It is big. That is the first impression, and it is undeniable. It is the biggest model airplane I have ever seen. Is it the biggest model airplane in the world? Reportedly not, but a brief search reveals the all-knowing internet is thoroughly confused on that point. It is, well, big. And impressive.
How big is it? It is a 1/9th scale B-36, with a wingspan of 26 feet. It was built by James Pappas in his mother’s attic in 1952, at the same time Convair was building the real thing at Fort Worth. Think about 1952 for a minute – no CAD, no scale plans, no internet, no fancy tools. A drill, a saw, a miter box, and a whole lot of Balsa. The model was built to a flying standard, but there is debate about whether it was ever actually flown. The story of the model is here: http://www.rchalloffame.org/Exhibits/Exhibit41/index.html
Last week Ed Crotty of the RC Hall of Fame donated the model to the Academy of Model Aeronautics in Muncie, Indiana. I went along to help move the model, which was a bit of an adventure!