Pilots Take to the Skies

Model planes from a S.T.A.R.S. R/C Rally and Air Show

Model planes from a S.T.A.R.S. R/C Rally and Air Show

35th Annual S.T.A.R.S. R/C Rally and Air Show will Showcase 70+ Model Airplanes

Scale model aeronautics is a hobby enjoyed by a great number of people - perhaps more than you realize. From beginners, novices … all the way up to aces, the pilots and the sizes of their flying machines range from 1:200 scale up to 1:24 scale; the original subject airplane’s size can be a factor in the scale size. To better understand how the scale system works, 1:24 is 1” to 2 feet, and 1:200 is 1” to 16+ feet. As for the different types of flying model aircraft, the variation includes gliders (or free flight models, dating back before manned flight), control line models (models with electronic wire tethered to the aircraft), and the radio controlled model aircraft (which uses a transmitter to control the model airplane free of any wires.)

Some of these models will be on display in the air and on the ground at the annual S.T.A.R.S. (Southern Tier Aero Radio Society) R/C Airplane Rally & Air Show scheduled for July 7-8 at the Cattaraugus County-Olean Airport on Hatch Hill Road in Ishua, NY.

The S.T.A.R.S. Flying Club #563 is an AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) Chartered Club dedicated to promoting the hobby of building and flying radio controlled model aircraft. The club utilizes a flying field near Cuba Lake and holds monthly meetings to provide members and enthusiasts alike with current information about Club events, member activities and projects involving the hobby of model aeronautics.

In 2005 the Club received the National Aero-modeling Historic Landmark Award, which is considered the highest honor that can be bestowed to an AMA club. Only two of these awards have been presented so far to clubs involved with the AMA in its history.

The S.T.A.R.S 35th annual rally will take flight at 10am Saturday, July 7 and will run through Sunday afternoon. Free camping is offered, and a Wine & Cheese Social will be held Saturday evening for enthusiasts.

The full scale grass runway will not only host aircraft operators, but crafter displays and vendors will be on location as well, providing a well rounded weekend of entertainment.

According to their website (rcstars.org), last year’s event welcomed many guest pilots who were very enthusiastic and took full advantage of beautiful flying weather. Guest pilots brought in over 70+ scale model airplanes for a crowd pleasing show.

S.T.A.R.S. Inc. in New York State is one of the oldest Model Aviation Clubs in the United States. It was founded in the 1930's, two years before the beginning of the national AMA organization. S.T.A.R.S. was instrumental in the development of Giant Scale Radio Controlled Aircraft (1/5 and 1/4 scale size of real full size aircraft) in the 1970's. The organization has over 50 members from all over the region. Their dedication lies in the pursuit of designing, building and flying R/C airplanes. According to their website, their main focus is to provide a place where R/C flying can be safely promoted. S.T.A.R.S. has invested over $50,000 in developing their flying field with a 1,050' runway, and constructing a storage building with a meeting area and pilot shelter. A fence was also installed for spectator safety.

Members and hobbyists take pride in the intricate detailing and building of their aircraft. There are several steps in the building process, and with all the parts and physics involved, it takes patience and knowledge to complete a model aircraft.

Anyone with an interest in this hobby is welcomed to come out and enjoy the R/C Rally at the Olean Airport July 7-8. Over 70 pilots and their model airplanes will be present, showing off their skills in building and flying these complex flying machines. With the many vendors and sponsors onsite, spectators will have the opportunity to ask questions firsthand and learn more about the hobby. For more information contact event director Jim Goodemote at 716-372-1137 or email him at goody8@roadrunner.com.

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