Company News

June 13, 2016

AquaCraft Cajun Commander

Baden-Baden, Germany-Exciting news from across the pond: international readers have chosen the AquaCraft Cajun Commander as 2015's "Speedboat of the Year!" The best-selling R/C airboat was honored by the modeling magazine Modellwerft on May 20, at the 2016 Model Awards in Baden-Baden, Germany. The event, which was held at Baden Airport’s Hanger 210, was also a celebration of the 70th anniversary of Modellwerft's publisher, VTH Publishing. As for the Cajun Commander, its unbeatable combination of superior scale details, a high-performance ABS hull, incredible stability and lightning-fast brushless power have made it a hit from day one. It’s no wonder Modellwerft readers selected it as the 2015 "Speedboat of the Year." For further information on the Cajun Commander visit the AquaCraft website.

Hobbico's AquaCraft Boats in Action on Fox & Friends June 13, 2016

Fox and Friends

The folks over at Fox & Friends recently featured some of our most popular AquaCraft boats, the Atlantic II Tug and the Rescue 17 Fireboat. View the summer fun segment that aired on the national broadcast here.

Learn more about these AquaCraft boats:
AquaCraft Atlantic II website
AquaCraft Rescue 17 Fireboat website


Viva Italia! Hobbico's own Tim Lampe qualifies for the F5D World Championship in Lugo, Italy. September 22, 2015

Group shot
The contestants take time for a picture before the race! From left to right they are: 3rd place contestant Bruce Brown, 2nd place contestant Jim Nikodem, 1st place contestant Tim Lampe, and Alternate Bernie Vanderleest.

Contestant launching plane Contestant ready to launch plane Group photo participants holding plane and radio participants holding red plane and radio

Pylon racing in the F5D class requires dedication, skill and top-notch teamwork. These competitions are intense, with speeds in the 180+ mph range and up to three pylon planes competing simultaneously in every heat. With only four contestants at CCRCC for the Team Trials, there was plenty of time for single flights around the three pylon race course.

Despite the wet, windy weather, all four contestants were able to keep their flight times shrieking in at just past the one-minute mark for the lion's share of their flights. Tim won the contest with the group's best score at 593.27 seconds over a total of nine scored flights and the fastest overall time at 61.34 seconds. The other participants all scored within ninety seconds of Tim's score. They will fill out the three man team and spotter/caller spots when they head for the 2016 Lugo, Italy F5D World Championships.

Congratulations to all participants on your outstanding feats of speed! We look forward to hearing good things from you next year at Lugo!

Hobbico takes top honors from modelers and industry insiders September 14, 2015

Reader's Choice Award 2015, Driver of the Year, Durtrax ONYX 235, O.S. GGT-15

Car Action Readers' Choice Award 2015

Duratrax ONYX 235 AC/DC Advanced Balancing Charger. DTXP4235

Driver of the Year

Ty Tessmann, O.S. Engine Team Driver

Model Airplane News Innovation of the Year

O.S. GGT-15 Gasoline Engine. OSMG1513

Hobbico and its products were among this year's big winners in the annual awards sponsored by Air Age Media, publisher of R/C Car Action and Model Airplane News magazines.

For the second year in a row, hobbyists ranked a Duratrax ONYX brand charger at #1 in the R/C Car Action Readers' Choice awards. The ONYX 235 earned their votes for its versatility and ability to rapidly recharge high-capacity packs. Duratrax has now won the Favorite Charger title eight times!

"Chargers play a vital role in R/C," says Duratrax electronics product manager Shane Curry. "It's important to have one that can charge batteries quickly and efficiently. Thank you to our customers and readers of R/C Car Action for choosing the ONYX 235."

Modelers also named O.S. team member and World Champion racer Ty Tessmann as their Driver of the Year. Ty has been an outstanding representative for O.S. - he explained recently that "many things can go wrong in a major race, but I never worry about my engines." The admiration is mutual. R/C Car Action noted that Ty earned his Readers' Choice votes "with results on the track and respect in the pits."

Model Airplane News editors rely on their own expertise to choose a product worthy to be called Innovation of the Year. Their pick for 2015: the O.S. GGT-15 gasoline engine for .61-.90 aircraft. It met the criteria of making "significant advancements in the R/C world" by starting easily with a glow plug, instead of requiring a heavy electronic ignition system and spark plug. "This little machine packs a lot of horsepower into a small, lightweight package," they said.

For more information about these award-winning Hobbico brands and products, visit the Duratrax web page at duratrax.com, and the O.S. web page at osengines.com.

