Blade Nano CP S In Stock

The Nano CPX was one of our favorite collective-pitch helicopters, and it wasn't all that long ago that it was discontinued. We didn't, at the time, know why Horizon decided to stop production on the tiny helicopter, but we weren't happy about it.

All's forgiven, though, now that the Nano CP S has arrived. It's the same great chassis and same great handling, but with the added benefit of Horizon's SAFE technology, giving the pilot a panic switch and envelope limiting - an upgrade that makes the Nano CP S even better for collective-pitch novices. There's really nothing to dislike about the Nano CP S - even the price! The helicopter is available as a Bind-N-Fly for only $99.99, and for those that want a radio with it, $129.99 gets you the Ready-to-Fly edition. If you're at all interested in collective-pitch flight, check out the Blade Nano CP S!

Introducing the New Losi Night Crawler 2.0

Losi's original Night Crawler was a pretty popular truck when it first came out. With the recent emphasis on scale rigs, though, the Night Crawler sorta got left on the cutting room floor. Now, Losi has rejuvenated the Night Crawler, adding a new lightbar, tossing in a 35T motor, and calling it the Night Crawler 2.0.

The Night Crawler's big claim to fame was a worm-gear based drivetrain, providing the best grip and "drag-brake" possible, and that hasn't changed. You can't turn the tires by hand at all, something rock-crawling enthusiasts know is important when slipping isn't an option. The Night Crawler requires a battery and charger to be purchased separately, which sets you back a bit more, but the truck itself is a pretty good value at only $299.99, complete with radio, motor, ESC, and servo. Stop in and check it out today!

Indoor eFly Status: Another Event & Venue!

Last week, we reported that the Frankenmuth Aeromodelers Club found a new venue for their yearly indoor flying events. Now, this week, we're happy to report another event has been scheduled at yet another venue, this time by the Bay City Flying Eagles, and it's a pretty exciting announcement.

The new venue is the Tri-City Sports Complex in Auburn, with a huge 73,500 square feet and 65' ceilings, as you can see pictured above. This is hoped to be the first of many; depending on how well attended this first event, it might become a monthly thing - which would be awesome. Oh, and did I mention that this first event is FREE for pilots and spectators alike? How cool is that?

For this event's details, as well as the Frankenmuth Club's upcoming indoor flying event, check out our completely re-vamped Indoor eFly Event page, where you can see the latest news, event dates and times, and get directions to the venues.

Hopefully both of these events are well attended and grow into a regular thing in the winter, and it would be even better if the two clubs could work together so as not to schedule on top of each other and help bring all of the R/C pilots in Mid-Michigan together a couple times per month. If that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, then the breakdown in relations between SVSU and the Frankenmuth Club just might turn into a blessing in disguise.

Indoor eFly Status: No More SVSU, New Location

In the last couple of weeks, the state of our local indoor flying event has been in question. The typical venue, SVSU’s Ryder Center has officially severed the relationship they have enjoyed with the Frankenmuth R/C Aeromodelers Club for a number of years, resulting in the annual Ryder Center eFly events being cancelled altogether. An unfortunate turn, to be sure - the Ryder Center eFlys were an event that brought many pilots together from all around mid-Michigan. It will be sad to see it go.

It has been suspected that a new “no-fly” policy in place at SVSU is the cause for this situation, but so far, I have not been able to confirm that. I have reached out to the media relations department at SVSU for further information, and will update this post when I hear anything back.

Not all is lost, though. Dan Pierce, of the Frankenmuth club, has found a new venue for the indoor flying events. The Kern Pavilion in Frankenmuth, will be host to an initial event on November 8th, 2015 from 7pm until 10pm. The cost of the event is $5 per pilot, while spectators get in free.

Heritage Park & Harvey Kern Pavilion

601 Weiss Street

Frankenmuth, Michigan 48734

Additionally, I have heard from multiple sources that another local club is pursuing other indoor flying locales, and should any additional information come to light, you can check back here for more information.

I think we can all agree that any venue of indoor R/C flight is better than no venue, and if any of these negotiations and rumors pan out, we hope for a seamless transition from the Ryder Center to wherever we go from here.

ECX BeatBox & KickFlip Now In Stock

While I was initially skeptical about these 1/36 scale RC vehicles, a test unit we ordered and played with changed my mind. These things are fun. The BeatBox and KickFlip are deceptively simple - the throttle is proportional, but the steering is on/off - it's all right, all center, or all left. This makes it a challenge to drive, but not in a bad way. These two tiny trucks handle utility carpet spectacularly, and even pavement isn't a problem for the foam tires. Tile floors leave them stranded, but the optional rubber tires fix that.

I'm impressed with these two offerings by ECX - their value exceeds their price point, which is a very reasonable $39.99. The BeatBox and KickFlip are fun R/C cars for just about anyone, and even make great gifts! Check them out in the store!

New Store Hours Starting 9/1/15

Effective September 1st, 2015, we have new hours. In order to make our hours simpler to remember and more consistent, we've eschewed the "yo-yo" scheme in favor of the more streamlined hours below:

Monday — Saturday
10am — 6pm

Sunday
Closed

Over the last few years, we've found that our late evenings weren't all that busy — very often it was just two employees standing around, waiting for a customer to come in. We've also found that our current hours setup was difficult for customers to remember, often showing up at the wrong times and finding us closed. Our new hours of operation seeks to fix both of those concerns.

We do understand that some of our customers will find it difficult to stop by if their work schedules conflict with our new hours, and it's not without great thought and consideration that we have decided to change our availability. We hope those that find it impossible to make it here during the week might be able to stop by on Saturday.

