Congratulations to the winners of the Blade 500 X Invitational!
1st Place: Clay Payne
2nd Place: Jordan Horwitz
3rd Place: Sergio Marachilian
Thanks for all the applications and those who flew in the contest!
AMA Headquarters, Muncie, Indiana; Horizon Hobby and Blade helicopters are excited to introduce the winner of the Blade 500X invitational, Clay Payne from Dayton, Ohio. Pilots from around the world submitted YouTube videos for consideration and five finalists were selected and invited to compete with the brand new Blade 500X. All entrants were non-sponsored pilots who made their own way to the IRCHA (International Radio Control Helicopter Association) Jamboree, and had less than 24 hours to get the helicopter out of the box and find their comfort zone with it before the contest. The largest model aircraft event worldwide with over 1000 registered pilots, the IRCHA Jamboree attracts the best pilots from all corners of the planet for 5 days of intense heli action! Whether you want to fly with the best, go for a world speed record, or see the most impressive scale machines, IRCHA has it all!
With the flight line packed with Pro pilots from around the world, the intimidation factor was high for the 5 finalists who flew in the Blade 500X invitational. Each pilot was provided with a Spektrum DX18 transmitter and a Blade 500X to compete with, and the top three competitors took home impressive prizes. Top prize was a DX18 and a Blade 500X, second prize was a Blade 500X, and third prize was a DX18. All of the contestants put in great performances that made judging difficult and different flying styles also complicated the judge’s job.
Pilot order was decided at random, and Adam Lasker ended up with the honor and challenge of kicking off the contest. His flight was full of complicated pirouetting maneuvers, funnels and precision, with most of his flying done at a higher altitude. Next up was Clay Payne, and his flight really highlighted the 500X’s capabilities with edgy, low, aggressive performance. Sergio Marachilian flew some very difficult maneuvers including four point tic-tocks, pirouetting flips with reversals, and he finished the flight with an autorotation. Jordan Horwitz looked in his element with a big smile despite the nerves and good choreography to compliment his skills. Jordan did some ground hops to the music as part of his routine that made the mid-sized Blade 500X look like it was ready to pounce. Pete Guzewich finished the lineup with a flight that was off to a great start with backward rolls and some great looking piro maneuvers, but unfortunately Pete put his 500X in for a dirt nap at the end of a great looking flipping hurricane. Despite his crash, Pete had a jovial attitude and commented the only thing wrong with the 500X was himself. Don’t be so hard on yourself Pete, you were a great sport and put in a great performance!
In the end, Clay’s flight took the cake with his pop and lock style and low smack; his flight was well choreographed with different tempo music and his flying changed tempo to keep the beat. Clay can now claim he’s the champion of the Blade 500X invitational. This young man is likely to work his way into the contest scene, and now he’s got a brand new Blade 500X and a Spektrum DX18 to help him get there!