A passion for planes

Hobby take flight at the Marshalltown RC Flyers club

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO — A line of model planes gets ready to fly. The Marshalltown RC Flyers club hosts a meeting once a month.

High flying model planes are adored by the Marshalltown RC Flyers club.

For decades the club has organized flight enthusiasts of all types, some with pilot’s licenses and others who just like to watch from the ground in one group. The number of members changes from time to time, but right now there are about 40 plane enthusiasts.

“We all share a passion for aviation building and flying model airplanes” said Scott VandeWalle, one of the club officers. “It’s a group of people who are airplane nuts.”

The club started meeting in the early 1980s with a small group of people who were interested in the hobby.

“Radio controlled model airplanes and model airplanes have been around as long as aviation,” VandeWalle said. “In fact the Wright brothers began building model airplanes.”

A red plane turns on its site as moves through the air. This is a common sight for the the Marshalltown RC Flyers.

The group was originally located at the old landfill by East Main Street. Now they can be found flying their planes at the corner of East Main Street and 18th Avenue near the edge of town.

Several members of the group have their pilot’s license.

“It’s a pretty diverse hobby. We have RC helicopters, a few drones and lots of airplanes,” VandeWalle said.

The model airplanes vary in size, shape and type. From little models to the 125-inch, 41-pound model VandeWalle uses.

A regular meeting for the group has regular bureaucratic items like which member will mow the club grounds.

“We’re a non-profit,” VandeWalle said. “You take care of business then you want to get flying. This is a hobby after all and everybody likes to have fun. We try to keep the meetings as short and to the point as possible.”

The club usually meets on the first Sunday of every month and during the winter they go to the old Anson Gym to fly on the first Monday of the month.

Members can often be found flying their models on a clear day.

“We get together as often as we can,” VandeWalle said.

He got into flying when he was a kid after his father got his pilot’s license.

“My dad started out with a club, in a club plane,” he said. “I grew up in aviation flying, full scale. Like a lot of young boys I thought airplanes are cool. You just get a passion.”

VandeWalle started building models when he was young. As he got older he found he was able to afford the hobby and has been involved ever since.

The group’s next meeting will be Sept. 7. People can stop by to watch or visit.

“A lot of guys in our club have engineering backgrounds, or are doctors, you name it. It’s from all walks of life,” he said. “We all have a passion for aviation.”


Contact Thomas Nelson at 641-753-6611 or tnelson@timesrepublican.com


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