Sunday, December 9, 2012

Merry Christmas from George

Master Modeler George Maiorana sends his latest project photos and greetings:

Hi Guys,

The beginning of the holiday season has kept me busy with family and friends.  I've been going over the entire aircraft embossing hatches and doing a lot of work on the cowls.  Here are a few rough pictures to give you an idea of that process. I'll be doing all the rivets soon.  I'm still on track to finish by April.

Best wishes to you and yours this holiday season.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Thanks to a question from Gus Ogushwitz, Harry Heist provides the following report from Dover:


All is well. We were very fortunate compared to the surrounding States. All our airplanes, including the C-45 & Blue Canoe came through OK. The smaller ones were our concern.
Most of Delaware’s damage was to the south with dunes being breached and several roads flooded and a lot of beach sands about.

One gust of wind hit our house about 8 pm during the storm and I thought the roof was coming off. I have no idea its strength. The next morning’s check of the house showed no damage.

I think we all should be concerned with the changing weather patterns. They’ve been radical in Delaware in the past few years. I hear that the experts believe that one contributing cause of Sandy may be due to the warming of the ice cap—who knows.

We all thank you for your concern,


Harry E. Heist II
Air Mobility Command Museum

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy (the storm)

The wind is probably still blowing at Dover (on Monday morning). I hope it won't to to the AMC Museum what the tornado did at Windsor Locks, CT, in 1976.

Giant 133 Model Update

Hi Guys,

I've been plugging along. The tail cone, port stab and wing center section are left to cover.  After all is covered I have to go back and final sand everything and fix any imperfections. Next will be locating and outlining inspection panels and hatches which will be followed by the rivets.

Happy Halloween!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

C-133 Web Site

I've had some issues with the web site. The worst was that, for a while, the site address ended with htm, rather than html. It is back to There is also a new Guest Book. It's not as fancy as the old one but it works.

I'm working on cleaning up the web site and making it a bit spiffier.

Cal Taylor

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Giant 133 Model Update


Finished the cowls, nacelles and some leading edge today. Not much else to say except it's time for a nap!

George Maiorana, Sterling Heights, MI


Words fail me!  I stood at attention and saluted your photos on the computer screen. Photo #3 reminds me oh-so-much of the 1st MAS (ATS) squadron patch (see below). Very proud of you and of your work!
Gus Ogushwitz, Hackettstown, NJ

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Giant 133 Model Update

Hi Guys,

Ten days ago I finished the fuse and began covering the cowls. This morning the cowls are covered.  I'll begin covering the nacelles and update progress when the nacelles are completed (in about two weeks I'm guessing). After the nacelles are covered the wing should go quickly. :-)

Best regards,


I can’t believe the work you are doing on this. Fantastic! 
Harry Heist, Dover, DE

Thanks for taking us on your journey.  When finished, this will be the last operational C-133 on the planet.  Wish I could shrink myself down to 1/16.5 scale and join the mini-aircrew!
Gus Ogushwitz, Hackettstown, NJ

Monday, September 10, 2012

Miss 90536

Carl Trautman wrote a quick little C-133 story for a writing class. He certainly captured why an airplane is like a woman. She doesn't fly any more, but she still tells stories!

Miz Niner-zero-536

By Carl Trautman*
Crew Chief of C-133B 59-0536 at Travis AFB, '67-'68
(aircraft now restored & RIP @ AMC Museum, Dover, DE: see blog header photo above!)

