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Pumpkin drop event

FliteFest Newb - several questions

#1
I will be joining others this year in the journey to the RC plane mecca also known as FliteFest. I'll be bringing my wife and boys (10 and 7), and staying in a hotel since I'm too spoiled for air conditioning to sleep in a tent. I've been browsing through previous years info but still have a few questions.

- Should I bring foamboard with me? Wondering if there is a shortage of the stuff locally with so many folks building at once.
- What about other stuff like firewalls, tape, piano wire, etc?
- How many tools should I bring along? (knives, soldering iron, screwdrivers, glue guns, etc)
- If I have a bunch of supplies, tools, etc - how do I keep them "safe" while I'm flying?
- How does battery charging work on site? The site says there are charging stations, but do they get super crowded? Should I bring my own power supply and chargers as a backup? Is there even power to plug my stuff into?
- I see there are several stem sessions for the kids - any tips on getting registered, and should we plan to attend all, or are all sessions pretty much the same with only different planes?
- Is edgewater nearby? Would we be able to at least stop by and take a short self-guided walking tour of the outside property?
- Any other tips/tricks that might help us enjoy our time at FliteFest?
 

Merv

Well-known member
#2
Some of your questions are personal choice. I come to FF to fly, I don’t intend to build, just make repairs. I will bring 1-2 sheets of FB, supplies & enough tools to suffice. I will bring enough BQS and hot glue sticks to share. The build tents are ample but will fill up by late morning. There are about 4 plugs per 2 tables, so bring a power strip and a short heavy duty power cord. Bring a pop up sun shade and plenty of water.

Flight Test will have a complete hobby store tent full of kits and swag. There will be many other hkobby vendors, 20+, 10 or so food vendors.

I just leave my stuff out during the day, I’ve never lost anything. But I don’t bring any high value stuff, my sunshade would be the highest value object. I bring my own battery chargers.

The learning sessions are worth while. I’ve not seen a schedule, in the past a repeat is obvious. If they say it’s different, it is. Edgewater is near, less than 10 miles away.

A buddy of mine made a great series of videos to describe FF. It’s like a large family reunion.
 

kilroy07

Well-known member
#3
Last year was my first year, and it was amazing!

Here's what I can offer from my experience-

-They had foamboard at the build tents. While it was "free" they asked everyone to respect a reasonable number of sheets so that everyone would have an opportunity to build...

-You are on your own there, however. I did experience a true sense of community (ie. hey, can I borrow your glue gun for just a second...)

-I personally don't think you experience any issues. I know they did "clean up" the build tents at night and some people thought things had gone missing...

-Power was an issue (I witnessed a couple circuit breaker resets...) a power strip will serve you well. There were a couple of power outlets in the build tent, but they were crowded.

-No idea on the Stem stuff other than the guys running it were great when I asked about homeschooling stuff...

-As I understand it, it's a 30-45 min drive.... I plan on swinging by myself this year! (y)

-Plan on an amazing time! If you have questions, just ask the volunteers (red or orange shirts) we are there to help!... Listen to the flight line crew, they are there to keep everyone safe (NO FPV unless you clear it with the quad guys.... you might knock someone out of the air!) Plan on bringing a TON of ideas and inspiration back home with you and making a bunch of new friends!

And look me up, I'll be in a red shirt with Kilroy07 on the back! ;)
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#4
Last year was my first year, and it was amazing!

Here's what I can offer from my experience-

-They had foamboard at the build tents. While it was "free" they asked everyone to respect a reasonable number of sheets so that everyone would have an opportunity to build...

-You are on your own there, however. I did experience a true sense of community (ie. hey, can I borrow your glue gun for just a second...)

-I personally don't think you experience any issues. I know they did "clean up" the build tents at night and some people thought things had gone missing...

-Power was an issue (I witnessed a couple circuit breaker resets...) a power strip will serve you well. There were a couple of power outlets in the build tent, but they were crowded.

-No idea on the Stem stuff other than the guys running it were great when I asked about homeschooling stuff...

-As I understand it, it's a 30-45 min drive.... I plan on swinging by myself this year! (y)

-Plan on an amazing time! If you have questions, just ask the volunteers (red or orange shirts) we are there to help!... Listen to the flight line crew, they are there to keep everyone safe (NO FPV unless you clear it with the quad guys.... you might knock someone out of the air!) Plan on bringing a TON of ideas and inspiration back home with you and making a bunch of new friends!

And look me up, I'll be in a red shirt with Kilroy07 on the back! ;)
This is why I PRAY they have another Flite Fest West...I want that community and camaraderie. 😁 Maybe I propose something to my club, and we do a “Mini Flite Fest West”...we’d have to charge for pilots, obviously, but maybe we could get Amain to bring stuff down to our location and sell stuff in addition to local hobby shops...we wouldn’t have food vendors, but we could do a BBQ and there are some burger and pizza joints about a mile away from the field...

