Even though June has drawn to a close, it seems like the summer is far from over. And for all of you R/C pilots out there, that's a good thing, especially since there are a bunch of new products that are coming out, or already here. First of all, from Horizon Hobby comes the new ParkZone Extra 300. It's a mid-wing foam airplane, with a wingspan of about 40 inches. It sports a killer paint scheme (one you're sure not to miss). This plane comes in two flavors: Bind-N-Fly, and Plug-N-Play. The Bind-N-Fly version comes with an AR500 Spektrum receiver, a 3-cell 2200mah Lipo battery, and a DC charger - all that is needed is any Spektrum DSM2 transmitter, and you're flying. The Plug-N-Play version is just the airframe and servos - you need a battery, charger, receiver and transmitter for that version. The Bind-N-Fly is here at the store, and is priced at $250. The Plug-N-Play one is a specail order only, and goes for $185.
Also fresh off the FedEx truck is the new ParkZone Nght Vapor. This is one I have covered before, and it has finally come in. A new take on a classic (can I call it a 'classic' if it's only two years old?) design, the Night Vapor boasts a new modular design and new trim scheme. Oh, and did I mention it has lights on it? While the Bind-N-Fly version is still a couple weeks away (according to the last estimate I saw), the Ready-To-Fly version now sits comfortably on our shelves. You can take one off our hands for the same price as the original: $130.
In the realm of the recently announced, Blade is coming out with a new mid-micro helicopter. Sized at between the mSR and the SR, the all-new Blade 120SR is a fixed-pitch helicopter. This little guy comes complete with a 500mAh single-cell lipo battery, an AC/DC variable rate charger, and a 5-in-1 control unit similar to the mSR. Like almost all of the Blade helis, this one comes in both Ready-To-Fly ($180) and Bind-N-Fly ($150) versions. Pre-orders are welcome, and probably necessary if you want your hands on one right away. The Blade SR came out over four months ago, and they're still hard to get. Pre-order your Blade 120SR today.
And of course, how could I forget about the new Spektrum annoucement. Likely the worst-kept secret in the history of R/C, Spektrum recently announced the DX8 radio. It features the same SD interface as the JR 11X24 radio (awesome), but tosses even more cool things in. It has what Spektrum calls "AirWare" built in. This included full range telemetry, beamed right to the screen on the transmitter. Initial telemetry options include: receiver pack voltage indicator, RPM sensor, signal quality, and a temperature sensor. Spektrum pioneered this technology on their surface radios, and now it's coming to the air radio system in a big way. Check out Spektrum's website for the latest info. No pricing or release date yet, but I'd be surprised if it's any more than $400 for the transmitter and receiver. I also suspect an August/September release date, but this is just a somewhat-educated guess. It's all up in the air (pardon the pun) until they officially announce it.
In other news, it should be noted that, as of July 1st, our Service and Repairs department are no longer working on or tuning nitro engines. Specifically, any vehicle that requires the starting or running of a nitro engine, will be turned away. This decision was made for many reasons, and certainly was not made lightly. We have noticed a growing trend: many of our customers were no longer doing any of the work on their engines themselves, and instead bringing their trucks in for us to tune. This is bad for two big reasons: first we simply don't have the staff to work on that many cars/trucks. Secondly, and more importantly, is that these vehicles are not toys. They require maintenance and work to keep them running. The hobby shop should not be responsible for your hobby; it is a hobby you picked for a reason. You are supposed to spend time with it, not bring it to someone else when it doesn't work perfectly. It defeats the spirit of the hobby altogether. If you are a nitro vehicle owner, and do not like performing engine maintenance, I'd respectfully suggest that you'd be happier with an electric car instead.
Please note that we will continue to assist customers in getting their engines running and educating them on how to correctly tune and maintain them. The only difference is that we will no longer be performing said maintenance for them.
And finally, I wish everyone out there a happy and safe Independence Day weekend. Keep in mind we are open regular hours on Saturday and Monday, so if you need parts, cannon fuse, or anything else, we'll be there as usual.
As always, thanks for reading, and thank you for being a customer.