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Written by Greg Gimlick.
ModelAviation.com online exclusive feature.





What could possibly be better than getting together with a bunch of electric fliers for a week of incredible flying? Getting together at an electric meet held at Triple Tree Aerodrome—the home of Joe Nall and undoubtedly one of the finest flying venues in the country. Pat Hartness and his crew at Triple Tree don’t do anything halfway, and their first shot at organizing an electric meet drew 327 pilots from throughout the world.






If you’ve never been to the annual Joe Nall event then you might not realize Triple Tree Aerodrome can easily handle more than a thousand registered pilots, and there are camping facilities to accommodate all of them. The restroom and shower facilities rival any RV resort I’ve ever stayed at, and the staff is everywhere during the week to ensure everyone’s needs are met.






Since this was the inaugural eWeek at Triple Tree, the staff organized it much the way they do Joe Nall … you go with what you know and what’s worked in the past. There were five flightlines: the main line was for all racetrack (normal traffic pattern) aircraft; the pond was for floatplanes; the foamies had their own area, along with the helicopter pilots; and then the 3-D fliers had a site of their own, too. This involved traveling around a large venue, but there were shuttle busses running all week and golf carts were available for rent. The scenery makes you want to walk the site, and there are miles of hiking and bicycle trails. This is a vacation destination for modelers.



 


There is also the incredible hangar that Pat opens for anyone to visit. His personal collection of full-scale and model airplanes is worth the trip. If anyone at Triple Tree is in need of something, the staff is ready with shops and tools to help. The grounds cover a 2-mile area and are kept as well-manicured as any yard in a residential neighborhood.






Flying is why we congregated at eWeek, but in truth, it’s more about hanging out with other like-minded people than getting to fly. I must admit that being able to say you flew at the main line at Triple Tree is something of an ego-booster. Everything the staff does is focused on making it an enjoyable week of friendship, fellowship, and flying. It’s a family-oriented atmosphere and there were more youth in attendance than usual.






I spent most of my time along the main flightline but made a few passes to the other areas, and each time there were multiple airplanes and helicopters in the air. I overheard two of the staff members talking about how, at one point, they thought it was an off day, but then they realized there were multiple airplanes flying and they weren’t used to the quiet of an electric meet. One of the best attributes of this meet was the electricity provided along the flightline, so there weren’t dozens of generators disturbing the peacefulness of the site. It was the quietest electric meet I’ve been to in years.






There were no noontime demonstrations to disrupt the day, and the vendors constantly showed off their wares by flying with the regular pilots. This proved to be popular because pilots could visit and talk with vendors such as Jason Cole from Hobby Lobby, as he came to or departed from the flightline after showing off another plane. Dave “Radical Dave” Thacker of Radical RC dispensed more information than I thought possible. His booth was constantly busy and he gave each customer plenty of time for their questions, etc. Luke’s RC Planes was there, along with Ohio Model Products, Esprit Model, 2DogRC, GoBrushless, Higher Plane Productions, and Vel-Tye LLC. I expect the list of vendors to double next year.



The airplanes were the stars and most-notable were:

  • Tony and Anthony Greco’s incredible Piaggio P-180 Avanti II. This is a designer Scale airplane built by Anthony and flown by his son, Tony. He started with a three-view and went from there. The Piaggio spans 111 inches, weighs 38 pounds, and is powered by an E-Flite Power 160, E-Flite 5000 mAh LiPo (10S), and a Castle Creations HV-110 ESC. The performance was spectacular!

  • Dennis and Angela Shrewsbury’s 110-inch Tucano. They traveled from Rock, West Virginia, to show off this beauty from Composite ARF; and show it off they did! The power comes from a Hacker 150, Thunder Power 7700 mAh LiPo (12S2P) and Castle Creations HV-160 ESC. At 50 pounds, this plane tears up the sky with authority and is gorgeous to watch.

  • The Slow Stik and Fun Cub that flew when it was “too windy to fly.”

  • Night flying! The sky was full of spectacular lights from dozens of airplanes and helicopters. It made quite a show.


 


The weekend wrapped up with an excellent barbecue that was catered and we sat overlooking the lake and flightlines while eating. I just don’t know how it can get much better than this unless we don’t listen to the weather forecast. The forecast came partially true on Saturday, and the crowd thinned as the winds increased. One thing is for certain—this event is worth going to if you can pick only one to attend next year. I know I’ll be back and I know Pat Hartness and his staff will find ways to make it even better.






2 comments

Great photos. Sounds like a great time - if only I had more vacation time so I can check out all these events.

Glad you liked the photos, I had hundreds and I know the editors had a tough time narrowing them down, but they did a great job. Triple Tree Aerodrome and the staff there are beyond anything I've ever seen. I go to Joe Nall every year and will add this eWeek event to my annual list of "must attend" events. I suspect next year will be bigger and better.

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