MAAA Wingspan - Quarterly Magazine - page 12-13

determined. He is now setting his
sights on a podium finish for every
local event he attends.
“I have entered more than 50
tournaments. I have won lots,
including 2013 Nationals in
Q500, runner up in F400 at the
Nationals as well. I won my first F3D
tournament at Cohuna in 2015.
“I always try to beat my personal
best, which is 57.5 seconds for the
ten laps,” he says.
Daniel lists his biggest sporting
achievements as getting his gold
wings when he was 12, making it
to the 2015 World Championships
and…catching a black marlin with
his dad!
In fact, it’s his dad, Andrew
Arapakis, who bought Daniel his
first foamy.
“Daniel had to undergo three
ankle operations that prevented
him taking part in sports and he
really needed a hobby. I cast my
mind back to my teenage years and
thought it was worth taking him out
for a fly. We haven’t looked back
since,” says Andrew.
“When I was a boy my father took
me to fly a model aircraft, It was
great fun, but not something we
could afford as a family.”
Flying is now an Arapakis family
affair with Andrew working in the
backyard shed to preparing planes
and equipment for Daniel.
“My dad takes me to club nights,
race meets and practice or sport
flying most weekends,” says Daniel.
“On the weekend, we either go to
practice at Munro or sport flying
at my local club at Crib Point. My
mum and sister support me with
my ambition and like to see me do
my very best.
“My favourite plane is the latest
build of my F3D Minute Master for
the WC. Barry Murphy designed it
and the fuselage is built perfectly
by Terry O’Connor,” continues
“My wing is a masterpiece built by
Bruce deChastel the owner of Big
Bruce racing in Queensland. The
model is powered by a ballistic
MB40 from Holland with special
improvements and combined
with a Mees tuned pipe. It’s a real
weapon of a plane to fly.
“My sponsor JR (through Mike
O’Reilly) complements all my
models with precision TX, RX and
high voltage high speed servos,” he
Starting competition in the
Q500 class, Daniel saw the F3D
class racing for team trials in
Hamilton in 2012 for the 2013 World
Championships and loved the
“I met Beau Murphy. The class was
high speed, with lots of noise and
accurate control and I thought I
could never fly one!
“Dad took me to the F3D World
Championships in Holland in 2013
to watch Beau fly and Robert
Metkemeijer handed me my first
racing motor, an MB40.
What models would you recommend
for young people who want to give
aeromodelling a go?
Start with a trainer like the Apprentice by
E-Flite or a Classic Sports 40 by Phoenix. A
club instructor will help you fly safely and
you will be up and away in a few hours.
What are your top flying tips for
someone starting out in the sport?
Practicing touch and goes and landing
dead stick right in front of you and doing
safety checks are themost important.
Flying out of your comfort zone will
improve your skills so you can control
your model exactly where you want it to
go every time. Stick time is also important
as your skills will improve very quickly.
Are you involved in other RC sports?
Only an E Revo truggy that has a brushless
motor and lipos, which is really quick and
fun to control.
“When we got back to Australia, we started a mentoring
and training program with Barry Murphy and visited
his field every weekend for practice. Dad bought me a
second-hand Minute Master (one of Beau’s favourites)
and it all started from there! I got the bug to ‘Go fast turn
Daniel acknowledged that he has great support from
everyone, from the MAAA to his local club and mentors.
“My experience has been that people around you will
help you to achieve your dreams. My club at Crib Point
has been great and always help me especially when first
I started.
“Roy Cooper was my first instructor, and Roy and the club
have always supported and congratulated me.
“They have also helped out donating money which I used
to buy engine spares to help me get to the World Champs.
“There are plenty of models in clubs and people are happy
to help you fly and assist you with equipment. All hobbies
cost money and aeromodelling is cheaper compared to
many other sports like fishing, motorbikes and go carts.
“MAAA has sponsored my entry fee and uniforms for the
world champs, as well having provided my club with
insurance for members.
“They have a good set of rules published so we
understand safety,” he said.
Daniel suggested it would be great to see clubs visit local
schools to do info nights and then invite kids and parents
to come down on a Saturday or Sunday to a local field for
an introduction.
“It would be great to see more young members flying and
maybe clubs could help them out with a demo trainer
plane,” he said.
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