Heliwood 2022 Summary
Heliwood 2022 was held a week ago in Hungary. As we were very busy with the event and the post workflows - photos, videos, feedbacks - this summary got a bit delayed, but better late than never. Anyway, Heliwood with one single expression: real success.
This is the first sort-of-back-to-normal year, Heliwood wasn't affected by restrictions in Hungary at last, therefore all the programmes, the communication and everything returned to normal - or even better. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons, why Heliwood became much more successful than in previous years or even, how organisers expected at all. Just the weather wasn't the nicest on Saturday, a massive overcast and a risk of thunderstorm caused a bit of disappointment.
It's true, the event had so many programmes, everyone could find something interesting from little ones to grown ups. The co-organiser Márai Sándor KMI (institute of Halásztelek Council) managed to organise not RC related programmes making Heliwood much more family friendly than ever: Lego building competitions, Old timer car show, Chili and burger eating competitions, Rock concerts (yes, in plural - three of them), bouncy castle and much more.
And the RC part was organised differently as well. Not just RC helicopters were presented, although the main focus was on them. RC cars, RC tanks, drones, rescue drones and even autonomous drone made the event more vibrant, and the weapons exhibition worked as a man and boy magnet.
The "Magyar Nemzeti Mentődrónpilóták Egyesülete" (Hungarian Rescue Drone Pilots) presented very spectacular drone shows and represented themselves with three big tents, many drones and in cooperation with Estrato a massive, industrial carrier drone.
Gábor Szász was flying a demo with a full scale Extra 330L to the attendees of Heliwood, and Pannon Air Service took passengers from Heliwood to sightseeing trips with sport airplanes from the airport right next to Heliwood. There were so many programmes, nobody could get bored throughout the two days long event. Heliwood was vibrating through the weekend.
Not to forget, this event was not sponsored vastly by RC heli related companies, therefore majority of the pilots and vast majority of spectators were genuine visitors - way more than a thousand, although the exact number remains unclear, because Heliwood is still an entry free event, so the number is based on estimations of civil guards.
AccuRC organised a promotion at Heliwood, six licenses found their new owners in the draw.
- Gábor Beck
- Attila Blazsovszky
- Gábor Horváth Z
- Júlia Kiss
- Gergő Máthé
- Balázs Németh
Interestingly only one winner is RC helicopter pilot, all others fly drones, or new, potential joiners of the hobby.
More than 30 RC helicopter pilots and a lot of drone pilots attended Heliwood, but the programmes were so overwhelming we forgot to shoot the traditional pilot picture, therefore just one was made Sunday evening with the remaining pilots when more than half of them left already.
Saturday is the public day traditionally, Sunday is more for us, and yet, people just came and came. It was planned to finish Saturday around 5-6 in the afternoon. We did not stop until half past 7. First time ever: Heliwood had no downtime at all.
Two things were definitely different to other recent events, these were not experienced at Heliwood: lack of public interest and official representation of RC heli brands. Public interest can be explained by the communication - even one of the Hungarian national television channels - Duna TV - dealt with Heliwood in a morning magazine, regional media were and are very interested.
The missing official representation of RC heli brands is less understandable - this is why company banners and flags were barely seen there. Somehow these companies still don't show any interest in the Eastern European region. Perhaps they still believe an old misconception: "Eastern Europe is poor", but this is not the case anymore - what more - we can see a slight improvement in the number of active RC helicopter flyers in the region. The number of Hungarian RC helicopter pilots started to increase in the last two to three years, even though getting RC heli stuff is very complicated in the region.
Future of Heliwood has never been so optimistic than this year. If there will be no very significant reason, Heliwood will be taken place next year again. And this is the first time ever when even the dates seem concreted so early:
Programmes are being planned even now.