Written by Mark Fadely
Find the entire feature on page 16 in the October 2011 issue.
Read an abridged summary as well as online exclusive photos from the event.
THE PINNACLE of aerobatic 3-D RC flight in the USA takes place each June at the greatest of all flying sites. It’s the Extreme Flight Championships (XFC) and the venue is AMA’s International Aeromodeleing Center in Muncie, Indiana.
The contestants represent a special, elite group of the world’s top RC airplane and helicopter pilots. The event organizers designed this spectacle to be as entertaining as it is competitive. Thousands of local residents come out each year to be treated to the aerial displays.
At this year’s XFC, art, science, and skill came together in a way that only expert model aviators can accomplish. During the three-day contest, crowds were amazed with daring, low-level flight routines that were precisely choreographed to toe-tapping musical scores. The traditional Indiana thunderstorms made their unwelcome appearance, but all competition flights were flown, including a drizzly Night-Fly championship.
The XFC is the Olympics of RC piloting. Giant Scale airplanes and state-of-the-art helicopters flew heart-pounding, extreme 3-D flights nonstop for three days. Sometimes the inevitable crashes occurred, but the pilots dusted themselves off and continued with their backup aircraft as if nothing had happened.
The contest has evolved throughout the years under the guidance of Frank Noll, his XFC volunteers, and staff. Loyal fans from the Muncie community return year after year to watch and enjoy the competition.
The XFC committee invites competitors to fly. A few spots are intentionally left open and a precontest called the “last chance qualifier” takes place on Thursday to fill those spots. It is exciting because you can just show up and fly. If you are lucky and win the judges’ favor, you might find yourself actually competing in the XFC!
Read more about the top scorers, new participants, and the night flight ending in a standing ovation on page 16 in the October 2011 issue.