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Author Topic: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS  (Read 43883 times)

Offline Frank Imbriaco

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MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« on: July 16, 2010, 12:20:30 PM »
I was fortunate to attend 5 Navy NATS from 1968-1972. With this being NATS week and all, here's a few of my recollections of those really big events.

- Sleeping in hot barracks with scratchy  bed sheets and  the woolen blankets, which of course, no one used.
I think it was around $1.25 a day

-Waking up at 5  am to a reveler .  Live trumpet and  song " revelee, revelee, revelee- the smoking lamp is lit, revelee "
 
- Eating three squares a day in the mess hall - really good food , unbelievably  cheap and lots of it. Hey, what the heck is SOS  anyway ? This Italian kid had no idea.

-The  monstrous hangars and the all night bull sessions.  Watching repairs and guys building under the lights that  always seemed too dim. The big celebrities would occasionally appear in the evening-Carl Goldberg, Hal DeBolt, Phil Kraft, on and on.

-The incredible  Navy airshow- Blue Angels, the Flying Farmer( J-3 Cub antics), Warbirds, and static display. Military aircraft as far as the eye could see.

-The opportunity to watch other events. I had never witnessed free flight or  R/C aerobatics, Man, I thought I had died and gone to heaven !


 Dan, my flying pal and fellow UMAC'er,  and I had just graduated from a  "New Joesy" high school in June 68. We were suppossed to be getting ready for college in the fall, but heck, the NATS was something we had always talked up and  I dreamt about since I started flipping props in 1961 .Nothing else mattered(well ,almost- I still couldn't wait  each month to see  the center fold spread in  Playboy. It was my older brother's subscription ( mom was furious), her not knowing ,of course ,that I read it, too.).
We crated our models, sent them to Olathe, Kansas by Greyhound bus, and took our first commercial flight ever from Newark   to  Kansas City . Mom insisted I wear a tie and a nice shirt. (everyone dressed up to go on an airline in those days).

The trip for Jr. & Sr. winners to Pensacola NAS. Got to go in 1969. A  John Wayne style  Navy DC-8  prop with canvas seats along the length of the fuse, (non- pressurized cabin) and five hours in rain and hail from Willow Grove to Pensacola. Going out for a ride  on a PT boat in the Gulf. The USS Lexington was under repair(bummer); previous years winners got to fly their models on the deck of the aircraft carrier ! Winners got to sleep in the NAVAL officers air-conditioned quarters, ate in the officer's dining hall, and swam in the officer's pool at Pensacola, oogled their dauhters. Man , we were treated like royalty and it was all free !

-It was really neat to interface with Navy people all week long. To be sure,things were still happening on the base and they made us feel very welcomed.

-A few downers...
-Having an in-grown toe nail  partially removed at the infirmary at Glenview NAS. It was free, but man, did it hurt !
Don't think the  Navy doc used anything to numb it up.
-Getting canned twice from summer jobs because I was gone over a week to go to the NATS.
-Saying so long to new friends- Most  I've never seen or heard from again

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2010, 12:18:38 PM »
Too bad the powers to be thought the Navy Sponsored NATS was not worth the money.  My first NATS was 1964 in Grand Prairie Texas Naval Air Station.  It was out in the middle of nowhere.  George and Dorethy Watkins drove me to the NATS.  I stayed in the barricks and they stayed at a little motel just off base.  Civilian ladies were not allowed to stay on base.  The Meriwethers were there and also were my heros in competition even tho I was in my 20's and Wayne was a Junior, Ron was a Senior.  Eating Navy chow at the mess hall and swimming in the Navy pool were some highlights for this old farm boy that had just moved back to the big city.  Yes SOS(s--t on a Shingle) was one of the meals.  Traded mine for an orange and bottle of milk.  The work hangar was one of the main sites.  We set up a location not too far from Dunkin&Wright who were team racing.  Got to fly Riley Wooten in second round of combat.  Also made two complete official flights in Navy Carrier. 
Final day was the show with George Aldrich and Don Still flying Stukas in formation stunt.  Some of the winners of the prior week flying there planes.  Then the award ceremony for the champions.  Neal Armstrong presenting the awards.  Then while the Meriwether's stayed behind for Wayne's Navy cruise, Mom & Pop Watkins and I headed home.  I think I slept all the way.  Besides George would not let no else drive.  The next NATS was 1970 but that is another story.  Did I mention that is the NATS I first met Larry Scarinzi(1964).
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Offline afml

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 07:24:33 AM »
"The trip for Jr. & Sr. winners to Pensacola NAS. Got to go in 1969."
Hi Frank!
I was there WITH YOU on that same trip to Pensacola!
Just have a little different memory of the details. LL~ LL~
Still have some of the "stuff" from the 69' Nats.

Watching the Lunar landing while attending the NATS was AWESOME! y1
And then to visit where the Astronauts trained was awe inspiring!

We should compare notes from 69' LL~

"Tight Lines!"

Wes
Wes Eakin

Offline Frank Imbriaco

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 12:52:35 PM »
Wes,
It was fun, wasn't it ? As far as  recollection of details( yours and mine), it no longer really matters... What matters most is that the Navy sure treated us very, very well.

