Creating model airplanes is no ordinary hobby

Airborne

Creating model airplanes is no ordinary hobby, and the aviation aficionados who fashion these labors of love and engineering are no ordinary hobbyists. With a passion for flight and an eye for design, they watch their craftsmanship take wing.

Retired from his manufacturing career, Carl Bachhuber now fills his days pursuing a passion that has burned within for more than 65 years. Like many kids growing up in America during the 1940s and ’50s, Bachhuber built scores of model airplanes, fueled by daydreams of projects yet to come. He embarked on weekly excursions to the local department store with a modest allowance — supplemented with earnings from odd jobs — and, inevitably, an endless series of rubber band-powered airplanes crafted from balsa wood and tissue paper passed across his workbench before their backyard test flights.

Bachhuber’s childhood story is a familiar one, yet he has remained involved with models his entire life, still drawn by the joy of watching his creations take wing. His airplanes are much larger now — and significantly more sophisticated. Each winter, he designs and builds a new model in his Mayville, Wis., workshop. But these are not typical radio-controlled (RC) airplanes. Bachhuber prefers giant, multiengine craft, and the power and reliability of miniature gasoline engines allow his unique creations to span nearly 20 feet at times.

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