There are quite a few photos that I’ve uploaded and they’re in the gallery below, just open them and use the left/right buttons at the bottom of the viewer pane to move between photos.

There were a lot of great pilots at the NEAT fair and some really fun events as well.  The helicopter section was a bit quiet but there Kyle Stacey and someone from Team Just Go Fly were putting on demos throughout the day, and there were some neat R/C Helicopter models flown there from time to time as well.

By far the majority of the aircraft at the NEAT Fair 2010 were airplanes, everything from flat foamies to large highly detail scale models.  Everyone looked good flying out there, and while there were some crashes and planes lost in the hills I would have to say most flights were successful and enjoyable to watch.

I didn’t take any models to fly at NEAT, I’m don’t fly well in crowds as they make me nervous, maybe one day I’ll get over that but I’m pretty happy flying my RC aircraft with a few friends and not an audience.

One of the coolest planes to see for me was one pilots hotliner which just ripped up the air.  The plane accelerated from a gentle glide to high speeds in no time flat, and actually cavitated in the air when accelerating from a low speed, which sounded pretty cool. I did see some other hotliners, but nothing like that kind of acceleration. It might just be because I’ve not had a lot of exposure to hotliners, but it was a lot of fun and I might have to get into that!  Here’s a quick photo and a video.

There were also some neat helicopters, tri-copters, octacopters and all sorts of stuff.  The guys from Heli Flight Center were there and seemed to have a lot of people moving through.  They were one of the few heli specific booths at the show and they got a lot of interest from passing pilots, lots of questions and over all their booth looked good.

Bryn picked up a Blade MSR for $120 (BNF), he’s never flown a real R/C helicopter before and he tried it out this evening.  He got that thing right up and hovering after about 4 attempts, I think he’ll pick it up pretty good in time and might move into more advanced helis.   That Blade MSR is a great little RC helicopter.

I picked up some LED lighting strips to add more lighting to my Mini-Titan RC Helicopter. I bought 2 feet of blue LEDs and 2 feet of green LEDs. for $5 per foot.  The lighting on the Mini-Titan is great for flying at dusk when there’s not enough light from the sun to make out the position of the helicopter very well.  At some point I may even try flying it at night.

The videos will take a little bit of time to process but will be here soon so please bookmark the page and check back for new videos, there are some great shots and views of the demos and events.  Some of the events were the NEAT Fair Multiplex EasyStar Combat competition with about 8 Multiplex Easy Stars and one or two collisions and a crash (video further down).  Then there was the NEAT Fair Warplane Mass Launch with what looked like 30+ models in the sky at one time.

One flier, Jim Ryan, at the event had a 4 bladed Trex-450, this model was a standard T-Rex but the head had been replaced with this 4 bladed version.  Each individual blade grip was pivoted for up and down movement (a flapping head) and the rotor blades were made of an extremely flexible material. Jim provided a bit more info in his comment at the bottom of this post. He says “The 4-bladed rotor is the “Black Angel” head from CopterX, available from and other online dealers. The bendy blades are the scale 450 blades from There’s an RCG thread showing one minor tweak I had to do to the head – adding small pieces of heat shrink to the spindle shafts to stiffen the dampers. Other than that, it’s been flawless and trouble-free over dozens of flights.” At one point Jim bent the blade up almost to 90 degrees while he was showing it off, pretty cool! Here’s some photos and a video.

Jim also had a nice twin-rotor Chinook helicopter of his own design, he says on his website, which is linked at the end of this paragraph, that the design was featured in the 2008 issue of Air Age’s RC Helicopter Magazine and that plans are available from Model Airplane News at You can get the vaccum formed body parts from his site. It’s based off of some T-Rex (I thought) mechanics for the heads, and they’re linked internally via a torque tube drive. He described a bit about this helicopter but I only caught a small part of the description on video so I did not upload the description part.  It’s pretty weird to watch it fly in some maneuvers, but fun to watch. You can find out more information at his site, Ryan Aircraft

Also in the helicopter area was a younger guy flying a Tri-Copter setup for FPV. He was not flying it FPV at the show because AMA requires that you have a co-pilot on a buddy box when flying FPV at an AMA venue.  He picked up the information on how to build the model from and said that it felt a lot like flying a co-axial helicopter, but performed very well in forward flight.

