The late Mike Atzei Jr. taxiing out in his Pitts Special. The photo was taken in the late 1990s.
This month, the author takes a hard
look at two composite Q-500s: the Ninja
and the Vortex.
Get ready to
by Aaron “AJ” Seaholm
This month, I want to pass along some preseason aircraft preparation tips to increase your
odds of having a successful season and
to prepare you to “race on!”
Batteries: Cycle or load-test your
batteries to ensure that they survived
the winter. For NiMH batteries, cycle
them a few times to make sure they
reach their rated capacity. Always store
your LiPo packs at approximately 3. 9
volts per cell.
Fuel lines: The silicone material in
fuel lines can break down, leading to
performance- and consistency-robbing
pinholes. I suggest annually replacing
lines for the entire fuel system—or at
least every other year.
Inspection: Do a thorough inspection
of the airframe and radio gear. You
would be surprised to learn what
vibration can do to our aircraft’s
components. I have seen servo leads
rubbed through, screws loose, and a
host of other gremlins waiting to strike.
These are only a few steps to take
before you race on. I hope they save
you some headaches this year.
Vortex vs. Ninja
The 2012 AMA Nats was not the
pinnacle of my Pylon Racing career.
Being a glass-half-full type of guy, I left
Muncie, Indiana, with several good
reasons to pick up some new Quickie
gear to replace the debris.
I want to compare two popular, high-end composite Quickie 500 (Q-500)
offerings designed for AMA Event 426
or 428 racing. Some racers (like I) have
demanding jobs and important family
functions, which limit the time available
to build and prepare race models.
The Vortex and Ninja are options
for those in my situation. I am paying
someone far more skilled to assemble and
build my Q-500 models.
Before I begin the Q-500 comparison,
here is some truth in advertising to
help you understand the bias of this
information. My best friend and Pylon
teammate, Scott Causey, partnered
with longtime racing friend, Tom Scott,
to create CMAD Racing and offer the
Ninja. I have not yet raced a Ninja in
competition, but have flown several of
Scott’s and called for many heats.
The Vortex is built by Chuck Bridge,
and I have raced these models for many
years. Chuck is the father of longtime
racing friend and mentor, Randy Bridge.
Randy has helped me greatly throughout
the years. I have a strong loyalty to the
Bridge family after nearly a decade of
The Ninja comes painted in red,
yellow, or white. The model costs $560,
including shipping. The kit features
include carbon-fiber landing gear, a
full hardware pack, a one-piece wing,
skinned hinged surfaces, a removable
V-tail, screws, ball connectors, and a servo
tray. CMAD Racing and Darrol Cady
typically have a wide range of kits in
stock and they ship quickly.
The Vortex is painted to order, which
115 Model Aviation M AY 2013 www.ModelAviation.com