Indoor air show

More than 80 pilots are expected to fill a 33,000-square-foot hangar at the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum with remote-controlled airplanes, helicopters and drones during its fifth annual Indoor Air Show Jan. 13.

Courtesy photo

The sky above the air show gets crowded, so a few planes collide every year, a few fall to the ground.

But so far, no injuries in the four years the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum near Ashland has hosted an indoor air show.

Because the pilots were already safely on the floor, remotely controlling their scale-model planes, helicopters and drones through the museum’s 33,000-square-foot restoration hangar — putting on a show for hundreds of spectators and reveling in a chance to fly heated skies in the middle of January.

“What happens is, this time of year, the guys are getting a little cabin fever going on,” said Tom Egbert, president of the Omaha-based Midwest Performance Flyers club. “The museum, they pull everything out of there and let us fly there.”

More than 80 pilots representing 18 clubs are expected at the Jan. 13 air show, said Deb Hermann, the museum’s marketing director. Many will be flying their fixed-wing planes, helicopters and drones at the same time, but they’ll also clear the air space if a pilot is going to demonstrate a difficult maneuver.

“They’ve all learned over the years to get along at the same time,” she said. “When someone’s doing a special demonstration trick, they all get out of the way.”

The museum typically draws 1,200 to 1,500 spectators to the show, which is included in the museum’s admission cost.

The show also includes a drone workshop, information booths and a presentation on ultralights, single-seat personal aircraft that don’t require a pilot’s license. But spectators shouldn’t expect the ultralight to join the hangar’s crowded airspace, she said.

“That would be a safety issue.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7254 or psalter@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSPeterSalter.

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