Sitting down with the NitroGirlz

Last month, I sat down with Bobby Gens Ace to take a look at the man behind the name.  This week, as promised, I present to you readers an interview I had with our very own NitroGirlz, Nancy and Leana!  Originally, I was planning to just email them questions and have them reply back since we’re entering the busy holiday season and they’re incredibly busy, but they let me know they could spare a few minutes in their busy schedule to actually sit down and talk with me.  Who was I to refuse spending time with these two beautiful ladies? :D

Hello Nancy and Leana, thank you for take the time today to sit down and talk with me. Why don’t you introduce yourselves to our readers tell us a little bit about your roles at HobbyPartz and affiliated websites.

Nancy: Hi, I’m Nancy and I currently work in the marketing department, but I actually started my time here in customer service.  My supervisor noticed how well I interacted with customers during my first holiday season working here and recommended me for a promotion into the marketing department.  Now I’m responsible for event donations and maintaining a presence on RC forums.  I also handle our charity drives and other giveaways and community giveback programs.  Our local community has been really good to us and we try to do whatever we can to show our appreciation and give back (HobbyPartz RC News/Articles section : RC news/Articles on right hand side).

Leana: Hi, I’m Leana.  I started with order processing, but got promoted into my current position in marketing a little over a year ago.  My main duty involves handling most of the social media we do, like Facebook for example.  I take care of most of the promotions and announcements on our Facebook fan pages and manage the content uploaded on a daily basis.  I also observe fan interactions on our fan pages and work directly with our designers to come up with enjoyable tidbits for our fans to enjoy and bond over whenever they come onto our fan pages.

How is it working for an RC company? And how do you feel about the industry and the hobby itself.

Leana: It’s funny you asked that/I’m glad you asked that.  When I first started here, I was part of the order processing department.  I didn’t have any experience with the RC hobby and it was just a job.  After about half a year, it was getting repetitive and I wanted more of a challenge, so I requested a transfer (promotion) to the marketing department and got it.  After I transferred over, I started interacting directly with our products and fans.  The new position exposed me to the enthusiasm of fans and honestly, I was quite surprised how passionate the RC community was.  When I was doing processing orders that came in, I would be a bit surprised at how many came in every day, but never directly interacted with any customers, so it wasn’t until I joined marketing that I grew an appreciation for not only the industry, but the hobby itself.  So I took it upon myself to learn more about RCs by asking our pilots and drivers to teach me some of the things they knew and over time grew a love for the hobby, especially cars.

Nancy: It was kind of the same for me too.  Back when I was just started in customer service, it was just a job to make some money while in college.  In fact, the first thought that ran through my head was “Really? These aren’t just toys for kids?”, kind of like a toy store type thing, but the people I encountered in customer service were really passionate and dedicated to this hobby.  I was quite surprised by how enthusiastic fans were about their hobby and how much time and money they were spending in building and tuning up their cars and planes.  For example, a lot of our plane customers are veterans, and I grew to understand that there’s more meaning to the hobby than just building and flying those planes.  That’s when I realized how strong the RC community really was.  When I joined the marketing department I developed a stronger connection with the fans and an even greater appreciation for the hobby.

So how was it that NitroGirlz came into being?

Nancy: Officially, we made the public announcement at last year’s RCX expo, but the idea came a bit before that.  When we first started working in marketing, we noticed that our product promotion team consisted of the pilots and drivers only, and we wanted to help them out; to improve and the quality of the content and just provide support for them in general.  We also noticed that there were no female figures in the industry and we wanted to do something about that.

Leana: Yeah, we started out with doing some fun photo shoots.  When management saw some of the pictures we took, they really liked them and gave us the go ahead to do more.  We acted as models for a few of the videos and photo shoots with RC planes and from there, we kind of just became…a group. Haha.

Nancy: It was really fun! We became “official” and made a Facebook page and after a bit, we couldn’t even add any more friends, so we started a new fan page instead so more people could follow us (NitroGirlz on Facebook).  We even got some shirts made for the girls of the group! Now, we make sure to represent the NitroGirlz at any events we go to!  As a little extra perk, some of the design guys made some cool NitroGirlz body kits and gave us our own cars to play with.  I am a professional S107 only pilot but anything after a 3 Ch. the pilots restrict me from flying. Apparently, I tend to be accident prone. I am currently practicing on our Flight Simulator so I can be just as good as Antonio and Tony. But I personally enjoy the rc cars because of the speed. Leana and I would go outside to play with our cars on our 10 minute breaks.

Leana: She still breaks every car.

Nancy: Haha, yeah I do, but each one lasts longer than the one before!

So you guys mentioned earlier that you both like cars a lot? What’s your favorite one?

Nancy: Well, we actually both started out with the S-107 3 channel helicopter.  We experimented with each type of RC and landed on cars. My favorite car is the 1/8th Mad Beast Monster Truck.  Drift cars are fun too but since they’re on-road cars I can’t drive that on the gravel and dirt, I prefer the off road cars.  Rock crawlers and monster trucks on the other hand, are fun to use to go over curbs and rocks and obstacle courses we set up at work.

Leana: Yeah I think I like rock crawlers the best too, for the same reasons.  Actually, I still want to learn how to fly planes, when <loudly> Antonio decides to finally teach us (Antonio, one of our on hand pilots, had walked by the room we were in just that second…he smiled).

Tell me more about your experience with fans.  What’s the coolest thing a fan has done for you?

Leana: Hmm…fan experiences.  We have many great fans out there but one fan that we got really close is with Justin Daily. He was our first memorable fan, and Nancy and I became really close to him.  He would always post on our wall and fan pages, and messaged us on private message.

Nancy: Leana, remember the time with his baby?

