Thursday, November 8, 2018

Who's the BEST in the World?

"And the best VTPR pilot in the World is..."

C'mon, everyone has a favorite. With any sport, to say who is the best is always subject to opinion unless hard performance numbers of record are presented. Therefore since there are no hard numbers in VTPR aerobatics yet, I take liberty to share my opinion. You may or may not agree, that's alright. The sport of VTPR is subject to many factors, primarily the glider model selected, pilot skills, the geography of the slope where it is flown, and too many more to list here. Those presented here are in my opinion the current top 6 pilots on the planet. And I am sure there are more I am not aware of. They are shown not necessarily in the order of ranking. My number #1 pilot is here but I leave you to guess who he is. Who is your #1 VTPR pilot?

Item of note. All the pilots in this line up are flying composite (no foamies) 2.5 meter wingspan class or more. There are many great pilots that fly 2 meter or less models, but the 2.5 is what the French designate as the "sweet spot" size that can perform "all manner" of VTPR. And who would know better than our French friends who invented VTPR? This writer concurs with them...

Eric Poulain - France
Master Poulain is by far the smoothest VTPR pilot in my opinion. He enjoys painting the sky with his trusty Excalibur 2.0 as if he is Rembrandt! He never appears hurried or tense. He controls the glider aware of every nuance of weather changes while maintaining beautiful lines and figures. Video courtesy

Guillaume Leroyer - France

Guillaume (William) Leroyer is pure amazing! He has many club aerobatic championships under his belt. He also fly's many different types of model airplanes. He is especially excellent with powered 3-D flying. But in glider VTPR you will notice a distinct flying style than the others. He is for the most part flying low all the time. The only period you see him get a little elevation is to gain speed downward into VTPR mode. He manages the air and the glider gloriously! His maneuvers are a bit racy and cleaner than the others. He is an exciting pilot to watch. Video courtesy Michel Leroyer.

Remi Le Besque - France
Remi Le Besque is a fantastic pilot. Notice Remi with the red and black Excalibur 2.0. He and his partner, the other great pilot Eric Poulain share video time here. Its an older video but let me tell you, the content is up to date, still cutting edge gliding very few can perform. What I love about his style of VTPR, its always low but not necessarily slow. Remi is a racer by heart that goes for it no holds barred! Sometimes I just know he's going to crack up the glider but he fly's through the most dangerous low maneuvers that can possibly be performed with a glider, and he does it beautifully crisp and clean. Video courtesy Pierre Rondel.

Ronan Calloch - France

The glider is Limande. It's designer and pilot is Ronan. The first thing you will notice is the glider is very predictable with virtually no bad habits. Its completely neutral and has a limited top speed range. This sounds counter to good flying models but in the case of VTPR, its exactly what you want. Ronan is a fantastic pilot as you can obviously see here. He explores all manner of VTPR in a daring, exciting and very smooth way. Definitively a world class flyer and designer in the sport today. Video courtesy Ronan Caloch.

Cody Remington - USA

Cody is one of America's top pilots winning the 2009 World Youth F3J championship. He was coached by Skip Miller. Here is a video of Cody tearing the sky up VTPR style with his Espada glass ship in 20 plus MPH winds. His energetic and confident style captures his youthful approach to flying. He's not a VTPR pilot per say, but I think we can see he can fill a world class role with no problem. Being the only American on this list, in my opinion Cody qualifies as the US ambassador. Video courtesy Wakuman on RCG.

Joel Metz - France

Joel is such a smooth and confident pilot as well as a great videographer. He can surprise you with some nice beautiful and predictable figures, then all of a sudden will negotiate some technically dangerous figures without batting an eye. He makes it look so easy... One of the best there is. Video courtesy Joel Metz.


In this handful of greats, who is your No.1 VTPR pilot in the World?