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Posted by Thomas B | Aug 16, 2020 @ 11:37 AM | 7,902 Views
Recently realized that this summer marks 50 years of RC flying for me.

Had always been into flying models (models of any kind, really) as far back as I could remember. Free flight gliders, rubber power. Started flying some control line with my dad in the mid-1960s.

In the spring of 1970, my dad invested the (then non-insignificant sum) of $219.99 on a Heathkit GD-19 RC system kit. We built a Carl Goldberg Falcon 56 powered by a Super Tigre G .23 RC glow engine.

We lived in Shreveport LA at that time, but took the Falcon 56 with us on a vacation trip to Arkansas that summer, for the first flights. We were visiting relatives in Little Rock and Russellville. We put the first flights on the Falcon 56 at the MARCS club field in Little Rock, just east of town on I-40, which is still there, today. We had a sort of substitute SMALL there in June 2019.

I did manage to crash the Falcon 56 twice that day, once mildly and once where it needed more significant repairs. It was retired after that summer and we build a Midwest Sky Squire to replace it.

My training continued at home in Shreveport after that vacation trip. We joined the Shreveport Sharks and flew at the old SHARKS field out on Airline Dr in Bossier City until we moved to Fort Worth in the summer of 1971.

I attended the Shreveport Sharks Warbirds for Warriors event this past Friday and Saturday and did meet a person or two that were club members when I was there, in 1970-1971.

After we moved to Fort Worth, I...Continue Reading
Posted by Thomas B | Jul 29, 2020 @ 03:24 PM | 9,040 Views
Stll hoping that a number of 2020 events will happen this fall.

I think an outdoor RC event, with good social distancing and care taken as needed, is reasonably safe even now.

I was able to make it to the Warbird fly in at bomber field on June 5-6 and had a great time there. 93 pilots attended.

Planned remaining summer-fall schedule:

Warbird fly in, Shreverport Sharks Aug 14-15-Great time!
MARCS Annual Float Fly, Maumelle, AR, Aug 22-I missed it!
Sherman. TX warbird and giant scale fly in, Sept 5- made it. Nice little event and great people.
Warbirds over Lake Benbrook, Fort Worth Thunderbirds, Sept 12-Cancelled
B-17 Memorial fly in and Giant Scale event, Bomber Field, Sept 16-19- Missed it. Was sick.
Warbirds over Texas, North Dallas RC Club, Sept 25-26 -Cancelled as of 07/30.
Benbrook Thunder Jet fly in, all types. Fort Worth Thunderbirds, Oct 17
SMALL Steps, Little Rock, AR, Oct 22-25

Still hoping that something works out for an alternative location for the BEST event in Early October.
Posted by Thomas B | Mar 23, 2020 @ 12:28 AM | 15,740 Views
I have recently gotten more serious about a long planned collection of models.

I have been lucky enough to have a 34 year career (so far!) as a design engineer and model builder at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, TX, located in historic Air Force Plant 4. When I started my career, the plant was General Dynamics.

My goal is to collect or build an RC example of every aircraft ever produced at Air Force Plant 4, plus a lot of the major and iconic Lockheed aircraft from the companies history.

Being a full time model builder for a LOT of years, I am not hung up on building each aircraft myself, at all. Particularly a lot of these, as I have been building models of them for a lot of years.....

Some are easy to acquire, some have to be scratch built. The eventual goal is to go to the field one day and fly the entire history of Air Force Plant 4, from the start to the present.

Starting with the first aircraft produced at the "bomber plant". Bold face are ready to go and in hand. Bold italic are in work. Models in regular type have not been started yet.:

B-24 Liberator: I have a Flightline B-24.
B-32 Dominator: No kit or plans available in the size I want, which is about 80-84". This will a an original design, likely in
balsa, foam and vac form plastic.
B-36 Peacemaker: New plan is to build an available small laser cut semi kit of about 5 foot span. Kit is now in hand
B-58 Hustler: Currently planning on either...Continue Reading
Posted by Thomas B | Mar 01, 2020 @ 11:41 PM | 10,319 Views
Time to work out where I am going for RC events this year.

