ARCTIC THUNDER - June 30 & July 1, 2018 Airshow and Public Education and Outreach Campaign

Alaska Drone Racing League is working to get Alaskan middle school and high school students interested in pursuing STEM careers.

AKDRL is sponsoring world champion Pilot Quique Somenzini, David Ribbe and John Redman to attend the 2018 Arctic Thunder Airshow at JBER  Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1, 2018. At 9 AM both days Quique will perform flight demonstrations with his F-16O turbine jet at the event to the 20 – 30 thousand attendees. AKDRL, the Academy of Model Aeronautics and other local AMA clubs and FAA will be holding seminars and demonstrations at the event near the flight line and in Hanger#1.


Colaska - small without Alaska USA

Bio: Quique Somenzini

From his first steps in R/C, Quique Somenzini showed an interest in aerobatics and a love for competition. Supported by his family and mentored by his father Mario, a F3A Argentina National Champion, Quique quickly learned to fly and in a matter of months he was competing at his first F3A National Championships in Argentina. From that point {10 years old), he did not stop competing at an international level until 2009 and his passion for the flight continues to ignite and guide his life.

His biggest accomplishments in competition are:

  • F3A World Champion
  • 4 times TOC Champion
  • TOC Free Style Champion
  • Free Style World Champion
  • 4 times US F3A National Champion
  • 3 times Don Lowe Masters Champion
  • XFC Champion
  • 2 times Tucson Shootout Free Style Champion
  • 19 times F3A Argentina National Champion
  • 6 times South American Champion
  • Still holds the world record as the youngest F3A world championship competitor set in 1979 at 12 years of age.

Quique has won several other International Competitions and has competed in many more!

His passion for flying and designing is what made Quique different from many others and successful in his field. Innovation, creativity, and passion, together with natural flying skills, were the ingredients that made him a leader in the world of international aerobatics competition. This is why Quique was able to show the world for the first time, 3D aerobatics at the 1994 TOC.

In 1990 Quique became a professional in the RC industry when he was hired as a consultant for Futaba Corporation of America and later Futaba Corporation Japan. In 1991 Quique became a consultant for YS Engines Japan and later for OS engines Japan. By this time, he had written columns for several magazines around the world.

Quique was born in Rio Cuarto, Cordoba, Argentina and resided there until 1999. He moved to Chile, married his wife Sandra and they decided to move to the USA (2001). Once in the USA Quique joined JR/Horizon Hobby™ as a Team Member and represented them in international competitions, airshows, trade shows, hobby shops, etc. Somewhat later, Quique and his friend Wayne Ulery founded Quique’s Aircraft Company. They manufactured ARF airplane kits successfully until 2009 when Quique decided to take a full time position at Horizon Hobby’s product development headquarters in his new role as Director of New Category Aircraft.

In September 2013 Quique decided to leave Horizon Hobby to “start something”….later the idea matured and he co-founded Flex Innovations with David.

Bio: David Ribbe

Following in his father’s footsteps, David obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering. The coursework at the University of Central Florida also included many classes in CAD and Mechanical Engineering, and he was also active in the AIAA Aero Club.

While attending UCF, a friend told him that Bob Violett was looking for young people to work at his small but growing business. This lead to his first RC industry job and opened the way to the industry as a whole. Soon David went from designing, building, and flying simple .25 sized sport models, to state-of-the-art finely finished Ducted-Fan Jets. Being surrounded by some of the world’s best builders and fliers provided a great opportunity to learn and grow. Traveling around the country selling and demonstrating products offered new exposure and perspective. Back in the office, he worked on a broad area of processes including CAD, metal working, injection molding, pattern and mold making, model making, etc.

After a period of amazing growth in 11 years at Horizon Hobby, it was time to do something more grass-roots, more entrepreneurial. David left Horizon in 2013 and has now joined with Quique to form Flex Innovations Inc, with associated product brands. David and his wife currently reside in Venice, Florida which brings him back closer to family, and allows for year-round testing of products!