Leana: Haha yeah, I was about to get to that!  So last year, when he had a newborn baby, Nancy and I made a video congratulating him and his wife and posted it directly to his wall.  He was really happy and thankful about that.  We had given him a NitroPlanes shirt before, and he wore it in the delivery room.  It was pretty cool, so we had another one sent over to him for little baby Jaxton and he posted up some pictures of the baby wearing it.  It was too big for him, but it was so cute!

Nancy: Another thing that’s a bit more general, while it doesn’t have a super cool story like with Justin, is just fans recognizing us when we attend events.  Originally, Leana and I just started NitroGirlz for fun, but it turns out that when we go to these events people actually know us!  It caught us by surprise for quite a while!

So obviously, a lot of fans show up at events, since we talked about daily interactions with fans, let’s talk more about event experiences.  What was your guys’ best event experience? What did you guys like about it?

Nancy: Well my favorite event was the RCX expo from last year.

Leana: Yeah that event was the first time we were able to meet our facebook fans face to face.  A couple of them came up to say hi to us, which was really cool.  Just being able to interact with our customers was a great experience.  We got to work with some of our amazing designers to plan and organize our booth beforehand which was really fun.  We also got to watch some of the attendees fly their helis and drive their cars on the courses set up inside the convention center.  That typically doesn’t happen in that large of a scale at trade shows like this.

Nancy: Actually I have fun simply talking to the fans.  I remember the Heli Freak Fun Fly. We went around pass out banners, stickers, and coupons and a lot of fans didn’t just grab the freebies and walk off, but stuck around and talked with us, which I thought was really sweet and cool.  Some have told me they were surprised that we stuck around and talked with them because I guess not many retailer representatives stop and talk with their customers and fans.

Leana: To me, putting a face to a name is the best part of these events.  I mean, we interact daily with fans, sponsors, etc.  That’s our job, but obviously most of it is through emails and phone calls.  We don’t get to see like 90% of the people we talk to.  So when we go to events, we actually get to see the people we communicate with daily.  It’s pretty cool and I think I enjoy that the most about fan interactions.

Don’t you guys see that pretty much every week at the office and at other events?

Leana: It’s different at the RCX expo.  It was just regular people driving and flying, not like at the office or at events where the drivers and pilots are professionals or sponsored.  In a way, it was more fun to watch people like you and me..well..definitely better than me (haha) take some of our sample RCs and play them on the courses and airspaces set up in the convention center.  Some of the hardcore enthusiasts would bring their own RCs to the show and drive on the courses with some of the pros in attendance, or race with each other.

Well, thank you for your time Leana and Nancy.  Is there anything you’d like to say to the readers and your fans?

Nancy: Hmm, I don’t thinks so really. We talked for quite a bit haha. I guess thanks to all you readers and fans.  Please make sure to come to the AMA (Academy of Modern Aeronautics) show on Jan 11-13 and say hi to us if you’re in the area!  And I hope to see you all at our events!

Leana: Yeah, thanks for supporting us! Keep following us on fan pages and like our NitroGirlz fan page and look out for our deals and promotions as well!  Also feel free to just leave messages saying “hi” if you like.  We really appreciate those tiny (as well as long) messages.

_____________________________________________

Well, thank you for reading, and thank you to our two lovely NitroGirlz Nancy and Leana for taking  the time to sit down and have a chat with me.  I hope you all enjoyed reading this little interview.  The next interview in this series won’t be for a bit since the Christmas season is starting and I’ll probably have some other responsibilities I’ll have to tend to, plus that project I’ve been working on…you know, the one drawing me away from blogging…is going to be released pretty soon, so it’ll be pretty busy holiday season!  The next interview should be with Antonio (the pilot that smiled).  From what I’ve seen and what the girls have told me, he’s quite the popular guy in the RC scene.  Hopefully he’ll have the time to fit me into his busy schedule.  Until next time, happy holidays!

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Interview with Bobby Gens Ace!

Hey Enhobby readers.  It’s been a looooooooonnnnng while since my last article.  I’ve been busy with a project I can’t quite announce just yet and it’s been taking up literally all my time (including some weekends).  Last week, I took a couple days off from my current project to let you all know I’m still here.  When I first started this blog, I promised an inside look at the company and those who work behind the scenes.  In a series of articles I will be presenting interviews I have done and will do with some of my coworkers, especially those who some of you might have seen or know.  I will start this series off with one Bobby Guarisco, or Bobby Gens Ace as some of you might know him.

-Hey Bobby. Thanks for taking the time to sit down to talk with me. Why don’t you introduce yourself and give us a brief idea of what you do for HobbyPartz.

Sure, my name is Bobby Guarisco.  I work in the marketing department of HobbyPartz and our affiliated websites, NitroPlanes, XHeli, and NitroRCX.  I’m in charge of sponsorship programs, as well as promotional events (PR events so called).  A lot of times, I help promote certain causes (raise awareness for breast cancer, education, etc.) through the hobby itself.  Currently my job also requires me to focus on product promotion, making sure our products are up to par, and keeping the sponsors happy.

-How did you get into RCs? Was it an interest you had before? Or did working in the industry spur your interest?

My dad worked for toy company Mattel when I was growing up, so I was introduced pretty early to Tyco RC cars. And probably due to his influence too, the toy industry was always an interest to me. I wasn’t initially into the high grade RCs that we work with today, but that toy industry interest definitely sparked something that allowed me to make the smooth transition into “hardcore” RCs and develop a love for it.  It’s something on a totally different level, but has always been an interest.

A lot of times, I get embarrassing question like “how do you fly, or what do you fly, or what car do you run”.  I’m embarrassed to say I’m not the best helicopter or plane pilot nor the best car driver in the industry.  Even without being a top pilot or driver, I’m grateful that this job and my position in the marketing department allow me the opportunity to have fun and meet such awesome people who are great at RCs.  Despite not being the best pilot or driver, I do know our products quite well and am able to use that knowledge to help out pros who work with us and fans that come to me with questions about our products.

