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Written by Ed Kettler. Photos by Pat McNamara
Online exclusive event coverage.

The skies over North Texas were filled with fighters, bombers, trainers and helicopters from June 10th through the 12th as the AMA Gold Leader Club Charter #1238 North Dallas Radio Control Club hosted the inaugural Warbirds Over Texas. The club’s Eagle Field east of Denton provided a 720’ x 40’ asphalt runway and an adjacent grass runway with wide open flying area making it ideal for warbirds. Planning for the event started in December 2009, when Event Director Terry Farmer and Contest Director Ed Kettler got together with club officers to discuss hosting a major event. The extended planning phase allowed visits to other events like Warbirds Over the Rockies and Top Gun to get ideas and learn from the other successful leaders. North Dallas’ October 2010’s All Scale event was kind of a dress rehearsal for the “big show” in June, and allowed us time to work out the details. A dedicated team of club leaders put together a very successful first outing, with several lessons learned for next year’s event.

Pilot Meeting - National Anthem.

Terry Farmer recovering FW-190.

Both Terry and Ed are admitted warbird addicts. Terry’s second plane was his first warbird, a Top Flite Spitfire, and he runs the specialty business Wylie Warbirds ( to cater to fellow enthusiasts. Ed is a volunteer at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum at Addison Airport ( and gets to work around full scale Mustangs, Corsairs and Skyraiders , plus crews the museum’s DUKW and Sherman tank.

Field preparation got started the weekend before the event with a walkthrough of the plan with the team leaders, and some trial runs for vehicle access to the unloading and parking areas. The club’s Field Maintenance team under Art Wagner and Scott Kubasta did a super job on getting the field into magnificent shape, and setup on Thursday went smoothly with the installation of the safety fence, spectator control lines and marking of the tent rows. Normally, there are four pilot stations, and two more were added to handle the additional pilots. By early afternoon on Thursday, the first guests started to arrive as final details were taken care of by the volunteers.

Noon Lineup.
The infield setup took advantage of the large areas north and south of the main shelter, leaving the center open for spectator viewing. Each area had wide access lanes for planes and vehicles, allowing plenty of room for trailers to pull up, unload and then move out to the parking areas.

Areas were set up for engine test runs away from the pilot stations, trying to minimize disturbances to the pilots. Two lines formed along the taxiway, each serving three pilot stations. As a station opened up, the Air Boss signaled “start engines” and then the pilot went to fly while the helper controlled the plane until released to the runway after a safety check to verify control movements.
The event is an “any scale any warbird” event, and we had planes from the size of Don Hafer’s Plantraco micro-warbirds to Brian O’Meara’s awesome B-26 Marauder “Flak Bait” with a 12’ wingspan. There were a wide variety of propulsion systems including electric, glow, gas, EDF, turbine and turboprop, as well as planes from World War I through to F-15s and F-16s. A lot of the 150+ planes were large scale World War II fighters powered by gas engines.

The "Flak Bait" crew.

"Bombs Away" from the "Flak Bait."

The undisputed star of the show was “Flak Bait”, the first Class 2 large model aircraft (LMA-2) to grace the skies in North Texas. Owned by Brian O’Meara of Denver CO, it was built in the UK by Phil Clark and test flown over the prior week at Evan Quiros’ field near San Antonio in order to meet the new AMA requirements. Dino DiGiorgio was pilot in command for all flights, and put on a convincing flight routine for a medium bomber, including bomb drops and low altitude strafing runs. Two Zenoah GT-80 gas engines power this monster and a lot of focus is placed on the assembly, preflight and safe operation of this 112+ pound aircraft. The finishing detail on this plane is spectacular; a master’s course in weathering, pealed paint, rain streaking and other techniques to make it look like it did after 207 missions. On Saturday, WW-2 pilot Buck Rogers (67 missions in “Flak Bait”) was present to watch the first public flights of this magnificent aircraft.

Bret Bowling B-17G.

Bret Bowling B-17 hangar.

North Dallas is the home base for two widely photographed B-17G Flying Fortresses built by Dan Givney and flown by Bret Bowling and Gary Mills. These planes have 125” wing spans and are powered by four Saito .82s. There is quite a lot of prep time required to set up the planes , sync the engines and get everything ready to fly, but when they leave the ground they are an awesome sight with the “smoke on” they really look like they are high in the sky en route to Berlin in 1944, trailing contrails.

Barry Raborn F4U-5N pilot.

Barry Raborn working on his F4F.
Barry Raborn brought two classic Navy planes, a F4U-5N Corsair night fighter and Butch O’Hare’s F4F Wildcat. The Corsair was built by Graham Buchanan as F4U-5N Corsair (BuNo 124453) ANNIE MO, flown by Lt. Guy 'Lucky Pierre' Bordelon, 'Detachment Dog', VC-3, detached ashore to K-6 from USS Princeton, July 1953. Guy Bordelon was the only night ace and propeller ace in the Korean War. VC-3 flew night interdiction as well night fighter missions, some of the most hazardous flying in the war. The finish is heavily weathered, and this stout beast is pulled through the skies by a Moki 250. When the plane flies by, the only thing that tells it apart from a real Corsair is the lack of whistle from the oil coolers. Barry’s second plane was a very realistically done F4F Wildcat in Butch O’Hare’s early war scheme. The detailing on the landing gear is a sight to see, and functions identically to the full scale plane. The F4F was a very simple plane, with pneumatics to operate the flaps, hydraulic brakes, and the pilot turned a crank 29 times that drove a bicycle chain to retract the gear.

Jim Ewers from Oklahoma brought a 1/3rd and a 1/4 scale NE-1 Piper Cub and provided a lot of entertainment with his “non-traditional warbird maneuvers”.

Powered by a DLE111, the 1/4 scale plane was capable of doing a full 3D routine that is impressive to watch. Jim is still working on extending the flight envelope on the 1/3rd scale Cub and will soon be doing full routines.

Jim Ewers NE-1 Cub.

Terry Farmer and Wylie Warbirds donated a superb set of trophies for the event, with carved wood planes for first places and plaques for other places. Additionally, Terry led the effort to get donations for the raffle, and there were many happy recipients.

Putting the aircraft to bed for the night.

Next year’s event is scheduled for June 15-17th, 2012, so mark your calendars and plan to attend this great event. You can also visit for more information. A big thank you goes to AMA Gold Leader Club Charter #1238 North Dallas RC Club for hosting the event, for the many volunteers who selflessly gave of their time, and to everybody who attended and made this a very successful inaugural Warbirds Over Texas. See you next year!

Warbirds Over Texas 2011 Photo Stream

Warbirds Over Texas 2011 Winners


Best Of Show

Pilots’ Choice

1st Place WWI

2nd Place WWI

3rd Place WWI

1st Place WWII

2nd Place WWII

3rd Place WWII

Best Jet

Best Multi-engine

Best Bomber

Best Post-WWII

Best Helicopter


B-26 Marauder “Flak Bait”

B-26 Marauder “Flak Bait”

Eindecker E-1

Sopwith Pup

Curtiss Jenny

F4F Wildcat


Stearman PT-17

F-86 Sabre

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress

B-26 Marauder “Flak Bait”

F4U-5 Corsair

Bell 206


Brian O’Meara

Brian O’Meara

Rich Richardson

Rich Richardson

Patrick Tinsley

Barry Raborn

Evan Quiros

Jack Haynes

Brian O’Meara

Bret Bowling

Brian O’Meara

Barry Raborn

Harold Zweiacher

Read about the 2012 event at

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