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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

100,000, A Video Showcase

We are finally about to reach 100,000 hits on Extreme Aviation. Thanks to everyone who visited the blog and made it possible. We also passed the 100 articles milestone, which I wasn't even aware of until someone else pointed it out to me. I find all of this to be remarkable because I would have never believed there was that much to write about, or even that I would live that long!

Of course, we didn't get here alone. From the very beginning Advanced Energy, through their Thunder Power brand made sure I had the tools to get it done. I've always had the best batteries and chargers to work with and I believe that performance has always showed up in the videos, and certainly in the longevity and reliability I get from these products in my day-to-day, every day flying.

Right now I am flying Thunder Power's 55c Lightning packs in my little SHP and in my 60" EXPs. I save a little weight, a lot of money, and still get about the same power as with my 70C packs. So far, I have been impressed and pleased.

A big thanks to Mark M at Thunder Power. When I started electrics I didn't know how to take care of my lipos, and I messed a few of them up. Mark got my stuff replaced and then taught me how to take care it, and from there on out, I was a Thunder Power customer for life. Of course, my relationship with Thunder Power blossomed from there, which is a really good thing because I can't do what I do without their support and without having the best energy products.

I hear their headphones are pretty sweet too, and since I just bought my first cell phone I plan to get a pair so I can rock out while I am flying.

It's also a good time to thank the Boss, Chris Hinson, at Extreme Flight. We ran into each other at an event at Triple Creek, Fla, and we had so much fun flying and eating and hanging out that it eventually turned in to my being on Team Extreme Flight in 2011. We started off with just power systems and I have been flying Extreme Flight Torque motors and Airboss ESCs exclusively since June of 2008, which also coincides with my 100% power system reliability run.

When the EXP series came out, I had owned all of the 3DHS planes in the 40-57" span size, and had flown them so much that I was a little burnt. Essentially I needed a change of scenery, and the timing just happened to be perfect. In the very beginning, the EXPs needed a little promotion, and I needed a new challenge. Hooking up with Team Extreme Flight was a great move for everyone concerned, and it has worked out to be something even better than I ever dreamed..

The move to Team Extreme Flight gave me a unique opportunity. I now had a platform, sort of official, to help the new guys get the most from their planes, be it through set up or flying coaching. While I am not necessarilly the best at these things, I had the time to reach out to the new guys instead of working a full time job too like the other team pilots have to. That sort of became my little niche and I am very comfortable with that. I sort of had to grow into it, but it was not that bad, especially considering how much fun I have been having.

Thanks to Curtis and Melissa for keeping me in good equipment and getting it to me fast. I'm also looking forward to working with Zack because I hear he's a pretty good guy.

Hitec RCD have become pretty good friends too. While we do not have an official relationship outside of business/customer, occasionally they will help me out when I need servos that I can't afford or have a special project. Mike Mayberry is a fountain of radio systems knowledge and it's good to know someone who has the answers whenever I run into a radio or servo problem.

Also thanks to Suzanne Lepine for her time and generous support.

We were hoping to do more with Hitec this summer and try one of their Flash Seven radios, but the merger caught everyone flat footed and I won't have the time to give it an honest evaluation until after we fly the new Slicks and maybe one of those 3DHS Yak 55s. I do plan to try a Hitec radio soon. I just want to be able to concentrate on that and give it a fair shake.

One last thing on Hitec, thanks to their sterling service department for keeping me tight in the servo department. I tear up a lot of stuff and I usually send them 10 servos at a time. They never complain and just turn the stuff around in like new condition. About the only thing they ever make me pay for  are replacing metal servos gears, but that just encourages me to stop beating the rudder on the ground!

Thanks to Ben Fisher of 3DHS, who took an interest in my success, and not only taught me about flying 3D, setting up the planes and getting the most out of myself, but also how to carry myself as a Team representative. Pretty much most of what I know came from that source, and I hope once the merger mania passes we will get a chance to work together again, or if nothing else, share a good laugh together again.

Ben dragged me into 3D against my will by sending my first SHP (by surprise), and since it was yellow I couldn't say no. Ben wanted me to buy one and I kept saying no because I had no interest in 3D. Suddenly one day an SHP shows up on my doorstep. I had no interest in it until I opened the box and started looking at it. After that it was so nice that I figured I would just sport fly it, though that didn't last long.

Ben encouraged me to shoot video, write reviews, and later to start a blog. Ben pretty much created the Doc Austin monster, and with the merger the monster is coming home to roost! In the move to Extreme Flight I never got a chance to thank Ben for all he taught me and the opportunities he presented to me. I hope he either sees this or someone sends him a link to this. Thank you so much, Mr. Peanut.

Extra SHP Wicked from Doc Austin on Vimeo.

With the merger complete I am able to fly all the 3DHS planes I care to, and the announcement wasn't a whole day old before I sent out a message to Ben to get me a red SHP. Over the last five years that is the one plane I really missed flying, and I am trying to make up for it now.

While we are waiting for the 44" Slicks I am trying to scratch together a second SHP to fly on Hitec's 5070MH 7.4 volt servos and 4s batteries. That one should be a jolly good fire breathing monster. For now, I am flying this one on 3s and it's such a wonderful little plane. Now when I get new students I will have the Edge EXP and the extra SHP to recommend for a first 3D balsa plane, so you can expect us to do a lot more with this plane soon.....maybe even another sport report if enough people are interested.

Extra SHP Wicked II from Doc Austin on Vimeo.

Finally, In the end I hope all my work will have me remembered as a regular guy who worked hard at having fun, and spreading fun. When I started flying radio control I thought I would have to pay for lessons, and my instructor told me that I would pay for the rest of my life by teaching new pilots and helping out those that needed it. Considering how rewarding all of this has been, I'de say that was a pretty good deal.



  1. I really like the sport flying info, looking forward to reading more of that. Congrats on the milestones!