-What are you looking forward to in the RC world? Any hints you can give us about what’s to come at HPs?

One thing I notice is that technology is changing and improving rapidly, and the industry is constantly shifting because of that.  For example you see new designs and technology displayed in shows every successive year.  There’s newer and better motors, better electronic systems, transmitters are constantly improving and have newer and better features.  You’re definitely going to be seeing a lot of improved and new products, especially in the toy grade range.  Our R&D is doing a lot of work in that regard, especially with our battery packs.  They’re getting smaller and lighter, while becoming more powerful at the same time.  Oh yeah, and you asked me about events?

-Yeah, if you could tell me a bit more about them.  You seem to go to a lot of events.

Yeah, the last big event I went to was the IRCHA 2012 event.  An event I’m looking forward to is the AMA event coming up on Jan 11th 2013.  It’s one of the few events that I will actually be able work with a bigger team.  The marketing team will be more involved and it’s not just a 3 man team like some of the farther away (from southern California) events I go to like IRCHA was.

-What was your favorite event? What makes it so memorable?

Definitely, my favorite event was the RCX show from earlier this year down in Long Beach, CA.  It’s really interesting to go to events and actually interact with consumers and it’s one of the few events that I was able to talk to some of the people I’ve been in contact with on Facebook, email, and phone for quite a while, but never actually met in person till that day.

More recently, another fun event I remember would definitely be IRCHA 2012. I’ve never seen anything like it.  So many golf carts…so many people and so many registered flyers.  The amount of skilled pilots from all over the world (Europe, South America, etc.) out there really was unreal.  I got to meet a lot of them there and witness their flying first hand.  One thing they did was have a bunch of 3d fliers fly their helis at the same time; I never witnessed anything that crazy before and it was a bit overwhelming.  And of course, the off time with the fireworks, the parties, and meet and greets was pretty fun, allowing me to get to know everyone not only on a professional, but also a social basis.  It made those four days of craziness definitely worth it.

-So as we all know shows and events don’t happen in a day.  There’s a lot of planning and communication that has to happen to set these things up.  What’s your role in all of that to get HPs, XHeli, NitroPlanes, and NitroRCX to those events and making sure everything runs smoothly?

It’s kind of funny.  A lot of people think we’re a bigger company than we really are, so I do a lot of the work from the planning to booking the hotel, getting the rental car, and even making sure some of our sponsored drivers and pilots have their plane tickets.  We only have a 3-4 man team at a lot of these events, so I get stuck doing a bit of secretary work both there and at the office.  Setting up, packing and unpacking boxes, and coordinating some of our staff there.  Once the event, starts, I lead the communication between the staff and sponsored drivers and pilots make sure everyone has what they need to get their job done; on top of that I find time to meet new sponsors, potential pilots and drivers that we’re thinking about sponsoring, and talking a bit with other companies as well.

-So you do pretty much everything.

Haha yeah, pretty much everything except the fun stuff like our pilots and drivers get to do.

-We work in different areas, so I actually don’t see what’s happening in your end of the office. Now that we’ve gone over your activities outside the office, why don’t you give us an idea of your typical work day.

When I’m not busy planning for events?  Haha.  Well, a typical work day typically starts with me grabbing some coffee.  I’m sad that we don’t have a coffee machine at work, but I deal with it.  Work for me starts with checking my emails and making sure communication lines get attended to in the morning.  With over 100 sponsored people on my list, lots of emails and phone calls come in with issues more complicated than a “yes or no” answer and I make sure all of them are answered.  After that, the marketing department has meetings throughout the day to upcoming schedule items and make sure we plan sufficiently for them.  Sometimes I also go out with VIPs and our test pilots and drivers checking out new products, and sometimes go out to the local airfields and tracks to talk with some local hobbyists to get an idea of what they’re looking for and what they want to see from the industry.  Things change a bit from time to time, but basically, that’s my day at the office.

-Haha, that sounds very fun indeed.  Well, thank you for your time Bobby, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers (and your fans)?

Working in this industry also allows for some pretty fun things to happen.  It’s really fun to watch something go from concept to production in R&D to finally hitting the market.  I have a lot of friends in the office that I really enjoy working with, so despite my 45 minutes to an hour drive that I take every day to get the office, I’m really excited to wake up every day and get to work.

Just keep your eyes open, we have a lot of things planned and look forward to showing you guys in the future.  Our product developer has been showing us some cool new concepts that we’re excited to put into production so keep your eyes out for new product announcements. Come follow us on our Facebook page [link them all] so you guys know what we got planned right when we announce it.  Oh, and come say hi to us at the AMA show on Jan 11-13 next year if you’re in the area!  I’ll be personally attending that.  If you want to reach me directly, I’m Bobby Gens Ace on Facebook and you can always reach me there.

_____________________________________________

Hope all you readers enjoyed that little inside look into the life of Bobby Guarisco.  And I also want to include a thank you to Bobby for taking the time out of his busy schedule to sit down with me for this interview. Make sure you guys go add Bobby Gens Ace on Facebook if you want a great guy on your friends list!  For my next interview, I’ll be talking to two of our very own, and well known nitro girls, Leanna and Nancy.  Please stay tuned and look forward to that!  Till next time, happy hobbying!

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NitroGirlz Beach Trip

That jut of rock you see? Yup...we were there.

