Warbirds and Classics Over Michigan

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Written by Joe Vermillion The first of seven events in the Midwest Event Coverage As seen in the October 2018 issue of Model Aviation.

Bonus Video

This 1/3-scale Balsa USA D.VII, equipped with a G-62 engine and Volgelsang Aeroscale gear-reduction drive swinging a 34 x 20 Xoar propeller is ready for its next sortie. This 118-inch wingspan beauty comes in at roughly 43 pounds.

The 12th annual Warbirds & Classics Over Michigan took place at the Capital Area Radio Drone Squadron (CARDS) Aerodrome in Grand Ledge, Michigan, on June 7-9, 2018. This event was the first one of the season for the 2018 Warbird & Classics Alliance. This seven-event series of warbird fly-ins takes place across the Midwest, with gatherings in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. The alliance’s mission is to promote not only model aviation as a whole, but to help preserve the scale aspects of the hobby and promote building. These events follow the former International Miniature Aircraft Association Giant Scale rules, as well as require that all aircraft be in the warbird and classics genre. Make sure you check out the Warbird & Classics Alliance website for more information about each stop on the campaign trail.
The flight leader comes in low in a 1/3-scale Balsa USA D.VII. With a DLE-85 engine and Sullivan smoke-pump system, the aircraft was quite a showstopper all weekend.

The Warbirds & Classics Over Michigan event was held at an expansive field with a well-manicured, 1,000-foot grass runway located at 8328 Otto Road in Grand Ledge. The well-maintained site has plenty of parking, facilities, and bleachers for visitors, as well as concessions. The CARDS did a fantastic job of hosting the event again this year. With this being the club’s 12th such event, the members have it down pat. The list of event sponsors included Balsa USA, Swedes Diner, ElectroDynamics, and RJR Cool Tools. They all helped make this event a huge success, and the CARDS club wishes to thank each and every one for their generous contributions.
Andy Gideon’s scratch-built Bob Johnson B-25 was built in the mid-1980s and still flies great with its two Quadra 35 engines guided by a Futaba transmitter.

This year’s three-day event featured 57 pilots, with some hailing from as far away as Nebraska. Everyone who came had a great time! Not only were there lots of pilots, but a ton of spectators showed up to enjoy the show. Part of the idea behind putting on these air shows is to promote the hobby, and the CARDS did a great job of doing just that. Everyone I spoke with at the event had a great time and actually learned a lot about not only RC aviation, but full-scale aviation history as well.
Patches III has a Zenoah Z445 74cc engine and swings a Xoar Axial 26 x 6 propeller.

The event started off with two “chamber of commerce” days on Thursday and Friday that would be hard to beat anywhere in the country. Sunny skies and 70° to 80° temperatures led to two full days of airplanes in the air nearly every minute of the day. Aircraft represented practically every major era of aviation at the gathering. It was not uncommon to see a Fokker D.VII, P-51 Mustang, a Cub, and a Cougar all in the air at the same time. Some interesting Heritage Flights, pairing different eras of aircraft, took place on all three days.
Chris Tucker’s P-80 Shooting Star from BVM Jets is getting 18 pounds of thrust out of a JetsMunt VT80. That’s plenty of power for this type of high-speed low pass.

No matter what military or classic airplane you have an interest in, it’s a good bet that you would be able to find what you were looking for with a quick trip down the flightline. Walking around the flightline was really a treat. Some of the best builders in our hobby made the trip to Grand Ledge, and it was awesome to see the craftsmanship apparent in these models. There was everything from scratch-built, one-of-a-kind airframes, to kit-bashed ARFs on hand, and each had a unique look. Out of the more than 100 aircraft on-site, no two were the same.
Carl Bachhuber’s Best of Show 1/4-scale 1935 Stinson Model A Trimotor.

Saturday came with rain and a not-so-good forecast for the whole day. Because of the forecast, the event broke down early as people started to make the journey home. Contest Director Gerry Kessler decided to go ahead and award the trophies that were donated by Balsa USA and produced by Laser Kut Specialties out of Juniata, Nebraska. The top awards went to Carl Bachhuber, Best of Show; Dave White, Best World War I; Ted McClellan, Best World War II; Andy Gideon, Best Twin; Jeff Michael, Best Classic; and Chris Tucker, Best Jet. All of the awards were well deserved.
Billy Malloy’s Josef Jacobs Fokker Dr. I is looking for trouble. Billy is running a Zenoah GT-80 engine that he converted to an Rcexl ignition system, and is swinging a Xoar Axial 26 x 6 propeller.

Those of us who stuck it out the entire day were rewarded with some great flying weather. After the rain passed, the rest of the day was awesome. There was hardly any wind, and what wind there was headed straight down the runway.
This beautifully done Waco biplane made several flights during this year’s event. With the smoke system on, the aircraft put on a great show each time.

Overall, this was a fantastic event with a great turnout and lots of fun for all. There were plenty of pilots and spectators and lots of great weather.
Generations of aviation enthusiasts showed up at this year’s CARDS Warbird & Classics Alliance event. Pilots and spectators alike had a great time!

Make sure to check out the rest of the Warbird & Classics Alliance events to find one in your neck of the woods.
Jeff Michael’s beautiful Boeing-Stearman Model 75, sporting a Saito FA-325 five-cylinder radial engine, splits the clouds over the CARDS field.

Judy Ferguson gets set to help her husband Al fire up the DA-85 engine that’s mounted to his scratch-built Nick Ziroli Plans 95-inch Hellcat.

—Joe Vermillion uawflyer@gmail.com


Warbird & Classics Alliance www.warbirdandclassics.com Warbirds & Classics Over Michigan www.warbirdandclassics.com/MI.html

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