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Event coverage by Terry Dunn.
Hosted by the Wings Miniature Aircraft Society (WingsMAS) in Lubbock, Texas.
Online bonus event coverage with photos and video.




In its seven year history, West Texas Warbirds has established a loyal following of top-notch scale modelers. Unlike other warbird events, nobody comes here to compete. This gathering is all about hanging out with like-minded warbird flyers and enjoying the wide open skies of Texas. While a handful of awards are handed out for exceptional models, they’re just icing on the cake. It’s the easy-going atmosphere that keeps modelers coming back each year.

West Texas Warbirds (WTW) is hosted by the Wings Miniature Aircraft Society (WingsMAS), an AMA-chartered club based in Lubbock, Texas. The event takes place at the nearby Abernathy Municipal Airport, an inactive full-scale facility. Abernathy boasts a 4000’ x 75’ paved runway with countless acres of open fields all around.

WingsMAS utilizes the WTW event as one of their primary public-outreach efforts each year. The club devotes considerable manpower to spreading the word about this event and encouraging folks to come check it out. Once there, spectators have access to a great viewing area and real-time commentary provided by WingsMAS member, Tom Wagner. Visitors are also given opportunities to mingle among the airplanes and pilots. They even get to vote for their favorite model to receive the People’s Choice Award. For the second year in a row, this honor went to Jimmy Cowman and his super-detailed B-17, built from Don Smith plans.

Warbirds from any era are welcome at WTW. While a few WWI aircraft were present this year, unpredictable winds kept most of them grounded. One notable exception was Patrick Tinsley’s JN-4 Jenny from Maxford USA. Patrick and his biplane earned the “Best WWI Aircraft” award.

The majority of the models present were WWII-era aircraft. Some were scratchbuilt, while others originated from kits or ARFs. It seemed that anytime an Allied ship was airborne at the same time as an Axis bird, an impromptu dogfight soon developed.
Among the many WWII airplanes present, a few were noteworthy. Greg Pulcini’s 81” P-47 from Hangar 9 featured exceptional detail and weathering that really stood out. Greg logged some very smooth flights with the P-47 and took home the “Best WWII Aircraft” award. Bill Shirk brought out his very clean and attractive ESM P-39. Although his P-39 is relatively new, Bill flew it like an old favorite and earned the “Best Scale Flight” award.

There were several turbine-powered models at WTW. These fast movers seemed particularly at home with the large runway and ample sky. Moh Ayoub earned the “Best Modern Aircraft” trophy with his gorgeous turbine-powered BVM Mig-15.

The sun was shining throughout the weekend. Winds, however, varied from calm to downright blustery. That didn’t stop the flying, which was constant all weekend long. There were very few bad crashes, but the wind and Murphy caused more than a few rough landings and damaged models. Several of these mishaps can be seen in the video.

Despite a few bruised models, 2014 West Texas Warbirds was another successful event for the WingsMAS club. Plans are already being made for next year. In fact, the club has recently repaved 1000’ of runway. Visit www.WestTexasWarbirds.com for more information and make plans to join us at the 2015 West Texas Warbirds event.

Photos

Bret Bowling shows us that even spotters have fun at West Texas Warbirds.



Jimmy Cowman impressed the crowd with nearly vertical bomb drops from his Ju-87 Stuka, built from Ziroli plans.



With so many WWII fighters in the air all weekend, good-natured dogfights were common.



Jeremy Edward’s Hangar 9 Corsair was one of several Corsair models at the event. Jeremy put in numerous flights with his bent wing bird.



Bret Bowling’s 10’-wingspan B-17 features many scale details. It is impressive on the ground and in the air.



Scott Grissman’s ESM Corsair is nicely finished and flies great.



Doug Harmon flew this well-detailed Top Flite P-51B.





AMA district VIII Associate Vice President Bill Holland logs another flight with help from his wife Sharon.



WingsMAS member Jeremy Edwards gets some stick time with Nick Morrow spotting for him. Air Boss Les Morrow (back) approves.



This Top Flite giant scale P-51 belongs to John Johnson. He isn’t afraid to get the Mustang down low for the camera.



The father and son team of Les and Nick Morrow flew this turbine-powered F-15 several times during the weekend. It was a big crowd pleaser.



Event CD, Bryan McLarty, likes to get into character before flying his ESM Val.



Moh Ayoub won the “Best Modern Aircraft” award with his turbine-powered BVM Mig-15.



Bill Shirk’s steady hands guided his ESM P-39 and brought home the “Best Scale Flight” award.





Greg Pulcini’s Hangar 9 P-47 has many scale details that helped him win the “Best WWII Aircraft” award.



Bryan McLarty’s ESM Val saw a lot of airtime over the weekend. A bomb release and smoke system make this one fun to watch.



Tom Wagner’s Hangar 9 P-47 lost a wheel on landing and nosed over in the grass. Thankfully, the damage appeared to be minor.



WTW is a spectator-friendly event. Many pilots bring their family and the public is encouraged to attend.



Doug Harmon prepares his CMP Zero for another flight.



Sponsors

Balsa USA
Bob Smith Industries
Dynamic Balsa
Hitec-RCD
Hobbico
Horizon Hobby
Meister Scale
RCUniverse.com
Sig Manufacturing
Tru-Turn


Awards

People’s Choice – Jimmy Cowman, Don Smith B-17
Best WWI Aircraft- Patrick Tinsley, Maxford USA Curtiss JN-4 Jenny
Best WWII Aircraft– Greg Pulcini, Hangar 9 P-47
Best Scale Flight - Bill Shirk, ESM P-39
Best Modern Aircraft – Moh Ayoub, BVM Mig-15



2 comments

Thank you, Terry, for yet another fine article covering our West Texas Warbirds 2014. As always your article was excellent and all the flight coverage was in top form. As event CD, I was very excited to see so many great aircraft and host a lot of returning friends. West Texas Warbirds just continues to amaze me as we get to meet a few new modelers every year. To me, the people make the event. The flying is top notch! The venue is open and huge! And the pilots leave ready to come back again next year!

I'd encourage any military aircraft enthusiast to come and visit us later this year. West Texas Warbirds 2015 is already on the schedule for 28-30 August 2015. Mark it on your calendar and make plans to attend!

Very nice article on the West Texas Warbirds event for 2014. Thanks to Terry Dunn for a reporting job well done! The winds were a little goofy, but we all had a great time, and got lots of flying into the three days the event ran. This event is a premier for the West Texas crowd of spectators, and Warbird pilots as well. The friendliness and helpfulness of all attendees is a real treat. If you haven't attended this meet, you should put it on your calendar for 2015......You won't be sorry!!! So much fun and excitement. Come fly with us August 2015. See our website events for more information.

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