After 3 years without a XFC, it was brought back in 2019 as XFCv2. The site chosen for the event was Eli Field in Monticello, Illinois. This is the site for Horizon Hobby's flight videos and flight testing. It is also the site of the Horizon RC Fest. It was cool to hear that the event would be held there because it is relatively close to where we live and I have flown there several times before. The newly formatted event included airplanes, helicopters, and jets. There was also a competition in each class that consisted of USA pilots vs. International pilots. It was an honor to be a part of the US team that took home the title for the team Airplane competition. Another aspect of the contest that was new this year was the Grand Champion award. This title was created for the pilot who had the highest raw score in their respective class (highest K'd score as opposed to the normalized 1,000). I have to admit, at first I thought this award was going to go to someone who flew in two out of the three classes because originally I thought it was the highest raw score added for one pilot in multiple classes. To hear my name called as the Grand Champion was quite the surprise and pretty awesome! The known round this year also brought back music to the flight. It's always interesting to see how people choreograph the known maneuvers.
For the Known round, I flew the Extreme Flight 104" Laser. You may notice the inboard aileron extensions in photos and videos. This was something that my dad and I experimented with to help make the known maneuvers more consistently manageable, especially during the "Pogo" maneuver. They happened to work great for helping the aileron authority in a post stalled attitude. They took advantage of the prop wash when there was limited airflow. For freestyle, I flew my 100" Slick 580 which is always more than capable to fly any freestyle routine.
The schedule for the contest got slightly adjusted due to the chance of rain on Sunday. The normal Friday schedule concluded with one known round and one unknown round as normal. However, on Saturday after one more known and one more unknown round, the first round of finals took place that afternoon/evening. So the top 7 flew a total of 4 flights on Saturday. That left only two flights on Sunday morning for the top 7 in an effort to beat the rain forecast.
It was also cool to participate in the night flight with my 104" Extra V2! The three night fly pilots joined together to make one group flight in the fireworks.
Huge thanks to The Lord for His blessings and for the opportunity to compete once again in the XFC. Also, I could not have done it without the support of my parents and sponsors!