Little wonder Joseph Frost is still in a spin.
Hill Top’s very own master radio control modeller has just returned from a trip of a lifetime to Japan as special guest of the world’s greatest air show – for hobbyists, that is.
He described the four minutes flying his majestic BO 105 helicopter in front of 50,000 fanatical aero-modellers as the “ultimate buzz” of his 11 year scale building career.
“It just went like that,” Mr Frost said clicking his fingers.
“An observer had to tap me on the shoulder to say ‘this is it mate, you have to land’.
“There were no nerves, I had done it all before, but it just went so quick.”
Mr Frost is regarded by the model world as perhaps the best scale-helicopter craftsmen there is.
He’s also a pretty good artist, having been recognised for his finely detailed prints, especially those depicting the Sydney 2000 New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The Czechoslovakian native started fiddling with rotors and spinners about the time he moved to the Highlands 16 years ago.
He now boasts a working fleet of about a dozen working radio-controlled units and writes regular columns for some of the world’s biggest modelling magazines.
“I started by accident, really,” he recalls.
“I saw one advertised in the Trading Post one day, a radio controlled helicopter … I didn’t even know they existed.
“I travelled to Sydney, and bought it. It was a heap of s..t, but that’s what got me hooked.”
The expertise he acquired over the years, coupled with his naturally brilliant flair with the brush, culminated last month when he “flew” in front of thousands of hobbyists at International Air Meet 2000, in Ojima, Japan.
He reckons the weeklong all-expenses paid trip to the small industrial town 75km northwest of Tokyo will remain the highlight of his modelling career.
The November 3 “pageant”, as Mr Frost calls it, featured a flyoff to decide the world’s best model pilot; the year’s winner walked away with a cool two million Yen, or $A40,000.
More than 50,000 people attended the day. There were stalls, demonstrations, book signings and the guest performances … “this is the day of all days,” Mr Frost defined it as.
“The Japanese hospitality is unbelievable.”
There he was, one of three special visitors invited by the editors of the globe’s aero-hobbyist bible, Radio Control Technique.
He performed his four-minute routine with American stunt guru Curtis Youngblood and famed Swiss electrical aviator Urs Leodolter.
“These guys are freaks, they’re the best in the world,” Mr Frost said.
“Curtis is the god of aerobatics and you had to see Urs’ plane … an electric powered thing that went over 300kph.”
Once he finished his demonstration, he was swamped by curious hordes of Japanese wanting to know his secrets.
While all this was going on, the nine IAM 2000 competitors were being judged on a series of “freestyle” and “compulsory” flights.
As like in gymnastics, the freestyle category was accompanied by music, one competitor opting for the Latin rhythms of Ricky Martin.
According to Mr Frost, competition was fierce, but also dangerous, with a pilot becoming disorientated during a difficult maneuver and smashing his expensive toy metres from other pilots.
“The New Zealand guy’s plane had wings which were 2cm too long … he came all the way from NZ and said ‘bugger it’ and got the hacksaw out,” he said.
“But it flew perfectly.”
Mr Frost is now back home already working on another kit. For the record, his Rossi powered, 8kg BO 105 took three months to build and weeks to test.
He says it’s a most rewarding hobby that can be taken up by anyone, providing they have the patience.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.