   I’m sitting on parking spot 510 at Travis AFB, California sunning myself. The sun’s warm today, not too hot. It’s much better than last night with all of the fog. It was so cold I thought my props would freeze off. Most people don’t think that airplanes have feelings or thoughts but I do, and Phil, my crew chief, knows it. I have been having problems lately, more than usual because Phil was gone, on leave for 15 Days, I missed him. I don’t know where he went or what he did, but now he’s back and I know he’ll tell me all about it. He talks to me a lot.
   I am a sexy C-133B cargo aircraft, part of the USAF. My name is Miss Niner-Zero-Five-Three-Six, I am 157 feet long, 48 feet high with a 180 foot wingspan, kinda big but Phil calls me “Baby.”
   I recently had a hydraulic pump failure; it wouldn’t pump up to full pressure, 3000 PSI. My number three engine wouldn’t reach full power; I have four engines. The people from the engine and prop shops thought my prop was bad, they changed it twice.
   I tried to tell them, “It’s the engine!”
   Then I got really frustrated and blew it up, seized it up solid. That hurt, but they were messing around too much. The hydraulic shop mechanic tried to replace my pump and twisted two of my pipes. “Ouch!”
I hate it when these new mechanics mess around, sometimes they hurt me.
    Now, though, Phil is back. He changed my pump, fixed my twisted pipes, supervised my engine change, inspected me all over and changed my sore tire. I was so frustrated I didn’t even know I had a sore tire. He also polished my doors and cleaned my windows.
   He rubs me so gently, caresses my skin and talks to me, I just go limp, and he never hurts me. Now I am all fixed up and ready for the mission.
   Tonight I will be towed to the 200 area. Tomorrow morning at 1:00 AM, I’ll be loaded with 44,200 pounds of cargo.
   At 2:00 AM, I’ll get 38,600 pounds of fuel, a crew of five and their baggage. The pilot will start my engines and taxi me to the two-mile long concrete runway.
   At 3:00 AM, he’ll push my engines to full power, release my brakes and turn me loose. I’ll charge down the runway till I get to 180 knots, jump into the sky, climb out, bank west and head for Hickam AFB, Hawaii.
   I sometimes think I was born to fly, ya’ know.
   I’ll haul the fuel, cargo, crew and Phil to Hickam not letting anything bad happen to them. I’ll get them there safely. That’s my job!
   Oh, I think along the way I’ll break a tachometer so Phil can fix it. He’ll remove it, replace it with the spare one, position it, mark it with his grease pencil, pat me on my bulkhead and say, “There you go Baby, all fixed up.”
   I love it when he pats my bulkhead and talks to me. He may even wash my crew lounge seats. That feels so wonderful.
    Wow! 3:00 AM. I can’t wait.


Carl Trautman was born in Oakland, CA in January 1944. He migrated to northern California in 1948. His parents were going and he felt that they needed someone to accompany them and keep them out of trouble. There he grew up on a 35-acre ranch where his father and grandfather, as business partners, grew peaches, almonds and walnuts. 

As a young man he spent many hours hunting and shooting, which in 1964 when he entered the USAF, contributed to his winning an Expert Marksmanship Ribbon in Basic training with a .30cal M1, and later in 1966, the Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with an M16 on Guam, Mi. He graduated with Honors from B-47 school, Amarillo AFB, TX in December 1964, and with Honors from C-133B school at Travis AFB, CA in 1965. He was an Aircraft mechanic in the 601st OMS and the Crew Chief of C-133B, 59-0536, from June 1967 until July 1968 when he left the USAF. 

Immediately after his tour of duty, Carl enrolled as an Electronic Engineering student in Chicago, IL, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Phoenix, AZ in 1970, then moved back to California. After two small jobs, he landed an R&D position with Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto,  in 1972, where he worked until retiring 31 years later in 2003.

He currently resides in Sunnyvale, Ca. taking writing classes at Senior Centers in and around San Jose. Carl has been published many times under the pen name philomel. Phil is a main character in much of his fictional writing. The pen name, philomel, which is never capitalized, means a Nightingale, a bird which sings at night and all night.

His favorite writer is Samuel Langhorne Clemens—Mark Twain.

"I am working on a book which will probably be an anthology if I ever complete it. It will be about My Four-in-the-Corp.rather than all C-133B."  Carl Trautman


Bill Neely, Lexington, SC

I really liked Carl's story as it captured the feeling we had then and now for this bird that took us around the world. We were a small group of USAF personnel with a large mission to perform. And, we did it with dignity for all. Let's hear more from Carl and his writing about those times.
Rick Spencer, Frankford, DE.

I like the lipstick on the airplane, cute!
Bill Arnold, Maumelle, AR 

This is cute, but a crew of 5?  What happened to the other engineer and loadmaster?  As for fog, I think he should have used Dover. Very little fog at Travis.
Jim Mitchell, West Sacramento, CA

No fog at Travis?! That's where the term "Tule fog" originated.
Cal Taylor, Olympia, WA 

*Note: Tule fog ( /ˈtuːliː/) is a thick ground fog that settles in the San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento Valley areas of California's Great Central Valley. Tule fog forms during the late fall and winter (California's rainy season) after the first significant rainfall. The official time frame for tule fog to form is from November 1 to March 31. This phenomenon is named after the tule grass wetlands (tulares) of the Central Valley. Accidents caused by the tule fog are the leading cause of weather-related casualties in California.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Giant 133 Model Update

Good morning,

This picture will give you an idea of how the panel contrast disappears after it is wet sanded with 400 grit. I should be done sanding the fuse in a week and then begin covering the wing.

