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

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