The 2019 Heli Extravaganza Sliding Auto Contest - RESULTS This was awesome!
The rules for the contest were simple. Maybe too simple. You had to hit throttle hold at or above 50' AGL, touch down before the foul line, then slide as far as you could. Some guys asked what if you bounced? Would that still count? We said yes not thinking what it could mean. In the end, what started out as a sliding auto contest quickly became a bump and glide contest. All of the really long runs were bump and glide.
So while you might say that's not a sliding auto, it's still a very challenging maneuver. And it's one where things can go very wrong. If you come in hot and bang the heli into the ground to make sure you touch down before the foul line, you can break skids, strip tail gears, and, well, really hammer the model. Plenty of guys did. And with lots of forward momentum, trying to eek out every bit of distance as the rotor slows down, the model gets pretty squirrely. More than a few rabbit ears were seen.
In the end, guys figured it out and, with the skis to provide some extra 'flotation' on the touchdown and reduced friction on the slide, we saw some amazing distances.
Longest Debris Field**
*OK, Mark Pfaff DID have the longest combined slides but jeez, we're not giving him BOTH awards so we gave it to Chad Taylor. They both seemed happy.
**Maynard Mickler was like the first guy up and he smacked his model pretty hard. While gaining altitude for his second run the damage became VERY clear. And while the resulting debris field wasn't that long, it was pretty deep. We feel for you, buddy.
A Major Thank You
So when Chris Mulcahy asked me if Random RC would sponsor and organize a sliding auto contest for the 2019 Heli Extravaganza I knew I needed a couple of really good pilots to provide the training and run the contest. I couldn't have picked better ones than Robert Montee and Steve O'Connor. In addition to the skill and experience they brought to the task, their love and enthusiasm for the hobby was evident throughout the Extravaganza. It
really wouldn't have been the same without them.
Another major thank you goes to Chris Mulcahy for giving me the opportunity to sponsor the contest. Although making all those skis was more work that I thought, watching the pilots use them was more than satisfying. (Maybe if I practice this coming year I'll have the balls to do what the pilots in this year's contest did.)
Finally, a big thank you to the Triple Tree folks for letting me paint lines all over their beautiful grass, loaning us a sweet golf cart limo, and generally saying yes to everything we asked for.
It was awesome.