Print this articlePrint this article




John’s “RC Scale Aerobatics” column appears bi-monthly in the February, April, June, August, October, and December issues of Model Aviation. His email address is jglezellis@gmail.com.
I was raised in Millis, Massachusetts, and am an only child. I attended Bishop Feehan High School and completed a degree in Business Management from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

I have been interested in aviation from an extremely young age and I owe that to my father. He taught me how to fly RC on a Sig Kadet Senior at the age of six; after only a summer of flying, I soloed! At that time, I was the youngest member of our club who had learned to fly, and remember; this was at a time when flight simulators didn’t exist!

I began competing locally at various club fun-fly and Giant Scale events, and it wasn’t until I spectated at the 1994 Tournament of Champions that I became interested in aerobatics. My parents and I went to Las Vegas to view this spectacular event, and since then, I have been hooked on aerobatic competition!

While in Vegas for that trip, my father and I visited a local hobby shop. There, he purchased a Yoshioka Dash Five 45 kit that he built for me. The following year, I started to compete in local Pattern competition (precision aerobatics), and throughout the years, I progressed up to the highest class, F3A. In parallel, I also competed at various IMAC (Scale Aerobatics) events, and eventually received an invitation for the Masters World Aerobatic Championship that was held in Greenville, South Carolina. At my first national/international event, I placed third at the age of 15.

As time went on, I moved to Illinois and worked for Horizon Hobby Distributors for a year between my college days; I eventually moved back to Massachusetts to complete my degree. Now I am employed by Aurora Flight Sciences, which is a company that specializes in the design and construction of unmanned aircraft. It is pretty neat when your hobby and work combine into one!

Regarding my career in RC flight, some of my accomplishments include:
    • Third place at the 1999 Masters World Aerobatic Championship
    • Seven-time Extreme Flight Championships competitor and champion in 2003 and 2010
    • Seven-time Electric Tournament of Champions competitor and champion in 2007
    • Fouth-place finish at the European Extreme Flight Championships in 2007
    • Three-time Top Gun competitor


While I mainly fly at the South Shore Radio Control Club, I also fly at the Wingbusters Model Aircraft Club, as well as the Otis Model Aero Club. Throughout the years, I have held various aerobatic and setup seminars, which I have enjoyed. In addition, I have been working with Air Age Media in the past few years on an aerobatic DVD series. After all; the most rewarding task is passing on the knowledge you have learned through the years to others, and to promote this hobby to the fullest!

Regarding my columns for Model Aviation, I focus on Scale Aerobatics. In particular, I like covering everything from various building techniques and flight fundamentals, to radio programming tips. I enjoy interacting with you, the reader, so if there is something in particular that you would like to see covered, send me an email.

The photo shows me (left and above) with Mark Frankel and his T-34B Mentor, which we used at the 2012 Top Gun competition.