LAKELAND, Fla. - Men from as far away as Japan and El Salvador are flying into Lakeland this weekend to put planes into the sky.
The 12 O’Clock High remote controlled planes event draws a big crowd from across the globe.
“The reward is when you take it out there and see it fly for the first time,” said local participant Mike Zellars. “It’s such a neat thing. There are so many phases of it.”
The event is supposed to celebrate six decades of military aviation. The R/C planes depict aircraft styles from as far back as World War I.
“I have been building model planes since I was seven years old. I’m now 73,” said Land O’Lakes resident Jim Slaughter. “Just the love of my life.”
Admission to see the to-scale model planes is $10. Children 12 and under free. So is parking. The event is held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Paradise Field on the south side of the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.
“12 O’Clock High is a flying and display history of military aviation. Nostalgia and history are centerpieces of this event, but the pilots flying their radio control scale aircraft are the real excitement for both participants and spectators”, said event promoter Frank Tiano.
The plane styles that will be on display:
WWI: Newport’s, Spad’s, Fokker’s, Sopwith’s
WWII: P-51s, Spitfire’s, Corsair’s, P-47’s, SNJ’s & AT6’s
Korean War: Skyraiders, F-86’s, A26’s, C47’s, Panther’s