RCU Review: WTW 2012


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    Contributed by: Ken Isaac | Published: July 2013 | Views: 9795 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    West Texas Warbirds 2012, RCU Event Coverage
    Event Coverage by Ken Isaac (RCKen)
       

     
    Ken Isaac
    { RCKen }
    Email me

    About the Author

     
      I'm lucky that I get to travel all around the country attending Radio Control events so that I can cover them for RCU and it's members, but many times I forget that some great events are also located in my back yard. One event that I've heard about from other pilots is located out in West Texas near Lubbock, Tx, which turns out to be pretty much in my backyard as I live in SW Oklahoma. Many of the pilots that see at other events have told me that this event, called West Texas Warbirds, is really a great event in that it's got the "big event" feel but in a "small town" sort of environment. Also, Top Gun Head Judge and AMA District 8 AVP Bill Holland is a good friend of mine and he has also been telling me that I should check out this event as well. So with all of that "advertisement" for the event I made room on my calendar to attend this event. 

      Now anybody that has never been to Texas needs to realize that there isn't anything in the State of Texas that is done "small". And this is no exception for sure. West Texas Warbirds is held in West Texas, and this is definitely in the "Great Outdoors". There is plenty of land and sky all around as you travel to West Texas for the event, and the club members putting on this event wouldn't have it any other way. West Texas Warbirds is put on by the Wings Miniature Aircraft Society club located in Lubbock, Tx, but their field is located in Abernathy, Tx which is about 10 miles north of Lubbock. When I got to the event site the first thing that struck me was the size of the runway they have available for use. The club shares the runway with a full scale airport that also has active operations. Normally this would make for a long runway in itself, but there is another factor that goes into giving them what could only be termed as a HUGE runway. During WWII the field was used as a training location to train B-25 bomber pilots and crews, so this field was designed with a long LONG main runway. And while it's mostly grown over, you can still see patches of the crosswind runway that was used in WWII. The WINGS club has done a great job in co-existing with the full scale operation at Abernathy and has even been able to install paved pits, taxiways, and covered work tables to use for their normal club operations. In talking with the event organizer, Bryan McClarty, he told me that they get along very well with the full scale operation at the airport and never have any problems. Part of the reason for this is the wide open spaces I mentioned earlier, incoming full scale pilots can see RC operations at the airport from a long way out, and the RC pilots usually get a good warning of a full scale coming so they have ample time to get their planes back in on the ground and clear of the active runway long before the full scale plane landed. In fact, several planes took off and landed during the event and it didn't slow down flying one bit.  

      The summer of 2012 will long be remembered for the incredible heat, over 90 days of 100°+ temperatures, and the long drought that gripped West Texas. Parched fields and empty farm ponds were ample evidence that this part of the west was in dire need of some rain. So what happened on the first day of the event? You guessed it! Every event planners worst nightmare, cold, cloudy, and rainy conditions. As I arrived at the field early Friday morning I was greeted by cool temperatures and ran, and nobody was flying. In fact, I actually took a little nap in my truck as I waited for the rain to move on. But as soon as the rain cleared the area the pilots came out and started getting ready to fly, even though there was still some good wind and cloudy skies. By noon on Friday the pilots were in the air and the event was in full swing. So the cold and rain surely didn't stop the event, just slowed it down for a few hours. Saturday also had cloudy conditions but the pilots didn't seem to notice as there were always plenty of planes in the air. And by Sunday the skies cleared up for some of the best flying of the event, and the pilots that stuck around for Sunday certainly reaped the reward for staying with some fantastic flying conditions. On Saturday many residents of Lubbock trekked north to the field to just sit and watch the flying that was going on, and this is always good to see when a club has good relations with the town they are from.

      West Texas Warbirds 2012 had the one downside of having been scheduled on the same weekend as Homecoming for the local college, which meant that hotel rooms were in short supply. For 2013 the organizers of the event have moved the event to Labor Day Weekend in the hopes that this won't happen again this year. Also, by moving to a long holiday weekend they are hoping that more pilots will stick around on Sunday and fly. While I have been to RC events all over the country I must say that I was really impressed by the event put on in my own backyard in West Texas, and that I'm definitely going to try and keep in on my calendar of events that I want to get back to. And even if I don't get to cover the event for RCU I may well load up my warbirds in my trailer and head on over to this event and fly in it. If you are a warbird pilot in the middle part of the US I can't urge you enough to consider going to this event. I can assure you that the people, wide open spaces, and friendly atmosphere will result in some of the best warbird flying that you've ever had. I am definitely going to try and get back to this event as often as I can!