Offline afml

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 02:41:23 PM »
Wes,
It was fun, wasn't it ? ... What matters most is that the Navy sure treated us very, very well.

TONS OF FUN!!!
Yes, Frank, the Navy treated us VERY WELL!

Take a plane load of kids from PA to FLA for almost a week, feed us, watch over us, take us everywhere, and BRING US BACK? LL~
Yep! The Navy treated us VERY WELL! y1

"Tight Lines!"

Wes
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Offline Terrence Durrill

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 06:29:42 PM »
My first Navy Nats was at Glenview Naval Air Station in 1966 or maybe 1967.....hard to remember as it was a long time ago and my memory isn't what it used to be.  I was in Denver, CO that summer, flying with my brother-in-law and we decided to go the Nationals.  We loaded our planes in the old 1960 Plymouth Valiant and headed Northeast.  We had accumulated a good supply of Riley Wooten Combat designs....mostly foam wing Vampires with Super Tigre Combat .35's and Fox .36xBB's.....along with some Sneekers and Voodoos.  I had been in the United States Naval Reserve since 1963, had some active duty and several two week training periods, so I knew staying on the base would be a blast.  It was everything described above....the barracks beds with scratchy wool blankets, the great Navy chow at low prices, the all night building sessions in the hangers and great aircraft displays.  I saw a British Vulcan bomber come into the base for a landing.......extremely impressive aircraft.  The morning of Combat competition, we went out to get in some practice flights.  Riley Wooten came out and asked us how we liked his Vampire design.  He went on that day to win first place in Open Combat, flying his Vampire with a warmed up Fox .36xBB.  By the way, if you never got to see Riley fly in competition, he flat out owned the circle.  We also saw Larry Scarinzi fly his Super Satan.  He was so much faster than his opponent, it put him at a disadvantage.  In the first round, my brother-in-law put his Vampire/Super Tigre Combat up against the Nemesis boys as we called Howard's crowd in those days.....yes....they were wearing their cowboy hats!  He went out in the first round........that Nemesis II.....what an airplane in the 1960's.  It ain't bad, even today.  By the way, Howard, how did you do in Open this year with the Nemesis/Nelson combo???  In other first round action, I put my Vampire/Fox 36xBB up against an Air Force team member and was eliminated when he took off my booms, stab, and oh yes, the streamer.  This reduced us to spectators.  The pressure was off and we could watch the rest of the competition.  It was a great experience and one that you keep for a lifetime.............TDurrill    y1    H^^
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 08:38:00 PM by Terrence Durrill »

Offline Dave Evar

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 10:32:05 PM »
 
The closest I got to a Navy Nats was flying a Cox Spitfire, and trying to get the Cox Stuka
to pull out of a dive, on the apron at NAS Coco Solo, 1965.  Well former NAS.

Dave
 
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Offline WhittleN

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2010, 07:50:48 AM »
 Fellow NAVY NATS guys
My first Navy Nats was 1967 Los Alamitos CA.  I didn't really appreciate the NATS as it was only 5-10 miles from my house.  I went home every afternoon - no NAVY chow for me.  In '68 the NATS was in Olathe KS I took a train from Southern California to Kansas City and my High School counselor’s family picked me up and let me stay with them until flying began – then I got to experience the full NATS experience.  Yes those long tables with airplane after airplane.  Even at 3 AM folks were at the table in the hanger working.  The night before the Senior Stunt event I never did make it to my “rack” - maybe that’s why I crashed on the outside squares.  The 45 MPH wind probably helped.   Oh the camaraderie - PTG aka Phil Granderson rebuilt my airplane after the crash – as I was so disgusted.  The wind picked it up as it was drying and slammed it into the hanger door.  I stashed it under the workbench until Dave Gierke, Keith Trostel and about 4 – 5 open fliers came around asking how come I hadn’t put in my second official?  Well the rest of the story is they made me drag out the airplane and they rebuilt it.  Flying models had a picture of Keith holding the airplane – he was actually holding the tail on as the 5 min epoxy was not setting up.
Got to go on the USS Lexington in Pensacola that year - what a wonderful experience.  The USS  Lexington is now moored in Corpus Christi TX my wife and I had the opportunity to go aboard had a chance  to relive some memories.

Norm Whittle

Offline Shultzie

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2010, 10:36:34 AM »
Thanks for bringing back some of those memories...of the 67 Nats which was also the first time that my late friend Tim Dunlop, his son Vance and I had the "pleasure and pain" to attend as competitors.
Both of us shared similar moments under the lights of the hanger table..doing some late night repairs.
I "kicked" off the nose wheel pant of my Sting Ray during a practice flight the day before qualifications....and Tim busted off the entire aft end of his beautiful brand new custom stunt machine on his first OUTSIDE SQUARE CORNER.

Both Tim and I got lucky enought to make repairs in time to fly our  qualification flights the next day...(however neither Tim or I made the qualifications) but  NOT WAS ALL SAD' AND DUNG'...
We both were totally BLOWN AWAY AND TOTALLY ADDICTED to attend as many nationals as our paychecks vacation times could allow...from that year forward.

