New Addition: Spirit SC

The 1990s were a period of experimentation and changes at the international level of Radio Control Pattern competition (F3A). One of the experimenters was Steve Helms, who with the help of Masaki Hirada, designed the Spirit SC in 1993.

The Spirit incorporated several of the new ideas into its design. It was lighter, with a longer fuselage, and it had retractable landing gear installed, as well as a four-stroke 1.2 cu/in engine. All of these modifications meant that the model produced less drag and allowed for better speed control with snappier roll characteristics. This followed with the new ideas in F3A that the pattern should be done at a slower, more consistent speed for better viewing – and not as quickly as possible, like previous.

The Spirit SC has a 1.88 meter fuselage and a 1.842 meter wing. It is decorated in white, red, blue and yellow.
Spirit SC, donated in Memory of Steve Helms.

It isn’t known if Steve flew the Spirit in competition, but he did use it as a test bed for new Futaba and YS products in the 1990s.

Not all of the new concepts in F3A stayed – it was eventually realized by almost all competitors that retractable landing gear was more work than it was worth – but some stayed, including the larger 2 meter fuselage size, and the 1.2 engine. Eventually, though, the engine was replaced by something larger – and then electric motors.

The Spirit SC has been donated to the museum, In Memory of Steve Helms.  Thank you for helping to grow our collection!
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