Jets over the Heartland
June 28-30, 2002

by Bob Violett

We arrived one hour before sunset Wednesday, unloaded our Viper and balsa Bandit Viojett powered models and posted 3 flights each before it got dark. What a great warm-up for the next 4 days of fantastic jet modeling!
The elements of success for this ultimate jet fun experience lie in the Midwestern location, the hospitality of the Winamac Aero Modelers, a perfect flying facility and of course the enthusiastic jet pilots who made the trip.
Chief test pilot and coordinator Tim Redelman had the stage set for us. He and the W.A.M. club members worked hard to have the field in perfect condition.
Greg Hildebrandt did his usual great job of P.A. announcing, keeping the local spectators informed and entertained.
Ralf Braun has taken up hot air ballooning now and provided a very entertaining Saturday night balloon show coupled with an elaborate fireworks display. At least half the population of Winamac came out to enjoy it.
It is always good when a club sponsored jet event makes a little money. This time the Winamac Aeromodelers earned enough to purchase a new lawnmower.
The long summer days allowed us to fly from about 7 in the morning until 8:30pm with the sun never being a problem. Some flew as many as 12 flights per day.
Most of us agreed that Jets over the Heartland '02 ranked among the best times we have ever had in aeromodeling.


There were 13 present. I am very pleased with the number of kits that have been completed and are especially impressed with the quality of craftsmanship applied. The BobCat is providing a platform for all of us to practice and improve the art of building and flying jets.


Bill Harris won the Best Finish trophy with his very artful P-120 powered XL notice the unusual pattern of checkers on the bottom.

Wayne McCosker applied a NAVY Hi-Vis scheme to his RAM 500 BobCat with excellent results. Tim used JR's pilot link system to assist Wayne on the first flight. A great way to go!

Jack Diaz flew in from Venezuela to enjoy the event. Jack's twin Rafale is kept at the BVM factory between his visits. He put on quite a show and was awarded the "Best Twin" trophy.

BV's prototype F-100D has been seen at many events over the last 2 years. Here at Winamac, it was exercised daily from the splendid 800' x 50' asphalt runway. The AMT AT-280SP engine, coupled with a noisy wing pylon, produce a very unique sound.

Brad Long is back this year with a very nice looking and flying standard fin Bandit. Like most of us, Brad really enjoys this sport and the camaraderie it offers. Great people - great airplanes - great times together.

Rod Snyder's very colorful BobCat has been to a few events this season. The smile on his face reflects his satisfaction with his efforts.

There is nothing better than Day-Glo orange to enhance an airplane's visibility. Here, Terry Danca combined it with a pastel blue and white for a very attractive result.

Ducted fans are alive and well in Winamac. Larry Ross enjoyed this BVM .96 powered balsa Bandit for numerous sorties. Dave Bloomer logged many flights on his very seasoned Aggressor II, and there were several other DF jets in the air including Tom Dodgen's Ultra Viper and BV's balsa Bandit. You will see more DF activity from the BVM group when Tom gets his new .91 powered Fury finished.

The photo guy (BV) screwed up again. Missing from this photo of Joe Rafalowski and Paul McCaulley, is son Ryan McCaulley who got some valuable pilot link time on this BobCat. These teenage pilots are the future, BVM is glad that the BobCats will be a part of it.

Phantom Guy, David Reid keeps upgrading the details on his F-4E while he is enjoying flying it. Winamac is the 2nd event for this shark mouth Rhino and we all enjoyed watching it.

"Gal Sal", Mitch Weiss's Top Gun F-100D won the "Best Scale" award. Perhaps the operating canopy clinched it. The crowd loved it when the pilot closes it on the taxi out and opens it on the taxi back after a great fighter/attack flight profile. Note to F-100D enthusiasts; BVM has the parts to make the "D" canopy frame and pivot mechanism. The operation is up to the builder.

Part of the W.A.M. event preparation included fabricating these welded steel jet blast deflectors. If you have a club member that is friendly with a sheet metal shop, these can be duplicated. Two pegs in front and two in rear provide easy insertion into the turf - keeps from scorching the grass. Flight line director Steve Gabrys was constantly rearranging them for wind shifts. Electric start turbines should be pointed into the wind for best start-up results.

We try to feature our newest kit at the jet fly-ins. For Winamac it was our "all new" 60" F-86 with a RAM 500 for power. As I have mentioned before, this is a great engine/airframe combination. I have 3 of the "X" series 500's and they are working flawlessly in the Sabre, F-80 and F-16. If you have an early version 500, it is my opinion that the "X" upgrade is a good investment.

The Sabre kits are in full production now along with cockpit and wing tank accessories. Consumer reaction at the show was very positive.
Operating the new Sabre in the occasional crosswind at Winamac boosted consumer confidence in its much improved ground handling characteristics.
To fine tune its flight handling, I dialed into the elevator channel 35% positive expo for "up" and 10% negative expo for "down". This really smooths out the slow rolls, point rolls (8 points) and the inverted flight.
The flaps provide all of the lift and drag required for rock solid, power on approaches and landings.