Finally all the work and build up has brought us to the final and most important day of the week, Saturday. This is the day when the big name pilots put on the craziest noon demos. When every hour there is a designated manufacture “power hour” going on at center flight station. It also happened to be the hottest day of the week, with temps hovering around 90+ and little to no breeze.
If you needed a break from the heat, Advantage Hobby’s Pilot Lounge was the place to stop by. Not only did they have a very nice lady handing out free ice cold water, but they had a air conditioned tent. Yes, their vendor tent was walled off and had a huge CAT diesel generator behind it powering four Movin Cool portable AC units pumping precious cold air. While inside you could of course check out the latest Thunder Power RC Pro Power 45C batteries for sale, Beam 450 heli kits, and lots more.
One thing that stopped me in my tracks while cruising the flight line was when I came across a JR Vibe 90SG that was doing some of the most precise, fast, on the deck, 3D action I’ve seen. It looked like a robot was behind the sticks performing precision rolls and flips with only inches to spare. Turns out that pilot was none other then 3 time FAI/F3C World Champion Hiroki Itou. Hiroki and the rest of the JR FAI/F3C team had stayed in Muncie following Worlds and joined us for the entire week at IRCHA. Needless to say whether it’s FAI or 3D Hiroki is a force to be reckoned with!
If you stopped by the Esprit Models tent you were treated to a unique custom heli. Esprit has been working the past months on a fully custom Align T-Rex 700 powered by a WREN turbine engine. It was accompanied by a beautifully painted canopy by Insane Canopies.
At the end of Saturday when the sun was falling behind the corn fields and trees everybody gathered around event registration as it was time for prize giveaways. Like every year before the different event sponsors have been extremely generous with donating prized to the event. I saw at least 6 4×8 tables full of prizes to giveaway to both IRCHA volunteers and IRCHA registered pilots. Now you might say, with 951 registered pilots what’s the odds of taking something home? Well the odds are very good, as the prize giveaway alone took hours to exhaust the mountains of donations. This lucky gentlemen won himself one of the most coveted prizes, a brand new JR 12X radio. When asked “what radio do you have today” he replied “DX7 of course!” and walked away with the biggest smile on his face.
The grand prize this year was of course nothing else then a brand new, not even released to the public yet, Avant Aurora 90E. This heli was not just an assembled kit, it was a fully RTR helicopter complete with radio, battery, motor, esc, etc. The winner walked up, claimed his prize Sat night, and went home a happy Aurora 90E owner.
Once the prize giveaway was complete it was time to move on to tonight’s main attraction. The night fly competition and fireworks show sponsored by Empire Hobbies. There were nine pilots total that entered into the night fly competition. Judging was done solely by audience applause with the names of the pilots kept anonymous. The top prize for 1st place was $500 cash, 2nd place $250 cash, and 3rd place $100 cash. In the end, the pilot who impressed the crowd the most was none other then Nick Maxwell! He had a very impressive night fly setup with a very bright white boom setup and programmable LED main blades that changed during flight and he could turn them on and off at will. Originally I was going to skip the night fly as I’ve seen plenty on my past. However I’m extremely glad I did not as all nine pilots put on an amazing show!