So, yeah we went there again.  The morning after we got back from Palos Verdes for the NitroPlanes and NitroRCX media outing, I was just chatting a bit with one of my coworkers.  That coworker happened to be the director in charge of NitroGirlz content.  We started on the topic of our trip to the peninsula and after seeing some of the pictures we took, he was dead set on doing a NitroGirlz shoot there.  And a couple weeks later, that’s exactly what we did.  Luckily, that also meant that I was going to document the entire trip for your reading pleasure!

Directions

Learning from past experience, and being the gentleman that I am, I made sure to notify the girls to bring shoes just in case, since there were some places where the paths were a bit rough.  It turned out though that these girls are tougher than they look!  They stayed in their sandals all day and had no problems with the rocks that we had to climb over.

Roll reversal?

When we got there the girls were thrilled!  Everyone almost instantly forgot about work and starting taking some personal pics on their phones and personal cameras as well as asking the photographers to take some pics and sent them back their way! When we got to work, the girls were of course, just as excited.  One of our brave NitroGirlz even (despite our concerns and warnings I have to say) took to sitting on the edge of a cliff so we could get some good pics.  This is no photoshop or camera tricks…it’s the real thing ladies and gentlemen.

So brave! 2

Of course, we visited all the pristine locals of the penninsula and got some great official shots for you NitroGirlz fans!  They’ll be posted on the NitroGirlz Facebook Fanpage once released (if not already), so be sure to check in on and like that page!  As always, I’ll be posting some behind the scenes pics and you can see them in this gallery.  Enjoy the pics and see you around next post!

Full Gallery Here

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Build your Ride with GensAce

Hey all, it’s been two weeks since my last post.  Been busy with some other projects and couldn’t really get to blogging.  Finally got the chance though! Hope you all enjoy the read and hopefully I’ll be able to blog again soon!

So…a while ago (about a month?), our pilots, drivers, and some of technicians took a look outside the box and put together a little project of their own.  I wrote some notes down at that time and wanted to blog about it, but never got the chance since at that point in time, the blog wasn’t published yet, being still in it’s design and preparation stage.  As time went on, more amazing and cool stuff happened at the company (like the RC Sparks outing) and this little internal project write-up kind of fell to the wayside.

Well, during some of my free time, I was looking through some of my notes to see what would be really cool to blog next about, and I found my write-up on this project and thought “heck, it’s never too late to post something cool like this”, so here it is!  One month late, but still a fresh and well enjoyed innovation at our company!

Like most of you all here (maybe?), when I see Gens Ace batteries, I think either RCs, Airsoft guns, or that cool project those USU college students did a while ago for the US Air Force. Be honest now…how many of you would think electric powered bike? Certainly not me with a battery that size. Well, our pilots did, showing off the power of a Gens Ace battery. Over the course of a couple weeks, our pilots and a few of the tech department guys ordered parts and put together a gens ace powered bicycle. But hey, talk is cheap…here’s a preview pic! Click on the link below it for the full gallery!
Gens Ace Sticker 2

Full Gallery

Feel free to share some innovative ideas you all have for your Gens Ace batteries. If you have any cool inventions or ideas you want us to try out, leave a comment and we’ll try our best to make it happen. *Ahem* REASONABLE ideas please…lol (well, slightly beyond reasonable might be ok…just hit us with your best shot! :D ).

Oh, and any kids reading this, please do not try this at home without the supervision of an adult! And always have a fire extinguisher ready just in case!

In case you guys missed clicking on the photo gallery link in the article here it is again: Full Gallery

If you all want to try this yourselves, here’s a list of parts we used to make this happen. Enjoy!

Equipment and Parts list

Lights

-Green LEDs
-Blue LEDs
-White LEDs

Gens Ace 5300mah 6s1p 60-120c LiPo Battery

Huffy Cranbrook 26″ Men’s Cruiser Bike

48v 1000w 26″ Front Wheel Electric Bicycle Motor + Kit E-Bike (since item link might expire, i just linked the e-bay search of the technical specs of the wheel we used.  If you match the voltage listed and diameter of your bike, it should work)

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A Day by the Sea…Doin’ RC

Who doesn’t enjoy a day at the beach?  Well…strictly speaking it was more cliffs and rocks than sand and beautiful women tanning, but add some RCs to the scene and you got yourself a day worthy to blog about! Last week our media team was given the order to take some promo shots “at a pretty location” (yes…the person who gave the order was indeed female) to prepare for some new content release.  They were more than happy to oblige and told me to tag along to document the day.  Of course, who was I to decline going to beautiful Palos Verdes to spend a day in the office…on my computer…coding.  Yeah, that was an easy decision.

So along with the media team, one of our pilots, and one of our drivers, we took off a bit before noon on our one hour drive (through LA traffic…which is horrible 15 out of 24 hours of a day :( ) from City of Industry towards Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Park Hillside Overlook

We arrive to a park about five miles out from the ocean around lunch time, but our excitement caused us all agree to hold off on lunch for a bit to get some nice video footage and shots of flying the Pop Wing glider over the hillside overlooking some cliffs.  Yup, the same Pop Wings we brought along with us the day we spent with RC Sparks! I’ve seen the Pop Wing fly before–over airfields and parking lots–but never before like this.  It was like a majestic bird leisurely soaring through the sky.  It literally left me in awe at how beautiful gliders can look flying in beautiful locations.  They’re definitely some of those pictures you put as your wallpaper.

Beautiful flying over beautiful overlook

We wanted to stay at that spot forever and was slightly depressed about changing locations…that is, until we saw destination #2 of Palos Verdes Penninsula.  After approximately ten minutes driving down to the actual cliffs, we were met with a scene only describable as the majesty of nature.  It was one of those spots where simply being there makes you just realize how glad you are to be alive in this moment at this time.

