A wooden model of the Fairchild P-19 basic trainer aircraft (#34). Powered by an inline engine, this was used as a primary trainer in WWII. It was used “pre-solo” with an instructor in the second seat as an introductory aircraft before moving on to a more advanced trainer. The plane’s plywood covered wings created maintenance problems in hot climates like Florida and Texas where it was used, sometimes requiring replacement after only three months.
This aircraft model was made by former Air Force pilot Ralph Sarosi. Ralph flew a large number of different aircraft over his career, from a P-51 after WWII to fighter jets. He flew chase planes when the Space Shuttle landed at Edwards AFB, so his career spanned from propellers to spacecraft. Mr. Sarosi’s aircraft models are carved from wood and expertly painted. They were purchased and collected by R/C flyer Joe Bridi, who eventually donated them to the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum where they are now on display.