I am Bryce Hatfield. Critical RC is my company that was derived from a lifelong passion…. ok… obsession , for all things that fly…..and an uncontrollable need for adrenaline! (Probably a bit of A.D.D. also!)
Ive been flying planes since I was old enough to hold my dads U-control handle. Ive flown helicopters for damn near 40 years and learned on a GMP Cricket with no gyro. I’m fortunate to live in Arizona and have known Jason Krouse since he couldn’t do anything but hover. His reputation precedes him and Ive flown every prototype helicopter he ever designed…. and scared the shit out of him, since I flew every one as hard as I could fly it! While it took a couple years off his life with each flight, he appreciated my NO F#&CKS GIVEN flying and them surviving my punishment!
Ive flown helicopters for the movie industry (Firebirds) and also do special effects for many different advertising shows and television specials. Ive made RC target drones for use as machine gun targets and have been an integration specialist in many different full-size ground based vehicles for aerial sniper training and other programs remote vehicles.
Ive been very fortunate to have worked for Mike Dillon and Dillon Aero for the past 30 years. I was production manager at his reloading company for many years. We got a job for Top Gear BBC in which we made a radio controlled 1984 Corvette, driven on a dry lake bed and strafed it with our Hughes 500E Helicopter, Look up Top Gear Apocalypse Clarkson. We had installed 2 General Electric M134 Gatling Guns (Miniguns) on fixed forward mounts and we had to catch the brass and links, we had to make collectors under the guns. We couldn’t get but a few hundred rounds through the guns before they jammed. While we got fantastic footage, the stoppages of the Minigun were the reason we started fixing it for the military and our Guys and Girls in theater.
For the past 20 years I’ve been training our Special Ops Guys and Girls how to operate and maintain the gun we redesigned, in order to get them back home safely. I have been lucky to have traveled to every part of the globe training our troops and our allies who our government said could possess the Minigun. Thank you Mike…..I Miss You…
Joseph Burch, who designed the SAFE system for Horizon Hobby, and was fighting the powers that be against AS3X and how horribly flawed it is, was doing GPS and autonomous integration for our remote target vehicles at that time. I learned he was leaving Horizon and so was Quique Somenzini and David Ribbe. They were forming a new company called Flex Innovations to make high end airplanes for people who REALLY like to fly. They were also designing a gyro which wouldn’t interfere or feel mechanical, while simply helping in the background. The main company is in Florida while Joseph is in Arizona. Ill say he used me to help test his gyro iterations but I’m the lucky one and can say the Aura 8 gyro is the best flying and feeling gyro in the industry hands down!
No matter which Flex Innovations plane you buy, they ALL have the Aura 8 installed and pre programmed with all mixing and settings. These settings and mixes are derived from many many hours of test flying each airframe by Quique himself. The Aura 8 can be installed and configured in minutes in ANY airframe from park flyers to 1/3 scale gassers to full on turbines with thrust vectoring nozzles. This $99 Gyro is EXACTLY what is in and controls all outputs on Flex’s QQ F16 3D aerobatic Turbine Jet. The unique part is the thrust vectoring nozzle, the Tailerons and Ailerons are ALL controlled by this single gyro, yet each surface has different gains and rates for each! This is Light Years ahead of anyone in the industry period! Check out Joe Nall noon-time demos and watch Quique show the difference between Mediocrity…… and Perfection!!!
In the early days we needed to educate everyone and let them actually try our planes and gyro combination, so I would take all our planes to events and flying fields and let people beat the hell out of them. Everyone laughs the whole time while flying and cant they believe what they do and how good the Aura 8 really is. Always they have to own one (or three) so I started selling for them.
This is where I’m at and why I have decided to make a line of Flexccessories! All the guys involved with Flex Innovations are quite literally at the forefront in airplane design and manufacturing. This is true from our giant scale EPO Foam planes to our built up wood ARFs with the Mamba 70 being probably the best Airframe Quique has ever designed and certainly the best I’ve ever flown, monoplane or biplane!
I literally wore a DA 70 out at 60 gallons of fuel while handing the sticks to any and all that wanted to take a pull…. and I chastised all who pulled the throttle back!!! All who know me know I don’t use servos for throttle…. it’s simply an on-off switch!!! Every person who’s flown that Mamba has either bought one or is saving for one. Keep an eye on my website for what powered the “Super Mamba” for the next 36 gallons of fuel through that airframe! This extreme power system will be available soon!
The products I’m offering come from hours of torture testing all Flex planes and pushing them way outside any design criteria that Quique and David built them to. Apologetically and admittedly no plane should take the abuse myself and the guys I fly with give them! And apologies to Quique as he cringes by this….
So I’ll break down the products and why I’m offering them the way they are.
Landing Gear I despise where we’re at with an airplane in a low stance like a pattern plane. Forget no real tail dragger sits this way but what is unforgivable is you can’t screw around taking off and landing! Ive never understood how guys forget how much fun and the true skills you can learn doing takeoffs and more importantly landings! How about 1 wheel landings Bob Hoover style! I’ll admit sometimes I use one wheel… and a wingtip! ( hence the carbon wingtips I offer !)
How about huge Harrier landings to the ground without worrying about hitting the prop. Never going to happen with the height and gear being used on planes in general these days. My ultra flexible carbon Landing gear provides considerably more ground clearance for all our planes. The main difference between my gear and all the rest is they are ultra flexible! They are specifically designed to Flex across the complete gear leg and transfer the load through the corner radius close to the fuselage without de-laminating. They are easier on the gear mounts and structure as they actually deflect with loads instead of being so stiff that all the impacts transfer directly into the mounts.
While the aluminum gear supplied are very good they are soft for this reason but after bending several times with less than perfect landings they sag more frequently.
My gear are expensive but you won’t be disappointed with their performance and ground clearance.
Wheels Flex makes fantastic very shock absorbing tires that are extremely light. While they are very good if you have that hard arrival as we all do, the rim and tires can come apart. I reinforce our OEM tires and rims to a point that breaking a piece of the rim off the complete unit stays together. I retain the shock absorbing qualities of our tires while adding very little weight to them. Please try them on all your planes!
Cessna wheels. We all love the huge tundra tires on the Cessna but they are simply too stiff. I modify our OEM Tundra tires by cutting deep grooves into the surface of the tire. These multiple treads allow the surface to fold over and collapse acting as shock absorbers. This is labor intensive as I turn them on a lathe but this is what the Cessna has needed! Try them on the Carbon Cub or any other plane needing big tundra tires.
Cessna Carbon Landing Gear Reinforcements Please see the description on the product page but this landing gear fix along with the Tundra tires solve every issue with the landing gear on the 170!
Motor boxes Flex innovations of course sells replacement fuselages for all planes. This is fairly expensive when you factor in the decal set and sometimes vertical fin. I’m offering motor box replacements for the Qq extra 300, the Cap 232 and RV8.
Carbon Wing Tip Cuffs Designed out of necessity to repair and reinforce the Cessna wingtips, I decided to make them for the RV8 and Mamba 70 also. For those one wheel landings with a wingtip (or just a wingtip! Which is very cool!) my carbon wing tip cuffs will handle all you can throw at them.
Extreme Power Systems Coming soon!!
Servo lead and extension mounts and quick release organizers. Please see pictures and descriptions as CRC designs make many different styles for all airplanes with several being specifically for Flex Innovations planes.
There will be many more products coming and I’ll be posting videos and cool shit soon!
Please know I stand behind all my products. I am laying up all the carbon parts and running the business and am available anytime. My phone and email is always on.
Thank you for purchasing my products and ordering Flex Innovations products through me.