We always concern ourselves a few days before the show about the weather. It was predicted to be “reasonable”. No large storms anywhere in sight, however some rain was to be expected. Thursday, set-up day, was gorgeous; low winds, blue skies and the flightline filled up by three in the afternoon. Flying was the order of the day for those not helping set-up. A few vendors who arrived and set-up early were emptying the wallets of the pilots too!
Friday, we woke to the usual fog, but above that layer it was not a whole lot better. Some rain did fall that day and the winds were strong at times, but it did not stop the 200+ pilots already there from flying most of the day. The lunchtime demonstrations went off on time and ran just over an hour. Asking the pilots to pre-register for the demos helped immensely in speeding up the show and providing the announcer with the data required to give the pertinent information about each model. The day’s events concluded with a mass warbird launch at 5 PM. The strong winds did keep participation to this event to just over a dozen.
Food was available on-site by two major food vendors and were open for business from early in the morning until late in the evening. Many other groups of modelers also hosted informal dinners at the field and invited many “outsiders” to join them. The NEAT Fair certainly seems to attract the best of people, willing to help out well beyond modeling.
Sales in the vendor tent for t-shirts, hats and raffle tickets were brisk all day. Hobby Lobby donated the majority of the prizes for the Junior and General Raffles. Horizon Hobbies and Thunder Power were major contributors to the pilots raffle. These prizes were raffled off each day.
The Friday night dinner/social at the Rockland house was attended by about 100 modelers and workers. The buffet style sit-down dinner was excellent as usual. Returning to the field after the dinner one could find models in the air well past midnight creating aerial ballets with well lit aircraft in the calmer winds found after sundown.
Saturday morning seemed to be a repeat of Friday, but the weather was a bit cooler, even though the sun did eventually come out for a while. Again, this did not keep pilots for committing aviation. The lunchtime demonstrations were more numerous on Saturday and did spill over the hour, but the crowd did not seem to mind considering the quality of the models/pilots involved. One model flown by Rich Landis was powered by a 13KW (that’s 13,000watts!) power system.
The mass warbird launch was better attended on Saturday. Nearly 2 dozen pilots flew their models in the narrow expanse of Peaceful Valley Campsite. We did have a minor mid-air during the launch, but after everyone was up and away, despite the very crowded sky, models did not seem to want to occupy the same space.
The NEAT Fair splits into factions on Saturday night. One group goes off to the indoor show at the Downsville High School run by Gordon Johnson of the Boston Micronauts. There many of the best “micro model” pilots in the world show off what is happening in the technologies enabling sub-1 ounce aircraft. The second group of modelers stay at the field for the Saturday Night Slow flyer contest. This years event was attended by about a dozen pilots but dozens of spectators watched the early evening carnage. Pilots were required to touch, cut-away or bust balloons mounted on 5 ft balsa sticks just above a series of 12v lights. The pilots were given 3 minutes to attack the balloons. After two complete rounds were flown (and only half the pilots able to compete in the second round) Tom Hastie from Ottawa, Canada was pronounced the winner.
Sunday morning greeted us with sparse fog as the sun came up which made the morning all that much beautiful in the valley. Flying as always started early in the calm of the morning with the park flyers taking advantage of the light air. Soon though, the heavy-iron models also took to the air. The decision was made to keep the modelers flying on the casual board frequency control as there were not the hoards of pilots wanting to fly like there had been on Friday and Saturday. The Sunday Demo schedule was much lighter this year and was concluded before the end of the lunch hour. After the last raffle ticket was pulled at 1 PM the crew began to break down the field, removing the fences and signs. The trailer was packed up and locked by 4PM and the field was policed for trash.
General Statistics for the 2007 Fair
225 pre registered pilots, 305 total
43 vendors taking 68 booth spaces
Not many more than 100 72 mhz TX’s in the impound at the busiest time. (2.4ghz radios are beginning to dominate the flightline)
6 racetrack flight stations - 4 slow flyer flight stations
|Many thanks to the workers of the 2007 show|
|From outside SEFLI:|
The cool weather does not deter spectators and pilots from gathering round the show center for lunchtime demonstrations. (Ray Juschkus photo)
Albert Fusco is one of the northeast’s more talented young pilots. Alfred put on lunchtime displays of his Electro Kulbutin shown here and his huge World Models Zero. Alfred one the “The John Sermos Most Impressive Junior” award at a previous NEAT Fair. (Ray Juschkus photo)
Arlen Harbaugh won the 2007 “Largest Model Award” for his 12ft Telemasters. The award is given to the model that would create the largest box if shipped assembled. Sailplanes and Vendor aircraft are excluded. (Ray Juschkus photo)
Arlen Harbaugh’s 12 ft Telemaster being flown by Event Director Tom Hunt during the lunchtime demonstrations. The model was flown in formation with Hobby Lobby’s own 12ft Telemaster that dropped merchandise coupons to the crowd. (Ray Juschkus photo)
Early morning gathering of the Bathrobe/Kilt special interest group at the NEAT fair. Organized by the big bear in the dark bathrobe, Ray Foley from Toledo. (Tom Hunt photo)
Karl Benson won “Best Sport Model” with his huge electro-conversion of an Old Frank Zaic freeflight model. (Ray Juschkus photo)
Tom Hunt caught this photo of the sun just coming up over the mountains early Sunday. Peaceful Valley is just that when the weather cooperates and the air is filled with just quiet park/slow flyers.
