The 2008 M.A.R.S. Winter Swap was held Sunday at the Mars VFW Sunday January 20th.
Venders began set up at 7 AM with bargain hunters arriving at 8 AM. Items for sale ran the gambit from RTF and ARF large scale models to small aircraft, kits for builder, radios and accessories.

01/20/08 - M.A.R.S. ANNUAL WINER SWAP MEET - Early
01/20/08 – M.A.R.S. ANNUAL WINER SWAP MEET – Early

Luke’s R/C was there with a nice selection of electric supplies and aircraft. Donuts, pop and hot dogs were served up for the hungry. 

Two items had my interest. The first was a Sig Smith Mini-plane. The Smith is a scale model of a home built biplane from the 50’s. The model has a wingspan of around 48 inches, with a 40 – 46 2 stroke engine recommended (can be taken to the field in about any car fully assembled) and is known for its roll rate.

Sig is still producing this kit after 20 + years.  The one for sale at the swap meet was framed up with an asking price of $35 dollars. Not a bad deal.

01/20/08 - M.A.R.S. ANNUAL WINER SWAP MEET - Tom Mekis, a member of the BAM's at his table waiting for customers
01/20/08 – M.A.R.S. ANNUAL WINER SWAP MEET – Tom Mekis, a member of the BAM’s at his table waiting for customers

The second item was an Ace RC 4-120 Bipe.  Ace came out with a series of sport aircraft designed for the early 4 stroke engines. The 4 series aircraft were light with large high lift wings. The 4-60 monoplanes, with its 72 inch wing, were large and graceful but not for someone who has a need for speed. The 4-120 bipes was already framed up. I have a soft spot for biplanes.

My interest in these aircraft was because they were bipes and because their air frames were nearly complete. My biggest objection to ARF’s is that 98% are not offered in a Ready to cover version.  That’s a subject for another forum.

Other then bargain hunting the biggest activity was hanger talk.Conversations about various modeling subjects from engines to the pro and cons of various aircraft types could be over heard in all corners of the hall.

I Also had a talk with a flyer from Fairmont West Virginia about the activities in his area.


An interesting conversation was with the President and VP of the Skylarks of Sharon whose swap meet is the last Sunday of March. They fly control line on a regular basis. They split the time at their field between RC and control line flying. I will be visiting their field sometime in the spring to see how it all works.

Another interesting piece of information to come from that conversation is that Rodex will be held in Carmichaels in Greene County PA this year. According to these gentlemen, Rodex is a control line contest bigger than NATS and is 5-6 days of control line flying.

I will be contacting them and getting the details for our calendar of events.

Clubs with swap meets might look into providing areas and displays to promote hanger flying as a way of raising attendance.