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Warbirds and Classics Over the Midwest comes to Fond du Lac

Warbirds and Classics over the midwest draws pilots from across the country
The hyper-realistic planes can take months to years to build
Posted at 6:52 PM, Aug 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-18 19:52:39-04

FOND DU LAC — The remote-controlled model airplane show "Warbirds and Classics over the Midwest" kicked off Thursday in Fond du Lac.

Called "the miniature EAA" by locals, this year, the event attracted over 100 aviation enthusiasts from across the country.

"It covers everything from the start of aviation to modern fighter jets today," organizer Brian Ries said. "So we have true jet turbine engines here flying as well as biplanes and try planes from the early days of flight."

The event focuses on family fun. Pilots line up on the field and interested spectators can ask them questions about their planes.

Chris Gerdes brought his two teenage sons Jacob and Markus to the event. Grebe said the whole family likes to build and fly planes together.

"We go to grandma's, grandpa's house and usually we're rearranging airplanes," Gerdes said. "He'll get them involved and they'll get the glue stuff and hold stuff."

The two kids, now 12 and 14 years old, began building planes when they were only 5 years old.

"Me and Grandpa just handed them the transmitter once in a while and here they are, four feet taller!" Gerdes said.

Pilot Opie Logue drove five hours from Minnesota to attend the event with his flying group "Toad Air."

“It started with some friends of mine years ago, they sold an airplane and the guy said ‘This flies like a toad,'" Logue said.

The pilots can spend years of time and hundreds to thousands of dollars on their planes.

"Some guys spend years building these, some can do two or three in a winter," Logue said.

The event has been in Fond du Lac for 15 years.

"It's really grown quickly," Reis said. "I mean, within a few years, we were up to the 100 pilot range. That's really been cool because it gives the spectators a lot of different planes and people to see. And it's really a camaraderie among the pilots."

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Parking is $10 and food and raffle tickets are available for purchase.

More information can be found on the event's website.

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