Sadly Tim passed this life all too soon...in the early 70's. Here is a shot that I have posted before...showing Tim doing an quickeee repair job...right out there on the Navy Tarmac...while I waited until that eve. to make repairs to my Sting Ray's busted nose wheel pant.
Thanks to a borrowed can of white Pactra dope from Gierke and Tim's left over tubes of 5 minute expoxy...both our stunt machines, lived to fly that next morning in front of that row of Navy judges.
Don Shultz

Offline Mike Keville

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2010, 07:50:16 PM »
Ah, yes, the REAL Nats...the NAVY Nats.  Rotating around the country every four years: NAS Willow Grove, PA; NAS Glenview, IL; NAS Dallas, TX; NAS Los Alamitos, CA.  (Earlier ones at NAS Olathe, KS.)

My first one: Willow Grove, 1953, as a 13-year old spectator.  A definite eye-opener!  After that, attended two at NAS Glenview...then on to non-Navy sites:


#2:  Glenview, 1962.  Flew two FF events.  A/1 Ambroid kit 'Jetstream' maxed on it's first flight but the D/T failed, and it was last seen heading the the general direction of Lake Michigan.  Flying buddy Dave Ek (yes, THAT Dave Ek) was 10th in Senior Stunt....and far from last).  Saw Lew McFarland win Open Stunt with his Shark 45.  Also took a great photo of 19-year-old Bill Werwage prepping his Ares, but the pic has been lost.

#3:  Glenview, 1966.  "Bagman" to a fellow from No. Ill. who flew Old Time FF.

#4:  Lake Charles, LA, 1974.  (Dare I say it?)  RC Pylon Official (Lap Counter).  Invited by LHS owner who was into that sort of thing.

#5-6-7:  Muncie, IN...CLPA judge.

Anyone who's never attended one of the old Navy Nats venues has missed the show.  The barracks sleeping arrangements, the chow in the mess hall, the ability to see FF, CL, ROW, yes, even RC, all on one site --- and let's not forget The Scale Cage (Scale entries locked behind a wired-in display area for days) --- K&B's engine repair depot...."miles & miles" of wooden workbenches jam-packed with models of every category, class and description...Speed guys test-running Dyna-Jets outside the hangar at midnight...

All I can add is:

Those who were there know what I mean.  Those who weren't, well, I'm sorry you missed it.  THOSE, my friends, were the REAL Nats.  Oh...and the entry fee?  If memory serves, something like $1.00 per event.

FORMER member, "Academy of Multi-rotors & ARFs".

Offline Frank Imbriaco

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2010, 06:43:48 PM »
  A unique gathering of modelers/flyers with varied interests and skills, for sure.  I'm glad I was a member of a generation that could participate.

Offline Don Hutchinson AMA5402

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2010, 08:31:02 PM »
I flew stunt as a senior at the '49 Olathe Nat's, no idea of where I ended up. Wish I had a photo of the model and a few drawings, would make a great OTS airplane. Went to the '59 Los Alamitos  Nat's but stayed at home as I lived in the LA area then, flew about 5 free flight events, no stunt at all. Went to the '99 Nat's 50 years later and found out that Warren Tiahrt was also at the '49 nat's. Great memories, no photos.  Also was fortunate enough to attend the '50 and '53 Plymouth Internat's. Had my clock cleaned by Don Still in '49 and '53. Got the opportunity to make him aware of this a few years back!
Don

Online Howard Rush

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2010, 01:39:21 AM »
I took a bus to my first Nats in 1962.  Got my combat plane and borrowed Johnson stolen, ran out of money, got hungry, sunburned, and dehydrated, but I saw a lot of cool stunt planes and got a lot of combat practice in the evening next to the hangar.  It was great.
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Offline Shultzie

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2010, 08:33:32 AM »
I took a bus to my first Nats in 1962.  Got my combat plane and borrowed Johnson stolen, ran out of money, got hungry, sunburned, and dehydrated, but I saw a lot of cool stunt planes and got a lot of combat practice in the evening next to the hangar.  It was great.

HOWIE!!!!!
HOW OLD WERE YOU THEN?   :o :o :o
 Did you run away from home that day????
 However, You must have known just how much your Mommie and Dadda' might be a bit concerned for allowing a 6 or 7 year old kid run off on his own....especially at such a young tender age? n1 n1
 
Don Shultz

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2010, 09:16:26 AM »
He's no spring chicken by a long shot. LL~ LL~ LL~ LL~
John E. "DOC" Holliday
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Offline Randy Ryan

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2010, 08:29:23 PM »
Ah, yes, the REAL Nats...the NAVY Nats.  Rotating around the country every four years: NAS Willow Grove, PA; NAS Glenview, IL; NAS Dallas, TX; NAS Los Alamitos, CA.  (Earlier ones at NAS Olathe, KS.)

My first one: Willow Grove, 1953, as a 13-year old spectator.  A definite eye-opener!  After that, attended two at NAS Glenview...then on to non-Navy sites:


#2:  Glenview, 1962.  Flew two FF events.  A/1 Ambroid kit 'Jetstream' maxed on it's first flight but the D/T failed, and it was last seen heading the the general direction of Lake Michigan.  Flying buddy Dave Ek (yes, THAT Dave Ek) was 10th in Senior Stunt....and far from last).  Saw Lew McFarland win Open Stunt with his Shark 45.  Also took a great photo of 19-year-old Bill Werwage prepping his Ares, but the pic has been lost.

