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Fun in Any Scale

EAA Photos by Jim Busha and Hal Bryan

August 25, 2016 - On Friday, August 19, several EAA staffers spent the afternoon immersed in RC models at Warbirds and Classics Over the Midwest, an annual event held at Wellnitz Field near Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Wellnitz Field features a putting-green smooth grass runway that’s 1,320 feet long and 280 feet wide, and is the home of the event’s hosts, the Fond du Lac Aeromodelers Association, an AMA-chartered club.  

This was the 10th annual Warbirds and Classics show, an event that’s grown into a four-day affair featuring nearly 400 aircraft, 150 pilots, and as many as 3,000 spectators. Unlike the FDLAA’s other annual event, the Robert Wellnitz Memorial Air Show, Warbirds and Classics has a specific focus, as the name implies. Flying aircraft are restricted to giant-scale warbirds and vintage aircraft, as well as turbine-powered (read: jet) models of any size, as long as they sport military liveries from any era.

Of the hundreds of airplanes along the flightline, classic fighters were well represented with meticulously detailed Corsairs, Mustangs, Focke-Wulfs, Hellcats, and scores of P-47 Thunderbolts. A classic F-9F Cougar and a giant A-10 Thunderbolt II were among the jets that wowed the crowd with their speed, maneuverability, and real “turbine whine.”

While there’s no single star at an event like this, Carl Bachhuber of Mayville, Wisconsin, certainly deserves mention for his massive 1/12-scale B-36, not to mention his enormous 1/5-scale Sikorsky S-43. Bachhuber somehow scratchbuilds a new airplane every year, and, as disparate as they are, they have three things in common: They’re multiengine, they’re types whose full-scale counterparts either fly only rarely, or don’t fly at all, and, of course, they are gigantic. No matter what he’s building and flying – rumor has it that a Northrop F-15 Reporter will be next out of his shop – Bachhuber’s remarkable workmanship makes it clear that the worlds of EAA and AMA have an awful lot in common.


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