The awards banquet held on Saturday every year after the first day of RCX is something everyone looks forward to, not only because it’s a fun way to end a fun, busy day at the show but because we announce some very special awards. Our Editors’ Choice picks are a way for us to showcase the best of the best of all the planes, helicopters and gear we review. These winning products are all unique in their categories, and they’re all items that we would recommend to our flying field friends. Without further ado, let’s see who won this year!
Our radio of the year is a great-looking 6-channel unit that’s affordable enough for a newcomer yet can handle the needs of most sport pilots. It has both aircraft and helicopter mixes and the “feel” and programming options of a much more expensive radio. It’s fully customizable, has 10 model memories, audible alarms and user-friendly, intuitive programming inputs. The part that blew us away? Its price tag of just $180!
To win Innovation of the Year the product has to make a significant advancement to the RC world. If that advancement can make it much easier and safer for the novice to learn how to fly, then you truly have a winning combination. That is exactly what Horizon Hobby’s SAFE Technology does, especially when added to the Apprentice S 15e airplane. A plane that can take off and land almost by itself, will not allow the new pilot to turn it upside down and even if you still get in trouble there is a panic button that will right the plane to level flight. How can you not like this plane?
A micro helicopter that comes out of the box ready to fly and with scale details like micro nav lights, windshield wipers and sliding cabin doors? Sign us up! The Heli-Max Black Hawk looks great, but that’s not all: its four-blade rotor head has flybarless stabilization, so it flies like a larger bird. What’s not to love about this military machine?
The Hobby People Fly Apollo AI has all the stuff you would want on a quadcopter: raised padded landing gears, carbon fiber props, a camera gimbal that can fit popular miniature cameras, GPS assisted stabilization and a full-size full functioning 2.4 Ghz transmitter. This bird is easy to fly and very solid in the air and comes with all the premium features at an introductory price.
A 60cc scale warbird that comes out of the box with a ton of scale details and outstanding flying characteristics is what you have with the F4U-1D Corsair from Hangar 9. We are talking detail cockpit, sliding canopy, functional three-panel flaps, internal linkage, ordinance pylons, rotating electric retracts and optional drop tanks, bombs and navigation lights. Top it off with a solid flight performance and an available radial engine and you have our plane of the year.