#3:  Glenview, 1966.  "Bagman" to a fellow from No. Ill. who flew Old Time FF.

#4:  Lake Charles, LA, 1974.  (Dare I say it?)  RC Pylon Official (Lap Counter).  Invited by LHS owner who was into that sort of thing.

#5-6-7:  Muncie, IN...CLPA judge.

Anyone who's never attended one of the old Navy Nats venues has missed the show.  The barracks sleeping arrangements, the chow in the mess hall, the ability to see FF, CL, ROW, yes, even RC, all on one site --- and let's not forget The Scale Cage (Scale entries locked behind a wired-in display area for days) --- K&B's engine repair depot...."miles & miles" of wooden workbenches jam-packed with models of every category, class and description...Speed guys test-running Dyna-Jets outside the hangar at midnight...

All I can add is:

Those who were there know what I mean.  Those who weren't, well, I'm sorry you missed it.  THOSE, my friends, were the REAL Nats.  Oh...and the entry fee?  If memory serves, something like $1.00 per event.



You're so right Mike, my fondest memories are of the work hanger, any hour day or night there was activity. I slept inb a chais lounge under my bench between repairs and preparations. Olathe in '68, Glennview 70' 71' 72, the last was a bittersweet experience knowing that the center of my modeling universe the Navy Nats, was to be nomore. Back then I flew Free Flight exclusively, mostly gas but HLG and A-1 as well. I remember the LOONNGG lines to get a timer for an official, and the activity was so intense, the number of FF entries in those days would be staggering to us now. The beer tent, tent city, the COOLLDD showers and the Navy chow, were all great. An experience I was able to have before its extinction. Those WERE the days.
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Offline Dick Sarpolus

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2010, 02:34:35 PM »
I had to post some picts from my first NATS, the 1953 Willow Grove affair.  I was a young teenager, my father dropped me and my friend off at Willow Grove one weekend and picked us up a week later.  Slept in the Navy barracks, ate Navy food, stayed up late in the hangar nights.  Flew lots of practice, flew in combat and stunt, did poorly.  Entered a twin engined, Fox 29 and 35, plane in stunt and a modified Clown in combat.  Crashed the twin in practice, flew a Fox 59 Viking, not well.  Had a great time.

Photos - sleeping on top of a three decker bunk, at the combat circles, the wing was a Mexican team entry, results of my crashes, my twin stunter, Jim Walker doing his Sabre Dance with his Fireball. 

Offline Shultzie

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2010, 05:33:42 PM »
Amazing photos Dick!
Thanks for taking the time to share these with us...(1953! Gads...I was attending Woodrow Wilson Jr. High School in DeMoines Iowa and flying Ukie...with my little Spitzeeee' 049rs' :) y1
Don Shultz

Offline Frank Imbriaco

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2010, 06:39:23 PM »
Note the "gallery" of fans watching Jim Walker in the last photo. Looks like the 18th at one of the golf majors. Those were the days... Thanks, Dick.

Offline Dick Sarpolus

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2010, 05:29:11 PM »
Jim Walker was great.  In addition to his Sabre Dance flying, I saw him fly three Fireballs at the same time, one handle on a football helmet on his head with the throttle to that one in his mouth. 

He had a Buick convertible, I think a rare Skylark, in '53 at the Nats, and he towed an all-polished aluminum Airstream trailer with his airplane stuff in it.  I saw his R/C airplane, a streamlined thing with a McCoy .60 engine.  Amazing, for the time. 

After the '53 Willow Grove Nats, I made it back to the '69 Nats, again in Willow Grove.  This time I managed to get a Nats trophy, in R/C pylon racing. 

Frank you mentioned you were in the UMAC Club?  I was also, in the early '50s, flew behind the Elastic Stop Nut factory in Union, had great times there.  I went to the UMAC meetings riding behind my friend on his Indian motorcycle.  Geez.  My heros in that Club were Jim Hunt, Red Reinhardt, Larry Scarenzi, Leon Shulman was around there also, and Walton Hughes lived near me, in Cranford.  Great C/L memories. 

Offline Frank Imbriaco

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2010, 06:45:42 PM »
Hi Dick,
I joined the UMAC ( Union(NJ) Model Airplane Club)  as a teen in 1965. Never knew  that you were  once a member.The club produced many, many notables in the hobby- including yourself.
I'm still in touch with Larry and Leon.

Regards,
Frank

Offline EddyR

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2011, 11:16:09 AM »
I was at the 1957 Willow Grove Nats for the entire week. I flew in several FF events. I flew FF with CO Wright,George Aldridge,Larry Conover. Over 100 entrants in 1/2 FF.
Yes George flew FF. I didn't know how famous he was at the time in CL until later in the week.  My ride home had to leave mid week so I borrowed money to get a bus back to Binghamton NY about 150 miles north.
Ed
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Offline Peter Nevai

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2011, 12:34:35 PM »
The reason the Navy stopped sponsoring the NAT was the closing of reserve bases or the end of the Vietnam war. It was the declining numbers of kids and teen agers participating vs the cost of sponsorship that made recruiting efforts from the modeling public undesireable.

below is a quote form a AMA article regarding this along with a  line to the rest of the material

Quote
WILL 1968 be the last of the Navy-hosted Nationals? Both the Academy of Model Aeronautics and the Hobby Industry Assoc. of America are on notice that, unless certain conditions are met in 1968 - or at least, that significant progress be made toward essential objectives - Navy may drop out of the picture in 1969. Simply stated, Navy's objections are a prohibitive expense in manpower and dollars, as well as failure on our part to fulfill the original Navy objectives (of 1948) in hosting the National Model Airplane Championships.

