Print this articlePrint this article

Riverside Aero Modelers Society steps up their annual event to make it a Giant Scale.
By Ken A. Blackford, Contest Director and Bliss Teague.
Featured in the July 2014 issue of
Model Aviation AMA News District IV.

The Riverside Aero Modelers Society (RAMS) 2014 Giant Scale Warbird event was held April 11-12.

This was the third consecutive year that the RAMS of East Bend, North Carolina, has hosted a warbird event, but this time they wanted to step it up a notch and make it a Giant Scale event with 80-inch mono wing and 60-inch biplane minimums.

CD Ken Blackford employed the help of two well-known warbird enthusiasts within the club and the warbird community, John Welcome and Butch Pendergrass, to help spread the word that this year would be a Giant Scale event..

With clever use of Facebook , RC, the Giant Scale Warbirds Association, and some good help from John and Butch, the event started to look as though it would be a success. Once the word spread that a couple of big names had preregistered, other pilots from California, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, and many surrounding states committed to attend.

Seven sponsors were present: Dino Digiorgio of Meister Scale, Bob Grunden and Fred Culbertson of Dymond USA, Mitch Stott and Ron Word of Down and Locked, Wayne and Samantha McMasters of S & W Giant Scale Models, King RC, KC Hobby, and Anderson RC, who all donated more than $1,000 in prizes for the raffle.

If you’ve ever been to the RAMS field, you know that it’s an absolutely wonderful place at which to fly. Thousands of putting-green-quality feet make up the runway and parking slips. Facilities include a 25 x 120-foot shelter with electricity, a concession stand, and plenty of seating for spectators. Big band music of the era piped over the PA system and excellent weather made for a nice weekend. A Low Country Boil was served for dinner Friday night.

A very special pilots’ choice award—a nice edge-lit, etched acrylic plaque—was presented Saturday after all participating pilots cast their vote for the best model at the field. Brian Brannan from Selma, North Carolina, won the tie-breaker with a scratch-built 108-inch Avenger from Charlie Kellogg Plans, Sierra Retracts, and a Bryson 5.8 engine swinging a three-blade 24 x 10 propeller. Trent Wilhelm from Salisbury, North Carolina, was second with a 100-inch Nick Ziroli Plans Navy Skyraider pulled by a Quadra 75 and supported by Robart retracts.

Previous winner Forest Morris of York, South Carolina, and his incredibly detailed Ju-87 Stuka also made the event.

John Zaner from Laurel, Maryland, and his unbelievable Composite ARF F4U Corsair built by Gary Prince from Canton, Ohio, displayed a five-cylinder Moki 215. The model had an electric sliding canopy, working cowl flaps, machine gun sounds, a moving pilot figure linked to the rudder, and amber lights for the muzzle fire in the LE. Dino DiGiorgio from Port St. Lucie, Florida, flew the model.

Trent and Tyler Wilhelm, Gilbert and Jesse Cofer, and master builder Kurt Jack are a few more of the many great pilots who attended. There were nearly 100 awesome models at the field from all wartime eras as 47 registered pilots made it the club’s best warbird event to date. The previous two years documented 29 pilots each year.

The buzz around the field was positive and many first-time visitors were impressed by the quality of the field and how the event was run. Many said they wouldn’t change a thing and that they would certainly be back next year.

The travel time would be well worth it if you have not been to the RAMS field in East Bend. Look for this event at approximately the same time next year. Go to for other RAMS club event dates.

Event Photos

Add new comment