I have been to one event so far: The Georgetown RC swap meet back in January. Had a great time and made some room in my hangar.

Upcoming events that I am planning on attending.

WAMS RC swap meet in Weatherford, TX on March 20 and 21 . Always a great time.
North Dallas RC Club Spring float fly at Lake Dallas on April 25.
Warbirds over Benbrook on May 2, at my home field: Thunderbird Field, Fort Worth, TX. Always a great event.
SMALL Steps 2020 in Little Rock, AR on June 4-7. A must attend!
Warbirds over Texas at Eagle Field, North Dallas RC Club: dates not yet firm, but guessing June 12-13, based on historical dates.
Fort Worth Thunderbirds Summer Float Fly on Sunday, Aug 2. Camp Joy Park, Lake Worth.

Still firming up events after that date. Likely to go to the Southwest Jet Fly in in Waco in Sept, BEST in early October, Fall SMALL in October and more

Plan on retiring on Aug 30 and hope to make it to even more events!
Posted by Thomas B | Apr 19, 2019 @ 09:34 AM | 9,868 Views
Event planning for 2019!

So far the only RC event I have been to in 2019 was the excellent Weatherford Swap Meet hosted by the WAMS club, in March. I have been very busy at work and heavily involved in the two SAE Aero Design events that were held March 8-10 in Fort Worth and April 5-7 in Van Nuys, CA.

Currently planned for 2019:

Lake Dallas Float Fly on May 4. Great float fly site and great folks.

Warbirds over Benbrook on May 11. Fort Worth, TX. Always a great time.

SMALL in Little Rock, AR, May 30-June 2. This is the 30th anniversary event of SMALL Steps in AR.

Warbirds over Texas, June 8-9. Aubrey, TX. A great warbird event!

FW Thunderbirds Summer Float Fly, Aug 4 Lake Worth, TX. Always a great event.

Will firm up events after early August as they get a little closer.

Hope to make a few more events not listed as schedule allows.

REALLY looking forward to retiring in August of 2020. Planning on attending a bucket list of RC events around the country after then, that my limited vacation time has never allowed to date.
Posted by Thomas B | Jun 19, 2018 @ 03:24 PM | 19,058 Views
I have not done well at keeping up my blog.

Planning my event calendar for the rest of the year.

Upcoming events that I am planning to attend.

So far this year, I have been to:

Weatherford swap meet March 16-17
Warbirds over Benbrook on May 19
SMALL in Little Rock on May 29-June 3 (arrived early)
Warbirds over Texas near Frisco on June 8-9


Denton Swap Meet on Aug 4.
FW Thunderbird float fly on Aug 5.
Sky Tigers Float Fly in Maumelle, AR on Aug 25.
Southwestern Jet Rally in Waco on Sept 6-7 (have to leave early).
District 8 AMA fly in at GSW on Sept 8.
BEST in New Waverly, TX on Oct 5-7
Fall SMALL in Little Rock on Oct 11-14
TEX at Thunderbird Field on Oct 20 (I am the CD)
Flite Fest Texas at Apache Pass Nov 1-3 (have to leave early)
FW Thunderbirds Winter Float Fly on Nov 4.

Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions about these events.
Posted by Thomas B | Jan 17, 2014 @ 08:59 AM | 31,272 Views
A new year and more events to look forward to!

Currently planning on attending the following events:

Warbirds over Benbrook at Thunderbird Field, Fort Worth, TX in early May.

SMALL 2014 in Little Rock, AR on June 4-8

Warbirds over North Texas at the North Dallas in mid June

Fort Worth Thunderbirds Summer Float Fly first weekend in August.

Regretfully, work and other responsibilities will prevent me from attending one of my favorite events, the great TINY indoor event in San Angelo, Tx the first weekend of March.

Will flesh out the list with dates and later events as the year progresses.

