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News - 2008

Tim DePeri's Heli Demo for Cub Scouts

Team Futaba member Tim DiPeri recently was asked by a local hobby shop in a suburb of Nashville TN if he could get free for a day to do a helicopter demonstration and answer some questions for a large group of Cub Scouts (and their parents). During the summer time, there are several day camps in the state to help scouts get ahead on there requirements.

The helicopter demonstration was there "grand finale" of there week. The kids were great and had great questions. Hopefully we will see an entire new group of pilots in a few years!

Congratulations to Tim's two boy's as they are at the end of their scouting adventure. His oldest just got his Eagle and his younger is in the process of obtaining it. Very significant achievements indeed.

Congratulations to all Futaba XFC Pilots!

Muncie IN - June 13-15, 2008

It's not very often that you see an awards podium like Team Futaba experienced last weekend at the Extreme Flight Championships; it was pure orange; first through third in both airplane and helicopter!

Andrew Jesky flew his big PL Extra with 14MZ FASST guidance so smoothly and precisely that the judges could find little fault with his performance. His Freestyle included a heart- stopping, knife edge dive to inches above the ground that went right into a high-alpha rolling harrier. Andrew was crowned the 2008 Champion for airplanes (his second XFC win).

Dominik Hagele (Germany) made his helicopter dance to the music so perfectly that he won both of the final two rounds. He started the contest in first place and ended there. Dominik used the FX40 (tray version of the 14MZ) FASST for guidance. He must have liked the look that the Team Futaba (North American) pilots had as he talked Frank Noll into a Team Futaba Shirt and hat to wear for the finals on Sunday. Dominik is the 2008 Helicopter Champion.

On the airplane side: Jason Noll put in another super performance this year finishing in second place. Jason and Andrew switched back and forth between first and second places all weekend. When the smoke cleared only a couple of points separated Andrew from Jason. Jason used a 14MZ FASST to guide his Yak.

Kelly Gerber was right behind Jason in third in the airplane division. Kelly's flights were the epitome of smooth. 14MZ FASST guidance.

Yuri Higuchi finished in fifth place with a very unique (and risky) start to his Freestyle. After an almost vertical climb to a very high altitude Yuri killed the engine and dove at high speed towards the ground. Once enough speed was built up he did a midair re-start! It worked every time! Yuri used a 14MZ.

Jason Danhakl flew his Aeroworks Extra hard and fast earning him seventh place. Jason's high energy routine always got the crowd pumped up. 14MZ FASST for guidance.

Nick Maxwell, in his second XFC once again flew both airplanes and helicopters. Flying the Great Planes 38% Extra in the airplane category Nick landed in tenth place. He is also the first person to fly in both categories and make the finals in both categories. Nick used a 12Z with FASST.

Rounding out the top ten was Manuel Santos from Mexico. Manuel probably had the most fun of anyone. When it was announced that he had made the finals most would think he had just won the entire competition based on his level of excitement! Manuel flew his beautiful 14MZ FASST guided bird to a well-deserved tenth place.

Mark Tent rocked his beautiful Bud Light sponsored Yak with 14MZ FASST guidance to seventeenth place.

On the helicopter side; Bobby Watts threw down the "high voltage" performance he has become known for to earn him second place with his Miniature Aircraft helicopter guided by a 14MZ FASST with O.S. Engine power.

Nick Maxwell, proved that he can fly it all WELL with a hot third place finish. Also flying a Miniature Aicraft heli with O.S. Engine power and 12Z FASST guidance.

Consummate competitor, Colin Bell once again was a crowd favorite with his great routines. Colin finished in a solid forth place using a 12Z FASST.

Jason Krause flew the T-Rex 700 he designed with O.S. Engine power and 14MZ FASST guidance. As always "JK's" flights rock and have huge crowd appeal.

Matt Botos finished in fourteenth after an argument with the ground cost him a zero. His flights were excellent as always. 14MZ FASST for guidance.

Mark Fadley, flew his Miniature Aircraft helicopter to expertly choreographed, unique routines that are great fun to watch. Mark finished in eighteenth place. 14MZ FASST for guidance.

Everyone here at Hobbico congratulates these great pilots and representatives of the sport on their achievements at this year's XFC!

Graeme Mears and David Shulman get the attention of the USAF Thunderbirds!

When Graeme Mears (builder) and David Shulman (pilot) started putting together their entry for this years Top Gun Invitational, I bet they never thought the model would get them a personal audience with the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds!

In David's own words...

"The past week sure has been an interesting one. As you can see by the photo's, our new Team Scale entry for Top Gun (Graeme Mears - builder, me - pilot) has garnered the attention of the USAF Thunderbirds team and warranted a special up-close and personal meeting with them at the "Sun-N-Fun" event last weekend here in Florida.

The team was thoroughly impressed by the craftsmanship and you should've seen the look on there faces when we told them, yes, it does fly!"

We passed these incredible photographs around the office here at the Great Planes offices and Don Anderson summed all of our feelings up best when he stated " ...this is one of those few memorable achievements in modeling that makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. That doesn't happen very often any more, but it did when I viewed this picture."

Graeme and David, congratulations on an outstanding achievement! Everyone here is proud to have you as part of Team Futaba and we all wish you the very best at Top Gun!

Team member Darwin Barrie gets a new job and a new ride!

Darwin Barrie and PHI Air Evac Bell 407 Helicopter.

Following a very brief retirement (3.5 years), Team Futaba member Darwin Barrie got a new job and new ride all at the same time when he signed on with PHI (Petroleum Helicopters International, Inc) Air Evac group.

Darwin flew helicopters in law enforcement and search and rescue for years; retiring after a 30 year career. He faced a challenge as he applied for a position with PHI; he did not have the instrument rating that PHI required. Last December he started on his fixed wing rating, finishing this step in January, he immediately jumped into IFR helicopter training. He finished the rating in late February and sent his resume and IFR rating off to PHI via FedEx, two weeks later he was hired.

Darwin is currently doing transition training for the Eurocopter 350 Astar, at the end of March he will begin training for the Bell 407 which will be his new ride as soon as he gets to his base.

Darwin is a member of Team Futaba competing in soaring events around the country. He also enjoys IMAC (Scale Aerobatics) and RC helicopters.

Futaba and Hobbico congratulate Darwin on his new career!

For more information on PHI and their helicopters visit

The Fox Valley Aero Club

St. Charles, IL March 13, 2008

Futaba Product Manager John Stokes was recently invited to speak at a Fox Valley Aero Club meeting. John was graciously treated to dinner by the club officers prior to the meeting.

John's presentation talked about some of the history of Futaba as a company, the history of radio control in general, and then the main topic Futaba FASST systems. John stated that the 67 club members in attendance had a lot of great questions about the Futaba FASST systems and Futaba products in general.

John displayed a huge representation of the Futaba radio product line; showing everything from Futaba surface systems to the pinnacle of radio control the 14MZ.

Perhaps one of the hits of the presentation was the Futaba 7C radio system that John gave away as a door prize. This great radio system was won by club member Bill Sponsler. Futaba and Hobbico extend our congratulations to Bill!

Thank you to Fox Valley Aero Club for offering us the opportunity to discuss the Futaba product line at your club meeting.

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