It was exactly 20 years ago that Navy hosted their first Nationals -like 1968, also in Olathe, Kansas. Their objectives at that time were: a) To encourage the interest of nation's youth and, more specifically, the aircraft model enthusiast in the U. S. Navy and thereby further, on a long-range basis, public-understanding of the national security; b) To encourage active participation by naval personnel in the model aircraft program. To these objectives have been added two more current requirements in keeping with changing times: a) To directly and indirectly strengthen the recruiting program; b) To enhance the Navy public image in areas of internal -relations, community relations, and public information.


I am sorry to see the Navy Nats go. From all the stories I've heard it was really great. Unfortunately I just got started in CL when the Navy stopped sponsorship.

http://www.airplanesandrockets.com/resources/ama_navy_nats.htm
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Offline Jim Fruit

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2011, 07:44:55 PM »
My gosh, all of the memories. It is really surprising how many times all of our paths may have crossed and yet we might not have truly known each other back then. That is what is so great about this thread.
HOWIE!!!!!
HOW OLD WERE YOU THEN?   :o :o :o
 Did you run away from home that day????
 However, You must have known just how much your Mommie and Dadda' might be a bit concerned for allowing a 6 or 7 year old kid run off on his own....especially at such a young tender age? n1 n1
 

Howard:
I was at the 68 Olathe Nats also. Obviously, did not see you then. I used to run across you at the Buder Park contests in St. Louis in the early 60's. Seems to me that your interest then was primarily Combat. Sounds like you have moved west (literally, not rhetorically).

My last Navy Nats was the last Navy Nats in '72 at Glenview. I did not go to compete, but rather to observe since I lived so close. The Nats director, Bob Voslavich (sp), asked if I would run Combat for him since he had no one to run it. I agreed. Combat was not my strong suit, so I had a terrible time as well as did the Combat contestants, I'm sure. Add to that, I brought along an R/C ship for sale that I placed on the workbenches in the hanger. It was stolen. Serves me right I guess.

What I miss about the Navy Nats is the way that you could see all of the variety of interests on the same site at the same time. Today's Nats run by each individual SIG has taken that away from us. I realize that it must be cheaper to do the Nats in the current manner, but it is much more sterile. Just read all of the posts above, and you will see what I mean

Jim Fruit

Offline Dick Pacini

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2011, 06:19:24 AM »
The first contest I ever saw was in Indianapolis in the late 50's.  I don't know if it was a NATS, but it was at the Naval Avionics Facility.  I had a little .049 high wing that I could barely fly in circles.  My mom and I watched the stunt circle from a short distance away and I was most impressed by a young boy flying a white twin boomer with red crosses on the wings.  After that, I set my little POS on the ground and started it up.  Nobody said, "Hey kid, you can't do that here." My mom launched and I went around in circles for a minute or so before I bounced it off the ground.  It was at that point that I was hooked.  My next plane was a Nobler...
AMA 62221

Once, twice, three times a lady.  Four times and she does it for a living.

Offline John Eyer

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2011, 12:20:48 PM »
d
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 11:18:44 AM by John Eyer »

Offline Paul Smith

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2011, 04:51:19 PM »
I watched for a while at the 1964.
Flew in '65, '69, and '70.

In 1965 I flew in and completed flights in at least five events, as a Senior, and still didn't win anything.  Not the automatic trophy of today. 

Those were the good old days, and very few appreciated it. 
Paul Smith

Offline Shultzie

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2011, 12:38:01 PM »
GREAT SHOTS...
How interesting that so many of our CL flyers have come from a free flight background, huh?
Don Shultz

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2011, 06:10:18 PM »
Well if you check you will find CL is the baby of modeling.    H^^
John E. "DOC" Holliday
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Offline Robert Redmon

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2011, 04:42:15 PM »
Great stuff! My first (and only) Navy Nats was 1960 Dallas. I was 14 and visiting my grandparents. I managed to talk my grandfather into dropping me off there for a few hours. It was the first model contest I had ever attended besides the club contests flow at the reservoir field in Altus, OK, where we were stationed at the time. I didn't fly, but sure was in a hurry to get back home to my airplanes afterwards!

Many firsts for me, though:

1st time to see ANY CL speed event.
1st time to see ANY RC flying.....jaw dropping/amazing stuff to my young impressionable mind...hypnotized by the Pattern flying.
1st time to see CL stunt flown really well...totally intimidating. My Ringmaster just couldn't do some of that stuff! Didn't understand how anyone could pull out so low and so consistently.
1st time to see FF of any kind.

Missed flying at any Navy Nats...First Nats as competitor was 1976 at Dayton.

Bob Redmon
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Offline Will Moore

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2011, 06:25:37 PM »
What Mike Keville said is absolutely TRUE.