The Friday Night dinner/social was again held at the Rockland House in Roscoe. About 100 people attended this year’s affair. (Ray Juschkus photo)
Two of the many volunteer workers that help out every year at the NEAT Fair. Bob Erbe (left) and Gil Carpenter keep a watchful eye on the flightline. (Ray Juschkus photo)
Jerry O’Conner won the Best in Scale-Military award at the 2007 show for his gigantic and beautiful Gotha Bomber. The model flew on Sunday just before the lunchtime demos. Jerry mentions that it is a “handful”, but looks great in the air. (Joe Ford Photo)
Hobby Lobby gang, as part of their lunchtime demo on Saturday, flew their 12ft Telemaster for a bit and then gathered a crowd beneath the model to catch product coupons to the waiting modelers. A planned “candy drop” was to be made on Friday, but the winds proved too much for the monster model. (Ray Juschkus photo)
Jason Cole (left) and Mike Hines from Hobby Lobby showed of many new models at this years show. Here they hold two of their newest ducted fan offerings, the F-86 and F-18. (Ray Juschkus photo)
Jim Ryan hovers his scratch-built (from existing helicopter mechanics) Chinook Helicopter. For his skills, the 2007 NEAT Fair presented him the “technical achievement” award. (Jim Ryan Photo)
5 year old Justin Chi (pronounced “G”) wowed the crowed with his prowess in flying helicopters as well as fixed wing aircraft. Justin was this year recipient of the Robert Kress Memorial Most Impressive Junior Award. (Ray Juschkus photo)
Karl Benso receives his Best Sport Model award for his Huge and expertly built Zaic Freeflight from the ED, Tom Hunt .(Ray Juschkus photo)
Laddie Mikulasko‘s Teal Amphibian won the 2007 Best in Scale – Civilian Award. (Joe Ford Photo)
Rich Landis flies his Great Planes Cap 580, powered by a 13KW Hacker Outrunner motor at the Friday and Sunday Lunchtime Demo. What a “sound” this model makes. 99% prop noise! (Ray Juschkus photo)
Rich Landis brought a ton of large models to fly at the NEAT Fair. Here are some caught by Ray Juschkus in front of his pit area. The Great Planes Cessna 310 twin in the foreground flew at the Saturday Lunchtime demonstration. Powered by a pair of Axi 4130’s on 6S li-poly each.
Hundreds if not over a thousand people gather for the lunchtime demonstrations put on by the best and most talented modelers/pilots in the US and Canada. (Ray Juschkus photo)
People, for as far as the camera can see (and there is just as big of a crowd on the opposite side of the camera) gather to see the lunchtime demonstrations. (photo origin – RCGroups.com)
Some of the exquisite models to be flown at the lunchtime demonstrations.
(Ray Juschkus photo)
Friday’s line-up just before the mass-warbird launch. About a dozen modelers braved the stiff winds that afternoon. Saturday, because of the better conditions saw over 20 models in the air at the same time. (Ray Juschkus photo)
A brand new “Casual Board” was created for the 2007 show and may be the only frequency control at future NEAT Fairs, as 2.4Ghz systems are beginning to dominate the flightline. The new board was manufactured and assembled by Tom Hunt and Ray Juschkus. (Ray Juschkus photo)
A new Public Address Tower was created for the 2007 show to assure that modelers and spectators along the 1/3 mile long flightline could hear the announcements. Up 12ft high, the speakers could be heard WAY down the valley. The tower was donated by SEFLI friend Dick Knadle and modified for show use by Joe Cabana and Tom and Eileen Hunt. (Ray Juschkus photo)
Steve Bayens pilots the TEAM ASTRO 1/4 scale cub though some impressive maneuvers during a lunchtime demo. The model is powered by one of Astro Bob’s new 120 size brushless motor. (Ray Juschkus photo)
Marc Thompsons Westland Welkin high altitude fighter flies past during the Sunday noon demo. The model won best in scale at the 2006 show. (Ray Juschkus photo)
Thursday is set-up day. Ray Juschkus snapped this picture early in the morning as the sun came up and the fog retreated up the mountain. Many modelers use Thursday as “tune-up” day in preparation for the weekend’s activities. They tune-up their fingers, models, stomachs, fire making and card playing skills.
SEFLI Member and NEAT grunt, Tommy Dowling strains to find his own model in the darkening skies of the late day mass Warbird launch. A “pink spitfire” was not much advantage. (Ray Juschkus photo)
“What me worry?” The ED Tom Hunt ponders all the things that still need to be done to pull off another great show. He has great help from inside the SEFLI club and from many outside the club modelers and friends. (Ray Juschkus photo).
It appears only 11 of the 50 States were not represented at the 2007 show. We also have quite a number of our Canadian friends come by as well as regular attendees from the UK and the continent of Europe. (Tom Hunt photo)