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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

American VTPR, by Eric Johnson

Since coming to VTPR style and totally immersing myself into the sport and model design the journey has been the most exciting chapter in my RC soaring experience in over 20 years! While learning about VTPR two years ago I thought to myself, why is VTPR such a small and unknown sport here in the US? I learned that the dangerous “low to the ground” style and the lack of models for the style inherently made this sport very unique and minimally populated by flyers. After about a year I decided to develop the website Slope VTPR Aerobatics dedicated to just VTPR style in which there were none. The only other website carrying some VTPR and other slope aerobatic styles was Steve Lange’s SlopeAerobatics.com. In there I discovered more good VTPR articles and videos adding to my knowledge and excitement for the sport but this wasn’t enough to fill my appetite.

There are many aerobatic contests and meetings of all types of modeling including electric and fuel power, 3D ultralight, indoor electric, conventional slope aerobatics and about every imaginable thing you can think of. But no VTPR. This became very strange to me. Does everybody think a beautiful VTPR performance should remain hidden? I learned that a lot of people believe VTPR is a personal expression and should not be organized or flown in a meet setting here in the US. That it is just a fun thing to do. I thought to myself, “why not”? This is crazy to keep such a unique sport undercover. I was even accused of trying to take the fun out of VTPR from one very disgruntled individual to even think of putting together a meeting with a little organization. After counseling some close friends and speaking with a few people in the RC community about putting together a VTPR specific meeting it was decided to post it on my website Slope VTPR Aerobatics and eventually RC Groups. Steve Lange was one of the pivotal people to encourage me to do so.

With the assistance of a core group of flyers we collaborated to come up with the first ever VTPR meeting in the US to be held at Temple Hill slope in Southern California under the “SoCal VTPR” banner with “Slope VTPR Aerobatics” and “SlopeAerobatics.com” websites as co-contributors. I coordinated and oversaw the first meeting activities with great enthusiasm and excitement to finally see we Americans can begin to bring VTPR out of the darkness of cover after so many years. This has given me great joy and a sense of adding to the RC community another great sport in the US that all can enjoy and have fun.

As a result of our first meeting we have discovered there is an Americanized version of VTPR that is unique to American flyers and our culture. It seems it’s more a free-style expression with French influences at the core. It’s hard to explain and we are still exploring all the possibilities but my instinct is Americans aren’t comfortable with being locked into a strict set of principles and uniformity we see with the pure French style. We enjoy a wide open, full throttle in your face style of expression blended with French style figures.

Future meetings are being scheduled around the greater Southern and Central California landscape with the assistance of individuals at other slope locations to help maintain and build this new direction in American Slope VTPR. It’s an exciting future we hope attracts more and more enthusiasts into the sport across the country while maintaining the great American pastime – Having FUN.

Attached are web links to the first meeting videos including the very popular “solo sessions.”

Also here is a quick link to the new VTPR Newsletter: http://www.oldschoolmxresto.com/events.html

Regards and Good Lift -

Eric Johnson,
Slope VTPR Aerobatics

Photo credit: Steve Lange, Eric Johnson, Mike Ball, Dawson Henderson

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Pierre for posting the first American VTPR article and photos. It looks fabulous, I'm lost for words!

    The 2nd in the series of VTPR meetings is scheduled for November 2011. The coordinator is Steve Lange who is very capable and excited to host the event. It promises to attract many new models being developed as we speak.

    2012 may offer the first ever American VTPR competition called the "V-CUP CHALLENGE". I will be sponsoring that new event. Stay tuned as this movement continues to grow in popularity.


    Eric Johnson,
    Slope VTPR Aerobatics


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