The basic design of the Tri-Copter is 3 ‘rotors’ which are airplane props, on brushless motors, each with it’s own ESC. One motor is on a pivoting joint to allow it to be tilted left or right by a servo and provide rotational maneuverability.  3 rate gyros are used to stabilize power to the 3 brushless motors, and one heading hold gyro is used to stabilize the rotation of the aircraft via the servo-controlled tail motor angle.

One of the heli guys also had a Parrot AR.Drone, which means ‘augmented reality’ drone.  This is a pretty cool new product that runs about $300.  It’s controlled by an iPod or iPhone through the Wi-Fi and it sends video back to the iDevice and shows it on the screen. If you have multiple Parrot AR.Drones in flight, you can actually shoot at each other virtually and blow knock each other down.  I see one(or two!) of these Parrot AR.Drones in my future just to play with! I posted an article about these earlier in my ‘AR.Drone New Augmented Reality + FPV Combat Product‘ article if you want more details. The one in the picture below looks a bit different because the foam fan shrouds and canopy is off.  Yay technology!

There was also a great Multiplex Easy Star combat round where people put their Easy Stars into a fight to the death battle to be the top.  There was only one mid-air collision that I saw and recorded and I’ve put the video below. I cut out most of the combat where no contact happens because I know folks like to get right to the combat.  The overall battle lasted about 8 1/2 minutes for that round. I’m not sure if there were more rounds, but by then we were pretty well sunburned, sore and tired and decided to call it a night.

Speaking of Mid-Airs, Bryn managed to record a midair crash between two smaller high wing airplanes during a non-combat event, which means they weren’t trying to hit each other. The video of the mid-air collision is short but pretty good, and as always it’s available in High-Def if you want to watch full screen and burn up some bandwidth.

Another thing that was pretty neat was that I shot a video towards the end of the day when they had a bunch of big electric warbirds in the air. I was trying to shoot the B17 and this little flying wing came into the scene and I was like ‘what!? aww c’mon’ but a few minutes later I found out it was an FPV pilot who had been filming the warbirds from the air and then, of course since it was for the cause of FPV I was then all cool with it.  Yesterday the FPV pilot (FPVFLIGHTSCHOOL) subscribed to my YouTube channel and I saw he had posted his FPV view of the B17 so I posted my video of the B17 and his FPV plane from the ground. Both are below.  Again the FPV video was shot by YouTube user FPVFLIGHTSCHOOL and the ground video was shot by myself.  His video is first, check it out! If you like the videos, make sure to click on the YouTube icon in the video windows and thumb up or leave a comment to the creators.

And here is my video from the ground with the warbirds and the FPV pilot’s plane.

I want to say thanks to the folks who let me photograph their aircraft, video their flights and ask a bunch of questions. There were truly many friendly and helpful folks at this event. Also thanks to the folks who setup and run the NEAT Fair, without them this weekend would have been a lot less interesting.  They did a great job keeping the place cleaned up and looking good, and they kept a good flow of flying and events throughout the day. I wish I could have stayed up through the night/dusk slow flying events that they had planned, there were quite a few planes to be seen with LED lighting strips on them. Hopefully someone else will post up some good video of that.

I will upload more videos to this post tomorrow, so be sure to check back.

Please enjoy the photo gallery below, and feel free to comment below if you know more about the airplanes or models shown or their pilots. I wasn’t able to get a lot of names as we moved pretty quick and some of the name tags were pretty blurry in the photos.

If you desire more NEAT 2010 Photographs, check out RC Groups – Neat Fair 2010 at

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