Heading down to the beach 2

Our pilot Antonio felt the same and almost didn’t even wait for the media team to set up before throwing his glider into the wind.  There was a moment when we forgot that we were there for work and not play.  It’s great when they both feel like one and the same!  We also brought along an unreleased test aircraft from Dynam, but were unable to fly it due to the lack of a landing area, but that didn’t matter much as the area we were in was perfect for gliders, and our Pop Wing perfectly fit that role.  Initially I feared the high and sharp winds present along the seaside cliffs would present a challenge for the light aircraft, however I was pleasantly surprised to find the exact opposite to be the case.  About ten seconds after throwing the glider into the wind our pilot lowered the throttle to zero. ZERO.  And yet, the Pop Wing was soaring through the skies like a bird.  The combination of thermal and updraft created by the cliff formation allowed the Pop Wing glider to operate entirely without power except during steep climbs and catch-grab landings.

Now, flying with the Pop Wing over the cliff-side Pacific Ocean was surreal, but lets not forget about our RC trucks.  The 1/8 scale we brought along was the MaxStone rock crawler.  So readers, I’d like to ask you all a question.  What are cliffs composed of? …If you guessed rocks and dirt (fine…of various elemental and sedimentary properties you smart alecks) you are correct.  And yup, we crawled over some of that with our RCs :D .

Driver James and his 1/8 MaxStone Crawler

The picture above does not do the “path” justice.  It was actually a lot steeper than it looks and both me and our driver James risked life and limb (well…kinda) to get you guys these shots! Sidenote: No one told me I was where we were going that day, so I ended up showing up at work in flip flops (thought it was going to be one of those days at the office where I stay until 9pm coding, so I wanted to be comfortable…gladly wrong by the way), which are not good for climbing up and down steep cliffs, haha.  We got some pretty nice shots though, so all in all totally worth it to capture those moments for eternity.

Work work!

We stayed at that location for a while because it was perfect for getting those NitroPlanes promo shots.  Before we realized it, a good three plus hours had gone by and it was nearly 4pm.  We decided to eat lunch before it was time to call it dinner and headed into the nearby town to grab some grub.  As we were eating, we were contemplating whether we were done for that day and should start our hour long drive back so we could arrive back before the office was completely empty.  After a quick unanimous vote, we decided we wanted to experience more of Palos Verdes and get some coveted shots and footage not just on the cliffs, but down at sea level right next to ocean itself.

Heading down to the beach

A quick search and we found a spot that had a (walk-able) path down to a rocky beach.  Again, another amazing view, but I think I already talked a bit too much about the beautiful scenery, so if you’d like to take a look at some of the sights we saw, head over to the photo gallery and check them out.

This rocky beach was absolutely perfect for some Rock Crawling action; at some points, even boulder crawling.  The 1/8 MaxStone we brought along was surprisingly apt at climbing some pretty big rocks with little effort.  These weren’t rocks along a road or a rocky path, these were just rocks. Period. Yet, the MaxStone went over them almost like they were nothing!

1/8 MaxStone...just chillin' at the beach

I’ve seen curb climbing, traversing over tree roots, and some partial rock climbs, but this was the first time I saw true rock crawling in action and I was impressed.  Even James, our professional driver, was slightly jubilant at the sight in spite of the crazy stunts he had performed and seen many times over.

Work work! 2

At the end of the day we departed for home with our mission accomplished and feeling good about it, despite probably what added up to over an hour spent just admiring the scenery, the media team was able to get some great shots.  Our pilot and driver was able to enjoy flying and driving their RCs at an amazing location.  And lastly I was able to document the details of the day and have some great stories and content for this blog (yay!).

Hope you guys enjoyed the read as much as I did writing it.  I’ll list the products we used that day down below.  Go check out some of the products we used and try these same things out yourself!  Whether you’re new to RC or been flying and driving for years, you’ll have the time of your life!

That jut of rock you see? Yup...we were there.

P.S. I don’t recommend flying RCs over a cliffs (or any other locations that make your plane unrecoverable) if you’re new to flying.  Don’t want to be losing out on well spent money, not to mention missing out on days of fun with that RC!

Equipment and Parts list

Tech One Pop Wings

-NitroPlane RC 4 Channel 1200mm Pop Wing EPP Kit Version

Batteries used

-Pop Wing: Gens Ace 2200mah 3s(11.1v) 25c LiPo
-Pop Wing: Sky Lipo 2200mah 3s(11.1v) 25c LiPo
-MaxStone Crawler: Gens Ace 5000mAh 7.2V NIMH Double Stick

FS-TH9X 2.4GHz 9CH Transmitter

1/8 MaxStone Rock Crawlers

Most of the footage we took will be showing up on our NitroPlanes YouTube and NitroRCX YouTube channels shortly if not already posted.  Some of the photos you can find in my photo gallery and the rest you’ll notice time to time on our websites and Facebook Fanpages (here’s one already up!).

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Esky D700 3D — Interview with pilot Antonio

Last week I promised you for an interview with one of the test pilots of the Esky D700 3D 6ch Heli. It took a little bit longer than I would have liked due to our busy schedules, so I apologize for that. But without further adieu, here is the interview with sponsored test pilot Antonio!

Hello Antonio. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today. Lets start with an introduction. Why don’t you introduce yourself to our readers.

Sure, it’ll be my pleasure. I’ve been driving and flying RCs for about nine years now. It all started in middle school for me when I bought an RC car off a friend. Played with and of course modified it myself and soon after I found myself into RC helis and planes as well. Been flying ever since. I’ve worked with NitroPlanes and HobbyPartz for about two years. I love the fact that I get to do what I do for a living, testing, building, and promoting RCs all day long. I love the industry and I love the job…it’s very fun.

So let’s talk about the D700 3D by Esky. What were your first impressions when you saw this thing out of the box? Anything in particular that popped out at you or peaked your interest?

