Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Model Airplane Park

Well, here’s something I didn’t know existed and didn’t realize we’d enjoy so much: A public model airplane park. Go figure.

The David A. Waymer Aeromodular Flying Field is a miniature runway on a giant field in Huntersville. This space, run by Charlotte Mecklenburg Parks and Rec, is used primarily by model airplane enthusiasts and clubs (there are rules for flying your craft), but is free and open to the public. Just be mindful of the spectator zones so as not to interfere with aircrafts and their pilots.

I know very little about remote controlled airplanes, but was amazed at the models we caught on display and in flight. There is a large, covered “hangar” with picnic tables for constructing and tweaking the planes before they take to the skies. This is a fun area for an up-close look at some amazingly ornate to-scale crafts, like a miniature version of an American Airlines passenger plane or a really fancy-looking fighter jet. Drones and helicopters are also allowed.

When you get to the field, park in a gravel lot and make your way past a short fence to the gathering area. On the right is the runway and flying field, offset by the spectator fence, and to the left are two giant paved flight circles for tethered crafts. Straight ahead is the covered hangar and a porta-potty.

The regulars we spoke with told us that you can usually find at least a handful of pilots and model plane enthusiasts most weekend days and through the week when the weather's nice.

If you want to tack some playtime onto this trip, the David B. Waymer Park with playground equipment is on your right about a mile before you hit the airfield.

Until now, my general working knowledge of model airplanes was mostly limited to the paper variety. But I can enthusiastically endorse an outing to this venue. You might find a new hobby -- or, at least, enjoy an afternoon of it.

How to get there: David B. Waymer Aeromodeller Flying Field is located at 15401 Holbrooks Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078.

Don't forget to take:
  • Hats, sunscreen and sunglasses: There is very little shade at this park.
  • Water and a snack or picnic lunch: This is the perfect place to have a bite to eat while you watch.
  • Blanket or stadium chairs: Seating is minimal, but you can also stand along the fence.

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