As you may remember, Bobby has recently joined the Gaui team and is considered one of the top pilots out there. Bobby took a major role in the design of the MA Whiplash and is also part of Smack Talk along with Bert Kammerer. We had the chance to interview Bobby and get some inside info. Read on:
Question: When did you start flying RC Helis and who brought you into the hobby?
I started flying in 2003, when I was a freshman in High School. My uncle always had RC cars and foamy airplanes as a kid and I guess he first gave me the bug. Then one day I was in the hobby shop with my godfather looking at RC airplanes. He didn’t like the idea that they came together, so he told me he would get me a helicopter, only if I built every part. We walked out that day with a Raptor 30 V1. The only promise was that I couldn’t tell my mom how much it all costs! hehe
Question: How would you sum up the passing year?
The past year has been super busy! I graduated from the University of South Carolina with my Mechanical Engineering degree and have been trying my best to put it to use in the RC Industry. I created Chimp Systems with my college roommate, Caleb Pinckney, and we came out with Grippy, the spindle tool, and the DALCON, the night flying module. Bert Kammerer and I have also completed our second season of SmackTalk, and I was very busy with the Miniature Aircraft Whiplash project, including designing a nitro and electric 700 sized model from the ground up. Oh yeah, XFC and 3D masters somewhere in there as well…
Question: What helicopter will we see you fly this season (considering you are no longer with MA)?
I have recently joined up with Gaui, after working with them briefly in 2009. I had an amazing time working with them in the past and they are a great group of people to work with. I imagine I will be flying the X7 mostly, with the X4 and X5 mixed in there as well.
Question: Will you be competing in the new FAI F3N league?
Question: What are your plans for the coming year and what events are you planning to attend?
Now that I have joined Gaui under their Research & Design department, I plan on working heavily with them to put some killer machines out there as soon as we can! Planning on hitting XFC, 3D Masters, IRCHA, among many other big events across the US and the world. I did lots of traveling last year so this year I’m keeping the traveling a bit toned down.
Question: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hmmm… interesting question. Not quite sure to tell you the truth! I’d like to keep working in the hobby until it is no longer feasible, or I lose interest. I’m really enjoying where I am now, so who knows!
Question: Who do you consider are the people who affected you most in the hobby?
I’d have to say that all of the guys back at home in Baltimore- by far- were the most influential and important people when it comes to my attitude about the hobby and flying. It was such a positive attitude at the flying field, with absolutely no drama, where it wasn’t about the machines and equipment that you were flying, but about the flying itself. We really had some great times those first two years I got into it. I can remember waking up to go to the field on weekends earlier than I woke up to go to school! Without them, I would definitely be where I am today.
Secondly, Id have to say that Todd Bennett from Freestyle 3D was so important to teaching me how to learn and progress in my flying. After I took his class, my learning curve went up dramatically.
Question: What difference do you see in the flying style over the last few years?
It seems the electrics have really taken the market by storm and is allowing us to do things that we never imagined. Same to be said for the Flybarless craze as well. In the last few years, everything has gotten so much faster. I am happy to see that the days of “If you weren’t 2 inches off the ground the whole time, it wasn’t a great flight” go away, because that got pretty expensive haha. Now everything is more aggressive, faster, and in general I think we are really seeing some great flying going on in the whole world. Even your “average pilot” can generally do loops, rolls, tick tocks, pirouettes, etc. The same couldn’t be said a few years ago.
Question: What do you foresee as the next big thing in heli products or technology?
Not really sure about this one. I think that Flybarless and Electrics are here to stay for a long time. That being said, I don’t think we will see nitro go totally away. Maybe we need to make a hybrid or something? That’d be kinda cool!
Question: What was your favorite period in the hobby?
It would have to be when I got into it back in 2003, and for that first two years, it was such an eye opening experience and I learned so much in that time! I couldn’t walk past a soccer field without thinking about doing hurricanes and piroflips. I caught the bug so badly, I remember leaving school during study hall (which we were technically not encouraged to do, but it wasn’t breaking the rules), driving to the field 30 min away, sneaking in a flight, then getting back to school for my last class. I was totally hooked.
Question: What can we expect from “Smack Talk” in the future?
I hope that we can continue the show as long as we can! I think we have a very solid group of hardcore followers who watch every single episode. Bert and I really enjoy doing it and we get emails all the time from people telling us about how well they are progressing in their flying because of the show. Hearing that kind of stuff makes it all worth it and I’m glad I can give back to the hobby whenever possible.
Question: What was your proudest moment and/or greatest achievement?
I would have to say that one of my proudest moments was at the 2010 IRCHA “One” competition. They told us there was going to be a big contest and that all of the world’s top pilots would be there. I didn’t exactly know how to practice for it, so I called up Brother Rick and we started chatting about some things that would provide a funny and entertaining show. Most of the people who I talked to about it thought we were out of our minds (and we still are)…. But at the end of the day, it totally worked and people loved it! It was then such a great feeling to be able to donate the $7,000 winnings right back to the MS Society. That was super cool.
Video of Bobby’s favorite flight:
Another great flight:
Thanks Bobby for the interview and we wish you all the best!!
You can also follow Bobby on Smacktalk RC
Reported by: Helidaily Team