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Written by Jim Mohan / Lawrence Tougas
12th Annual Arizona Electric Festival
As seen in the September 2016 issue of
Model Aviation.


Bonus Photos

Model Aviation Magazine - September 2016 AMA News District X Bonus Photos



Superstition Airpark sits in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains of Lost Dutchman Gold Mine fame. Although no one found lost gold, more than 90 registered pilots and hundreds of spectators struck RC gold at the 12th Annual 2016 Arizona Electric Festival (AEF). Contest Director (CD) Shannon Gallagher, assistant CD Pat Gagnon, and their team executed an outstanding event.

The Arizona Model Aviators’ field includes an 800-foot asphalt runway with plenty of paved tarmac for airplane parking. A 250-foot long ramada provides plenty of space for airplane setup and congregating to examine others’ model configurations, new airplanes, and gadgets. With food service and generator-provided electricity to the wired ramada, the site is perfect for this event.




CD Shannon Gallagher and assistant CD Pat Gagnon conduct the morning pilots’ briefing.


Each morning, the tarmac filled with hundreds of electric-powered models of almost every shape, size, and description. After the daily pilots’ briefing, the flightline was full. While busy, lines for the flight stations were short. All who wanted to fly had ample opportunity.

The Saturday noontime show included a warbird gaggle, a 70mm or smaller jet gaggle, a helicopter speed demo, and demo flights from several of the vendors that had set up displays in the vendor area. A couple of models drew plenty of attention.

Clark Hans had several large scratch-built foam models. His Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow stood taller than he does!

It is powered by a pair of 90-millimeter ducted fans, each powered by a 10-cell battery pack. It was built from a combination of both pink and blue foam. It turned a lot of heads as it streaked by. Clark also had a large Concorde model powered by a pair of pusher propeller setups.




Clark Hans and his giant scratch-built Avro Arrow.


The owner-pilot team of Dale McCawley and George Kreyling flew a massive B-17 scratch-built from Bob Holman plans. The fully sheeted model is powered by four Power 46 electric motors from Horizon Hobby. The presence of this model, both on the ground and in the air, is impressive. With full-scale B-17s occasionally flying over the Phoenix area, it would be easy to do a double-take, mixing up this fine model with its full-scale counterpart.




Owner Dale McCawley and pilot George Kreyling prepare Dale’s Giant B-17 for flight.


Chris Picknally flew a couple of nice models. His foam Grob G 120TP trainer was a nice representation of the full-scale version. Powered by a four-cell battery and an FMS 4250 motor, the Grob 120 was a great-looking, snappy performer. Chris also flew a beautiful 90mm ducted-fan version of a Hawker Hunter. Done in Swiss yellow and brown tiger stripes, the large 1950s-era jet turned more than a few heads as it flew by.




Chris Picknally returns his Hawker Hunter to the pits after a successful flight.


Jerry Festa had a couple of models he’d recently reviewed online. He had a blast with the Tower Hobbies Wilga 2000 from Origin Hobby and the new Flyzone Seawind EP. One of his Wilga 2000 flights was done almost entirely with the flaps down. He demonstrated the excellent slow flight characteristics and the outstanding short field takeoff and landing capabilities of the little blue high-wing airplane. This captures just a few of the aircraft on the tarmac.




Jerry Festa and his crewman ready the Wilga 2000 for flight.


The Arizona Electric Festival is primarily a fun-fly. This year, as in years past, it has drawn people from across the Southwest. If you’re looking for fun, flying, and fellowship with lots of great models and an excellent site, you need to put the 2017 AEF on your calendar.



My thanks to Jim Mohan for this month’s column. Until next time, I wish you nothing but happy landings.




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