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Tue, Oct. 15

Boy in him still loves model planes

Review/Salina Sialega<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Chino Valley resident and model plane builder, Dennis O'Connor, shows a foam model plane of a Hawker Sea Fury. along with the controls that he enjoys using to fly it.

Review/Salina Sialega<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Chino Valley resident and model plane builder, Dennis O'Connor, shows a foam model plane of a Hawker Sea Fury. along with the controls that he enjoys using to fly it.

Airplanes, airplanes, airplanes! What little boy doesn't love airplanes and dream of flying them?

Courtesy photo

Model plane builder Dennis O'Connor won the Commander's Award for this model

of an F-4F Grumman Wildcat

World War II Navy Carrier Fighter.

Dennis O'Connor of Chino Valley was one of those little boys, and built his first model airplane at the age of 5.

"I remember taking my plane to school. It wasn't made of wood, though; it was made of pressed cardboard,

"Dennis recalled.

Dennis continued to build models all during his teen years, and worked at the airport where he built model

replicas of planes for owners.

Courtesy photo

Dennis O'Connor's model ET-6 World War II Trainer with a 65-inch wingspan.

"I joined the Air Force when I was 17 and I was a tail gunner in the B-36 and B-52 airplanes," Dennis said.

By 1960 Dennis was building and flying radio-controlled airplanes. Today, he builds giant scale planes. The

wing span on these planes run from 80 inches to as much as 10 feet, and they can weigh up to 55 pounds. Dennis

has built at least 100 planes through the years.

"I only have about six planes now. The rest I either gave away, crashed or they just wore out," Dennis smiled.

Dennis admitted that the things he enjoys most about this hobby are the people he meets who also love this model

planes, and that flying the models is a good way to release tension.

"I really enjoy flying these models, and I go out to Old Home Manor (the Chino Valley Model Aviators club has an

airstrip there) about three times a week to fly my plane," he said.

As a hobby, Dennis follows the model planes rules.

"You do have to have an AMA (American Model Association) liability insurance policy to fly these planes " he added.

Dennis is looking forward to the Parkzone T-28/F-4U Race he will participate in on Sept. 19 and 20 at the First

Memorial Steve Crowe Fun Fly held by the Chino Valley Model Aviators at Old Home Manor about three miles east of Highway

89 off Perkinsville Road. Anyone interested in joining the Chino Valley Model Aviators can call 583-5220.

The public is welcome to the First Memorial Steve Crowe Fun Fly Sept. 19 and 20 at Old Home Manor model plane airstrip about 3 miles east of Highway 89 off Perkinsville Road.

Sponsored by the Chino Valley Model Aviators

Free to watch

$5 to enter; winners receive a trophy cup

Call Rick at 583-5220 for more information

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