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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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!).