Saturday, August 8, 2009

Flying Circus takes off at the Butler County Airport this weekend

HAMILTON — Until you’ve been to the Flying Circus, you can’t get a good feel for the excitement it generates, says Mark Feist, president of... thumbnail 1 summary

HAMILTON — Until you’ve been to the Flying Circus, you can’t get a good feel for the excitement it generates, says Mark Feist, president of the Greater Cincinnati Radio Control Club.

The 49th edition of the GCRCC takes place Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 8-9, at the Butler County Regional Airport.

“Like most years, we’ll have over 20 different events that range from sport airplane demonstrations up to turbine-powered jets that reach speeds of over 200 miles per hour,” Feist said.

The Greater Cincinnati Radio Control Club is a group of model airplane enthusiasts with a flying field on Woodsdale Road near Trenton.

The Flying Circus will not only feature a variety of airplanes with wingspans from a foot to 10 feet but also helicopters and novelty vehicles. One is a flying doghouse with Snoopy in a dogfight with the Red Baron (who will be flying a blue airplane this year). See Harry Potter flying on his broomstick, making his seventh appearance at the annual event, and what seem to be remote-control cars taking a lap on the runway until they seem to magically fly through the air.

“We will have three racing events this year,” Feist said, “including a re-enactment of the Golden Age Races that made pilots like Roscoe Turner and Billy Metcalf famous, and a re-enactment of the annual Reno International Air Race.”

The Flying Circus also is noted for its World War II re-enactments, featuring pyrotechnic displays provided by Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks. New this year will be the portrayal of the bombing of Pearl Harbor along with revivals of Doolittle’s Raid over Tokyo and the Normandy invasion.

“We’ll have a re-enactment of the B-29 ending the war,” Feist said. In other words, the Flying Circus is going to drop the Big One.

The club’s pilots also will compete in skill events such as the popular Balloon Bust.

“We create a ‘rock wall’ out of Styrofoam and have helium balloons tied to it that pilots try to bust with their planes,” Feist said. “Later in the show, we make them fly upside down and do it.”

The latter will be good for those coming to see a crash.

“At our trials last week, 14 planes went up and three landed safely,” he said. “Everybody loves a good crash.”

The grand finale (pending cooperation of the equipment) will be the traditional launching of the space shuttle, which takes off on a rocket 2,000 feet in the air and then glides to a landing.

“We’ll have a total of 150 airplanes flying in the four-hour show,” Feist said.

For those who find themselves falling in love with the radio-controlled aircraft, the club and several hobby shops will have booths with information and items for sale. The club will raffle off equipment and memberships.

“We have instructional programs to teach people how to fly,” Feist said, noting that the club offers three sessions per week when the field is shut down except for training.

Also, people who come early or stay late can take advantage of some of the private full-size airplanes at the airport and take real rides.

Contact this reporter at (513) 820-2188

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