model airplanes

Airport Valentines + Miniature Airplanes + More

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and airports and airlines are getting to land some love.

In Las Vegas, the pop-up marriage license bureau is back at the Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) to help streamline the uptick in weddings that take place in Sin City around Valentine’s Day.

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) will once again be handing out hundreds of red, pink, and white carnations to passengers on Valentine’s Day. Look for the PHL Volunteer Navigator team starting at 10 am in Terminal AEast and F.

At PHL, Philadelphia artist Carole Loeffler will also be onsite Valentine’s Day handing out hundreds of her hand-cut red felt hearts bearing rolled messages of love. Her HeartFelt giveaways will occur from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, across from the food court located between Terminals B and C.

Big Flying Things Made Very Small in Seattle

Seattle’s Museum of Flight will be hosting one of the world’s largest displays of model planes, cars, tanks, ships, figures, sci-fi, and more during the 2023 NorthWest Scale Modelers Show on Feb. 18-19. Special exhibits include models celebrating Black History Month and the animated world of Gundam.

The event is all weekend and is free with admission to the Museum.

Plenty of Super Bowl Swag at Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l Airport

And if you’re headed to the Big Game in person, it looks like you’ll have no problem finding swag to show your support for your favorite team.

Pilot passed out at Westchester County Airport

Update: March 19, 2013

After writing the post below about the pilot passed out in the model airplane at New York’s Westchester County Airport, I received this note from the airport administration:

Thank you for your “heads up” in discovering the pilot sitting in the Piper Cub in our departure lounge appears to be in an unconscious state. That poor soul has been at the controls since 1994.

The good news is that a Piper Cub is an easy aircraft to fly and in fact it has a reputation for almost being able to fly without a pilot.

This spring we will be installing more efficient lighting in the departure lounge and we will be sure to check on Ol’ Charlie and wake him up!

Sincerely, Airport Administration

Westchester County Airport

Original post:

I have a special place in my heart for New York’s tiny Westchester County Airport – also known as White Plains Airport – because it was the airport closest to my home town and over the years has had a bit role in many major events in my life.

The airport is served by six airlines and has one security checkpoint and one gate hold area serving all the airlines and their flights. Amenity-wise, there’s a coffee shop with terrible coffee, a bar, a full service restaurant that looks out over the airfield, an outdoor observation deck and, finally, a good cell signal and free Wi-Fi.

There are also several large model airplanes hanging in the airport, including one that hangs directly over the airport’s gate-hold area that always makes me chuckle and, sometimes (depending on what sort of family visit it has been) cry.

That’s because for years now – perhaps more than twenty – the pilot in the front seat of the model plane is clearly passed out and slumped forward over the controls.


I’m usually at the White Plains airport on a Sunday afternoon when there are no officials around who can explain why no one gets out a ladder, climbs up there and saves the pilot.

But I hope that someday they do.

“Tales of an Unknown Aviator” at Portland Int’l Airport

An exhibition of “Tales of an Unknown Aviator,” a photo series by Julian Hibbard and Demetrious Noble, is now at Portland International Airport.

The photos are of a series of model planes made to look both life-like and model-like, constructed by Chilean artist Luis Greenhill using recycled materials, including historic photographs and vintage encyclopedia sets, photographed by Hibbard and digitized by Noble.

The project documents a collection of palm-sized French, Italian, Polish, Japanese, German, Russian, English and American model planes from the World War I & II (1914 – 1945) originally made by an elderly man in Southern Chile.

“Like objects glimpsed in a dream, the model planes have been photographed and then digitally treated in away that further blurs the line between fact and fiction. Seen as a whole, the project speaks of time, nostalgia, memory, simulacra, repetition, intervention, layering, courage, loss, sacrifice and the nature of conflict,” is the way the project is described on Demetrious Noble’s website, which displays 20 of the images.

If you can, go see this special photo series at Portland International Airport in the Concourse Connector before the end of June 2013. In the meantime, see them online.

(Images by Demestrious Noble)