As with all the things we do, we will be monitoring how this change goes over the months proceeding the switch. If we see a marked decline in anyway, we will take a careful and measured approach to solving the problem. While we don't anticipate and major issues as a result of our change, we will be listening to our customers.

Thank you to all of our customers over the years and a bigger thanks to our current patrons — we couldn't be here without you! If you have any questions about the change in hours, please contact us and ask, whether you call us, stop in, email us or sound off on our Facebook page. We'll be happy to provide you with whatever answers we can.

HobbyZone Sportsman S+ Now In Stock

Horizon has long been innovating with technology to make radio controlled flight more approachable for everyone. The latest in these innovations is the HobbyZone Sportsman S+ Ready-to-Fly Airplane. It combines the three-axis gyroscopes and accelerometers from AS3X with the envelope-limiting system of SAFE and adds in a GPS component for the most advanced computer-assisted flight in all of radio control hobbies.

Landing has always been one of the biggest concerns for new pilots, but not anymore. Designed to be as intuitive as possible, the HobbyZone Sportsman S+ comes loaded with SAFE+ technology which is equipped with advanced attitude awareness and a GPS system so pilots can leave their hesitancy on the runway, even if it’s their first time flying. Like the beautiful full-scale Glasair Sportsman, the Sportsman S+ is a natural in the sky with the freedom of four-channel control and a powerful brushless motor that comes pre-installed. If a pilot is skittish about the landing, no problem. In the right conditions, the Sportsman S+ will perform the landing with no help from the pilot.

AutoLand — When activated, AutoLand returns the Sportsman S+ safely to the ground with little to no pilot input. When flying in rougher conditions, you can provide some directional guidance and let the system do the rest to execute a safe landing.

Holding Pattern — Push a button, and the Sportsman S+ will automatically fly to a point near its take-off location and circle at an altitude of approximately 120 feet. Once the command is cancelled, you have full control of the aircraft and can continue to fly.

Virtual Fence — You can choose between a circular setting with 360-degree fence or a rectangular setting with a fence that prevents the Sportsman S+ from flying behind you. Both fences will prevent the aircraft from flying too far away. When the Sportsman S+ encounters the Virtual Fence boundary, the control system will automatically activate Holding Pattern and return the aircraft to near its take-off location and circle until you cancel the command.

The HobbyZone Sportsman S+ RTF is $349.99 for a one-box, everything-you-need purchase. We currently have two of them on the shelf, so stop by soon and start flying!

DIY Quadcopter Supplies Now In Stock!

Starting this week, we're now carrying supplies for the "DIY" quadcopter enthusiast - including all the necessary equipment to build the above (and below) 250-size multi-rotor that I build last week. I'm pretty pleased with the result - the chassis is clean with no extraneous wires lying around. It was a fun build process, with only a few headaches, mostly due to the lack of solid directions and/or guides on how to program the flight control board.

I'm planning on writing my own step-by-step instructions on how to build this quadcopter, including how to program it. I'm not sure how long the writing process on this will take, but keep an eye out for that guide when it gets published.

Here's a list of the equipment used on this build, all of which we now carry in stock:

  • Diatone "Silver Blade" 250-size Quadcopter Frame
  • Emax 1806 Motor Combo (2CW & 2CCW)
  • Naze 32 Full Flight Control Board
  • Castle Creations Talon 25 Quadcopter ESCs
  • Spektrum DSMX Remote Receiver
  • ECX Velcro Battery Strap
  • EC3 Device Connector
  • Parma Pro Servo Tape
  • 4" Red/Black 12GA Wire

We also carry GemFan propellers in 5x3, 5x4.5, and 6x3 sizes in various colors. The clear props used on the quadcopter below came with the Diatone frame.

As we see interest in this multi-rotor category increase, we'll certainly expand it as needed. Right now, we're focused on the 250-class quadcopters and related equipment, and strive to have the best products on the shelf for our customers. If you've ever been interested in building your own quadcopter, stop in and let's chat about it! We'll get you set up in no time!

Blade Glimpse FPV Now In Stock

I was excited about the Blade Glimpse from the moment it was announced. I have a tough time flying FPV with goggles (mostly because of my glasses), so a top-notch quadcopter with FPV streaming to a phone sounded pretty amazing. Now, the Glimpse has come out and is in stock.

The Glimpse is equipped with SAFE technology for ease-of-use, and has an integrated HD camera capable of 720P HD capture. It's a little bigger than the Blade Nano QX, and that extra size makes it a bit more stable outdoors, though it's still plenty small enough to fly inside. You can enjoy 6-8 minute flights with the included 500mAh 1S LiPo, and the included USB charger makes recharging a breeze.

The best part about the Glimpse is the First-Person-View setup. It allows streaming to multiple smartphones or tablets with it's "Team View" tech. The stream is still a little laggy, but better than most WiFi FPV rigs. As a primer on FPV flight and aerial photography, the Glimpse should be a winner. Pick up an RTF ($220) or a BNF ($180) today!

New Vendor: Cobble Hill Puzzle Company

We recently picked up a new vendor: the Cobble Hill Puzzle Company. Their puzzles use "the finest inks and varnishes" and "feature linen textured paper and premium grade blue board, and use 100% recycled chipboard". We received two dozen new puzzles from Cobble Hill last week, with various subject matter. They are available in multiple piece counts, though the average is 1,000 pieces. They also have 275 piece puzzles with larger pieces for easier handling, great for kids and the elderly.

Cobble Hill's puzzles range from $14.99 to $15.99.