite RC event—indoor or outdoor—to attend! Terry Nitsch and his crew do a wonderful job of organizing and running this event each year and the 2013 event was one of the best yet.
With plenty of great vendors, an indoor water runway, separate areas for 3-D, a racetrack, and micro flying, the event has something for everyone. I had a great time, but, as usual, worked on my airplanes until it was time to leave. I keep telling myself that I will complete all of my planned projects early so I can relax, but that never happens!
One of the event’s highlights was the air race. This year, the new ParkZone Ultra Micro P-51D with AS3X was flown. The new P-51 was a great model to race, with its beautiful looks and great flight performance. There were 32 pilots who raced for an exciting evening of fun.
Scott Naylor took first place; Dave Lockhart placed second; and Kenneth Carchietta was third. One of the greatest things about entering this event is that you have a second chance to win. All 10 of the aircraft are raffled off after the contest!
Flying from the indoor water runway is too much fun! This year, I had my Mini Vapor on floats. I had trouble getting it to take off from the water when I test flew it at a lake near my home, so I was excited to do some more testing on the calmer indoor water runway. I had made a few small changes to my design, but I installed a larger 6mm motor for more takeoff power!
The 6mm motor from the ParkZone Ultra Micro J3 did the trick. It is a hot 2-ohm motor that puts out great power. I also used an Ares 50 mAh LiPo cell because the 2-ohm motor requires a larger battery.
I had a great response to my offer to email plans of my Mini Vapor float design. I am sorry if I missed anyone. I was having some computer issues a few months ago, and lost all of my email. If anyone is still interested, send me another email and I will forward you a copy.
The Horizon event is also a great place to find good deals from the many vendors that attend. Retro RC LLC was one of the vendors present that manufactures some wonderful indoor RC kits. I was impressed with Retro RC’s products, and plan to review one of its kits in a future column. The company also had a neat, new building-jig system that should interest those of us who like to build models.
The Horizon Indoor Electric Festival is a wonderful start to the indoor flying season. If you are looking for a fun gathering to attend, and you enjoy flying indoor models, the Horizon event might be perfect for you. If you would like to check out some of the action on video, Higher Plane Productions was on hand to film some high-definition video of the action, including many of my micro airplanes!
I would also like to congratulate all of the Horizon Indoor Electric Festival award winners:
Best Seaplane Sport: Scott Tetray
Best Jet: David Payne
Best Scale: Kenneth Carchietta
Best Seaplane Scale: Seth Arnold
Best New Product: Seth Arnold
Best Micro Model: Joe Malinchak
Special Recognition: RJ Gritter
Special Recognition: Frank Noll
I worked like a dog to complete my new 1/100-scale CO2-powered C-47 in time for the Horizon event. The model has an 111/2-inch wingspan and was designed around two Gasparin G2.6 CO2 motors that Stefan Gasparin sent me as a gift for this airplane! The beautiful G2.6 motor weighs only 1 gram and runs great.
It can run in either direction, so I used a counter-rotating propeller on the second motor to help with the torque. Before the event, I had one short, successful test flight with the model, but the cold temperatures in Pennsylvania in November affected the performance of my tiny CO2 motors.
CO2 motors perform best in warm weather. I really wanted a C-47 that would fly well at the event, so I decided to build an electric version. I had ordered some of the Mini Vapor servo replacement motors to see if they would fly a small airplane, and it turned out that two of them would fly the 71/2-inch version that I had constructed.
The only problem I had was that the 10 mAh LiPo that I wanted to use would only fly the model for approximately a minute or so before reaching the minimum receiver voltage. I tried a 20 mAh that worked fine, but it added some weight and speed to the model.