Four of us, Don Rice (pilot), Frank Gagliardi, Jerry Neuberger, myself Ron Peterka (all builders) and got set up and prepared for a test flight. There were already a couple of hundred folks around working on the set up, or just curious locals. Unfortunately, the model decided to be a problem! ONe engine flooded on the first start try. A new plug and time finally had it running. Then on the first take-off attempt, about 3/4 of the way down the runway, the nose wheel broke and came off the model leaving it to drop on its nose turret and plow 10 feet of dirt along the edge of the runway, all the while two of the engines which hadn’t touched the ground continued to idle till we got to the airplane.
This might have caused some to cancel, but with the help of a Yuma modeler, we were able to repair the nose gear and replace the steering cables. Attempt two was aborted by a throttle servo deciding it was retiring, and prompted a mad dash to a local model shop for a replacement. With all four engines under control we finally got our test flight in around 5:00 PM.
On Saturday the B-29 flight was the main event of the airshow and every eye was on the model as it flew. A couple of very low (4 ft altitude ) passes drew applause from the large crowd. The model has great ‘presence’ in the air and when Don dropped the gear and entered a long final a lot of people held their breath. A perfect touch down and safe rollout made it a perfect day.
After the scheduled airshow flights were ended all the models, about 30 of them, were lined up on the runway for the spectators to get close to and talk to the pilots. There was huge crowd around the B-29 and the most asked question was : What is the covering? Answer: Air conditioning duct tape applied in a couple of hundred pieces. The other modelers had taken their models back to the pits and we still had spectators asking questions until we finally told them we had to get started preparing the model to return home that afternoon.
Russ Verbael, of the Yuma Aeromodelers bid us a safe ride home and thanked us again. There is no way that club could have made us feel more welcome.
Please see the pictures here. Scroll up the page.