R/C Warbird Fly-in held at Ellington Field

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Ellington - posted Tue., Oct. 29, 2013
John Palica of Vernon shares his F22 Raptor with spectators. Photos by Lisa Stone.
John Palica of Vernon shares his F22 Raptor with spectators. Photos by Lisa Stone.

The Northern Connecticut R/C Club held its first ever Radio Controlled Warbird Fly-in at Ellington Field on Oct. 6. The heavy rain did not keep R/C plane enthusiasts away.

The club members took their turn getting their WWI and WWII R/C planes into the air in between rain storms. “We are a club that loves what we do,” said club director Denis Thibodeau. “We are really proud of our planes. We bring our children when they are young and get them involved as much as we can.” Thibodeau’s wife, Patty, has also been actively involved with the club for more than 35 years.

John Klawin brought his WWI German fighter plane. “I was able to get it up in the air for a few minutes,” said Klawin. “I have had my plane for six years now. I fly it as often as I can.”

Thibodeau had his Fairchild PT19A on display for spectators to see. “They stopped making this kit in 1962,” said Thibodeau. “I really don’t want to fly it in the rain, so I will wait and see if the sky clears up. I have 21 regular flyers and over 45 planes in all.”

Walt Wosko and Guy Beaudin, Jr., are co-directors of the club. “Everyone in the club calls me Bud,” said Beaudin. “My dad started bringing me to the club meetings to fly his plane at a very young age, instead of getting mixed up when members would call me or my dad, they decided to call me Bud, and it stuck. I have been flying since 1971. This club is like a family to me.”

Club member Ed Licowski is from Agawam, Mass. “I really like being a part of this club,” said Licowski. “I have a B25 Mitchell. I was able to fly it earlier today. I really enjoy that plane.”

Member John Palica of Vernon had his R/C plane on display as well. “I have a F22 Raptor,” said Palica. “It was built in 1991. It has a 1.5-gallon fuel tank with a turbine engine. This was the model that Pratt & Whitney used to explore the effectiveness of the exhaust nozzle of the actual plane. I worked at Pratt as an engineer for 41 years. It was actually my supervisor that got me interested in this club back in 1966. I dabbled with R/C planes when I lived in Buffalo, New York, in the 1950s. It wasn’t until 1966 that I really got hooked on the planes.”

Club member Tim Griffin took his sons, John and Luke, to the Warbird Fly-in. “I really like flying the R/C cars,” said John. “I have a T28 of my own. I have had it for about a year. I’m glad Dad takes me here to see the planes and fly my own plane.”

The season is over after this event, according to Thibodeau. The club intends to start its meetings again in the spring. For information on how to become a member, send an e-mail to buffvet@cox.net or call Thibodeau at 860-749-6985.


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