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START HERE NMPRA Hall Of Fame Inductee - 2015

Dennis O'Brien
began flying model airplanes around 1952 and gas powered models around 1953, which included C/L and R/C.

He began Pylon racing in 1973, with "Ugly Stiks" and quickly delved into Formula-1, racing the same year. He raced Q-500 from its inception and was in and out of FAI throughout the 70s and again briefly in the early 2000s. He flew Q/M-.15 from its inception and continued with Formula-1 until it faded and then began Q/M .40. He has flown EF-1 since its NATS introduction and still participates today.

Dennis has won or finished in the top five in such contests as the Tangerine International, the Silver Cup Series, the NMPRA Championship Races, and the Nationals numerous times, as well as setting fast time. He has won and set fast time at more district races than I can remember.

During the "beauty contests" of the Formula-1 days, he consistently won "Most outstanding aircraft" awards and upped the bar for best finish awards with multiple color paint schemes, including murals and real gold leaf lettering.

When "FMPRA" (Florida Miniature Pylon Racing Association) became current SEMPRA, which now encompassed all territory contained in District 7, (1975 as I recall), Dennis served as SEC./TREAS. for the first two presidents.

Dennis created the name and began overseeing "The ELEVENTH LAP," the SEMPRA newsletter, as it still is today. He served as SEMPRA president, and therefore District 7 VP for NMPRA in 1980. He was the CD for Tangerine International for over 10 years. And was the host for the TANGERINE PARTY for longer than that! He wrote articles covering championship contests from the 70s and 80s which appeared in such magazines as "Model Builder" and "American Aircraft modeler." He has written numerous newsletter articles addressing engine builds, engine care, fuel system preparation, Monokote covering, gearing up racers, engine break-in, engine needling for racing, and "how to avoid no-starts.” Dennis always brings racing supplies to all district races to supply the racers and to the NATIONALS to supply all contestants. He always helps with installation or suggestions as needed. His biggest contribution to Pylon is taking the time to help those that ask for it, particularly the "new guy.” I know that it could have been the difference between someone getting frustrated and quitting Pylon racing OR continuing on and learning to enjoy the sport. If Dennis does find something that helps enhance performance (and it’s legal!) or makes building or flying a racer easier or more consistent, he will be the first to share that info.

He has donated engines for the "Cliff Telford Memorial Scholarship Fund Raffle” every year and donated engines for the F3D raffles.

Dennis once said: “What means more to me than anything else is to watch the number of people that I have helped in racing excel in the sport, and remain in the sport simply because a little help from me at their beginning (or whenever they have asked for assistance), may have been the difference between quitting, or continuing to race. I don't like to get beat racing, and no real racer does, but to watch one that I helped along suddenly wax my behind gives me a good feeling. The thanks that I have gotten, and friendships that I have developed from 42 years of pylon racing, (my God, I wonder how many laps that adds up to!!) is good enough for me.

Dennis’s single biggest contribution to the sport of Pylon racing is his ability to help and foster others. Dennis not only donates his time and money to our cause, but he also donates his talents. His ability to skillfully and beautifully finish and prepare models has set the standard for all of us to strive for. Dennis is an elite competitor and an outstanding human being who has a huge heart and truly cares about our sport and our competitors.

Submitted by Jack and Matthew Fehling, Tom Scott, Ray Brown and Dub Jett

Dennis With Formula 1 Racer

Dennis With EF1 Racer

Dennis After Winning Q500 Nationals

Dennis Inspecting Engines At F3D Team Trial