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Warbirds, 3-D, and Sport aircraft fly in harmony
Written by Dave Deacon
Expanded event coverage from Bliss Teague's AMA District IV News in the April 2014 edition of
Model Aviation.

On September 14 and 15, 2013, Prince George’s Radio Control Club (PGRC), of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, held its 21st annual Giant Scale/Warbird event. The club decided to take a different approach for the 2013 gathering.

In previous years, it was a two-day event with Saturday dedicated to Giant Scale models and Sunday to warbirds. However, both types of aircraft were allowed to fly throughout the 2013 weekend.

Some were concerned that there might be conflicts between 3-D/sport fliers and war planes, but that wasn’t the case. All pilots were aware of the situation and gave each other ample consideration for the two flying styles.

With an estimated 60 aircraft participating, it looks as if the club’s efforts to gradually expand this event are paying off. Advertising through local newspapers as well as new road signs brought in many spectators and pilots. The club raffled FF foam gliders (and also gave them away) to the enthusiastic younger spectators, while a Giant Scale Cap 232 and a Spektrum DX8 (donated by local hobby shop GPA Hobbies) were raffled off. More than 600 raffle tickets were sold.

The weekend began with most of the setup and field preparations being completed on the day before the event began. Saturday morning was brisk but, as the day progressed, it turned into a perfect day with temperatures in the low 70s and crystal-clear skies.

One of the first warbirds to take to the skies was an ASM Douglas A-26 flown by Bill White of the Patuxent Aeromodelers, of Hollywood, Maryland. Bill and his father built the model together, although Bill now does most of the flying. Pitting for Bill was David Wright who not only flies RC, but also does full-scale air shows at St. Mary’s County Airport, flying an L-39 Albatros and a Yak-9. Dave also does aerial surveillance and photography using RC helicopters and a 30-foot blimp.

John Bollinger’s amazing Moki radial-powered CARF P-47.

Bill Kalb, a member of the Pegasus RC Flying Club of Hagerstown, Maryland, added to the warbird array with his 1/4-scale Balsa USA G-26-powered Fokker D.VII. The airplane was modeled after the D.VII flown by Bruno Loerzer, who commanded Jasta 26 during World War I.

Pitted next to Bill was new club member John Bollinger. John brought out his almost complete and impeccably detailed 110-inch CARF Models P-47. John reports that he’s “been working on this airplane for two years now and it should be ready to fly in about six months.” The model was sent to a company in England for painting and final assembly. The realistic paint scheme was designed after Lt. H.J. Curran’s full-scale World War II fighter. The model will be powered by a Moki 250 radial and incorporates working navigation lights and a detailed and authentic cockpit. Estimated finished weight is 57 pounds. We all look forward to seeing this showpiece take to the air soon.

Longtime club member Garrie Taylor brought out his Troy Built Models 82-inch Focke-Wulf 190. His aircraft sports electric retracts, split flaps, a Moki 210 glow engine, and weighs 24 pounds. Garrie reports that the model flies well and has no bad flight characteristics. Garrie is a former International Miniature Aerobatic Club (IMAC) competitor and now enjoys precision flight as well as Scale models. He’s been flying and modeling for approximately 40 years and it shows in his confident flying abilities. Unfortunately, the FW 190 was a victim of dead-stick, resulting in substantial damage to the underside of the left wing and landing gear. Garrie took it in stride though, and said it is repairable.

Event CD Rick Moreland wowed the crowd of spectators with his huge 120-inch Balsa USA Stearman Model 75 built by the late Philip Ratcliffe of Easton, Maryland. The blue and yellow biplane comes in at 55 pounds and is powered by a 3W 120 twin. When it spools up for a full-throttle pass, it rips the propeller with authority, pegging the decibal meter. Rick has been a member of the club since 1963, and served in the Army during the Vietnam era as a helicopter crew chief and door gunner. Rick’s wife, Lori, came up with the idea to offer commemorative photos of participants with the model at no cost. This was a huge hit with the pilots. Photos were printed on the spot with a printer powered by one of PGRC’s solar-charging stations.