Have a great day,


What a massive project! There are some tech-orders in our museum library and I believe both the -1 and the 1-1. This is so beautiful, I think I would be afraid to fly it. I hope some day to see it.
Sandy Sandstrom, Lewes, DE

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

George's Flite-Metal Process

What you see in the pictures (scroll down to last post) is the aluminum applied in separate panels. The contrast between panels in not planned, but rather just the way the panels are cut from the sheet to minimize waste of the Flite-Metal. After it is completely covered, I have to sand the entire airframe and that will remove the contrast between panels and give an over all finish as if it had been cut from a single block of aluminum. Then I have to apply the rivets followed by an application of black acrylic paint that gets rubbed into the rivets and creates a weathered look (dull) to the aluminum.

I know it looks as if it is on the production line, but the ultimate goal is to have it look weathered to match 62008 as she sits in the museum. If I had been standing outside the factory as she was rolled out for the first time, I could have taken pictures of a shiny new 62008, and the model would pose different challenges in it's finish.

I have three other models covered with the aluminum, and the finish remains the same over the years. The biggest problem is that the aluminum is very soft and is prone to "hangar rash".  The models could have been painted and achieved the same results with the finish but there would be no way to apply the rivets to the paint, which is why I cover them with aluminum and emboss the rivets.


Comments on George's Model:

Nice model.  Would like to see it fly.  Would look good in the museum when it’s done.
(So, whadaya say, George? The people say, put the model in your will to the AMC Museum in Dover?)
Bill Arnold, Maumelle, AR

That is really impressive.  His attention to detail is superb.  Wow!
Jack Slocombe, Groveland, CA

Jack: As George's models are of museum quality they look better in the air. And fly great!
David Pinegar, George's Pilot!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Giant 133 Model Upate

The latest from Master Modeler, George Maiorana! Thank you, George! Outstanding! Have a nice Holiday Break, then keep up the good work!

Remember folks! This puppy (to be 62008) is 9.5' long, and will FLY (with electric motors)!

Monday, August 13, 2012

George Maiorana; Master Modeler

George lives in, and has spent most of his life in SE Michigan, born in 1942, joined the USAF in January, 1962; spent a year at Lackland in electronics training to become a Crypto System Equipment Repairman; then on operational assignment at Fuchu Air Station in Japan until separation in January, 1966 at Travis AFB; then 27 year career at Xerox back in Michigan until early retirement to raise a family of five kids, now with five grandkids, and became a "full time" airplane modeler. Google George Maiorana for lots of info and pictures of his modeling competition.

Here's his own story of his current FLYING C-133 project (to become 62008):

Model scale:  1:16.5  length 9.45'  wingspan 10.78'  tail height 2.92'  prop diameter 13.09"

Yep, it's big.  I'm just starting to realize how far out of hand the project has gotten :-) 

You don't have to be crazy to do this.....but it helps!

After 4 years of working on this model I feel like I know it inside and out. Amazing aircraft, but I never got a chance to get inside a real one yet.
I'm doing 62008 because I have all the documentation to make it a contest model.  Contest work is a challenge and has a lot of rules about documenting the plane chosen.

Back in 2001 I was at the National Museum (WPAFB) with my modeling buddy, Skip Mast.  Skip had been modeling a C-130 for 10 years and competing in world class competition with it (another story). 62008 was parked outside on the ramp at that time so I shot over a hundred pictures of it and we decided to model it. Skip's wife came down with a medical problem so we had to scrap the idea. 

Meanwhile, to keep busy I began work on my Chinese Tu-4. The C-133 project got lost in the shuffle. After the Chinese Tu-4, I began the Tu-95 project. After flying the Tu-95 in a couple of contests in 2008, the economy was well into it's tank.  Being stuck at home (cash flow problems) I was itching to do something different (i.e. not modeled before) and the only documentation I had for a model was the C-133. The C-133 met all my criteria for a model project. A few days spent on sizing it and I was sure it would fly (the determining factor was if the nacelle size to house the motors didn't make the model too large) . So I began. Time is cheap, as are the dollars for materials.

Below is my first project (1997) after retirement. It was powered with 4 OS 40 Four Strokes.  Died on it's 7th flight when #4 quit. That's when I went to electric motors for power.

And that's the story. Enjoyed every moment! 

George Maiorana, Sterling Heights, MI

Thank you for the comments received by e-mail:

Thanks, I look at the blog every day (Yeay, Gus!) and so had already read the item.

