FEA­TURES War­birds Over Delaware

On the flight­line with gi­ant-scale fighters, bombers, and more!


On the flight­line with gi­ant-scale fighters, bombers, and more! By Sal Cal­vagna

War­birds Over Delaware is open to the gen­eral pub­lic and at­tracts so many spec­ta­tors that tour buses are used to trans­port them to and from sep­a­rate park­ing fa­cil­i­ties. Never fear, there is plenty of room for event par­tic­i­pants to stake a piece of prop­erty for them­selves and put up a canopy. In ad­di­tion, the host club pro­vides an enor­mous three-ring cir­cus-size tent to house and pro­tect all the mod­els dur­ing overnight stor­age. There is also a well-pop­u­lated ven­dor area where RC mod­el­re­lated prod­ucts are sold, and the lo­cal Boy Scout troop sets up camp to pre­pare and of­fer break­fast and lunch to all at­ten­dees. One of the fa­vorites dur­ing the hot­ter days is the shaved-ice ven­dor, and this year the line for the cool treats was con­stant.


The event is open to all gi­ant-scale mil­i­tary air­craft mod­els and fighters, and any eras are wel­comed. In fact, it’s com­mon to see a Fokker Ein­decker parked next to a North Amer­i­can F-86 jet. This year’s event was amaz­ing, with ap­prox­i­mately 250 air­craft in at­ten­dance.

After a brief pilots’ meet­ing each morn­ing, the field

is ready for open fly­ing. There are six pilot sta­tions, and the vol­un­teers work the flight­line like air-traf­fic controllers to en­sure take­offs and land­ings are prop­erly co­or­di­nated. Of course, a spot­ter is re­quired for each pilot to keep the air­craft mov­ing safely and smoothly over­head.


On Fri­day and Satur­day at noon, the mid­day show tem­po­rar­ily takes over, halt­ing open fly­ing so that some spe­cial aerial ex­hi­bi­tions flights can be demon­strated. As usual, Adam Lil­ley starts off the show with his mod­i­fied Piper Cub and a “fly­ing farmer rou­tine,” which is spectacular. Us­ing his trans­mit­ter, he is able to drop a wheel dur­ing take­off and eject an aileron mid­flight.

His flight reg­i­men is some­thing rem­i­nis­cent of a Three Stooges’ short film, but in the end, he al­ways man­ages to land suc­cess­fully to the ap­plause of the au­di­ence.

Next up is the Great WW I Gag­gle, which is open to any­one with a plane of that vin­tage. On Satur­day, 17 mod­els took part to the de­light of ev­ery­one present. Like those amaz­ing men in their fly­ing ma­chines, the bi­planes and tri­planes flew the cir­cuit and made some very low passes, some bil­low­ing trails of white smoke.

All sorts of World War II war­birds at­tend Wings Over Delaware. Here, a big Messer­schmitt Me 110 comes around for a high-speed pass. Ross Baker of Spring­field, Vir­ginia, built the 95-inch wing­span model from an ESM kit. A fam­ily af­fair, here’s Dave Mal­cione Sr., Dave Jr. (with hat), and Dave Sr.’s grand­daugh­ter Gwen hold­ing onto one of two gi­ant Cor­sairs flown in the mid­day air­show.

Get­ting ready for the WW I Gag­gle mass flight, Scott Reynolds starts up the Fokker D.VII be­long­ing to his wife, Jennifer Lea.

Pilot Mike Monack of New Cas­tle, Delaware, cer­tainly showed ev­ery­one how low he could fly his G62-pow­ered Top Flite P-51 Mus­tang.

Over the week­end, two im­pres­sive Vailly Avi­a­tion Hawker Hur­ri­canes could be seen fly­ing in for­ma­tion. Here, with their Bat­tle of Bri­tain war ma­chines are Robert Van­der­mulen of Mont­gomery, New York, and Kevin Breen of Rock Hill, New York.

A pair of Ger­man Fokker D.VIIs make ready to en­gage the en­emy!

Hur­ri­canes on pa­trol.

Get­ting ready for the WW I Gag­gle, here is Scott Vick­ery and his im­pres­sive half-scale ZDZ 250cc-pow­ered Fokker Dr.I Tri­plane.

Paul LeTourneau brings in his A-10 for a per­fect land­ing.

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