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Warbirds & Classic model planes taking flight in annual airshow

Local News

13th Annual Airshow bringing model airplanes to life

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WFRV) – A few pretty small planes are going to be making plenty of noise in Fond du Lac this weekend.

Thousands are expected to gather for the Warbirds & Classics Over the Midwest Airshow and watch model planes reach for the sky.

“It’s an obsession,” says Dave Bhend from Chippewa Falls. “People ask me, ‘How many airplanes do you have?’ I brought six of them with me to this show.”

For Bhend and his wife Chris, flying model airplanes is more than just a hobby. Sure, their feet might still be on the ground but the models provide just as much of an adrenaline rush.

“When I moved back home to Chippewa, I wasn’t flying full-scale airplanes anymore and I wanted to fly something,” said Bhend. “This was as close as I could come. Got my hands on the sticks and away we go!”

Pilots, like Dave, and non-pilots alike gather at Wellnitz Field to be one with the sky. The Fond du Lac Aeromodelers Association has been hosting the event for 13 years. It’s made by warbird enthusiasts, for warbird enthusiasts.

“It’s a place where they can get together and fly,” said Doug Woolridge, Event Coordinator for Warbirds & Classics Airshow. “We don’t really do any competing, everyone comes out here to fly and have some fun. We’ve got people from all over coming to this event, bringing some very large model airplanes and some absolutely gorgeous airplanes.”

And it keeps them coming back for more.

“It’s very, definitely a learning and teaching hobby and that’s part of the fulfillment of the whole thing- is the involvement,” says Bhend. “We see the kids here and they’re flying and a lot of the kids who get involved in this hobby end up in full-scale aviation. So it’s really a special hobby.”

The Warbirds & Classics Airshow runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. You can find more information on the event’s website right here.

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