Pilots Ricky Taylor (left, center), Nicko Morrison (orange shirt), and
Zander Morrison get help from their pit crew as they get ready to stage
a reenactment of the Battle of Pearl Harbor. Nicko and Zander flew the
Japanese Zeros and their grandfather, Ricky, flew the P- 40 Warhawk.
Terry Dunn looks up as he prepares his Douglas C- 47 Skytrain for tug
duty and towing his original-design Waco CG-4A Hadrian troop glider.
Terry frequently writes reviews and articles for Model Aviation.
Jimmy Cowman brought his new Boeing B- 17 Flying Fortress, built from Don Smith plans. It
replaces the model he flew for a number of years, which now resides in a museum. The model
spans 138 inches and is powered by four O.S. . 91 four-stroke engines. It was chosen for the
People’s Choice Award by spectators and fellow pilots.
12 and 14 years old, respectively.
Although grandfather Ricky’s age will
remain a secret, he taught his grandsons
to fly well. The three of them put on a
terrific reenactment of the fighter battle
of Pearl Harbor, with the boys flying two
electric-powered Japanese Zeros and
Ricky giving chase in a P- 40 Warhawk.
The Warhawk tore up the sky chasing
the Japanese airplanes, and the Zeros
turned and counterattacked as they fled
back to their carrier. You could almost
hear the machine gun fire from the
As an encore, Zander later flew an old
kit-built .60-size F- 82 Twin Mustang
that his grandfather had rescued from
its status as a longtime display model on
somebody’s wall. Another reenactment
honored history of a more local nature,
as Terry Dunn’s Douglas C- 47 Skytrain
towed a Nick Morrow-piloted Waco
CG-4A Hadrian troop/cargo glider aloft
for several landings behind enemy lines.
The Lubbock/Abernathy (Texas) area
was a troop glider training center during
World War II. In fact, the Silent Wings
Museum honoring WW II glider pilots
is located adjacent to Lubbock’s Preston
Smith International Airport along the
I- 27 highway.
The models realistically replicated
the risky tug/glider efforts over German
lines. A trip to the museum reinforced
how critical that effort was to winning
the war, despite the many difficulties
endured by the 6,000 airmen who
trained as glider pilots.
Although most of the airplanes that
showed up were varieties of WW II
fighters—particularly Royal Air Force
Spitfires this year—Jimmy Cowman,
from Clovis, New Mexico, continued
his reputation as the master of the
Boeing B- 17 Flying Fortress. Having sold
his venerable B- 17 from several past
campaigns to a museum, Jimmy brought
a new work-in-progress Flying Fortress,
again from Don Smith plans, spanning
138 inches and powered by four O.S. . 91
four-stroke engines with individual glow
As might be expected, new airplanes
are favorite targets for gremlins, and
Jimmy had to battle several of them.
Initially, there were problems keeping all
four of the engines on the Flying Fortress
running while dealing with eccentric
After getting the majestic airplane
airborne, the canopy latch failed, causing
most of the model’s top deck to jettison
in the air over the north end of the
runway. Finally, after making the flight
with the gear down to make sure there
were no retract problems during what
was essentially a shakedown flight, the
right gear collapsed upon landing.
The airplane is a marvel of
weathering and detail, with much
more in both areas to be added as time
permits. The mechanical problems
will certainly be ironed out and the
airplane will be completed to Jimmy’s
32 Model Aviation APRIL 2017 www.ModelAviation.com