With a roar, the twin turbo jet engines on Jack Price’s A10 Warthog rev up and propel the replica military airplane onto the short grass field where modelers regularly gather to take to the skies.
Fuelled by kerosene, the engines look — and sound — like the real thing.
Price and fellow Victoria Radio Control Modelers Society (VRCMS) members Al Tamosiunas, Jack Lowe and Mike Scholefield are getting their scale-model aircraft ready for the club’s 12th annual airshow, dubbed Victoria’s Largest Little Airshow.
It takes place August 10 and 11 at the grass field along Lochside Drive near Michell’s Farm in Central Saanich. It’s a popular event, says Scholefield, who has been co-ordinating the airshow since it began.
“It used to be a scale contest,” he explained. “The aircraft would fly and were judged for their realism and how their owners could fly them.”
That was in 2001 and people came out to see the models take to the air. The following year, however, the event really grew after a bit of advertising.
“People just came,” he said. “In 2002, poof! It really did take off.”
The show has always been a fundraiser and in 2001 it raised $300. Since then, the club saw the airshow popularity rise — as did the coffers. Over the last 11 years, Scholefield said the club has raised more than $160,000 for C-FAX’s Santas Anonymous and the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation.
Sponsored by Parker Johnston Industries Ltd., Viking Air, Proline Property managers and more, the event is bringing in model aircraft owners from Greater Victoria, the mainland and from as far afield as Salt Lake City, Utah and Sacramento and San Jose, California. They will bring replicas of biplanes and Second World War-era fighter-bombers as well as helicopters, jets and all manner of remote-control contraptions.
Scholefield said everyone is welcome to attend the two-day event, but will have to bring their own lawn chairs, hats and sunscreen. He noted the observation area fills up fast for this popular show.
People can expect to see static displays under three tents on site, where owners will be talking about their models — how much time it takes and the nuts and bolts of being a model aircraft operator.
There will be 50/50 draws, raffles, a full concession — and admission to the airshow is by donation. Scholefield is hoping plenty of people come out and help with the fundraising effort for Santas Anonymous and the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation.
The group of VRCMS members (the club has 55 active members) have been tuning up their aircraft for the event. Tamosiunas had one of his choppers flying, Lowe brought out his hand-built Corsair and Scholefield worked out some of the bugs with his F-16’s landing gear.
Victoria’s Largest Little Airshow promises to be fun for the whole family. Learn more at www.vrcms.org.