Print this articlePrint this article


Written by Jennifer Alderman
The US competes against international rivals
Feature
As seen in the December 2019 issue of Model Aviation.


Jump to bonus: Flickr Album

jim hiller
Jim Hiller, Model Aviation’s "RC Jets" columnist, competed in the jet category with his Xtreme ARF Vixen. During his Freestyle routines, Jim purposely "flamed out" the turbine engine to land the aircraft deadstick.

It was hot at Eli Field in Monticello, Illinois, during the weekend of July 19-21, 2019—literally and figuratively! The Extreme Flight Championship (XFC) was back after a two-year hiatus as XFCv2, with a new format, new maneuvers, new aircraft, and new pilots.

Literally, the weather was steamy, with some of the warmest temperatures seen in the Midwest all summer. With temperatures in the 90s and the heat index well above 100° all weekend, trying to keep hydrated and cool was the name of the game for all who attended.

frank noll is one of the creators of the xfc and xfcv2 events
Frank Noll (L) is one of the creators of the XFC and XFCv2 events. His goal has been to add something new each year to make the competition fresh and exciting. Shown with him is chief judge Will Berninger during the announcements of the top seven pilots.

the grand prize for the online raffle
The Grand Prize for the online raffle, picked the weekend before the event, was a custom-scheme Havoc SS turbine jet donated by Elite Aerosports, with custom-engraved Electron Retracts landing gear that was donated by JAG RC. It was won by Steven Petrotto. Photo courtesy of Elite Aerosports and XFCv2.

santiago perez waits with his caller kim quenette
Santiago Perez (R) waits with his caller, Kim Quenette, on the taxiway to start his flight. Kim, representing Israel, and Santiago, representing the US, competed in the two categories of jets and airplanes. Both were knocked out of the jet competition before the finals when the jet they were sharing crashed.

Figuratively, the competition was on fire the entire weekend! Frank Noll, the event coordinator and mastermind behind the original XFC and XFCv2, came up with a new idea for the contest in the summer of 2018, presenting it on the Extreme Flight Championship Facebook page in a teaser video made by Manuel Santos, a former XFC competitor and videographer/graphic designer.

Frank’s plan was to not only have airplane and helicopter pilots compete with Known maneuvers and Freestyle flights, but also include turbine jets flying aerobatic Known and Freestyle maneuvers—much like the up-and-coming F3S Jet Precision Aerobatics that have become popular in the last couple of years.

In addition to the new jet class, pilots would not only compete on an individual level but also go against each other as teams, with those from the US vying against other countries for the top team champion spot, similar to Fédération Aéronautique International world championship competitions. The international team captain, Adi Kochav, from Israel, coordinated the entrants from other countries and set up an international XFCv2 website for registrants.

Applications for the contest were accepted in October 2018 then team captains and XFCv2 US and international committees preselected their choices. Invitations to the pilots for each category went out shortly before the beginning of 2019. Because of an abundance of applicants, the rest of the pilots for the US teams (six more for airplanes, two more for jets, and three more for helicopters) were selected via a voting system on the FlyingGiants.com forum.

The category rosters for the US and international teams were initially to be composed of eight pilots each, but for several reasons, including some pilots not being able to make it because of other commitments or difficulties with travel and shipping aircraft from other countries, the number of pilots was fewer than expected. It did not stop those who came to Eli Field from going for the top spot, though!

Three Known maneuvers for each class were released on the XFCv2 website in February 2019, allowing the pilots plenty of time to perfect them and put together choreographed flights to music. The Freestyle portion of the competition was modeled after what was used in the Tournament of Champions (TOC) contest many years before, with flights timed at 4 minutes and the time starting when the wheels of the airplane or the skids of the helicopter landing gear departed the runway. The time stopped when they touched down at the 4-minute mark. Pilots had a 5-second window on either side of the 4 minutes before deductions would occur.

lifelong friendships were made at xfcv2
Lifelong friendships were made at XFCv2! International pilots Alex Genovese Jr. (L), from Australia, and Kevin St-Cyr, from Canada, placed first and second in the helicopter category. Both made the most of their time in the US the following week—Alex attended the International Radio Controlled Helicopter Association Jamboree in Muncie IN, and Kevin showcased his night-flying talents at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

jase dussia shown with chief judge will berninger
Jase Dussia (L), shown with chief judge Will Berninger, won the XFCv2 Grand Champion overall award with some amazing flights and a final total score of 2,994.5144.

While the first pilots’ meeting to choose flight positions took place Thursday night, wheels were up promptly at 9 a.m. on Friday after a brief meeting with the chief judge, Will Berninger, to go over last-minute details. The first flights of the day began with the airplane Known maneuvers, then helicopters, then jets. The same went for the afternoon Freestyle flights. Saturday’s flight order began with helicopters first, then airplanes, then jets.

jase dussia with his extreme flight airplane and kevin stcyr
Jase Dussia, with his Extreme Flight airplane, and Kevin St-Cyr, with his SAB Goblin helicopter, were two of three pilots who entertained the crowd with smoke, lights, and fireworks during the night show on Saturday.

brenden hire who flew an xlpower specter 700 helicopter
Brenden Hire (L), who flew an XLPower Specter 700 helicopter, was one of several pilots who competed at an XFC event for the first time.

bryant mack 3d airplane is almost smoked out in a hover during his freestyle routine
Bryant Mack’s 3D airplane is almost smoked out in a hover during his Freestyle routine. He finished in third place overall in the airplane category.

the international team poses for a photo after the awards ceremony
The international team poses for a photo after the awards ceremony. (L-R): Kim Quenette (Israel), Antonio de Souza (Brazil), Harel Koriat (Israel), Tom Edgecombe (United Kingdom), Martin Brandmüller (Austria), Sasha Cecconi (Italy), Jorge Berra (Mexico), Kevin St-Cyr (Canada), and Alex Genovese Jr. (Australia).