The first thing I noticed was the new style of the body; the colors too. The green on black is very nice and definitely caught my attention from an aesthetic point of view. Once I started flying it, the gyros immediately caught my attention. I was prepared for the compensation I was going to have to do base on experience with the Belt CP, but it wasn’t needed at all. Esky really improved upon the gryos for the D700. The radio feels great too. It feels better than some after-market radios out there, not some cheap stock radio. I’ve flow with JR and Spectrum and can tell you this radio Esky provides is up there with them. They use the same programming and everything too.

Browsing through the Nitroplanes FB fans page as well as some RC forums, I’ve noticed that some users disagree with you. They feel that the radio is a bit tacky. Anything you’d like to comment on that?

I would actually disagree with them. I mean, people are going to have their own opinion and obviously there will always be people who hate certain designs and layouts, but as a person in the industry, I felt Esky took a big step forward in this radio. Like I said, the programming is really similar to other top brands so it’s easy to get used to. It overall is just a radio I would use any day. No need to replace with some other transmitter really unless it’s a brand preference thing. And in that case, it’d just be personal choice…nothing wrong or tacky with the radio at all.

As you and most people who’ve been following Esky already know, the D700 series is a successor to the Belt CP. How would you compare the two? Let’s talk technical.

Like I said before, it really is a big step forward. One of the main things I noticed once I started flying is the way the tail holds. Compared to the Belt CP, the tail stability is much higher. It just feels like there’s an expensive gyro in there. Not what I expected at all from a stock gyro. It holds position well in hover, rotations, etc. The weighted tail blades in back add to that stability. I think Esky hit their mark in the improvement they wanted in the D700.

Now, the D700 3D is a 6ch heli capable of 3D flight. What about how well the Heli handles tricks?

The D700 3D being a flybar system, the heli flies pretty well in 3D. I’m used to a flybarless system as I fly flybarless helis for fun and competition personally most of the time. Back to the D700, the servos have enough torque to handle most 3D maneuvers. There are some advanced maneuvers that I could do that would cause the servos to stall out, but it isn’t necessarily a bad think like some would think. If you’re a beginner to intermediate flier you’ll almost never stall them out. Especially if you’re just starting to do 3D, the stock parts on the D700 are perfect. No worries, everything is centered well and handles great without much need to trim on the fly a lot.

Is there anything on the D700 that you would like to have been different? Any improvments you wish Esky put that wasn’t included?

Like I said before, the servos can stall out on extreme maneuvers (under torqued if you will) for my style of flying. But there’s a ton of servos you can buy, not only on HobbyPartz, but other manufacturers as well if you really want to push this heli to the limits. The tail servo is fine once gain set is right on the radio. I would definitely keep the stock gyro. So yeah, pretty much just switch out the servo if you want to push the limits of the heli.

Any upgrade recommendations out there for those who like to spend time modifying their RCs?

First thing I would recommend (as you probably guessed already) is carbon fiber blades. You wouldn’t believe the difference it makes. If you really want to do extreme maneuvers, like extreme extreme maneuvers, then get some upgraded servos. Solar 9g digital micro servos work perfectly. Otherwise, everything stock is fine if you’re a beginner to intermediate 6ch or 3D flyer.

Any final thoughts?

Hmm. Not really haha. I think I pretty much covered everything I’d like to say. The D700 flies great. It handles well and is pretty stable with the stock gyros. The radio is excellent. I think I’m just repeating myself. Haha. Oh yeah, I guess one last thing is, I hope this heli isn’t the first one you own, because it is not for beginner fliers. When I said beginner earlier, I meant 6ch beginners. But as long as your skill level is ready for 6ch flight, this heli is perfect. Definitely give it a try out. And if you have your own flybarless system and prefer flybarless, there’s also the D700 3G version. It’s the same heli (with some slight performance versus stability tradeoffs) but flybarless.

 
 

You can find the original review on the Esky D700 3D 6ch Helicopter here: http://blog.enhobby.com/2012/07/esky-d700-3d-6ch-heli-review/

You can find the Esky D700 3D 6ch Helicopter here: http://www.xheli.com/eskyheli-003738-d700-3d-rtf-24g.html

Pilots’ Upgrades Recommendations:

Any 315mm-335mm Carbon Fiber Blades
9g Micro Servos by Solar
     Alternate servos – spectrum & align 9g micro servos
Gens Ace 11.1v 2200mah 60C Battery

Similar Product:

Esky D700 3G 6-Channel Collective Pitch Flybarless Heli

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Esky D700 3D 6ch Heli Review

After nearly two years of sporting the same Belt CP design, Esky has finally decided to unveil a new look for a new heli. Released just this year, the Esky D700 3D is looking slick and is a welcomed addition to the Esky family. Esky wasn’t very specific about technical details when they handed us the prototype, but luckily our pilots were on hand to tell us all we need to know about what new features the D700 has to offer.

 The D700 3D is as it’s name implies — fully 3D. According to what Esky told us, it sports upgraded controls and gyros that give better stability and extra maneuverability when doing 3D flying. The stock 2.4ghz radio transmitter features a sleek new design including an LCD display similar to the one on the FS-TH9X 9ch 2.4ghz transmitter. Going on first impressions, the D700 feels like an upgraded Belt CP.

The canopy, although it sports a new design, has a similar physical appearance. The major non-electronic components of the heli seem to meet the standards of other helicopters of its class. The tail shaft is quite sturdy and along with the head is made of aluminum alloy. So are the landing skits. The stay bars are carbon composite, and at both glance and feel, seem more sturdy than the standard plastic you find on the frame of the heli. The main props come stock as balsa wood. They’re fine to fly out of box and handles all 3D maneuvers perfectly fine, but suffer from the same disadvantages of anything balsa: sturdiness. They bend quite easily, so are a prime candidate for immediate upgrade to carbon fiber.

