Mini warbirds not quite as tough as originals

By Roger Moroney

Propellers and turbines, and aircraft with single, double and even triple-decker wings will be taking to what their pilots hope will be fair airs over Awatoto this weekend.

As Barrie Russell from the Hawke's Bay Radio Flyers said, while their full-scale counterparts might have defied strong winds back in 1917, today's finely crafted scale models of bi-planes were susceptible to a big breeze.

"For the older ones to go up it depends on the conditions," he said.

The "older ones" are the likes of Sopwith Camels, Avros, Tiger Moths and the spectacular Fokker tri-plane fighter used by the German Luftwaffe during World War I. They will form part of what the organisers are hoping will be a squadron of model combat aircraft up to 200 strong which will take to the skies over the Bay club's Awatoto Field tomorrow and Sunday.

While the Sunday forecast is good, tomorrow's one is still a bit dicey, and Mr Russell said it was hard to say how many pilots would be arriving from out of town.

"We won't know until the day but I think we'll get a good turnout."

As well as World War II aircraft such as P51 Mustangs, Thunderbolts, FW190s, Corsairs, Harvards and Spitfires, a good number of jet turbine-driven aircraft, like the howling US Sabre of local flyer Harvey Stiver, are set to get airborne.

Mr Russell said the annual "Warbirds" outing had become the biggest radio-controlled model aircraft show in the country.

The displays will run tomorrow and Sunday from 9am to 4pm, with spectators welcome to drive into the site for a close-up view.

"All we ask is a $5 donation per car. There's plenty of parking and food and drink will be available on site."



- Hawkes Bay Today

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