I attended as Rhode Island Air Youth State Champion, in 1`959 and 1960.  I went to Calif and Tex.   Then I
competed the next 2 years in Willow Grove, Pen. and Chicago, Ill. 

And that is what it was. You could see everything everywhere on the base.

And the Hanger benches !   I remember smelling nitro among the speed guys.
It was intoxicating.  I saw Lew's Shark, and was mesmerized by it's immensity
and graceful, breathtaking flights.  I remember flying against Bill Werwage, as
a Senior. Back then the scores were in the 600"s. I was 6 points behind him.
That is when I saw for the first time people wind flying. I didn't know it was
possible.  When I got home, and taught myself how to do it.

Those were incredibly exciting and innocent times.  Being on an Air Base
and feeling the pulse of it all.  The hanger, the barracks , the bathrooms and the chow.
OMG  I'd like to go back to that feeling again. 
Things take longer to happen than you think they will,

Then they happen much faster than you thought they could.
 AMA # 209

Offline Mike Lauerman

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2012, 12:43:28 PM »
My bud, Al Mise, had just gotten out of the Navy, I had been working on his hot rod during his last 11-month cruise, on the USS Los Angeles Heavy Cruiser.
He wanted to cruise the fenderless, channeled 'A' Coupe, so we left San Jose for points South, mainly Long Beach...
Along the way, we learned of a NATS that was being held at Los Alamitos; Al had his Navy I.D., so we were greeted! (esp. with a Hot Rod!)
We parked, and were changing clothes (to walk around cooly) and a guy came walking up to look at the car...he was underneath, over the engine, all over the car.
He looked familiar, we talked, and it turned out he was one of the spokespersons for the event. Familiar, indeed. It was Roy Orbison!
Beside music, Model Airplanes and Hot Rods were his passion. (in that order, he said)

Sadly, Roy was flying a radio control plane at his mother's house when he had the massive heart attack that killed him. 

Offline Hoss Cain

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2012, 10:07:43 AM »
While just browsing through, I found this old thread. Very interesting back in 2010. Just thought  I would add some final "Behind the Scenes" informational concerning the historic days of the late Navy Nats.

While I moved to Chicago-Land in 1968, new pilot UAL, I was too close to the bottom for any seniority during '68 -72 to get time to do anything needing a schedule. I flew in the '71 Nats mostly FF and helping my young sons. They each got a trophy or two, but 'ol Dad never did.

On to the purpose of this story.  n~ Early in 1972, the Glenview Base Commander changed. After a short while HE canceled the NATs as the Navy Nats used Reserve manpower to operate the NATs. AMA Headquarters canceled the Nats for '72.

When I heard this I asked questions. I made local contacts, one being influential, and we asked the Commander if it was personnel or Base or what. It was personnel. He got far too many letters from parents questioning why their little "Johnnies" had to work at a toy airplane event, especially extra hours while doing their reserve time and/or overtime on the base. Being new he just took the easy way out to satisfy the families. Remember back then there was a draft. Many had the option of service. Sailors did not do much jungle warfare. Many were back doing reserve time to serve out their military time.

The Commander said OK to use the base for the nine days, however not one Navy person could operate any official NATS space while on active duty at Glenview. We went to the AMA Executive Director, John Worth, and said that we could do the NATs with local manpower. John said "NO".

I then contacted the AMA President, Jonny Clemens in Dallas. He said if we thought we could do it, "Hexx Yes!". Worth was so informed, by Clemens. Worth was not happy being overridden, and he never let me forget it, even when years later I was a DVP. VD~

Then I became the '72 NATs Manpower Director. In Chicago-Land manpower was not a problem. While a few prima-donas may disagree, I was very happy about the way folks poured in to help. IMO it was just terrific. Of course many event directors had their own close-knit personnel and that was definitely a BIG PLUS.

The '72 Nats was a success. The '73 Nats at Oshkosh, WI was a whole 'nother story. Remember there were no computers back then and the AMA ED never prepared for the differences in area. Yet we did have a total off-military NATs. It did happen!

Now here is a story that even I did not know until about 5 years ago when it was revealed to me by the late Reid Simpson, a real Free Flight competition person until his far too soon leaving us. Rest in Peace my Friend.

After the Oshkosh NATS the USAF volunteered to take over the program. They had a facility in IL that could handle the program. The Colonel that had just become Commander of the department that would handle the  operation was also a modeler. He was anxious to bring the NATs into the USAF.
Well, who do you think just might have been the fly in the ointment? If you guessed the AMA Headquarters, you are correct. The Ex. Director DEMANDED that He and his Staff would have to have full Officer Rights at the Officer's Club, on base facilities (food service) Officer's Quarters, and be treated as officers. That was beyond the Colonel's authority to do so, especially O' Club and Quarters. AMA turned away a program that could have been a NATs Host for how-many-years I know not, but for a long time.