I had the privilege of doing some computer simulations for George to confirm his expectation that the model C-133 will fly.  I used a program, AERO*COMP, that I wrote in the early 1990's.  AERO*COMP includes all the relevant physics of flight for electric-powered models.  Would you like me to prepare a brief writeup to be posted on the blog? (Yes! Stay tuned!)
Paul "Gus" Ogushwitz, Hackettstown, NJ


It looks like a winner! The cockpit area and the radome look like the real thing. Thanks for sharing!
Marty Lavin, Monterey, TN

Nice to see the interest in the old bird!
Bill Arnold, Maumelle, AR

Between Dover and Travis I flew the "Weenie Wagon" for eight years. The model looks great. Install plenty of horsepower!
Ed Levine, Sacramento, CA

Cool!  Even has the belly bands!  Hope his model has better thrust to weight engines than the original!  Thanks for sending.
Bud Traynor, Fairfax, VA


I was eight years old in 1958 when my dad was stationed at Dover AFB working in aircraft maintenance as a "Line Chief". One summer night while working the graveyard shift after weeks of pestering him to take me with him, he somehow worked it out so I could go. To this day I'm still not sure it was legal, but anyway I was in for the time of my life. He was in charge of readying a C-133 for a flight the next day and when all the work was done he had to do a "Taxi" run which consisted of testing the engines at over half throttle (I think) and then taking it down the runway to just below liftoff speed, then shutting it down and bringing it back for another once over ( he wasn't allowed to take it off the ground). I got to be on that ride. Scared the !@#$ out of me. I could see rivets turning in their holes! The noise was almost unbearable! There is no other plane in my opinion that makes that noise, even a C-130 doesn't match it. I was in a few more after that but never again while it was alive. To build a model as your doing I'm sure is a great thrill. Don't give up - MAKE IT FLY!
John Williams, Canon City, CO

NOTE: Be sure to scroll down to review other related comments and photos of George's project posted the past week. And notice the Hit Counter has jumped about 600 Hits during that period. Let us know more comments by clicking on Comments at the bottom of any post, or send by e-mail to

Friday, August 10, 2012

Model Maker!

George Maiorana's model (but not actually George)

Maiorana Model Specs

Not something to put in the back seat!

C-133 specs

  Prototype                   Model         at 1:16.5 scale

Wing Span                   179’6”                129.36”           10.78 ft

Length                          157’6”                113.4”                 9.45 ft

Height                          48’9”                   35.1”                   2.92 ft

Prop                             18’0”                    13.09”

Wing Area                   1481 sq ft            10.28 sq ft

As with my other 3 electric models I will be using MaxCim 13Y motors and home made 13/10 CF props. The C-133 will be using 5 cell packs. Static tests show almost 5 # of thrust.  The plane will weigh in about 35# and 20# of static will be plenty.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Labor of love

George Maiorana gave me more info on covering his C-133 model with metal. In his own words:

The FM application process is multi-layered. First, figure out where all the panel lines should be. Then 400 wet sand the FM on a sheet of glass (1x2 feet), cut each panel out and apply it to the fuse. After covering the entire fuse (or wing etc) the entire surface has to be wet sanded again to remove any "orange peel" caused by the adhesive. Next will come the rivets and then all the markings. I'll be at it all winter long. The Tu-95 took 7 months to do the process. The C-133 has a fuse diameter twice that of the 95.Yikes!
Yep, "You don't have to be crazy but it helps".

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Model Progress

George Maiorana is starting to cover his super-scale C-133 with Flite Metal. That will take about a week. Then, he will emboss it with hundreds of rivets. With the help of lots of C-133 folks, he figured the size and location of the sextant port. This will be a wonderful thing to see, when it flies.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

B Model, S/N 90524

Unusual photo angles from Cal Taylor; photos by Tim Mathers; probably at Travis, pre-1966.

I sent these to George Maiorana, to help him make his HUGE C-133 model as accurate as possible. A whole bunch of people have been giving him info. No ETIC for first flight but it will truly be an event to remember.     Cal Taylor             August 5, 2012 12:49 PM


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mini-Reunion Photo Album #3

Here's the "event collection" taken on 11 June 2012 at the AMC Museum, Dover, DE: Click on the 1st photo for a full-screen view, then advance through the 38 photos by clicking on the enlarged photo, OR on the next one in the strip at the bottom.

Update Note: BY THE WAY, you can download any individual thumbprint (small version) photo by clicking on it, hold it and drag it to your desktop. Then it's yours, to put on Facebook or whatever...

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