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Historic RC plane flies over Michiana

BREMEN, Ind. – A remote control plane on a trip to fly across the continental U.S. made a stop in Michiana on Wednesday evening.

The Wings Across America plane is being flown by radio control clubs in 48 states as part of a journey meant to raise awareness about R.C. flying.  The trip may be serving its purpose if you didn’t already know there’s a small airfield on Quinn Road just outside of Bremen, the field is the home of the South Bend Radio Control Club.

"We're here almost any morning that the wind's not blowing and the sun's shining and almost any evening same thing," described Dave Switzer, the club’s vice-president.

Despite some gusts blowing on Wednesday, the club unpacked the Wings Across America plane from a box covered in signatures and logos from clubs across the country for its flight in Michiana.  The plane has been traveling since 2008 and at the end of its journey will have flown 25,000 miles and hopefully will show some folks how fun and practical remote control flying can be.

"Flying's fun, it teaches you a lot of skills, not only mechanical skills but also just the engineering aerodynamics of flying the plane," Switzer described.  “We've got a link with the Notre Dame Aerospace Engineering class, we help them in the design, building and flying of their test models that they come up with each year."

When the plane finally makes it back to its home base in Virginia it will have been flown by around 450 pilots, including six from the South Bend R.C. Club.

“It's flying not bad for forty a mile gusts, but other than that it's pretty steady," explained Dave Clark as he flew the plane.  "Probably had a lot more stronger winds in California, but Indiana gusts are great."

There were a few crashes as the plane and pilots battled gusting winds, but the plane survived to continue on to the next leg of its trip in Michigan.

The South Bend RC Club will be having an open house at their airfield at 19350 Quinn Road on June 9, anyone interested is invited to attend.

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