51st Annual Rhinebeck Aerodrome R/C Jamboree

If you are a self-proclaimed aviation junkie like Mean Joe, there are a few places that need to be put on the top of your bucket list. Rhinebeck Aerodrome needs to be one of them! I was lucky enough to be on the ground for this years R/C Jamboree at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome! Let's check it out!


2017 R/C Jamboree At Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

In 1958 Mr. Cole Palen founded the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck New York. Born in Pennsylvania in 1928, his vision was to create a place that people of all ages could come "step back in time" to experience all the joy that aviation history had brought to him and his wife Rita.

With the help of a small group of friends and followers, by 1960 enough onlookers were showing up that Cole started flying demonstrations which grew into air show that are still being flown today. The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Jamboree is just one of these fantastic shows that go on each year at the aerodrome.


51st Annual Rhinebeck Aerodrome R/C Jamboree (4 min 5 sec)

Put on each year by the Mid-Hudson Radio-Control Society, the Jamboree features both a full weekend of fun flying RC Models and the exciting "Pioneers of Flight" full-scale airshow. With well over 100 giant scale R/C models on display, plus the truly amazing full-scale show, this event is one you are going to want to put on the list.

Let's dive right in with Mean Joe and see what went on at the 51st annual instalment of the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Jamboree!


This years event got off to a bit of a rough start as far as the R/C modelers were concerned. We had to dodge some rain and the wind was quite high. Even with those conditions, the spirits of the modelers were not dampened in the least. We had three full days of flying! I have to admit that with the wind swirling around the valleys and literally blowing in 3-4 directions at once, I was a more than a little concerned that no one would be able to do much flying. I am happy to say that my concerns were unfounded. The flights were many and often all weekend long!

Everyone had a fantastic time flying at this truly historic venue! Even with the few mishaps that happened, it was still a great weekend.

Full Scale

So at 2 pm every day of the weekend, the R/C flight line shuts down and as per FAA regulations, everyone is required to move back into the bleachers section of the field. A few selected R/C modelers are allowed to stay up on the flight line so that they can fly a few minutes of demonstrations. After those flights are complete, then it's time to "take a step back in history". And man do they mean what they say!

Saturday show, "The History of Flight" highlights the "Pioneer Era" before WWI, a WWI show teaser, and the Golden Age of Aviation in the 20's and 30's. The Pioneer Era portion of the show included flights (yes FLIGHTS) of many different aircrafts like an original 1909 Bleriot XI, a 1911 Curtiss Pusher Model D, a 1910 Hanroit, and a 1910 Short S-29.

Seeing all of these amazing aircraft fly is truly something to behold. I was amazed that even with the more windy conditions that they were able to get them airborne!

The WWI era planes included the Albatros D.Va, Caudron G.III, Curtiss JN-4H, Fokker D.VII, and two Fokker Dr.1. The show was simply amazing, and I am still coming down from such an amazing experience!

In Closing

In closing, I have to say that Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome has got to be on your "must do" list. What they do here is simply remarkable. The collection of aircraft is only, in my opinion, only rivaled by the Smithsonian in DC., but these planes you can see fly! The vast collection is way more than I can write about here. You simply must make the trip to see it for your self. Whether your planning on bringing your R/C planes to fly or just want to bring the family out to see a piece of history, Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is the place to go!

Best of the rest Photo Flood!

Last edited by Matt Gunn; Oct 20, 2017 at 09:18 AM..
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Oct 20, 2017, 11:24 AM
Nice article! My wife took me to Rhinebeck in 2010, for my 50th birthday--I'd wanted to go since I was a kid. It's definitely a must-see. The Spirit of St. Louis was still under construction when we went--great to see how it turned out! A real highlight for us was two rides in the 1929 Standard. Grin-inducing.
Oct 20, 2017, 11:38 AM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
A few of years ago, we were driving through the New York countryside enjoying the fall foliage when I spotted a sign on the side of the road that said "Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome". I hit the brakes and backed up to be sure that I had read the sign right. My wife was startled and asking what the (*&%$ was going on. All I could say was "Old Rhinebeck", as I pulled into the small tree lined lane next to the sign.

Unfortunately it was the Monday after a big airshow weekend, but the staff told me I could go on down to the hangers and take a look around if I wanted. My wife was very patient and I had a great visit.

A flying weekend at Rhinebeck is still on my bucket list, but Joe's pictures sure brought back some great memories. Thanks Mean Joe for the great coverage.

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Oct 20, 2017, 11:46 AM
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Mean Joe Vermillion's Avatar
Originally Posted by GradyLee
Nice article! My wife took me to Rhinebeck in 2010, for my 50th birthday--I'd wanted to go since I was a kid. It's definitely a must-see. The Spirit of St. Louis was still under construction when we went--great to see how it turned out! A real highlight for us was two rides in the 1929 Standard. Grin-inducing.
The whole thing was truly amazing! And thanks to Balsa USA for making the whole thing happen! Because of them, I was able to fly in both the 1929 Standard and the 1929 RObin! If it wasn't for them and their support the trip would not have been possible! Also a huge shout out the Aerodrome crew!
Oct 21, 2017, 09:32 AM
If it's R/C, I LIKE IT!
Nikolei Zinsli's Avatar
Cool stuff MJV!
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Oct 21, 2017, 09:55 AM
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The PIPE's Avatar

A LONG-time ORA visitor here...and I've mentioned ORA LOTS at RCG...!

Dear Fellow OLD RHINEBECK Lovers:

The PIPE Here...and I've been a LONG-time lover of ORA, since my first visit in 1972 initially acquainted me with Cole Palen, Dick King, fellow pipefan Dave Fox, and all the amazing things that ORA's meant to me over the decades...

...my financial INability to make any visits since the 2008 recession (unemployed since then!) makes me fortunate that the 'Net can keep me in touch with what I've always considered "my second home"...!

If you check this search I did here at RCG, I've made over 150 "mentions", of one sort or another here at RCGroups about ORA, and many, MANY more are quite likely to come in the future...ORA's been "in my blood" for nearly a half-century now.

I'm still hoping that perhaps, a part-time job can get me back to the working world in time...at least keepin' in touch with the happenings at ORA helps with the feelings of "separation" from a place I've LOVED so much, for so long!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE....!!
Oct 21, 2017, 03:08 PM
DFC~ We Do Flyin' Right
Vapor Trails's Avatar
This has been on my bucket list for many years, thanks for the coverage!
Dec 14, 2017, 12:07 AM
resU deretsigeR
LDGILLS's Avatar
Wow, wonderful place. Not overly far either. What are the dates this goes on?
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Dec 15, 2017, 08:40 PM
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The PIPE's Avatar

These RC "gatherings" at ORA take place twice per year...


The PIPE Here once again...the main ORA event, the original "WW I RC Jamboree" as it's been known since its 1966 beginnings, is always THE WEEKEND AFTER LABOR DAY each and every year...

...now, the "other one" in the late spring (May, to be precise), which started out over 30 years ago (in 1983 or '84) as "The Rhinebeck Classics" and which WAS originally meant to be "strictly" for Golden Age (1919-1939) aircraft between the World Wars, "died out" for a while from the mid-1990s onwards to about 2010 or slightly later, when it was revived as a much more casual "fly-in" event, as the September WW I-focused event had also become.

I think the revived May event's usual timeframe is nowadays usually set a weekend or two before the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but I've been to enough of the September-timed events to KNOW that one with every bit of my being.

Hope this helps out a bit with your future plans!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE....!!
(P.S. The Old Rhinebeck RC events have even the AMA Nats beat, from a LOT of RC fliers' judgement!)

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