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.
ON THE FLIGHTLINE
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.