Dedicated to the Promotion of Electric Propulsion in all types of Aeromodeling

Arizona Electric Festival 2024

By Mark Davis

I went to the Arizona Electric Festival this year, so here is a brief report and some pictures.   The event is held at the beginning of February every year, at Superstition Airpark on the east side of Phoenix.

This year was the 20th occurrence.  This scenic airstrip one of the fields most often featured in flight simulators, and has a large 800ft x 85ft runway with plenty of overrun area on all sides.  The event is generally well-attended and well-organized.  As the name implies, the event is all electric, of every type.  They have food trucks, dinner on Saturday, night flying, awards, and great raffle prizes.

This year there were major storms just before and after the event.  Saturday turned out perfect, but Friday and Sunday were more challenging in terms of wind.

Horizon’s Tony Quist and Ali Machinchy were there, mostly flying the Horizon OV-10 Bronco and a huge glider.   The glider is 9 meters in span (almost 30 feet), but weighs under 50lbs.  It has a folding prop (detachable, so isn’t shown in every photo).   Ali made turns at frighteningly slow speeds and low altitude, under perfect control.

At noon they put on a show featuring pro pilots, the Blackstar FPV team, miscellaneous “gaggles” of various types, and also this helicopter, which can hit 200mph.   I didn’t know that was even possible for a  helicopter (see link to short video)  https://youtu.be/jMHBrU7R-TE

I took a new 2.3meter jet with a 130mm fan.  When I was setting up, I happened to run into George Harper (SEFSD member) who was in Phoenix and stopped by the event.  So he helped me out and served as spotter.

 

Here is a video of the maiden flight and a few clips from subsequent flights:

On the first flight, a piece came detached and got sucked into the fan.  On the second flight, I didn’t fully latch the canopy and it came off in flight.   When I told my wife I had two flights and two detached parts, she suggested I should work for Boeing.  Ouch (for them and for me).

PS: After I wrote this article, a channel called “Redbeard Reviews RC” posted a general video about the event.  It is at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yivcazLk88

Some highlights are:
3:01 flight of 9 meter glider
6:44 giant smuggler’s Cessna
12:13 my maiden flight
16:00 flight of the ultra-fast helicopter
20:15 Osprey crash

Below are other random photos, including a large “smuggler” Cessna, and a fleet of really well-made Depron foam board planes.