Basil Roper put on a spectacular demonstration with his Skymaster F-18 powered by a KingTech K-170 turbine with a smoke system. Not satisfied with his Graupner Hotspot’s Saturday performance, he stayed up into the wee hours of Sunday morning swapping out a RAM 1000 for a KingTech K-170 turbine. Sunday morning he did a “simulated breaking of the sound barrier” with the Hotspot, resulting in the canopy being ripped from the airframe. Luckily, it was retrieved from the woods and later repaired. He also brought out an amazing 90-inch Fly Eagle Jet T33 to show off.

Precision Aerobatics and 3-D flights were put on by Nick Deacon with his IMAC-proven 110-inch Extreme Flight RC Yak 54, which won him third place in Sportsman the following weekend in Goshen, New York.

Also throwing down some 3-D flying was Kevyn Myer from Silver Spring, Maryland, with his Pilot 30% Extra. The author also “attempted” 3-D with a 106-inch Hangar 9 Extra 260.

As the sun began to set, a few fellow fliers huddled up to some campfire-cooked hot dogs, followed by a crisp night under the stars.

Club vice president Charlie Gettier expresses his awe of the event with Basil Roper.

Garrie Taylor and his 2010 Moke-powered Focke-Wulf.

Neal Rehm’s impressive P-39.

Sunday morning brought even better weather, with clear skies and a light breeze. Then-club president Alan Goodman took advantage of this by enjoying some fine Scale flights with his kit-built Great Planes 102-inch Stinson with Scale Stits Covering. Alan, who has been flying this G-38-powered model for roughly 15 years, reported that “the full-scale Stinson was built in the 1930s and was originally designed to be a twin-engine bomber which is where the wing design came from.”

An Army veteran, Alan is responsible for maintaining PGRC’s great relationship with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, which owns the enormous field that the club enjoys. This facility includes a 400-foot asphalt runway and an 800-foot grass strip, as well as plenty of spectator and pit parking—providing ample room for large events.

Neal Rehm was also present with a beautiful and highly modified ESM 1/4-scale P-39. This model showed off some interesting engineering. Not satisfied with the performance of the recommended engine, Neal modified the airframe to accept a DLE-55. The wings were reinforced and the elevators were converted to dual servos and a push-pull arrangement. The DLE spins a Mejzlik 19 x 11 narrow-blade propeller. Using the model’s onboard telemetry system, Neal reported a speed of 137 mph at 7,800 rpm during the event. Neal has also been involved in Pylon Racing since 1987 and has flown Pattern and IMAC. His portfolio of experience was evident with his full-throttle low, inverted passes.

The only “real” and most spectacular crash occurred late Sunday. With no other aircraft in the sky, former club president Dave Turner was “showing off” with some death-defying low passes over the runway with a glow-powered Mark VI Spitfire. On the final pass, the well-worn airplane smacked the asphalt, breaking off a portion of the propeller and severing the throttle linkage which Dave wasn’t aware of until he tried to slow down on final approach. The flight ended on the runway with the crunch of splitting wing spars.

Spectators and pilots expressed their enjoyment of the gathering, and complimented the club on its flying facility and its members’ hospitality. A handful of spectators were so impressed that they became PGRC members.

The club has begun planning for the 2014 Giant Scale/Warbird event, scheduled for September 13-14, and is evaluating possible improvements. Be sure to mark your calendar. You won’t want to miss it.

Bonus Photos


Great article. Way to go District IV
Rusty Kennedy L-716

Congratulations on your outstanding presentation Dave Deacon. You really made our club PGRC shine. I do have to praise a few of our great members who volunteer their time and energy maintaining such a beautiful airfield. Thank you guys. Without you, such a beautiful event could not be done. I do not want to mention names as I might leave someone out.

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