Even when I was a DVP that information never surfaced. It is still not "recognized" however I spent several hours one day, some 5 years ago, at a FF meet in Seguin, TX and Reid and I had a long talk about Old Times. This bit of history is no longer capped.
Horrace Cain
AMA L-93 CD and Leader
New Caney, TX  (NE Houston area)

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2012, 11:58:02 AM »
My first NATS after 64 was at the 70 Glenview NATS.  My brother had a camper installed on the pickup.  Learned real fast not to buy perishable food for the week.   Then in 72 the last of the Navy NATS according to our AMA, I drove the old Dodge wagon with the guys for the NATS.   We got there early on the Sunday or Saturday evening and couldn't get on base.   So we parked along the road with the rest that were early.   Slept on top of the wagon.  Thank goodness for a luggage rack.   Dennis A. should remember that week as stunt was being flown in the rain.   Dave Trible who was riding with me had a barn burning flight going, when all of a sudden silence.  We were all heart broken.   Trip home was nothing to talk about until the old Dodge quit running about 70 miles from home.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
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Offline 50+AirYears

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #34 on: May 29, 2012, 12:58:03 AM »
Being stationed at Forbes AFB when the Nats was being held at, Ithink Olathe NAS - and being sent TDY to Brasil the day before it started.
Tony

Offline Frank Imbriaco

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #35 on: July 15, 2012, 06:00:47 AM »
This year, it'll be 40 years since my last NATS . Was a Senior at the Glenview NAS. I recall that we had a really HUGE turnout in Fast Combat. Weather was very humid and overcast. Fortunately, my summer job paid enough to allow me to lodge at a hotel along the strip in Waukekan, Ill.

The NAVY did an amazing job . I wish there was a way for them to get involved again, but the economics, security, bla, bla, bla. I hate to sound pessimistic, but if they ever ran it again, there would probably be a bunch of 60 year old "round bellies"( myself included) and only a handful of kids.

What a shame.

After all, the NAVY NATS was all about attracting youth. In '71 at Glenview, a bunch of us volunteered to help Testors( they had just bought out Wen-Mac from AMF) teach kids on plastic "flying" models. There were lines  of kids each and everyday . It took us hours to get through them. Had just enough time to fly Senior Combat and Profile Carrier.
Wish I  could remember the  name of the rep from Testor's.
He gave  each of us  the new style McCoy 40 and some dope , colors and clear, for helping.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 06:39:20 PM by Frank Imbriaco »

Offline Jim Kraft

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2012, 03:10:35 PM »
My one and only Navy Nats was at Olathe in 68. My buddy that ran a little hobby shop where we lived in Marysville Kansas, were both flying control line and R/C for fun, but were not competition flyers back then. We had a friend in KC that ran a hobby shop, and he got us official stickers for our cars. We had the run of the base, and my wife and kids swam in the officers pool whilst I was perusing all of the events. I was 27 years old and thinking I had been missing out on the whole world by not being at all of them before. We did do some indoor timing jobs to make our selves legal. My folks lived in KC at the time, so we had a place to stay at night. I am so glad I got to go to that one as said there is just nothing like a Navy Nats. I watched control line stunt, Jet speed, R/C scale, pattern, and pylon racing. I did spend some time in the hangers, looking at all the stuff that was going on there also. I met many of the greats in both control line and R/C. I will never forget the feelings I had that week. I almost cryed when the Navy quit sponsoring the Nats. I bet some of you did too.
Jim Kraft

Offline Mike Keville

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2012, 07:40:34 PM »
. . . I almost cryed when the Navy quit sponsoring the Nats. I bet some of you did too.

Yuh'd better believe it, Pilgrim!   :-\
FORMER member, "Academy of Multi-rotors & ARFs".

Offline 50+AirYears

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2012, 11:59:46 PM »
Never had the privelege of making it to any NATS, but I remember many reports on it.
I remember when Air Trails, and several of it's reincarnations carried multi page reports on each event, including full lists of winners and many competitors.  Even technical specs and 3 view drawings of many of the planes.
I remember a photo in FM around 1956, 1958 of I believe a young military person, doing well in I think a CL event.  The caption was words to the effect that they expected to see great things from this young man.
The young man in the photo was named John Glenn.
I remember another photo, but am a bit vague on it, from the same time period.  The man was Alan Shepard.
Another photo in FM was of one of the Blue Angels' F-11-F Tigercats: with an RC model sticking out of the side.  Apparent radio problem, maybe interference on the 27 MHz band.  They flew with one fewer plane for a while.
I remember a cover and story in MAN about after the NATS was over, a number of RC competitors were taken out on a cruise on a dummy aircraft carrier, a converted power boat, and give the opportunity to fly off it.
I remember when a single competitor would fly in a certain number of events in FF, RC, and CL, and if he scored high enough in all of them, the person was declared Grand Champion.  A number of those GCs made it into the AMA Hall of Fame.  MAybe the person didn't win in all of them, but by being an all-around builder/flyer, one could build a high enough total score.
Tony

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2012, 05:54:56 AM »
In 64, my first NATS at Grand Prairie Naval Air Station, the big thrill was watching Wayne Meriwether excepting the Junior Chempionship trophy from Neil Armstrong.   Who would have thought that Neil would be the first man on the moon.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
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AMA 23530  Have fun as I have and I am still breaking a record.

Online Chris McMillin

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #40 on: September 07, 2012, 05:00:22 PM »
My first Navy Nats, 1966.

