Soaring into the past at the Western Idaho Fair

The plane is almost an exact replica of the military version of a C-47 plane used in World War II. (KBOI Staff Photo)

Every year at the Western Idaho Fair people are given the chance to put their talents on display.

There will be many interesting items inside of Expo Idaho this year. One of the most eye catching exhibits will be suspended from the air.

Bob Allen moved to Idaho ten years ago and started working on his model airplane. Walking through the fair and looking at the displays has inspired him to enter this year's "building" contest.

Allen has been building model airplanes since he was young. This model has a 12 foot wing span and weighs close to 50 pounds. It is the largest model airplane he has ever built.

The plane is almost an exact replica of the military version of a C-47 plane used in World War II. Allen painted it to look like a rescue aircraft.

The project has been very special to him because he has been in a plane like this before.

"My dad was in the Air Force and got transferred to Africa, so he flew one of these from United States to Africa," Allen said. "He took his whole family, so I was flying in one of those when I was about five or so."

Allen's love of planes began that day. He joined the air force as a mechanic in 1966.

The knowledge he gained serving in the Air Force helped him create a model that is extremely similar to the original aircraft. The outside is painted with the exact military standard colors and the seat covers inside are as old as the plane it is modeled after.

Now that it is finished, he plans to get it in the air.

"It's kind of exciting. Now I have to figure out all the other things I've gotta do with it," he said. "People keep wanting me to fly it and I've started the engines on it. So I'm working my way from getting it up from the ground."

Anyone who want to enter something they created into a competition may register online now or onsite August 14 and 15 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The competitive "building" exhibit categories include:




-Fine Arts


-Hobby Craft

-Home Arts


-Youth Categories

The rules for each category vary. You can find more information on the Western Idaho Fair website

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