If you attend these events and do not know me, please be sure to drop be and say hello!
Posted by Thomas B | Jun 30, 2013 @ 11:08 AM | 29,777 Views
Having a great 2013 season so far. Attended the Richardson Electric event in April, Warbirds over Benbrook in early May at my home field in Fort Worth, SMALL Steps in late May/early June in Little Rock and Warbirds over Texas at the North Dallas RC Club in mid June.

Currently on vacation in Virginia Beach visiting son and grandson and brought along a few small models in my trusty Plano golf club case. Had some nice flying sessions with the local park flying crowd here.

Next up is a float fly sponsored by the Falcons of Lake Dallas on July 27. Always a good time. After that, I am CDing the Fort Worth Thunderbirds Summer Float Fly on Aug 3. More info here:

If you are in the area, please come out to fly or spectate!

Will update the fall events a little later.
Posted by Thomas B | Sep 01, 2012 @ 05:41 PM | 30,598 Views
Getting into the very busy fall event season, here.

Currently panning on attending the B-17 Gathering and Big Bird event down at Bomber Field in Monaville, TX on Sept 14, 15 and 16.

Two weeks later will be at DEAF in Dallas on Sept 29 for that great electric event.

And the very next day, Sept 30, my great R/C club, the Fort Worth Thunderbirds, is having it's 50th anniversary celebration with a big R/C airshow and an open house at our new flying field! Planning on bringing LOTs of models for the static display and a fair number to fly in the event.

Then off to BEST in New Waverly, TX for that great electric fly in on Oct 6 and 7.

Might work in some other October events, but also have to prep for TEX, the Texas Electric eXpo, on Nov 3, which is the electric fly in I run at Thunderbird Field.
Posted by Thomas B | Aug 22, 2012 @ 09:57 AM | 30,491 Views
On a quick trip to Tucson and Davis Monthan AFB for work. Not a lot of spare time, but did manage to visit the Hobby Barn after work yesterday. Interesting combination of old time hobby shop, with a sprinkling of new stuff, plus a little bit of debris from the days when they were a large mail order outfit, back in the day. I note that they no longer have a web presence. Lots of NOS odds and end that you never see any more, like Macs headers and mufflers (for oddball engines)

Interesting models on the ceiling...the big prop C-5 that made a spash years back was there as well as interesting second hand large scale kits like a 1/4 scale Westcraft P-51.

Not many hobby shops have 5-6 Maratuka scale kits sitting on the shelf like this one, though.

If things work out well today I will have an hour or two to visit the Pima County Air Museum on the way to the airport. Have only made it there once before and that was 9 years ago.
Posted by Thomas B | Jul 26, 2012 @ 01:27 PM | 32,066 Views
About time to do a little blogging. Although I am forever getting distracted, seduced and waylaid by interesting ARF models, I do have a master plan of future scale builds that I WILL get done as time allows. A couple have been completed over the last few years, already.

One thing they have in common is that they have never been done in R/C, or have been done very rarely.

First on the list was the Republic FX-12 Rainbow. I did a micro version (1/72 scale)in foam and depron that was a fine little flyer. It is still alive, but needs a little touch up and TLC after more than 100 flights over the last 6-7 years. To my understanding, this was the first R/C model of this fine looking aircraft.

Next up was the Beriev Be-200. This very handsome turbofan powered seaplane had not been done before in R/C (again, to the best of my knowledge and research). I went with a smallish all balsa model with two 40mm GWS fans and Feigao 12mm inrunners. All up weight was around 20.5 oz. REALLY a nice flying model. Will not in present form quite do an ROW, but it looks like it will if I add some chines of splash rails tot he forward fuse. It will ROW with a push, or a short run on grass from the shore so that it is fast enough to be on step as it reaches the water. Does nice touch and goes in the water as long as you stay on the step.

So, two models down and the rest of the master list to go.

Not yet sure of the exact order, but here is the rest of my current master list of models.
...Continue Reading