Largest collection of handmade aeroplanes-world
record set by John Kalusa
PRESCOTT, AZ, USA -- The collection of 5,829 miniature
flying machines, each painstakingly carved over a half-century
by John Kalusa sets the world record for the Largest
collection of handmade aeroplanes.
Photo: Using only balsa wood and a razor
blade, John Kalusa crafted every model to an exact
scale of 1/18th inch to 1 foot. The consistent use of the
scale gives every model an accurate size relationship with
all the others. (enlarge
After Kalusa's death in 2003, his family donated
the John W. Kalusa Miniature Aircraft Collection to the Embry-Riddle
Aeronautical University. It is on display on the first
and second floors of the school's new, $2 million library.
Each model is painted with the detailed markings
characteristic of the real aircraft. This required a steady
hand because many of the planes have wingspans of less than
John Kalussa's hobby began in 1936 when, at age
14, he started making World War I models for a battle game.
He put his skills on hold during World War II, when he entered
the service as an aerial photographer and mechanic.
After Kalusa retired from his job as a purchasing
agent with Rocketdyne, he carved and painted an average of
two models a week and continued carving until his death.
Most of his creations are airplanes, ranging from
biplanes to bombers to delta-winged jets. But there also are
hot-air balloons, rockets, experimental flying devices and
Kalusa also drew detailed specification sheets
for each model, giving the full-size dimensions of each aircraft.
All 5,829 records are contained in the library and may be
viewed upon request.
Sunday, October 12, 2008