Winning the XFC by John Glezellis

Aug 08, 2010 No Comments by

Winning at the 2010 Extreme Flight Championships

By John Glezellis

The summer is in full swing and I have been very busy with both local giant-scale events as well as preparing for the Clover Creek Invitational competition that will be coming up in September.

This year, I was fortunate enough to win the Futaba Extreme Flight Championships in Muncie, Indiana. This was my second time winning this event, with the first time being in 2003. To fly at the competition level, it takes many hours of dedication, and I will now reveal my practice methods as well as talking a bit about the airplane I chose to fly.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

I started competition in Pattern, at the beginner level, at the age of eleven. With that said, I’ve worked my way to the Invitational-level, which in Aerobatics, is the highest level that can be achieved. However, even though I’ve been competing in Freestyle-type events since 1997, I still dedicate hours and hours to practicing as quite frankly, practice can never be enough. About a month before an event like the XFC, I try to practice between 4 – 5 sessions a week, and average about 7 flights per session. Also, I spend a lot of time at home “visualizing” the sequence I am flying, and what maneuvers I can add to my freestyle program. I draw my sequence in Aresti, and make sure that the sequence has all of the components that are found in the rule-book and judging criteria for the event. After I design my freestyle, I mix my music using a music editing software and adjust the music mix to my specific freestyle sequence.

About the Airplane…


For the past two years, I’ve decided to fly a Thunder Tiger 40% Extra 260. Personally, I’ve always loved the lines of the Extra 260, and am quite happy with the manner in which this model performs.

This years’ model is a bit different from last year. First off, my new model has counter-balanced elevators and also, a personal color scheme that I designed (will soon be in production).

This airplane features:

  • Engine: Desert Aircraft 170cc engine,
  • Exhaust: J’TEC Mufflers
  • Prop: Air Models 31 x 12 2-blade prop
  • Servos: JR 8711HV (1 on throttle, 3 per aileron, 1 per elevator half, and 3 on pull-pull for the rudder)
  • Receiver: JR 1222 PowerSafe Receiver
  • Batteries: Spektrum 4000 mAh LiPo (2 for the receiver) and a Spektrum 2000 mAh LiPo (1 for the ignition, 1 for the smoke pump)
  • Smoke System: TME

The goal on this model was to save weight. I avoided regulators and opted to use high-voltage servos that could handle 7.4volts (8.4 volts initially). By avoiding the use of regulators (with the exception of the ignition), one more point of failure is taken away.

Lastly, I used stock mufflers as I personally like the smoke that stock mufflers produce, plus, it saves weight. At an event like this one, sound is not an issue.

In Closing…

I want to thank my parents for their years of dedication and support. To excel in any hobby, support is crucial. My parents have made many sacrifices to attend contests with and for me, and I will always appreciate and be thankful of that. Also, I want to thank my girlfriend, Jessica Moreira, for attending and calling for me at this event.

Last but not least, a special thanks to my sponsors as without their support, which include:


Horizon Hobby / JR,
Ace Hobby / Thunder Tiger, Desert Aircraft, PowerBox Systems, Fromeco Avionics, J’TEC, Hacker Brushless, Sullivan Products, TME, Aerographix

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About the author

Senior Technical Editor About Me: I have a lifelong passion for all things scale, and I love to design, build and fly scale RC airplanes. With 20 plus years as part of the Air Age family of magazines, I love producing Model Airplane News and Electric Flight.
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