The internals of the heli appear to be the same as other industry standards from just simple direct observation, including the tail design and mechanics. We figured, the only way to prove Esky’s claims then was to test out the D700 ourselves…which is exactly what we did.

Our pilots were the ones that initially coined the D700 as “Belt CP 2012 edition”, but after flying it about for a good 15-20 minutes, everyone agrees that this helicopter is more than just an upgrade, it’s on a whole new level. Now, we already love the Belt CP and I’m sure many of you readers love it too. The Belt CP is stable in low to mid level winds and expert fliers can even handle it in higher winds. The 6 channel versions were also spectacular when it came to 3D flying, capable of doing all but the most complicated of maneuvers.

The 3D flying of the D700, just like it’s predecessor, handles extremely well. The D700 can not only handle mid ranged winds, it cuts through it like butter. Based on how the trees swayed during the test flights, I’d guess there were about 15-25mph winds at the altitude we were testing 3d flight on the heli.  Based on the handling of the heli in mid ranged winds, high winds flight might be slightly difficult and fliers will have to do some on-the-fly control adjustments, but if you’re an experienced pilot, some of the simpler 3d flight maneuvers (such as inverted flying) are entirely possible and according to our pilots, “shouldn’t be too difficult at all”.

Now, I wouldn’t recommend trying to fly this in the middle of a storm or tornado or anything like that, but it seems that the D700 can safely handle anything up 30mph winds effectively while doing 3d maneuvers and experienced pilots daring enough (not recommended though) can tempt fate at 35-40mph winds.

After trying out the D700, we can see why Esky gave this heli an entirely new designation instead of just calling it the Belt CP v3. Our test pilots were thoroughly impressed with the new heli. The 3D flying was simple and fluid. Tic-tocing, inverted flight, and pyro flips showed no problems in mid-ranged winds.

Our pilots did notice a bit of slop with the stock servos and the blades weren’t perfectly aligned straight out of the box, but with some quick adjustments of the linkage rods and some expert control (our pilots are sponsored after all…though they modestly assured me amateurs can just as simply do the same), most things balanced out. They confidently told me that with some upgraded servos, most if not all of the slop and blade imbalance will disappear. If you’re an experienced RC helicopter pilot, looking to get into 6 channel 3D flying, a fan of the Belt CP or Esky, or just a simple 3D heli enthusiast, you can’t go wrong with the D700. Only thing I would recommend in addition straight away is a set of carbon fiber blades to replace the stock balsa wood ones that come with the heli. Other than that (and perhaps some after market servos if the slop bothers you at all), this baby is pretty much good to go straight out of the box.

You can find the Esky D700 3D 6ch Helicopter here: http://www.xheli.com/eskyheli-003738-d700-3d-rtf-24g.html

Pilots’ Upgrades Recommendations:

Any 315mm-335mm Carbon Fiber Blades
9g Micro Servos by Solar
     Alternate servos – spectrum & align 9g micro servos
Gens Ace 11.1v 2200mah 60C Battery

Similar Product:

Esky D700 3G 6-Channel Collective Pitch Flybarless Heli

P.S.: An interview with the Esky D700 3D test pilot, Antonio, about his test flight experiences and overall feel of the Esky D700 3D will be posted shortly. Please stay tuned!

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Day of fun with RC Sparks!

Hello readers and RC fans!  Today’s post is slightly longer, but it’s a special one as I’ll be talking about the day we spent with the one and only DJ MEDiC and his lovely wife Jem from RC Sparks!

          

As fans of DJ MEDiC and RC Sparks knew already, the MEDiC himself and his wife Jem came down to Anaheim, California all the way from Alberta, Canada last week for a YouTube convention.  Earlier that week a memo was passed around the office that Aaron “DJ MEDiC” Bidochka had contacted us and wanted to hang out.  We had a small opening in our schedule so we thought about it…ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?! We JUMPED at the opportunity to hang out with the creator of RC Sparks and his awesome and beautiful wife.  After a bit of planning and some email exchanges it was set — an exclusive day with DJ MEDiC and Jem :D .

Technically, MEDiC and Jem were on vacation here in California, so we decided to let them sleep in a bit.  Aaron and Jem arrived at Raiden Tech HQ in City of Industry, CA (BobbyGensAce himself went down to Anaheim to go pick them up. Thanks Bobby!) early in the afternoon around 1pm.  After a quick mini-tour of the office and warehouse, we started loading some planes, heli, and cars into the van to get ready for our day of fun in the sun…except at an RC airfield instead of the beach :D .

After a short drive we arrived at the Whittier Narrows RC Airfield and went to flying right away.  MEDiC told us he hadn’t flown for a couple of months, so he wanted to start out with a simpler plane and chose the Art Tech Devil 500 powered by a 3s 2600mah Gens Ace battery.

Taking the Devil 500 out to the runway

Talk about humility…MEDiC’s flying skills after a multiple months lull was just as good as someone’s who flew just a few days ago.  Of course, none of us were that surprised…I mean he IS the main man of RC Sparks after all.

So after that (probably unneeded) warm-up, we took to the skies with the main attraction: Tech One Pop Wings from Nitroplanes.com.

DJ MEDiC having fun unloading Pop Wings

These rudderless gliders need some getting used to control-wise, but once you adjust, they’re probably one of the funnest things to take to the skies. While he began with a cautious start due to the control differences from most planes and the fragile look of the gliders (which are nigh indestructible actually), DJ MEDiC once again showed how awesome he was at RC control, doing aerial maneuvers indicative of an experienced Pop Wing user.

