Air Supremacy Over Goshen

Air Supremacy Over Goshen Returns June 27-29!

Published April 2024

Chuck Hamilton
Chuck Hamilton

Founder – Air Supremacy Over Goshen (ASOG)

ASOG a chance for Hamilton to share the thrill of model aircraft and R/C flying

I’m originally from New Buffalo, Michigan—near Lake Michigan—and a lot of folks there are really into fishing. I remember being on my friend’s family boat and being literally up to my knees in perch. That was not my favorite thing, nor was that certain time of year when all the kids in the neighborhood would be throwing dead alewives from the beach at each other.

That wasn’t my thing. I was looking to go fast, and I was a dirt bike enthusiast for a lot of my younger years…

I’ve spent most of my adult life in South Bend and Lakeville, but I have this interesting connection with the City of Goshen because of the Air Supremacy Over Goshen event that I organize. This is a family-friendly Remote Control Airshow, June 27-29, featuring hand-crafted, highly detailed, scale aircraft.

This year is the 12th year of the event, but the past seven or eight years, since we moved the event to the Goshen Municipal Airport, it’s really come into its own. Since then, ASOG has turned into a national event with a lot of appeal for R/C enthusiasts, and, also, a pretty substantial reach on social media.

Finding the right fit in Goshen

There were times early on with this event, before we moved to Goshen, when hosting facilities would reach out to us in preparation of a show—sometimes at the last minute—with questions like, ‘What can you live without?’ I knew we’d found a home for this event in Goshen when Goshen officials were asking me things like, “What else do you need to make this even better?”

Then-mayor (Jeremy) Stutsman was so helpful and supportive in our coming here, the current Mayor’s Office lends its support, and the Goshen Parks Department even came through in providing bleachers for the event. It’s very rare to see this type of event happen at a full-scale airport, and it speaks to the capacity of the facility and its coordinators and operators. It’s also a tribute to Randy Sharkey, the airport manager in Goshen, who saw our vision and understood what we were trying to do.

Air Supremacy Over Goshen
Air Supremacy Over Goshen
R/C operators at ASOG
GCFC Community Engagement
Henrique and Paige Eichenberger
Goshen City FC

Photos courtesy of Air Supremacy Airshows, Inc.

Not your grandad’s model airplane

Model planes, in the old days, were built to last about a year, but the aircraft at ASOG are not the model airplanes your grandad used to work on. The aircraft featured in our shows are purpose-built, finely-engineered, mini replicas of military and classic aircraft from the period of 1914 to the present day.

Our planes are mostly quarter-scale model airplanes—12 to 16 feet and, typically, with an 80-inch wingspan or larger—that are essentially ‘handcrafted museum pieces’ and employ all the same technology and systems used by the military.

The demonstrations feature aircraft from World Wars I and II, jets, and multi-engine aircraft, and the pilots at this event are some of the most talented builders, designers, and R/C operators in the country. Each day has a full itinerary of events and there will be all sorts of food vendors on site. There may even be a full-scale fly-by or two.

Model air shows offer more interaction

One thing folks often don’t realize is that R/C and model air shows like this one offer a lot more interaction and access for those in attendance. Not only is it a lot of fun to view these replicas from the ground, and easier to see the in-flight action—because folks can be closer to them—people also have the opportunity to visit the pits and meet the pilots and chat with them. That sort of thing doesn’t happen at a full-scale air show.

Our model pilots come from a variety of places and professional backgrounds, but some of them are actual, working pilots who fly full-scale airplanes. I think some of them appreciate flying model aircraft even more, because there’s a greater sense of accomplishment flying the model crafts. Modern full-scale airplanes are so computerized these days; some pilots feel more connected to quarter-scale models.

ASOG brings back memories, fosters pride

People are often mesmerized at our shows, and I’ve had situations where people recognized an aircraft from their early days. About three or four years ago we had an older couple at a show, and the woman recognized a model Republic P-47. The full-scale Republic P-47 was made in Evansville, Indiana, and it turns out this woman was actually a Fairy Pilot, which was someone who used to fly planes like that as a transporter. She met with the builder of that aircraft for two hours, just totally engaged and wrapped up in memories.

Another thing that’s interesting is that a lot of our pilots—who come from all over the country, and Canada—have just absolutely fallen in love with Goshen and this area in general. They’ll bring their wives and families, and plan family trips around this event. Often our pilots and their extended crews stay here and camp out in RVs for this event. They’ll take time to go shopping for furniture, get their RVs serviced—or even buy new ones.

There are eight or nine other events like this one in the Midwest and I did a survey, and almost everyone I surveyed said that if they had to choose just one of these events to go to every year it would be the Goshen event.

I’m proud that the event has grown this much. My dad was a part of The Greatest Generation, and I used to go with him to the flying fields. This is a way for me to stay connected to my dad, and to stay connected to that generation that did so much to secure the freedom we enjoy today. Aviation has played a big role in our country’s success, and I do this because it’s important to me to try and keep those memories of yesteryear alive.

Air Supremacy Over Goshen, June 27-29 at the Goshen Municipal Airport, 17229 C.R. 42, Goshen, is a three-day, family-friendly Remote Control Airshow featuring hand-crafted, highly detailed scale aircraft, food vendors, and hobby vendors. The event, presented by Air Supremacy Airshows, Inc. and sanctioned by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Admission for adults is $10 and the event is free for veterans and active military personnel with a military ID, and also for children under 12 accompanied by a paid adult. For more information about Air Supremacy Over Goshen, please visit https://www.airsupremacyairshows.com/air-supremacy.html.

 

Written by Jake Sandock