It was interesting to observe the pilots throughout the event. Some watched the sky while others flew; some used stick airplanes to practice their flights, with headphones on and listening to their choreographed flight music. All seemed relaxed, smiling and cheering each other on (especially the family of pilot Jorge Berra from Mexico; they cheered every pilot on with horns and clackers!) and having a great time.

What really caught my eye was how all of the pilots came together to help each other in times of need. One incident saw a jet crash far out in the soybean field beyond the flightline. Several pilots came together to bring the wreckage back to the storage barn, walking the entire length of the field because vehicles were not allowed.

Some US pilots loaned backup aircraft to international pilots when shipping from overseas was an issue. Even extra electronics or parts were pulled from parts bins or backup aircraft if something broke on someone’s airplane or helicopter. They might have been rivals in the air, but they all came together on the ground.

With possible stormy weather forecast on Sunday, the decision was made to fly one of the rounds of the final top seven pilots on Saturday afternoon. Preliminaries were finished by midafternoon, and the announcements of which pilots were in the finals were made, as well as which teams won each category. While the US team topped the airplane category, the international team was ahead in helicopters and jets.

The fun and excitement didn’t end with that finals round late Saturday afternoon. As it grew dark, friends were able to gather together for food and good conversation (and even a little bit of foamie airplane flying) while waiting for the night-flying air show.

Only three pilots signed up to fly—Jase Dussia and Jorge Berra with airplanes and Kevin St-Cyr with his helicopter—but did they ever put on a show! All three initially flew by themselves then came back and flew together with fireworks in the background. It’s always amazing to watch the LED-lit blades of the heli whirl or the smoke from the airplanes light up as it trails behind the white wingtip lights!

Sunday morning, it was down to the wire and crunch time for the top seven pilots in each category. They all put on their best flights in both the Knowns and Freestyle, pushing the boundaries with how low they could go, how much smoke they could produce, and how precisely they could tumble.

And then it was over, and there was only one champion in each category and one grand champion to take home the large, etched-glass Grand Champion vase. Jase Dussia walked away with the vase, along with the glass trophy for first place in the airplane category. Kevin St-Cyr won the helicopter category, and Spencer Nordquist won the jet category. The other top competitors in each class won monetary prizes.

Worth noting is that the event was free for spectators to attend. The pilots’ winnings were supported by the sales of raffle prize tickets (including the grand prize online raffle of an Elite Aerosports Havoc SS jet with Electron Retracts custom-engraved landing gear that was given away via a Facebook live video the previous weekend), entry fees for pilots, and XFCv2 T-shirt sales.

Frank was pleased with how XFCv2 turned out. "The competition was probably higher than it had ever been [in the past] as far as the quality of it," he said. "The response from the international guys coming over [was great] … unfortunately, though, the US guys, we got beat, but that happens. That was the whole point.

"Overall, it was really, really good. Everybody enjoyed themselves, there were no issues … attendance was down, but that was due to multiple reasons. But, yeah … I was happy with it overall!"

He stated that there would be some changes for the next XFCv2. "We’ll try to clean up a few things and change the format a little bit … so, I’ve got a couple other ideas on it. It’s good!"

Let’s cross our fingers that Mother Nature doesn’t bring so much heat and humidity next year … but that the competition and flying stay blazingly hot!

model aviation rc jets columnist competed in the jet category with his xtreme arf vixen

final pilot placing

Flickr Album

XFCv2

Final Pilot Placings

Airplanes

  1. Jase Dussia
  2. Spencer Nordquist
  3. Bryant Mack
  4. Sacha Cecconi
  5. Santiago Perez
  6. Antonio de Souza
  7. Harel Koriat

Helicopters

  1. Kevin St-Cyr
  2. Justin Cook
  3. Alex Genovese Jr.
  4. Paul Andreoli
  5. A.J. Jaffe
  6. Brenden Hire

Jets

  1. Spencer Nordquist
  2. Jim Hiller
  3. Dwayne Woods

Sponsors

Anchor Sponsor:

Horizon Hobby

Airplane Category Sponsor:

Extreme Flight R/C

Helicopter Category Sponsor:

Scorpion Power System

Jet Category Sponsor:

JR Propo/Dee Force Aviation

Additional Sponsors:

Desert Aircraft

Elite Aerosports

JAG RC LLC

PowerBox Systems USA

Athens Trophy Shop

AeroGraphix

FlyingGiants.com

HolySmokes Fuel Pumps

Aviator Plus RC/Great Power Engines

AeroCummulus Smoke Oil

BKHobbies.com/SAB USA

see more photos online

Check out additional content at www.ModelAviation.com/bonuscontent.

SOURCES:

XFCv2

www.xfcv2.com

www.facebook.com/Extreme-Flight-Championships-139919652743899

RCGroups XFCv2 Competition threads

www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?3144231-XFC-v2-competition

www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?3174765-2018-XFC-v2-Info-and-Voting%21

XFCv2 Flickr Photo Gallery

www.flickr.com/photos/modelaircraft/albums/72157710573085543

Add new comment