Rhinebeck 95 (Long)

Douglas R. Jones (djones@iex.com)
Mon, 18 Sep 1995 10:08:22 -0500

I have been meaning to do this since I got back and finally have a chance......

Once again I had the great priviledge to make my pilgrimage to the Old
Rhinebeck Aerodrome for the Mid-Hudson R/C Society's 29th Annual R/C
Jamboree. For me the really special thing about this is the chance to chat
with modelers from all over the country and discuss WWI/Golden Age aviation
and modeling. The best of both worlds really. There were some really nice
scale models there this year, though I think the number was down somewhat
because of the Jamboree coinciding with the Scale Masters contest. For those
not familiar with the R/C arena of our hobby it is comaparable, I guess, to
your IPMS Nationals. The winners of regional scale contests all go to a
selected site and compete at the end of each Summer.

Anyway Saturday dawned cool, wet and cloudy. Figures that we show up and
they get the first rain that had be had in several months! We hit the
Aerodrome about 7:35am just after the rubber powered model flight. The
rubber model flight is done each morning as a tribute to Cole Palen who was
a life long modeler. Everyone who wants to brings a rubber powered model to
fly. The Mid-Hudson folks select a model from Cole's collection and at 7:30
the Dawn Patrol takes to the air. I was fortunate enough to actuually get to
see (and film) Cole starting the contest in '93. After the rubber launch R/C
flying commences.

I didn't take a plane this year so I had lots of time to wander about
looking at the models and the full scale planes. If you attend the first
thing you notice is the VERY lasrge number of Taubes flying. These seem to
be the models of choice for the Mission event. The Jamboree has 4 events
that can be flow: Mission, Rhinebeck Manuevers, Free Style and AMA Scale.
There are 3 flight circles. Last year they had 2 flight lines per circle
which translates into generally 6 models in the air at a time. This year I
think they only ran one per circle.

Model flying goes to about 2pm when then is a R/C demonstration flight and
then the full scale show. R/C Flying resumes after the full scale show and
goes to about 6pm. During the late morning/early afternoon Mother Nature
graced us with two good showers! This didn't dampen anyone's spirits,
however. And as soon as the rain slowed flying resumed.

The Saturday show is primarily dedicated to the Pioneers of Aviation and the
Barnstormers. The highlight of this year's show was seeing the pioneer
aircraft fly! I mean fly! The last two years all they were able to do was
hop them. Altitudes not more than 5 feet. This year with the calm wind
conditions they really flew them. It is hard to describe the feelings you
get when a Curtis Pusher flys by or the Hannriot or Gene DeMarco 30 feet in
the air in a Caudron G-3 or seeing and original 1910 Bleriot some 15 - 20
feet in the air! Pretty special! They generally flew both directions. John
Barker's comment at the banquet was that out of the 32 shows they fly each
year they may get 1 with the right conditions to be able to fly the
pioneers. Glad I got to see it and put it on video.

Saturday night was a terrific banquet. All the roast beef and fixin's you
can eat plus all the beer you can drink! John Barker spoke about the
Foundation and some of their plans for the future. They need about $50K to
be completely solvent and ready to carry on into the future. If they don't
raise it it does not mean they are out of business, just that having the
money would allow them to be able to accomplish more. To this end they have
three of Cole's Cadillacs, a Stinson and a Culvert up for sale (someone
correct me if my faulty memory got me). They are accepting bids up till
sometime in October. John also indicated that if the do not have any major
repair work to do that they hoped to get started on the Spirit of St. Louis.

Sunday dawned clear, cool and WINDY! Flying started at 7:30am with the
rubber launch. R/C immediately after that. The carnage was pretty
significant! Models seemded to be crashing right and left. Many of the Scale
models made a flight or two and packed it in. Just to windy to risk a model in.

The Sunday full scale show was affected also. Normally on Sunday they do a
WWI reenactment. Like the Saturday show it is a campy Vaudeville style show
on the ground used to highlight the aircraft who are the real stars of the
show. On Sunday the wind was rough enough that they were limited in what
they could fly. As I recall they flew the Jenny, the Avro 504, the D-VII and
the Dr1.

I was sorry that they didn't/couldn't fly the D-VIII this year. In fact I
understand it hasd been idle most of the season. Seems the FAA had been by.
The rules state that if you accept any form of payment for flying in an
airshow (including fuel) that you must hold a commercial ticket. Brian
Coughlin apparently didn't. I understand he is working on getting his. He
wasn't there since he was getting married! Seems a lady flew in on weekend
last September in her Stearman and the rest they say is history!

Got a chance both Friday and SUnday to talk with Gene DeMarco about the
N-11. It is covered and painted and waiting for the engine to be finished. I
was able to get some pretty good video and stills of the LeRhone (and the
plane). They have the motor sitting disassembled and waiting. Gene said the
plane has been ready pretty mush all season but he hasn't had enough time to
finish the motor! The plane is done in Victor Chapmans' scheme. It is
painted in a cream color with black trim. A 'C' on the fuse in black. Really
striking! The research for the color scheme is an interesting story. Chapman
apparently grew up some 10 - 12 miles from the site of Old Rhinebeck
Aerodrome. This prompted the desire to replicate his plane. The research was
done over several months by a 14 year old young man who has been a regular
figure at the Aerodrome over the last year or two. I think this is quite
remarkable! He contacted the usual places for info and then chased down
leads in France. I think kids like this should be commended for the effort.
It isn't easy (as we ALL know) getting documentation about a particular
plane and pilot. Especially one who flew and died early in the war. He
showed great perseverance, more than most kids at that age have, I'll bet!

Anyway sorry this was so long and thanks for letting me ramble. This trip is
the highlight of the year for me and I wanted to share it!

'I am a traveler of | Douglas R. Jones
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