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Saturday, Mar 28, 2015
Out and about

Small scale, big fun

BY HEATHER FRANCIS Hernando Today correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: April 23, 2013 at 02:05 PM

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The beauty of flight can be seen Saturday at the Hernando Aero Modelers R/C Fun-Fly event in Brooksville. Radio-controlled, miniature model aircraft will fly in the beautiful Florida sky.

Soaring like a bird and replicating the look of full-scale planes from World War I and World War II and civilian aircraft, they are an awesome sight to behold if you love aviation.

These “flying machines” are greatly loved by their owners, the club members of the Hernando Aero Modelers, many of whom spend countless hours practicing aerobatic precision maneuvers and perfecting their model aircraft.

Manfred Sickinger, a flight instructor and director of the Hernando Aero Modelers, said, “I was always into modeling and interested in aviation. I wanted to see what makes that thing fly. I usually go out to fly three times a week.”

The Hernando Aero Modelers R/C Fun-Fly event will feature radio-controlled-model-aircraft demonstrations of free flying, precision-pattern flying, sail planes, parasails, a World War I and World War II fly-by, giant-scale flying and much more.

A few crowd pleasers are the old-time biplanes and tri-planes, along with the aerobatic planes.

For instance, club member Larry Hawkins flies a model airplane known as a Fokker Dr1. It is a replica of a tri-wing German fighter flown during World War I by Manfred Von Richthofen, a.k.a. “The Red Baron.”

Sickinger said that some of the model airplanes that will be flying at the event aren’t so “miniature,” what with having wingspans of 10 feet across and being powered by 100cc twin-cylinder engines.

“You could almost hop in the plane yourself,” said Sickinger jokingly.

The radio-controlled miniature aircraft models are usually made out of balsa wood or foam and powered by either nitro, gas or electric engines. Many models can be purchased as ready-made kits that can easily be put together for beginner hobbyists to learn to fly.

Sickinger said that after the Fun-Fly event, if anyone is interested in learning to fly models, they are welcome to come out to the club’s R/C airfield and try it out with one of the club’s instructors.

“Just come out to the field and talk with one of the instructors. We have a trainer aircraft and our own radios out there. You can fly one of our planes and see if you like it. No sense in spending money if you’re not going to like it,” said Sickinger.

The Hernando Aero Modelers R/C Fun-Fly event will be held on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., located at the club’s R/C airfield off the CEMEX entrance road at 16301 Ponce de Leon Blvd. (U.S. Hwy 98 North) in Brooksville.

Admission is $3 per person, or $5 per carload. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

For more info, contact (352) 263-8198 or visit

Heather Francis is a correspondent for Hernando Today. She can be reached at toheatherfrancis (at)

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