I wrote this back in 2001:
Quique Somenzini performed his introduction of 3D to the RC world in 1994. It took awhile for anyone to catch up with Quique’s logic defying, silky, maneuvers. Consequently, I think no article on 3D would be worth its salt without giving some history on the father and master of 3D, Quique Somenzini.
When Quique was 10 years old, his father Mario introduced him to flying model airplanes giving him his first plane. This was 1977. Three months later Quique went on to take third in the Argentina National Championships. His second plane was another scratch built model by his father, powered by a K&B 40 and called "El Toorito." Quique practiced with that plane extensively and won all eight championships he entered in 1978 with it. It 1979 he took first place at the F3A National Championships. Also in '79 Quique became the youngest pilot to compete in the F3A world championships. What's very interesting to note is that his father, at that time, decided he should spend the next two years working intensely on the rudder stick. Using it for all rolls and corrections until he completely mastered it.
At 18 years old Quique was becoming a world caliber pilot. He placed 20th in the F3A Worlds in Holland that year. What’s more he showed the world the first ever “rolling loop” at that competition. The F3A Worlds is certainly a big event, but most RC pilots consider Bill Bennett's TOC in Las Vegas to be model airplane's number one major competition. But, Quique's time to dominate the TOC would have to wait a few years.
In 1987 Quique, at 20 years old now, introduced the model airplane world to the torque roll. The torque roll is still the king daddy of all maneuvers, in my opinion. A 150cc class plane torque rolling in close proximity is the most intimate a pilot can get with his model. Winning a 3D competition today requires much more than just torque rolling, but it is still the coolest looking of all maneuvers in my book. Quique took this original maneuver of his, along with the first ever (and now requisite) music anyone had ever flown to, with him to the 1990 TOC. This was Quique's first TOC, and armed with the torque roll he won the Freestyle portion of the competition and took 7th overall. Pretty fantastic for a 20-year-old kid from Argentina!
In 1992 Quique took third place overall at the TOC and in 1994 took it all with a first place finish. 1994 was not only a triumph for Quique Somenzini, but it was the beginning of a new era of R/C Freestyle Aerobatics, a new kind of aerobatics known now as 3D. Maneuvers such as low altitude torque rolls, waterfalls, falling leafs (Quique's fall), harrier rolls, rolling loops, and other hovering maneuvers. I feel like 3D can get better still, there is more we can do with a little imagination and a lot of practice.
Quique went on to win the 97', 98', and 99' TOC competitions. Proving he was the best precision and 3D pilot in the world for those years. Quique took fourth in the 2000 TOC, he had some engine troubles and he found himself being challenged by the new young guns of today. But, Quique will have his chance for yet another win this October at the 2002 TOC in Las Vegas. I wish him well!
Quique’s 3D flying captured my imagination. I just couldn’t wait to start learning to fly like him.
Quique took 3rd in 2002, the last TOC, behind the likes of Chip Hyde and the great CPLR!
As for me, I had the honor of being one of the invitational pilots at the TOC Memorial in 2003.
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