Ken Myers and
newcomers to the
Zervos and Mike
that line the
perimeter of the
Part of the crowd on Monday evening.
to Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Michigan, to show
off a bevy of new products. Josh prepared an interesting
presentation on the latest in FPV.
Josh also used the gathering to present a multirotor to
five-year-old budding aviation enthusiast, Isaac Vickers. Isaac
is the son of Shannon Vickers, an A- 10 Warthog pilot with
the local Air National Guard. Shannon and Isaac planned
to join the gathering last year, but Shannon was deployed
to Afghanistan. Those in attendance recognized Shannon’s
efforts with an unsolicited round of applause.
Michigan Aerospace Corporation of Ann Arbor, Michigan,
loaned a computer for demonstrations of the latest RealFlight
Drone Flight Simulator. Nearly 200 modelers from 16 area
clubs attended the two-day event. The 50/50 drawing raised
$300 for the Salvation Army of Pontiac.
Josh participated in the regularly scheduled Tuesday
indoor flying at Ultimate Soccer Arenas, demonstrating new
products and mingling with modelers. Raffles were held both
March 17, 1922-March 29, 2016
RC flying today might be much different if not for the work
done by late AMA member Warren Plohr. In the late 1990s,
the FCC proposed adding non-RC users to the 72 MHz band
set aside for RC model aircraft. Warren, Bill Hershberger,
and George Steiner—all members of the AMA Frequency
Committee—ran tests at the International Aeromodeling
Center in Muncie, Indiana, and drafted a report that convinced
the FCC to withdraw its proposal.
“Warren was a great asset to AMA, the Frequency
Committee, and me in particular,” former AMA Executive
Council member Bob Underwood wrote shortly after he
learned of Warren’s death.
“Warren was a true asset to AMA and all modelers,” said
AMA Executive Director Dave Mathewson. “His work on
AMA’s Frequency Committee during the late ’80s and early
’90s was instrumental in not only acquiring, but preserving, the
original 72 MHz frequencies from the FCC. The result was the
exponential growth of aeromodeling during that era.”
Warren grew up in Bronx, New York, and received his first
model airplane when he was five. He began building model
aircraft and rode the subway to Central Park to fly them. He
became an AMA member in the late 1930s, and was an AMA
While studying engineering at New York University, Warren
and his family moved to Pittsburgh. He enlisted in the U.S.
Army Air Force in December 1942, became a World War
II B- 24 Liberator pilot, and flew 11 combat missions over
Germany and France with the 489th Bomb Group. He later
received an Air Medal for his service.
After the war, he enrolled in the Carnegie Technical Schools
in Pittsburgh, which is known today as Carnegie Mellon
University, to complete his aeronautical engineering degree. He
taught himself how radio electronics worked by reading the
Radio Amateur’s Handbook. He met his future wife, Joan, in the
Following his graduation, the couple moved to Cleveland,
where Warren was hired by the National Advisory Committee
for Aeronautics (NACA) to work in its aircraft engine research
While living in Cleveland, Warren met young modeler Keith
Shaw. “I was fortunate to have known Warren for over 55 years,
and our paths have crisscrossed several times. We both lived in
Cleveland and flew at the same American Airlines model club
field,” Keith wrote.
“He would patiently answer my questions about radio theory,
and was the singular adult that didn’t dismiss a 12-year-old kid
from designing and building his own radio control equipment,”
While working for NACA, Warren also befriended fellow
modelers Chet Lanzo, Joe Elgin, and George Reich. NACA was
renamed NASA in 1958 and Warren became a member of its
Space Task Group that was charged with designing the first US
manned spaceflight: Project Mercury.
Warren managed the Agena rocket project from 1966 to
1970, which launched spacecraft that included the Ranger,
14 Model Aviation JULY 2016