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Monster Planes 2013

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (1)

This year's Monster Planes was a good one. The weather was just about perfect all 3 days with temperatures in the high 70's. It was nice to see some new models there that I hadn't seen before. I think my favorite of the event was Eduardo Esteves's 13' wing span B-17. It is scratch built and 15 years to build. The photos you see on my site don't do it justice. I hope you enjoy the photos. I believe the next event I will be attending is the Blue Max at the end of January.


FL Jets 2013

Posted on April 21, 2013 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (1)

This annual event was held at the end of Feb. at Paradise Field in Lakeland FL. We had cool weather for the most part and moderate winds. Fortunately the winds were down the run way most of the time. There were close to 150 planes and 98 pilots registered in attendance. To see a lot more of the photos I took of the event, visit Frank Tiano's website.

Blue Max 2013

Posted on March 9, 2013 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (4)

This event was held at the Sanford Aero Modelers club. The weather was perfect and it was a great turn out for the 4th annual event. For people who are interested in WWI aircraft, this is a must see event. I think this event will just keep getting bigger. So mark your calendar for next year. To see the article I did on this event, get the May issue of Model Airplane News magazine.


Monster Planes 2012

Posted on November 9, 2012 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (2)

This event was held at Paradise Field in Lakeland FL Oct 25-27. Unfortunately Hurricane Sandy decided to skirt the coast of Florida the weekend of the event and brought high winds and cloudy skies. There was still quite a bit of flying done all 3 days. Although not as much as in past years. It was still a great time and I was able to get decent shots of what was flying. Photos will be uploaded soon.

UH-12C Photo Shoot

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (3)

 I was contacted by the owner of Florida Biplanes to come out and do a photo shoot of their new addition to the fleet. A UH-12C helicopter. They give biplane rides in WWII WACO's. So I sat up front while we flew along the helicopter out over Cocoa Beach. It was a tough shoot, because of all the wind and the vibration of the radial engine. Not to mention the lower wing and having to turn around to shoot. It was a lot of fun and I got some pretty cool shots. They had a GoPro camera mounted on the wing strut. So here is the video of the flight.

Top Gun 2012

Posted on June 12, 2012 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (1)

This 5 day event is a competition for the top builders and pilots in the world. There are 5 different competitive classes which all include scale aircraft from civilian to military models. Not only do the models need to represent an actual full scale aircraft, they are also judged by how scale the aircraft are flown by the pilot.

The weather was fantastic with the winds straight down the runway 90% of the time. One of the most interesting models there was the A-6. This model is not only an unusual one to see, it was scratch built. All the way down to the landing gear. It was one of my favorites from the event. All of the models there were beautiful and the craftmanship was amazing. Check out the photo gallery. The August 2012 issue of Model Airplane News magazine was just released with the full article which includes my photos. The photos I have uploaded here are only a fraction of what I took. If you would like to see more, please visit Frank Tiano's site as well.


TICO Warbird Airshow

Posted on March 16, 2012 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (2)

This show was held March 8-10. I was able to attend media day on Thursday. It was great being able to meet some of the pilots and get up close to the aircraft without a lot of people around. I met Dick Cole, one of only 5 remaining Doolittle Raiders. On Friday I was able to shoot from the control tower. Unfortunately it was a very cloudy day with an occasional rain shower. There were pros and cons to shooting from this location. I was able to get a unique perspective of the show from there. On Saturday I shot from the runway with the crowd. We had better weather this day with more blue sky than clouds for the most part. I was also able to get a ride in a WACO. The pilot took us 200' over the Kennedy Space Center runway where the shuttle landed. That was pretty cool. I want to thank the Valiant Air Command for all of their hard work and hospitality during the event. I am really looking forward to next year. Photos will be up soon.



FL Jets 2012

Posted on March 16, 2012 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (2)

Another great event at Paradise Field that was held March 1-3. There were more pilots and models at this event then last year. We were treated to 3 practice sessions by the Black Diamond Jet Team as well. Photos from this event will be up soon. Also keep an eye out for Model Airplane News magazine coverage which will include some of my photos.



Raid Hot Mama P-47 story

Posted on January 4, 2012 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (2)

I was contacted by one of our newest members, cody3764 (Dan), about the photo of Scott Prossen's P-47 "Raid Hot Mama" which is in the newest Fly RC magazine article of Monster Planes 2011. Scott's model is a recreation of a full scale P-47 flown by Mr. John W. Drummond in WWII. Dan personally knows Mr. Drummond as they both live in South Carolina. It is fantastic that Scott's model has sparked up this great story and reunited Mr. Drummond with a scale model that represents his history, involvement, and heroic efforts in WWII. Below is the comment Dan left under the photo of Scott's P-47 in the photo album "Monster Planes 2011". The photos of Mr. Drummond below were forwarded to me by Dan. Thank you Dan for contacting Scott and I!


