First In Flight
26-29 May 2011

By Bob Violett
photos by: Dustin, RJ, and BV

  Our trip to Wilson, North Carolina for the 2nd annual "First In Flight" Jet Rally was a most pleasant experience.  The airport facility, the township, our hosts, and the weather combined to make this 4 day event a great opportunity for 90 jet pilots to enjoy their sport. 
   When you have unlimited asphalt, wide open airspace, favorable winds and temperatures, there's just no excuse to not log a dozen flights per day, and most of us did.  The Jet-A and Electron valves were wide open for 12 hours each day.  When pilots invest in the preparation, time away, and expenses of travel and lodging, it is their just reward to be able to fly all day.
   "First In Flight" is worth a long days drive for any jet model enthusiast on the Eastern Seaboard.  If you can make plans now for 2012, you will be rewarded.
    You can see from the photos below, it was a strong event for BVM/Skymaster products.

 Photo Gallery
click on images to enlarge

   It's a special effort to gather all of the BVM/Skymaster planes and pilots for a group photo like this.  Our thanks to all who made the effort to assemble these 38 jets representing about 80-90% of those in attendance,  And, they all flew many times.


  Reggie Showers won the First In Flight "Wright Stuff" award for his tireless effort to fly his KingCat and help many others with their jets.  Reggie is a motorcycle racing champion from Woolwich, NJ and a motivational speaker.  Lucky for the jet community he still finds time to enjoy this sport.




  This Ultra Bandit paint scheme was absolutely stunning in the bright sun.  Perhaps it is the black fin that makes it so special.  The expert craftsmanship inside and out is the work of Craig Gottschang.  BVM Rep Joe Rafalowski soothed his nerves during its first of many flights at this event.  It was perfect, as all Ultra Bandits are.


  Eric Meyers documented this paint scheme from a real L-39 based close to his home in South Carolina.  We forwarded it to Skymaster in China and Anton made a perfect replica.  Eric applied the BVM enhancement packages (see BVM upgrades) and then fine tuned the model with a few of his own techniques.  JR guidance of course.


  This 80" BVM Sabre in Golden Hawks livery reflects excellent craftsmanship by Kim Foster.  The first trim flights went well in preparation for competition at the World Jet Masters in Dayton Ohio July 24 - August 6.



  This Skymaster large Sabre jet in SkyBlazer scheme is proudly owned by Andy Finizio from Potomac, Md. Dustin assisted for the first flights at Wilson, N.C.  Powered with a JetCat P-200, it flies and lands well like Sabres should.  Proper center of gravity and control travels will be posted on our Skymaster page.



Robert Neal with his Tiger Meet scheme

Pablo + Dustin with BV's demo

 Skymaster F-16's (in 1/6th scale) are very easy to set up and fly, and the scale landing gear are superb in looks and function.  These 3 examples were flown a lot at "First In Flight" (see BVM upgrades) for the BVM enhancement kits.

A special effort by Scott Harris



  Pablo owns it and flies it a lot but I borrowed it for a flight in N.C. In the interest of full discloser, I'm a bit partial to the SkyHawk because of my 1,000+ hours in the real item, but I can honestly attest that this model flies great.  Now I must get my personal version finished and flying.  Pablo's A-4 is powered by a Jet Central Rhino.


  When his schedule at University of Central Florida allows, RJ Gonzales helps out at BVM and on our road trips.  A side benefit to those duties is some stick time on this EVF ~2~ 10S powered Electra.  This particular 5 year old kit version is one of our original prototypes with several hundred flights to its credit.

   More EVF powered jets in front of the BVM/Skymaster pavilion.

  The Malchione boys flew this modern BVM ARF Sabre and a vintage T-33 in an impressive duo demo.  Both are EVF 12s powered.  See link for more details on the T-33.


  We flew the EVF ~3~ 12S powered MiG many times each day of the event.  Lots of positive comments about how "smooth" it looks in flight and on landing.  The "Parade" scheme is very easy to see against any sky.


  Peter Goldsmith was on hand to support all of the JR/Spektrum customers at First In Flight.  Peter does a splendid job showing this Skymaster T-33.


  The new Bandit MKII ARF got a lot of air time at Wilson, most of it was with Pablo at the controls.  This new paint scheme is definitely Hi-Viz. A Jet Central Rabbit drives this Bandit - a perfect match of engine/airframe.


  This is Pablo's eBandit on a knife edge pass.


  Not to be out done, Dustin shows off with the BVM demo Ultra Bandit.  Smoke is practically a necessity for a turbine powered airshow plane.


  Guest rides were available on the Cheetah powered BVM demo KingCat, so it saw a lot of action.


  The Malchiones enhanced the same Navy scheme with Day-Glo orange.


  The 1:4-3/4 scale Skymaster Hawk is certainly a favorite with a lot of BVM pilots. This Jet Central Rhino powered T-45 version does everything well. Dustin offers stick time to interested customers at events such as First In Flight.

  David Fepelstein from North Potomac, Md. enjoyed flying his KingCat with JetCat P-120 thrust.  The huge runway at Wilson adds to the pleasure, landings are a breeze.
  Richard Curry's Bandit ARF shows well against the occasional cloudless sky.  A few puffy clouds assist depth perception.

  Mike Lesher from Lebanon, Pa. got some trim flights on his new Skymaster Viper MKII.


  An Electra with EVF ~3~ 12S power will out perform many turbine powered models, especially in the vertical.  It weighs 15 Lbs. R.T.F. and has 18 # installed static thrust.  This is one of the first kit built demo models that has been touched up a few times to keep it looking fresh.


  Ed Ritsko campaigns his Ultra Bandit at several jet events each season.  Ed agrees that Wilson, N.C. facility is hard to beat.


  Dominic Mirabello from Mass. eagerly participated with his BobCat Composite on JetCat P-70 power.


  Some of the primary event coordinators are Larry and Jacqui Lewis, Robert Vess, and Mike Hollowell.

  Mike just took a few breaks to fly his Electra.




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