Hello! My name is Nick Maxwell, and I’m from Fort Wayne, IN. I am 24 years old and have been flying model aircraft since the age of four. My father, an avid modeler himself, introduced me to the hobby with flying R/C airplanes. He taught me how to fly on his 60 size aero master biplane. After soloing near my fifth birthday, he built a Goldberg Eagle that I could use to fly. Naturally, after flying the Aeromaster, I tended to just "borrow" more flights on that model, rather than flying my own. Regardless, the Eagle got the job done and got a lot of flight time over the years. I learned to fly at the Fort Wayne Flying Circuits field where my father and I are both still members. We fly at the Circuits field primarily for when we are flying airplanes.
After learning to fly, I started to take a lot of interest in my father's chosen discipline, which was RC pylon racing. I was driven to the speed, precision and presence aspect of pylon racing, but at a younger age did not quite have the drive to be competitive yet. I think I tended to enjoy sport flying the pylon racer, rather than completely understanding that they were designed for the purpose of racing. As I got older, that quickly changed. Around the age of 8, I quickly realized the goal of flying an airplane like that was to go fast and turn left, and not just for high speed aerobatics.
Pylon racing was a lot of fun for me, and I still consider myself a racer at heart. There is no doubt that is where I got my drive to compete and general concept of practicing for events. The downside for me was the lack of understanding exactly how everything worked, and the ability to really tweak the engines myself (I think my mother would have shot my father if he would have ever let me start and reach around to tune a Q40 pylon racer- not to mention I was a little frightened of doing that). And at the age of nine, I started really enjoying watching one of our local pilots, Ron Goodyear, fly his helicopter and really started to take an interest in RC helicopters. That was something that my father and I could learn together and that I could actively fly at home, rather than always having to visit the flying field all the time. At the age of ten, I got a Century Hawk 30 as my first model. My father and I built the model, and tried to get it flying right. After getting it flying and to the point I could hover, we attended a Heli fun fly in the end of 1999, I think in Northern Indiana, and loved every minute of it.
After attending some smaller events, my first IRCHA was in 2001 (the year that the F3C world championships were held in Muncie before IRCHA). This was the year that Curtis Youngblood won his third WC, and after seeing that, I immediately knew I'd like to compete in helicopters as well.
The last year that I flew in the pylon NATS was in 2001. In 2002, I decided that I'd really like to compete in the helicopter precision nationals. I got a Hirobo Freya 60 and started to fly that model for sport flying and tried to learn the Class 2 maneuvers. To say the least, my first nationals attempt was quite funny. Although I scored poorly, I got a LOT of help and met a lot of people that I am still currently friends with to this day.
After that, I started flying more 3D. I also competed in the US Nationals in Class 2 and 3 for several years. In 2005, I really started to get serious about 3D competition and took a short break from precision flying to excel and compete in 3D. In 2009, I returned to F3C flying as well.
Over those years, I flew in several XFC's, 3D masters, etc. I placed on the podium at XFC 4 times, won the XFC, placed on the podium at 3DM twice and won in 2010. For me, this was a huge accomplishment, as I was the first American to win the 3D Masters since Curtis in 2004. I've also competed in the IRCHA One contest, placing first in 2012.
In 2009, I got the opportunity to move to Texas to work for Curtis Youngblood full time as the team manager and demo pilot. I really enjoyed living in Texas and being able to fly year round. This was a great opportunity to meet and make new friends in the hobby. The help from Curtis and his father is something I can never repay them for and I appreciate all the help over those years.
In 2011, I decided that I really missed Indiana, so I moved back home. I also decided to branch out and began developing my own line of products, under the name Nick Maxwell Products. So far, I have released a line of rotor blades called Helix blades for 3D flying.
The style of flying that I am most passionate about is F3C precision helicopter flying. I've been fortunate enough to make two US World Teams and attend two World Championships. I really enjoy this style of flying, and the excruciating details are endless, so there is always something to learn and practice. I also truly enjoy being able to represent the US team.
Another aspect that I really enjoy is helping promote model aviation to youth pilots. Since flying RC is not a common hobby, finding ways to help youth pilots succeed and have opportunities to communicate with other pilots their age is a big thing. I remember being that age and not having someone my age to communicate with about the hobby.
Luckily, the AMA has started Camp AMA. This camp has given youth pilots a great opportunity to meet other kids their age, and spend a week flying with each other. It has been an honor to be an instructor for the camp for the past three years, alongside RJ Gritter and AMA's recent addition of Andrew Jesky! Many of the campers remain close friends after the camp, and are able to enjoy the hobby that much more.
I look forward to meeting more great people in the hobby, and seeing everyone out at the field sometime!!