I was thumbing through my March 2012 Fly RC Magazine and I about jumped out of my chair when I turned to page 20 in that issue. There in front of me was the "Raid Hot Mama". This plane has been in my life for about thirty one years now as it is my former bosses plane he was assigned while he was the pilot of this plane in WWII with the 405th, 510th Fighter Sqd that was orginally based out of Christchurch, England.


His name is John W. Drummond, known as "Ace" in his squadron from the then popular "Ace Drummond" series of films of the day. A retired South Carolina Legislator and a Ninety-Six, South Carolina native where he still lives to this day at the ripe old age of ninety two after a very distinguished forty seven year career as one of the top South Carolina Legislators in the South Carolina State Senate. He is well known affectionately as a true statesman and not just a politician by anyone who knows South Carolina politics. Ninety Six , South Carolina is located in Greenwood County, the adjoining county to where the annual Joe Nall's RC Events are held in Woodruff, South Carolina.


I had the opportunity while accompaning him on one of his annual 405th Fighter Group Reunions to meet Sgt. Lynn Trank who originated the artwork and painted the original Raid Hot Mama for the then twenty five year old Lt. Drummond in 1944. The original Raid Hot Mama was lost to enemy ground fire while being piloted by a fellow 510th squadron mate. Sen. Drummond told me that they would share planes at times if another pilots plane was being worked on from significant battle damage. Noting the work of this fighter group and squadron getting up close and personal with the Germans it is amazing most of these pilots were not lost to enemy fire. I spoke with one squadron mate of Sen. Drummonds at one of the reunions and he lost eight P-47s to either ground fire or the explosions throwing up shrapnel from the ground targets they were sent to destroy. The Ninth AF that this fighter group was a part of supported the ground troops to which they were affectionately known as the "bucket of bolts". Even today, the Ninth AF still provides that up close and personal role for the ground troops. Sen. Drummond stated that he saw many times many cylinders of the engine having been blown out and the engine still ran and still brought the pilot home. This plane could withstand a heavy punishment.


Speaking of the artwork of the "Raid Hot Mama", it is something of a comical statement that Sen. Drummond was not allowed by his late wife, Holly Drummond, who I would describe as a very southern gentile lady, to display any pictures of him with his WWII " Raid Hot Mama" P-47 in his Senate Office or of the plane itself and certainly not in their home due to the less than conservative display of shall we say the business end of the Raid Hot Mama's lady characature.


Upon his retirement, he gave me the framed penciled picture of the Raid Hot Mama that was origanally drawn by Sgt. Lyn Trank who created and painted the original "Raid Hot Mama" in WWII that he kept on the floor behind his Senate Office door according to Mrs. Drummond's instructions. Lt. Drummond was to end the war as a POW in Stalag Luft I in Barth, Germany after his P-47 received one two many rounds from a 20mm quad anti-aircraft gun during a straffing run on enemy emplacements on July 26, 1944 that brought his new P-47 he said he was still trimming out as he bailed out at only 800 feet being injured of course bailing out that low on landing in the very midst of the troops he was using the P-47's eight .50 cals on and bombing them with the two 500lbs bombs. Not a very enviable spot to be in and one in which Sen. Drummond told me a German officer saved his life as the troops he was just straffing wanted to end him in the field near St. Lo, France as his Fighter Group was supporting Gen. Patton's left flank on his move through France.


I could go on and on of course about this great man who I consider my other father. I am truly honored to know this great man and hero and statesman and it was truly amazing for me to see his plane featured in this magazine and now I just need to contact Scott Prossen about his fine model of Lt. Drummond's P-47 to kind of complete his representation of this plane and of the man behind the "Raid Hot Mama".


If I am not mistaken, I do not see the pilot's name on Scott's model of this plane and I certainly would hope he would apply Lt. J. W. Drummond's name as the pilot of this plane as well as the supporting ground crew's names of this WWII P-47 assigned to the 405th Fighter Group, 510th Fighter Squadron known as "Jenkins Gerry's Junkers" named after it's Group's commander, Col. Ralph Jenkins.


If Scott attends one of Joe Nall's RC events in Woodruff, South Carolina, I could try to bring Sen. Drummond to meet with Scott so that he can meet the actual WWII pilot of the Raid Hot Mama. That would be an event to remember.





Dan Gregory

Twelve O Clock High 2011

Posted on December 21, 2011 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

This is an all RC warbird event held at Paradise Field in Lakeland FL. This was the first year for this event held at the same field as Florida Jets, Top Gun, and Monster Planes. The turn out was good and the weather was great for the most part as well. Hopefully this will be a yearly event as I think it will keep growing.