Hmmm...time to start planting some ideas. 😁
 

SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
#5
I will be joining others this year in the journey to the RC plane mecca also known as FliteFest. I'll be bringing my wife and boys (10 and 7), and staying in a hotel since I'm too spoiled for air conditioning to sleep in a tent. I've been browsing through previous years info but still have a few questions.

Not necessary. - Should I bring foamboard with me? Wondering if there is a shortage of the stuff locally with so many folks building at once.

Yes. Bring it if you plan to build. But there is also a store and vendors. - What about other stuff like firewalls, tape, piano wire, etc?

Everything you'll need. However, you can usually get a glue gun to use/share - How many tools should I bring along? (knives, soldering iron, screwdrivers, glue guns, etc)

Common sense. Get someone to watch it. A fam member or build buddy - If I have a bunch of supplies, tools, etc - how do I keep them "safe" while I'm flying?

You drop off batteries and pick them up later (at West at least) I would bring my own- How does battery charging work on site? The site says there are charging stations, but do they get super crowded? Should I bring my own power supply and chargers as a backup? Is there even power to plug my stuff into?

- I see there are several stem sessions for the kids - any tips on getting registered, and should we plan to attend all, or are all sessions pretty much the same with only different planes?
- Is edgewater nearby? Would we be able to at least stop by and take a short self-guided walking tour of the outside property?
- Any other tips/tricks that might help us enjoy our time at FliteFest?
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#6
Foam is not usually an issue. FT provides a certain amount per hour in the tents free.

Has not been too bad but last year there was a spike in attendence and some of the family element was lost on a handful of "me first" types who would take half a case and walk away to build.

Power is not an issue, sockets to plug into are a premium however. Batteries on chargers can not be left unattended. ZERO tolerence on that as well as no powering up electronics in the build tent with props on.

Tools and gear is reasonably safe but the rule is if you want to keep it lock it up or have someone at your space at all times. There have been several thefts the last two years. Some where non FT locals who snuck in and walked off with stuff.

The FT store carries nearly everything they sell. Its quite large and well stocked.

Food is there but spiradic depending on weather as are non FT vendors.

Comfortable shoes and sunscreen is a must. Plan on bringing water and gatorade type electrolite replenishing mix. If its hot like last year its a necessity.

Keep an eye on weather leading up to FFO and plan accordingly each day you come.

Cameras, money, and a huge desire to meet new people are a must.
 
#7
Thanks for the info guys - I will have to build on-site as I doubt I'll be able to get a plane to the site without major hanger rash - coming from the middle of PA ~5 hour drive, with wife, kids and luggage for several days - probably won't be able to fit planes safely in the vehicle.. might try to take something home, but probably wouldn't bring anything bigger than a mini on the way out... perhaps I'll bring my sparrow and someone can help me figure out why it flies so poorly.

One additional question - plans - should I pre-print and bring plans, or are paper plans available (if I don't just decide to buy a kit).
 

Tronglodon

Junior Member
#9
I'm glad someone started a thread like this. My 11 year old son and I will be coming to Flite Fest for the first time this summer. We're flying in from Orange County, California and camping, so it's great to get an idea of what we need to bring with us to have a good weekend.

We'd also love to see another FF West in the future, large or small.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#10
I'm glad someone started a thread like this. My 11 year old son and I will be coming to Flite Fest for the first time this summer. We're flying in from Orange County, California and camping, so it's great to get an idea of what we need to bring with us to have a good weekend.

We'd also love to see another FF West in the future, large or small.
Jealous!!! Whereabouts in OC are you guys? I live down near Oceanside, but used to live in Tustin. :)
 
#12
I am new to RC flying and started in November, became addicted immediately. I'm seriously considering going to FF Ohio and bringing my son with me. A few questions though:

- My son is 7, going into the second grade. He loves the hobby as well but not that he can sling around a razor blade and glue gun without making me nervous. He has flown some, but not a whole lot since I only have one transmitter. Will there be enough to keep a 7 year old happy and involved?
- As a pilot and builder, I'm novice at both (actually had to declare a "hull loss" on my first tiny trainer last night after a nose dive into asphalt, very sad times). Will I fit in at this event since I have little experience? Never flown with multiple planes in the air and I'm a bit intimidated at the prospect...
- My father is also interested in going. He has zero experience in flying or building but doesn't want to pass up an opportunity to go to an event like this with his son and grandson. For the casual observer, would he "fit in"?

Been a lurker for a while. You guys seem nice on the forums.
 