Hobbico featured on local newscast’s "Made in Illinois" series. Hobbico gives viewers a sneak peek at day-to-day operations August 5, 2015 CHAMPAIGN, IL —

Hobbico has once again made a splash on TV screens, appearing on a local newscast's "Made in Illinois" series.

In this exciting two-part profile, viewers get a behind-the-scenes history of Hobbico, one of the state's most successful and unique businesses.

The segments include interviews with Air Team Manager Frank Noll, Surface Team Manager Brad Brucker, Data and Purchasing Manager Rodney Clinton and R&D's David McCallister.

Popular products are also featured, like the nano-sized Proto-X quadcopter, Team Durango kits and the AquaCraft Fletcher Class Destroyer. The news crew went above and beyond to show how Hobbico has something to offer modelers of all ages and interests.

See this special report from FoxIllinois.com.

Factory Tracks Racing team signs with Futaba! Bridging the gap between local favorites and nationally-known pros. July 8, 2015

Factory Tracks Racing Team

Meet the famed Factory Tracks Racing team, the latest addition to the Futaba roster!

Based in Michigan, Factory Tracks Racing was founded by Al Horne in 2010. Al originally created the team to "help bridge the gap between the local R/C racer and the big-time R/C pros." In just five short years, his team has become a force to be reckoned with on tracks all over the U.S.

Factory Tracks Racing is based upon "finding and developing young, talented racers that have obtained results up against some of the best in the business, both on and off the track," said Al. By joining forces with Futaba, he hopes the team will "achieve an even higher level of success in the future."

Be sure to look for Factory Tracks Racing at events all over the country. For information on upcoming events, visit factorytracks.com, and please join Futaba on welcoming the Factory Tracks Racing team!

Quique Somenzini joins Futaba! Futaba welcomes National and World Champion pilot. May 22, 2015

Quique Somenzini joins Futaba

Quique Somenzini, winner of multiple National and World Championships, is the latest pilot to join the Futaba family!

Quique is one of R/C's most impressive, most popular fliers. He won his first F3A National Championships in Argentina when he was only ten, and he's been going strong ever since.

In 1979, at the age of twelve, Quique became the youngest pilot to participate in the F3A World Championship - a record which remains unbroken today.

Quique has won multiple flying competitions in his career, including four U.S. F3A National Championships, a Free Style World Championship, an F3A World Championship, an XFC Championship and 19 F3A Argentina National Championships.

In addition to winning multiple international flight competitions, he's worked as a design consultant for O.S.® Engine and Futaba. Quique has also written several columns on R/C flight for countless industry magazines.

Quique recently co-founded Flex Innovations™, where he has helped develop some of today's most cutting-edge R/C hobby products.

Please join us in welcoming Quique Somenzini to Futaba!

Proto-X Makes Its Mark on Morning TV February 20, 2015

Proto-X Makes Its Mark on Morning TV

When the Proto-X recently appeared on the Today Show, it proved you don’t have to be big in size to be big on fun!

The nano-sized Proto-X was part of a segment on gadgets that are sure cures for winter boredom. It’s so easy to fly, even the show’s hosts took it for a spin during the commercial break.

There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding the Proto-X since its release, and this latest TV appearance — along with its low $29.99 price point — demonstrates why this quadcopter continues to fly off store shelves.

Hobbico Joins Campaign to Promote Responsible Drone Flying February 18, 2015

Know Before You Fly

Hobbico recently announced its support for Know Before You Fly, an educational campaign developed to give anyone planning to fly unmanned aircraft — including R/C model drones — the information required to do so safely and responsibly.

Know Before You Fly was founded by three influential organizations that are all dedicated to promoting safe flying: the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI); the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA); and the Small UAV Coalition. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has become a partner as well.

The campaign was launched late last year in response to the rapidly growing interest and enthusiasm surrounding drones. While the technology to fly unmanned aircraft has become easy to use and widely available, organizers noted that prospective pilots first must understand some basic facts — who is allowed to fly them, where they can be flown, and for what purposes. Know Before You Fly makes those answers easy to find.

Some of the most popular R/C drones for hobbyists come from Hobbico brands, including Proto-X, Dromida and Helimax. With more in development to meet the enormous demand, Hobbico is eager to help its customers continue enjoying their models with as much freedom as possible. Therefore, Hobbico strongly supports the initiative to educate the public about safe, responsible drone use.

