Fly Yuma Event    www.ModelAviation.com  

Russ Verbael of the Yuma Aeromodelers Club in Yuma, Arizona, shared some information and photos about an event that his club held in February 2017.

Johnny Yuma and the movie 3:10 to Yuma might be familiar to many, but our 11th annual presentation of Fly Yuma, an R/C air show and weekend of fun, is also steadily gaining regional attention and familiarity among modelers each year.

This February, the Yuma Aeromodelers Club hosted its annual Fly Yuma event at its club field, which boasts a 600 x 60-foot asphalt runway, efficient crowd control, safety fencing, and a superb sound system—literally reaching out to each of the estimated 1,600 spectators lined up from end to end of the runway. 

Perfect mid-70° weather with no wind and cloud-free sunshine blessed spectators and participants alike all weekend. Free dry camping was provided for a number of RVs, and local food vendors provided sustenance during the three-day event.

Friday, February 24, was field setup day and was devoted to test flying for participants arriving early at the field, located 5 miles north of the city of Yuma, Arizona. Later, night flying, hot dog roasting, and several hospitality fires served to set the upbeat mood for our Fly Yuma ’17 weekend.

This year, we were treated to the addition of five RC box kites flown in the total black desert sky—proof that there is no limit to ingenuity and novelty demonstrated by participants.

Saturday morning arrived with the first of 750 spectator cars carrying eager passengers who brought lawn chairs, suntan lotion, and dark glasses to enjoy a nonstop four-hour program of RC flight demonstrations that included scale World War I warbirds, sleek jets, RC skydiving, 3-D flight, helicopters, drones, sailplanes, and Sunday fliers.

Our formal program kicked off with Bill Beck towing a 3 x 5-foot American flag with his Senior Kadet that was equipped with a release mechanism and accompanied by the US and the Canadian national anthems, sent out through the field’s sound system.

Later flights featured what we believe might have been a “first ever” at an RC air show: a flight demonstration by the event contest director Mike McMullen of an RC paraglider sporting a 6-foot parachute and powered by a 500 mA electric motor mounted on a trike chassis.

Another possible first was the appearance of five RC box kites flying at the same time!

Fly Yuma ’17 witnessed 40 RC pilots coming from as far as northern California, Reno, Nevada, Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, as well as local club members flying a variety of crowd pleasing aerial routines described by an announcer. Music occasionally accompanied the demonstration flights.

This year, we were able to welcome back from Texas several hard-core fliers who came to participate and enjoy the mild Arizona winter. Scale models included a beautiful example of a WW I S.E.5 by Jack Collins, up to Vietnam-era turbine-powered CH-53 and AH-1J Cobra helicopters built and flown by Jim Spice, a U.S. Marine CH53 pilot during the Vietnam War.

Our show-stopping finale featured five large 3-D aircraft flying a “Sabre Dance” in the same airspace, at the same altitude, with total precision. Spectators were absolutely stunned—all eyes glued to the aircraft hanging on propellers only a few feet apart! Hundreds of onlookers agreed, “It just does not get any better!”

At the conclusion of the 26 programmed flight demonstrations, all aircraft and their pilots gathered on the runway centerline for a “meet and greet” opportunity for the public to check out aircraft and chat with pilots and crew members. Following this portion of the event, the field was available for open flying throughout the remainder of the afternoon.

The activities on Sunday, February 26, included a well-attended hobby swap meet where several aircraft, parts, building materials, and tools were presented by eager sellers to potential buyers. More open flying on Sunday kept the Fly Yuma ’17 legacy alive and well.

Previous Fly Yuma programs have included various fun-fly events and buddy-box flying. 

Information regarding the 130-member Yuma Aeromodelers Club, our activities, and complete details about Fly Yuma ’18, scheduled for February 24, 2018, can be found on the club’s website at www. yumaaeromodelers.com.

AMA members are invited to fly as guests for a few days at our first-rate field while visiting in the area. Now is the time to plan a getaway to the friendly skies and mild winter weather in Yuma, Arizona!

Page 10, 11, Model Aviation November 2017 www.ModelAviation.com