After MEDiC safely landed his Pop Wing, our pilots (plus one driver) decided put on a little show for DJ MEDiC and Jem, showing them the full potential of the Pop Wings with a 4-man aerial battle.  Have any of you guys ever done or seen air combat with RC foamies?  I can tell you first hand it is AWESOME.  The sturdy Pop Wings make for awesome planes to do a bit of dog fighting action.  Now since we didn’t have BB guns installed on our planes…and I don’t think our pilots were too keen on putting holes in their precious planes, we resorted to aerial tackle.

As expected, the first to be knocked out of the sky was our non-pilot (he’s our sponsored RC car/buggy/truck driver), James, who despite having flown the Pop Wing numerous times before, wasn’t up to the task against our more experienced and professional pilots.

picture-not-available-james

Second one out of the skies was Bobby, one of our airplane techs.  His end came with a kamikaze as he got distracted, lost sight of his plane, and crashed it into his own leg (what? lol). …And then, there were two.

   Sponsored pilot Tony flying a Tech One Pop Wing

Sadly, it would stay at two.  We would not have a winner as the batteries ran out on their gliders before these two expert pilots were able to knock each other out.

Now, Pop Wings are definitely cool and we WERE at an airfield, but what kind of hosts would we be if we didn’t bring some cars out for MEDiC and Jem’s enjoyment.  Our team brought some RC trucks and buggies, including some unreleased R&D models (keep a lookout on our websites and Facebook fanpages for announcements when they arrive!)  to play around with in the (luckily) empty parking lot, using some of the bumps and random dirt piles as course trick tools.  A lot of our team brought out some of their own personal RC Rock Crawlers and Truggies to drive around too!

After a day of playing in the park hard work, we sat down together to relax and converse over the coveted In-N-Out Double-Double burger and Animal Style Fries.  Now, a little bit of back story: Our team was planning to take MEDiC and Jem to some nice restaurant or set up a picnic at the park…yeah…they never even got to suggest it.  Once the topic of word “lunch” was mentioned, the Canadians instantly inquired about In-N-Out.  From my experience, no one I know that comes from outside the In-N-Out restaurant range has ever not inquired about the famous burger joint when they come to California (even vegetarians. Their fries and milk shakes are amazing! And also their Grilled Cheese!).  Their final verdict? “Everything we expect it to be. It’s delicious!”

Sitting down to Enjoy some In-N-Out Burgers and Animal Style Fries with some Canadians

Sadly all days must come to an end, even awesome days spent with RC Sparks, and we wanted to give MEDiC and Jem something to take back home with them to remember us by.  What better than the main attraction of the day: one of our new Pop Wing gliders.  MEDiC loved their durability and aerobatic capabilities and we are glad we can offer him the same enjoyment even when he goes back home. (Sadly he had way too much stuff so he couldn’t take one with him…but we shipped one out right away and should hopefully be arriving around the same time he gets back :D ).  After some pics and some more small talk, we said our goodbyes and Bobby took MEDiC and Jem back to their hotel to get some rest in preparation for the YouTube Convention.

From DJ MEDiC and Jem, with love :D

If you’re reading this Aaron and Jem, we really enjoyed our day with you and hope we have more opportunities to hang out and have some RC fun!  Until then, we’ll be seeing you on RC Sparks and whatever fun and crazy stuff you’ll be doing! :D

Pop Wing Aerial Battle 3

For more pictures please check out the full gallery of pictures taken that day (sorry for quality of a few of them, I’m not a professional photographer, but I’m learning! :D )

Also, if you haven’t already, please check out RC Sparks! They really are the coolest!

RC Sparks: http://www.rcsparks.com/

Equipment and Parts list

Tech One Pop Wings

-NitroPlane RC 4 Channel Pop Wing EPP ARF Version Plane kit + T2208 motor + ESC + servo + propeller
-NitroPlane RC 4 Channel Mini Pop Wing EPP ARF Version Plane kit + T1306 motor + ESC + servo + propeller

Art Tech Devil 500

Custom Whiplash Heli

Batteries used

-Gens Ace Batteries of all varieties and sorts
-Sky Lipo Batteries of all varieties and sorts

FS-TH9X 2.4GHz 9CH Transmitter

1/8 MaxStone Rock Crawlers

1/8 Mad Warrior Truggy

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Hello (RC) World! – What to Expect

To celebrate the beginnings of this blog, let me introduce you all to what to be expecting from here!

1) Inside look at testing, product selection, and phot0shoots!  We don’t sell just anything and everything a manufacturer gives us.  Of course we request a model for ourselves so we can test it out and make sure it’s up to standards before we put it up on our website to make available to you, our customers.  You will be getting videos and pictures of not the test flight and product introductions (like you can find on the website), but bloopers, behind the scenes activities, and much more!

2) Interviews! You know those guys you see at shows and conventions? You know those pilots and drivers you see at competitions and other RC events sporting our logos? Well I will be bringing you exclusive interviews with them.  Before that happens, I will make a pre-interview post asking you guys what questions you would like me to ask them!  We’ll select a few of those questions and include them in the interview!

We’ll also be working hard to get interviews with sponsored drivers and pilots available to you, also exclusively on this blog!  Just like the employee interviews, I’ll make a pre-interview post asking you guys for questions in the comments section!  I’ll also be making posts for taking questions on the facebook fanpages, so feel free to leave them there! (Links to the right)

3) Inside look of everyday life at Raiden Tech!  Occasionally (when I’m not swamped with work or making fun content for you all), I will take some time simply walking around the office, take some photos and record some videos just to give you guys an inside look at the people here.  Perphaps maybe even give you guys a preview of things that are soon to come that we haven’t announce officially just yet!  Basically our day hard at work and play…*ahem* sorry boss…we’ll put the heli and paintball gun away now.

Please also go take a look at my About page for more info on me and this website!

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