Hobbico is already using its web pages, ads, catalogs, videos, product packages and other marketing materials to build awareness of Know Before You Fly. Hobbico President and CEO Wayne Hemming adds that the company will watch closely for any other opportunities to carry the campaign’s message forward.

Details about Know Before You Fly can be found at knowbeforeyoufly.org, which includes a list of all the organization’s supporters.

Proto-X FPV Featured on National TV! February 9, 2015

Proto-X FPV TV appearance

R/C quadcopters have captured the national news spotlight several times recently. The Proto-X FPV had its turn on February 4, during a special segment of a major-network morning show. It quickly proved that a little quad can deliver BIG fun.

The two hosts each attempted to pilot their own Proto-X FPV through a small hoop on the set. That neither had practiced beforehand soon became obvious. But it was equally clear that they, the audience and crew were all having a blast!

The compact Proto-X FPV was an ideal choice for the program. It’s among the most durable and stable quad models of its size, gyro stabilized and equipped with a First Person View 2.4GHz transmitter for viewing the onboard camera’s HD video. New hobbyists will also be pleased to discover that it comes complete with a LiPo battery, USB charge cord, and virtually everything else needed to fly, film, and have fun. Only four “AA” batteries are required.

Nic Case Breaks World Speed Record with the 4PK! Famed driver hits 202.02 mph with his "R/C Bullet!" February 5, 2015 Saint George, Utah –

Nic Case

Here’s another one for the record books!

In October 2014, fan favorite Nic Case set a 202.02 mph speed record at R/C Car Action’s 2014 “World’s Fastest R/C Car Challenge” event. Nic’s aerodynamic, custom-built R/C Bullet and Futaba 4PK helped make it possible.

In fact, Nic himself credits the 4PK’s impressive range and reliable performance for his record-breaking run.

“The range and quality that Futaba has produced was a key element in the R/C Bullet going over 200 mph,” said Nic.

The latest version of this popular system – the 4PX– is even faster, with virtually instantaneous response.

Futaba would like to congratulate Nic Case on his exciting achievement!

Hobbico Advertising Team Wins "Creative Ad of the Year" Award

At the 2015 Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) Expo this January, Model Aviation magazine presented Hobbico with its coveted "Creative Ad of the Year" trophy — an award that honors creativity, visual impact, and success at conveying the desired message.

Read More

Dual Rates: helping new drivers learn faster. January 26, 2015

Dromida (Logo)

All newcomers to R/C have to learn how to drive. However, owners of Dromida RTRs have an advantage: the dual rates feature available on all Dromida radios.

Dual rates typically affect both steering and throttle — and as the name implies, new drivers have a choice of two rates. Low rates are popular with beginners because they make the vehicle easier to handle. Low rates reduce the vehicle’s performance to a fraction of its full capabilities. With low rates on Dromida 1/18 scale ready-to-runs, drivers can make steering response slower and more gentle and speed can be reduced to as little as 40% of full throttle. Reducing both gives the new driver more time to think and react behind the wheel, increasing the chances of success.

Of course, once the driver is comfortable behind the wheel, the radio can be reset to high rates so he/she can enjoy all of the speed and agility the vehicle has to offer.

Dual rates are available on the radios included with all Dromida 1/18 scale ready-to-runs:

  • SC4.18 Short Course Truck (DIDC0041)
  • MT4.18 Monster Truck (DIDC0042)
  • BX4.18 Buggy (DIDC0043)
  • DB4.18 Desert Buggy (DIDC0045)
  • DT4.18 Desert Truck (DIDC0046)

Team Durango leadership team adds two new members January 8, 2015

Brad Brucker and Travis Amezcua

Team Durango is proud to introduce two new members to the Team Durango leadership team: Brad Brucker and Travis Amezcua.

Brad Brucker is the new Field Communications Manager - Surface for Team Durango. Based in Champaign, Illinois, Brad will work closely with Travis and team drivers, providing on-site race-day support and feedback for the company's design engineers.

For the past nine years, Brad has worked at Hobbico as the Lead Model Tech for the Hobby Services team, which he supervised in addition to repairing vehicles. Now, he's bringing his R/C expertise to Team Durango.

"It's an honor to join the Team Durango crew. I look forward to working with all the talented members of this team in the coming months," said Brad.

Pro racer Travis Amezcua will serve as Team Durango's new North American Technical Representative, based in southern California.

"After 22 years of racing R/C cars and learning from our industry leaders, now it's my turn to teach the next generation of racers," said Travis.

This is just the beginning of what promises to be an exciting year for Team Durango. Be on the lookout for more exciting updates throughout 2015!