      For more information you can can check out the club's website at: www.westtexaswarbirds.com. Or you can email the event coordinately, Bryan McClarty, directly and he will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. His email address is: bryanmclarty@att.net

     
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    West Texas Warbirds Video Montage #1
    West Texas Warbirds Video Montage #2

    West Texas Warbirds Video Montage #3
    West Texas Warbirds Video Montage #4

    West Texas Warbirds Video Montage #5
    West Texas Warbirds Video Montage #6

    Nieuport 17, Bill Holland
    Japanese Val, Bryan McLarty

    F-15 Eagle, Nick Marrow
    F4-U Corsair, Bill Holland

    F-15 Eagle, Bill Holland
    P-51 Mustang, Scott Grissman

    F4-U Corsair, Brian Schwartz
    P-51 Mustang, Nick Johnson

    P-40 Warhawk, Brian Schwartz
    Mitsubishi A6M Zero, Patrick Tinsley

    P-40 Warhawk, Tom Wagner
    P-51B Mustang, Scott Harmon

    P-47 Thunderbolt, Jim Rose
    Fokker DR1, Brian Regan

    FW-190, Nick Johnson
    B-29 Superfortress

    Tigermoth, Mark Johnston
    Twin Otter, Nick Johnson



    Mitsubishi A6M Zero, Doug Harmon
    A1-H Skyraider, Less Marrow

    B-17 Flying Fortress, Doug Harmon
    B-29 Superfortress Crash
     
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      Planes, Warbirds, Heavy Hetal, "Thud", "Slick", "Fokker", "Sopwith", and any number of other things describe what we love so much about an event like this. The planes, that's what it's all about and that's what we come to see at these events. And when it comes to a "Warbird" event we want to see all the planes that have been used in all the conflicts throughout the age of aviation. And at West Texas Warbirds 2012 we weren't disappointed. Everything from WW1 "Dawn Patrols" all the way to the current jets that are defending the skies over us today, all ages of Warbird Aviation was well represented at West Texas Warbirds. All of the planes at the event were great scale models that all looked great, there were some standouts that just always seem to catch your eye when they fired up and took to the sky. AMA District AVP Bill Holland certainly had a stable full of museum quality models including his Comp-ARF Corsair complete with folding wings and a great sounding Moki 250 engine, his Balsa USA 1/3 scale Nieuport 17 with hand painted graphics, and his Air Magic F-15 Eagle. Doug Harmon from Lubbock, Tx had the runway to himself as he fired up his 120" wingspan B-17 that make some beautiful flights to wow the crowd. Event organizer and "Air Boss" Bryan McLarty showed how you can take an ordinary ARF plane and do some work to have an outstanding model that looks great in the air, his ESM Models Japanese Val looked great in the air I just couldn't seem to keep my camera lenses off of it looked so good. Now all of this shouldn't lessen the contributions from the other pilots as every plane at WTW 2012 was a work of our in my opinion. With that I present you with "The Plans of West Texas Warbirds 2012".
     

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     Most of the time when covering an event such as this my camera lenses are pointing out at the runway and the airspace so that I can capture the planes that are the centerpoint of the event. But many times there are just as many interesting things to see on the other side of the runway too. In the pits, parking lots, starting area, and anything else that makes up the event sight is always filled with lots of activity. And I for one love going to an event and people watching to see what goes on in the "background" of the event. The sights of an event make up just as much of what goes as the planes in the air.

     

       

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     While the Warbirds are the star of any "Warbird" event, we realize that those planes always have people behind them. And many times seeing the faces of those pilots, spotters, support staff, event workers, spectators, and even our four-legged friends adds a really cool aspect to the event coverage. These are the people that make an event like this such a great success. So here are the "Faces of West Texas Warbirds 2012".
     
         

     
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      While many of us might say different when we're talking to each other, the honest truth is that we all like to see a crash. Who hasn't been driving their car and come up on an accident and done a little bit of slowing down and "rubbernecking" so that they can get a better view of the accident. It's human nature for some reason. And when they are at an RC flying event like West Texas Warbirds it's no different, we want to see the crashes. An old friend had a saying that is perfect in a situation like this, "I don't want to see you crash, but if you're going to crash I want to see it!". Every event is the same in that pilots have problems, and the crashes are there. But an "opps" moment isn't limited to a crash, it can be a deadstick landing off the runway, a plane noseing over on the runway, the wind flipping the plane, and any number of other things that the pilot just didn't want to happen. We're not trying to embarrass anybody with these momemts, but since everybody likes to see them we do include them in our coverage. So with that said, here are the "Opps Moments" from West Texas Warbirds 2012.
     

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    Comments on RCU Review: WTW 2012

    Posted by: sturmovik60 on 07/20/2013
    Loved it warbirds of all sizes in one place . It just doesnt get any better that this. Thanks for the coverage
    Posted by: Red Raider on 07/20/2013
    It was a great time and looking forward to the 2013 edition.
    Posted by: ipegasus1 on 07/21/2013
    Had lots of fun at the event thanks for all the great pics and the coverage of the event.
    Posted by: Bryan McLarty on 07/21/2013
    Thanks for yet another great event coverage article, Ken. Nice job!
    Page: 1

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