By TRAVIS MORSE firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — The Rend Lake RC Club’s annual Military Fly-In event appeals to a broad range of people, said Club President Jay Manion.
Not only does it draw model airplane enthusiasts, but also newcomers to the hobby, history buffs, and military veterans who flew in the actual full-scale versions of the planes at the show.
“A lot of people come to see the models and watch them fly,” Manion said. “It’s a great event to meet people that can help get (you) into the hobby.”
The 20th Annual Military Fly-In will be held at 9 a.m. Sunday at the flying field north of Rend Lake College in Ina. Registration for those flying planes in the show begins at 8:30 a.m.
Organizers expect between 80 and 100 planes at the fly-in, and the event typically attracts 100 to 200 people.
“If it’s nice weather, we usually have a lot more people,” Manion said.
The RC Club is dedicated to the hobby of flying fixed-wing radio controlled model airplanes.
The annual fly-in features replicants of military aircraft from the major wars of the 20th Century, as well as from more recent conflicts. Prizes and trophies will be awarded.
“It’s kind of a memorial for all the World War I, World War II, Korea,
and Vietnam warbirds,” said Tom Duncan, contest director for the fly-in. “A lot of (the planes) are very realistic.”
Show participants are judged on the historical accuracy of their plane’s design and whether it flies similar to the full-scale version.
For example, a radio controlled airplane modeled after a World War I aircraft should not fly fast because the real planes were slow, Manion said.
“They can win awards based on their accuracy,” Manion said.
Among other aircraft, this year’s show will feature several model A-10 Warthog jet airplanes, as well as some World War II-era P-51 Mustang bombers, Manion said.
To Duncan, the appeal of flying model airplanes is how flexible the hobby is for those who get involved.
“I’ve loved airplanes ever since I was 5 years old,” said Duncan, an avid flier. “It’s just a good hobby. You can go from just a basic type (of aircraft) all the way to turbines. You can do whatever you want to with the hobby. You can get into it lightly or go full-bore.”
Admission is free to Sunday’s fly-in and concessions will be sold. Photography is allowed at the event.
For more information on the fly-in, visit www.rendlakerc.com. You can also call Duncan at 237-7731, or Manion at 520-9896.