Unique air show features planes of all sizes | News

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Unique air show features planes of all sizes


(NEWS CENTER) -- Air shows almost always bring out large audiences -- but have you ever seen a crowd go wild for a model airplane, and a pilot with a remote control?

It happened Sunday at the Maine Jet Rally and Model Expo at the Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport at the annual air show.

The Maine Jet Rally has been bringing in professional pilots to perform for nearly 20 years. Three years ago, organizers decided to broaden the experience, and bring in model-makers.

"We want to introduce modeling in a way that's not really done any place else," said organizer Ray Labonte, from Ray and Robin's Hobby Center.

People can learn how to fly different types of model airplanes and set off rockets. They can watch professional pilots fly model jets and helicopters -- and of course, watch full-scale airplanes, too.

"Modeling is a great way to get young people involved in aviation," said pilot Matt Chapman, one of the headliners of the air show.

Chapman said his first exposure to aviation was with model airplanes. He started attending air shows, and later, took flight lessons.

"Now I've been an airline pilot for 27 years, but I always come back to modeling," said Chapman.

Organizers say the Maine Jet Rally typically draws a crowd of at least 15 thousand people throughout the weekend.


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