Chris Galante Hometown: Tampa, Florida
I have been in the R/C hobby for the last 27+ years. I began racing 1/10 scale dirt oval cars and over the years I have raced everything 1/10 scale and 1/8 scale both on road and off road. In 2007, I started racing R/C boats and running 1/5 scale trucks. Throughout the years, I have had a lot off success running TRM Power Engines in my boats and most recently in my 1/5 scale vehicles. I am very excited to be part of team TRM Power and can’t wait to see my results in 2017.
Mike Spano (AKA Gasser Mike)
I began to dabble into RC helis 4 years ago. My first heli was an electric 600. As I begin to practice new maneuvers and things, I began to get extremely aggravated with the 4 minute, or less, flight times; that is when I found gasser helis. Gasser helis have made me the pilot I am today. The longer flight times and the additional attention to details that is needed with a gasser helped me develop as a pilot 100 times faster than flying electrics or nitros ever could have.
I did have a few helpers though, one was Al (0wner of TRM Power that I met through Tom Welch), and he was the most amazing mentor that any pilot could ever ask for. At any time of day or night he was there for me to consult on how to tune, or not tune , my motors. Between Alan and Tom Welch, they have taught me to listen to a motor and extract all I can from one! As you can tell from my YouTube videos.
Alan’s advice and motors have served me very well, and have been for 3 years now. I have flown some of the competitions motors and they just don’t keep up. Between the personal aspect that Al adds to the mix, and the extremely high performance his motors are capable of, I knew I made the correct decision when I accepted a sponsorship from TRM Power. Being a Team Synergy Pilot, I am anxiously awaiting the release of the 766 conversion kit from Carey Surley! TRM Power makes the most perfect gasser motors on the planet for RC helicopters, boats, and (soon to come! Submarines!).
Douglas L Darby (65 year old retired Coal Miner)
I became been involved in the RC Hobby beginning in 1999. I first started with Nitro and electric 1/10th scale cars and then evolved into On Road 1/8th scale Nitro Powered RC cars. I participated in the Texas Southwest Racing Series for 7 years as well as races in Florida, Michigan, and Louisiana. In 2006 I stopped racing RC cars almost entirely because of the unfriendly nature of competitive RC car racing. Later that year I saw a Blade CX being flown around a hobby shop and the employee let me attempt to fly it. I bought one and that was my start into RC helicopters. In 2007 I found Aero Hobbies in Lewisville and my immersion in the helicopter world was started.
Like most new helicopter pilots, I spent hours learning from threads on Heli Freak and for some reason I found myself always drawn to the Gasser Threads. One day I mentioned my curiosity I n gas powered helicopters to the owner of Aero Hobbies and he ran to the back room and brought out a Totally Awesome Century Predator that was 95% built for a customer who had since cancelled the order. I bought that Predator and started down the gas path. Since that time I have owned and flown almos t all the gas conversions that are out there and was with Team Miniature Aircraft I n 2012 and 2013 with the initial Whiplash Gas.
My association with TRM and Al began with my HWC conversion when I bought a hot 231 from Al. I worked very hard to break it in properly and regardless a ring end broke off and ruined the engine just as I had the 1st gallon of fuel through it. I sent it back to Al and he quickly told me what had failed and said that he would repair the engine at no cost to me even though the failure was clearly a Zenoah failure.
My relations with Al continued to grow as I have several close friends that were also very good pilots that loved to fly my gassers and were quite shocked to see the power they were putting out. From that beginning, Al continued to experiment with new engine combinations and I was allowed to test them as my friends could put much larger demands on the engine and heli than myself and other pilots.
My relationship with TRM has spawned numerous very good friendships with other gas pilots and builders like Tom Welch and Carey Shurley. Today I have at least two prototype Heli’s in my shop and several TRM experimental engines waiting to break in and test. For me the design, building, and modification are what keep me immersed in the gas helicopter world.
From: Buffalo, NY RC Experience:21 years total, Helicopters 9 years
I have worked in manufacturing for 29 years, supporting factories as a manufacturing engineer and running perations. Flying and fixing heli’s has become a passion. I enjoy working on them and helping others as much as flying them. The 2 stroke gas engines take me back to my motorcycle racing days, except it only hurts my wallet now when I crash. My garage has a lathe, mill, TIG welder and support equipment which allows me to try new ideas and designs. It is rewarding to refine the helicopters and help develop the engines. I have worked with pro engine builders, Al has an uncanny way to understand complex principles and relate it to real world benefits. Our conversations usually start by reminiscing about our past motorcycle experiences then relate it to heli engines. Possible new mods are discussed and distilled down to viable options. Chips fly, engines get assembled and tested, rinse and repeat. It is exhilarating to be a part of a great grass roots team that Al has assembled with everyone focused on bringing more advanced engines to the discerning gasser pilots.