Dad had moved us from Vincennes, Indiana in mid 1964 to Lombard, Illinois near Chicago when he was hired to TWA. Dad bought some kits from a dealer and used his old engines from Japan in a few of them like Hope29's, Enya sand casts, and OS 29 twin exhaust engines in models like the Warrior, and PDQ Flying Clown. We flew in a farm meadow near our house, the farmer gave dad a card to show the police if they came by showing permission! Dad and mom had built a Ringmaster Jr. with a Hope 19 when they were first married, and that was what dad taught all of us how to fly C/L, me, my two little sisters and even mom. One time a man came by and asked dad what pattern he was flying. Dad said he was flying stunt and that he wanted to get good enough to fly in the Nationals. The man explained that there was a new pattern and that climbs and dives were no longer included! Dad Joined AMA and we got new rulebooks with all of the latest stuff. I marveled at the maneuvers described in isometric drawings that meant so much to me, and helped prompt a desire to draw, from that early age's natural desire to do so, to a more disciplined job of it.
Dad built more models, flew his Warriors to learn these modern maneuvers, and we started going to contests. I was 6 until December of 1966 and got my first AMA license. I had my rulebook, and my blue card, and rode to a few contests all over the northern Illinois, Indiana and Wisconson, area with dad, the Phillips brothers, Ron Adams and some other Stunt, Carrier and Rat Race guys.

Then dad said we are going to the Nats. 

Offline Shultzie

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2012, 08:30:35 PM »
Chris..
Thanks for sharing stories about you and your Dad! Say Hello for me to your Dad...How's he doing Hope all well with you and your's. Those truly were the days huh?
Chris...We both come a very very long way...since we took this photo of you two.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 08:47:44 PM by Shultzie »
Don Shultz

Offline Jerry Haupt

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2012, 08:28:13 AM »
My Last Navy Nats 1971
The 1971 Glenview Nats were not only my last Nats attended but also my last control line flying until this year. What a great time my Dad and I, and all my Dayton Buzzin Buzzard buddies had traveling and flying together, (Bill Keller, Ed Wallace, Gil Reedy,Tim Zimmer and others).  I remember having to fly many rounds in open combat with my fathers (Jack), Wedge design, and then win 1st. place in my first year flying in the open class with all the older guys. I have noticed Howard Rush writing some posts in this forum and I do remember flying right through the center of a beautiful Nemesis in the semi-finals, (sorry Howard). After 40 non flying years I attended the Stunt contest in Dayton this year and was intrigued with the new electric power stunt models. Just finished my first stunt pattern since the King Orange contest in 1970 with an electric Legacy.
Jerry Haupt
Dayton, Ohio   

Online Howard Rush

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2012, 11:29:13 AM »
Great to hear from you, Jerry.  I'm old and flying electric stunt, too.
The Jive Combat Team
Making combat and stunt great again

Offline Dan Bregar

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2012, 06:23:39 PM »
Welcome back Jerry !  Lots of OLD combat flyers are trying their hand at stunt, including myself.  Airplanes last a whole lot longer. Hope to make it down to Dayton next year.  :)
AMA 33676

Offline John Sunderland

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #45 on: September 19, 2012, 06:49:15 PM »
 ;D The Dayton Buzzin' Buzzards meet was one of my first as a kid. The summer of 66' or 67'. My pops did well in stunt. First place I think? Jerry Phelps failed to pull out on the reverse. I bet there was never a bigger divot for Jerry. I was glued to combat however, and had to be hunted down for the trip home! :D What caught my eye? A child competing with grown-ups in combat. The kid won, but in air time, flying with half of a Voo Doo wing still intact. I caught several of the cut off oil soaked streamers outside the fence. I was hooked! ;D

Offline Mike Keville

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2012, 08:36:52 PM »
Among the fondest memories of the Navy Nats are the first steps inside the large Work Hangars, where literally hundreds of F/F and C/L models were arrayed on wooden benches.  The aroma of freshly-doped tissue & silkspan permeated the place -- a sensory overload.  While there, it was often possible to meet, greet and talk with such notables as Carl Goldberg, Sal Taibi, Steve Wooley (once, 1962, Glenview, while buffing-out his entry), Warren Kurth, et al.

...people actually building, covering and finishing models overnight (mostly F/F Scale and Outdoor Hand Launched Gliders)....

It was a completely different world from today's "Buy-And-Fly" R/C junk.

I miss it ... but we'll never see it again.
FORMER member, "Academy of Multi-rotors & ARFs".

Offline Bob Heywood

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #47 on: September 22, 2012, 09:50:27 AM »
1962 @ Glenview was my first. All the stuff; the barracks -  my first contact with Ray Galloway, the mess hall, the work hanger, the greats of the day. Perhaps most of all was the after hours flying on the big grass lawn behind the hanger. Stunt, mass combat, you name it. I was 14.
"Clockwise Forever..."

Offline Randy Ryan

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #48 on: September 23, 2012, 11:30:16 AM »
'72 was the last year for the Navy at Glenview. I was there flying FF with my then wife and eldest son RandyII. Here's a shot of him with Miss Model Aviation, he turned 43 this past August.
Randy Ryan <><
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Offline Shultzie

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Re: MEMORIES ON THE NAVY NATS- SHARE YOURS
« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2012, 09:14:40 AM »
Thanks Randy....What a great story and photo! H^^
Don Shultz


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