From the Bench – Flyday with Bob Forbes, F7F Tigercat Fire Bomber Pilot

FLIGHT OF THE FIRECAT

You never know who you will meet in this hobby.  Though, you’re not likely to meet a celebrity, what you do get are opportunities to meet the amazing men and women who flew the iron that we so passionately model.  Model aviation truly is a gateway into full scale aviation and for many, has been a vehicle that has influenced so many careers.  This was the case for me and I know has been for so many others.  It’s something that is extensible to anyone willing to try and really fosters a community atmosphere for those who participate.  For me, flying scale gives me a chance to fly airplanes that I would otherwise never have the opportunities to fly in some form while also allow me to appreciate fully the beauty in the design.  It is also a way to celebrate the amazing aviation history and achievements of those who have risked their lives countless times throughout that history.

 

An Unexpected Visit

So, about two months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman by the name of Bob Forbes as he was looking for a little help in getting an airplane flown that he had commissioned.  Little did I know was that Bob was a retired Fire Bomber pilot who flew for TBM Inc. which was the company that owned and operated a fleet of F7F Tigercat Fire Bombers (along with C-2 Trackers and other aircraft).  I should point out that with every Tigercat that’s careened my workbench I have long drooled over the paint schemes of these Fire Bombers countless times as I absolutely love them!

Bob arrived at my house on a Sunday afternoon for me to take a look at the airplane that he had someone build for him.  As he pulled the airplane from his truck, I started to understand.  Bob had a FlightLineRC F7F Tigercat refinish commissioned by Bob Vanderveen in Ramona and he was looking for some help getting it flown.  As we Continue reading

Miramar Air Show 2015

THE MIRAMAR AIR SHOW — ALWAYS A GOOD TIME!

Labeled as one of the largest air show in the country, the Miramar Air Show is a must see if you’re ever able to make a trip to San Diego and see it.  It is an awesome combination of static displays and incredible flying from some of the best pilots and air show teams in the world.  Also, being a military air show it always features the latest and greatest technology (the last couple years they’ve featured the F-35B).  As a kid, I spent numerous weekends at this air show and so it always brings back memories.  Growing up, my dad was invited to fly for many years as part of the RC demonstration — I even flew as a part of it too.  In fact, I used to fly a duet formation flight with another Chris not much older than I was.  Believe it or not, I can even remember attending the air show when the Blue Angels were still flying A-4s!  But, I digress.  The air show is something that I love not only for the aviation aspect but also for the nostalgia, the reminder of walking the same show I did as a kid while now also being able to share that experience with my own kids.

miramar-airshow-BA19

Friday was the day I was able to make it (a day off work for an air show?  Heck yes! 😉 ).  The goal is always to be up early and out the door to make a complete day of it.  I arrived to the sound of Sean D. Tucker flying heavy aerobatics (if you’ve never seen him fly, he is an incredible pilot, I have video below) and quickly parked and hopped on the tram to the show.  I spent most of the morning walking the static displays before Continue reading