Thursday, May 13, 2010

Flying on a different scale ...

What better thing to do on a beautiful spring day than take a ride to Triple Tree Aerodrome at Woodruff, South Carolina, for the Joe Nall model airplane meet? Campers, motor homes, airplane trailers of all description, size and length make this journey every year - it's truly the premier meet for model enthusiasts from all over the world.

Once you drive down the tree-lined serpentine driveway and reach the parking areas, it's a short walk to the first of (on my day there) four flight lines: Show Central where most of the really giant scale models show their stuff, The floatplane lake just down the hill, the 3-D area where the really radical dudes and dudettes make airplanes do things that airplanes can't do, and the all-electric area.

The runways are all grass. By grass, I mean like a huge putting green grass. You can see in the picture above where the good stuff starts and it just goes and goes. Come fall when the full-size airplanes arrive for the Triple Tree Fly-In, there had better be some really good landings to keep this beautiful surface intact!

Looking north from Show Central, the lines of airplanes consisted of aerobatic machines for the most part ...

...Looking South from Show Central, there were airplanes as far as the eye could see, all beside that immaculately manicured runway ...

Even Harry was there with his Champ!

This FlyBaby pilot is catching up on some rest after a very long cross-country ...

Further down the line you can catch a glimpse of the floatplane lake and more and more airplanes. By the time we got there over 800 pilots had signed up to fly at the event!

I really like some of the paint schemes - these builders and finishers use a variety of methods, the most popular being actual paint and vinyl appliques.

Both of the above are painted ... the quality of finish work is just remarkable.

Take this L-4 for example ... from the miniature AN cowling clips ...

... to the ribstitching, this airplane was very nicely done and the attention to detail astonishing.

Stu was there in the Cub, of course ... though I can't say I'm all that fond of the trim paint he's put on the tail. Makes it go faster, I guess ... the radical elevator throw is just perfect for practicing his English Bunts.

Son John took this picture of me behind a B-36 just like my cousin-uncle Claude used to fly. Colonel Claude just flew west and it was almost like having him there. This model flew during the midday show and sounded just great.

The featured attraction at the midday show was this 20' wingspan B-29, complete with a Bell X-1 ... and, yes, they drop the X-1 and, yes, it does have a rocket motor which they fire off and, yes, it does climb like a bat out of hell ... The B-29 is a magnificent piece of work.

Cory even showed up with his Spacewalker (although he's made it into a Spacewalker I)

This "razorback" P-47 was a real performer!

Colonel cousin-uncle Claude taxis by on his way for takeoff ...

There is a night show as well ... this airplane is outlined in tiny LED lights - pretty visible even in the bright midday sun.

When Fritts decided to call it a day, so did I ... what a fantastic day at the Joe Nall. For a lot more info and a lot more pictures, videos, etc. try googling Joe Nall model airplane or:

The next event is the Western North Carolina Air Fair, June 5-6, 2010. Be there or be square.

Fly safe!