#13
This will be our third FFOH. My two sons are now 20 yrs old and I have a blast attending the past events. We are arriving Thursday evening and camping the whole weekend. We are bring out Tailgating generator so we have plenty o power.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#14
I am new to RC flying and started in November, became addicted immediately. I'm seriously considering going to FF Ohio and bringing my son with me. A few questions though:

- My son is 7, going into the second grade. He loves the hobby as well but not that he can sling around a razor blade and glue gun without making me nervous. He has flown some, but not a whole lot since I only have one transmitter. Will there be enough to keep a 7 year old happy and involved?
- As a pilot and builder, I'm novice at both (actually had to declare a "hull loss" on my first tiny trainer last night after a nose dive into asphalt, very sad times). Will I fit in at this event since I have little experience? Never flown with multiple planes in the air and I'm a bit intimidated at the prospect...
- My father is also interested in going. He has zero experience in flying or building but doesn't want to pass up an opportunity to go to an event like this with his son and grandson. For the casual observer, would he "fit in"?

Been a lurker for a while. You guys seem nice on the forums.
Dont worry about you pilot skills. There are plenty if people around to help you with building, set up, training. Even spot for you if ypu dont have a spotter. Add the awesome guys that work the flight line and youll have no problem.

As for your son there are other things to help keep him occupied. There are people that volunteer specufically to fill in those times kids are not interested or cant be involved in for flying. They do crafts and activities and kast year there were plenty new friends to be made.

Prepare for all types of weather. Bring some kind of portable shade for your camp or even up near the flight line. Some days its a must either from super sunny and hot to rain forrest style down pours.
 
#15
I am new to RC flying and started in November, became addicted immediately. I'm seriously considering going to FF Ohio and bringing my son with me. A few questions though:

- My son is 7, going into the second grade. He loves the hobby as well but not that he can sling around a razor blade and glue gun without making me nervous. He has flown some, but not a whole lot since I only have one transmitter. Will there be enough to keep a 7 year old happy and involved?
- As a pilot and builder, I'm novice at both (actually had to declare a "hull loss" on my first tiny trainer last night after a nose dive into asphalt, very sad times). Will I fit in at this event since I have little experience? Never flown with multiple planes in the air and I'm a bit intimidated at the prospect...
- My father is also interested in going. He has zero experience in flying or building but doesn't want to pass up an opportunity to go to an event like this with his son and grandson. For the casual observer, would he "fit in"?

Been a lurker for a while. You guys seem nice on the forums.
Since the last time I posted on this thread my 11 year old son went from buddy boxing nervously on our Simple Cub to building and flying a Tiny Trainer all on his own. This year will be our first FF, but it seems like there are so many opportunities for building and flying that I think especially a young kid could grow a lot in skill over the long weekend. I'm expecting my kid to be better than me by the end of the summer.
 

Merv

Well-known member
#16
I think especially a young kid could grow a lot in skill over the long weekend.
I must disagree with your statement. EVERYONE can grow a lot in skill over the long weekend.

The forums are great but they do have limitations. I can't see your plane. If you think the people on the forums are helpful, what until you get to FF. It's far easier and faster to diagnose a problem when you can see the plane.

I've been flying for more than 25 years. I always come away from FF with new ideas, someone always has a better way to solve the problem.
 
#17
I must disagree with your statement. EVERYONE can grow a lot in skill over the long weekend.

The forums are great but they do have limitations. I can't see your plane. If you think the people on the forums are helpful, what until you get to FF. It's far easier and faster to diagnose a problem when you can see the plane.

I've been flying for more than 25 years. I always come away from FF with new ideas, someone always has a better way to solve the problem.
For sure, I'm looking forward to it for just that reason. 👍
 
#18
I’ve been to every Flite Fest except the first.

There might not be any free foam board the first day.

Bring a short extension cord, or at least a multi adapter.

People tend to HOG the tables in the build tents for the entire event. Some with big builds hog several tables. You need to stake out a place ASAP or you won’t find a place to build. We saw this EVERY year. If this happens to you, all you can do is find someone willing to share their table with you. Good luck with that.

Chairs tend to disappear too.

Bring all your water. I don’t recall it being available.

There are several fast food restaurants within about 15 miles. Of course, that means you’ll miss out on something.

Bring your own hot glue gun, and label it! There will be some to share but I’d rather have my own. There will be extra glue sticks floating around.

Bring a magnet. I always lose screws etc in the build tents.

Bring your own battery chargers.

There are tons of pre cut kits available, motors etc.

Most everyone in the build tents are making planes to destroy in one of the many combat sessions.

Many kids will be flying at the same time. Leave your good planes at home! I speak from experience.

If it rains, there will be tons of mud even in the build tents.

If it REALLY rains, you might not get to drive to your campsite, for several hours or even for the first day. I ran into this twice. It’s a loooong walk from the road.

If it gets really wet, you might not be able to drive out of your campsite until it dries out. This happened to me several years ago. They brought in tractors and tow trucks to rescue those who tried.

Several kids brought RC trucks and had a ball.

Several volunteers are assigned to the build tents. I’ve done so in the past. Most of the people building don’t need any help, so the volunteers will be EAGER to help anyone who asks