Very Large, Expensive Model B-29 Crashes At Air Show

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It could be said that model plane builders are the geekiest of aviation geeks, and they'd probably receive that as a compliment. But sometimes, something goes wrong, and that big, expensive labor of love comes crashing back to Earth.

Mac Hodges had a performance routine at model plane shows, during which he'd fly his B-29 with a Bell X-1 attached, then releasing the rocket-powered X-1 into flight. It's sad enough that Mac Hodges' B-29 crashed last weekend, but it has happened to him before — six times between 1992 and 2014.

August 8, 2010 crash of Mac Hodges' B-29 model

September 13, 2008 crash of Mac Hodges' B-29 model

I wouldn't wish this on anybody, even once. Mac has obviously spent thousands of hours and dollars on his B-29 model, which he travels with to model aircraft shows around the country. The plane weighed in at 98 pounds, with a 20-foot wing span. In a web forum, (in regard to the 2010 crash) one member remarked that flying model planes is like cutting bread. "If you cut enough bread, eventually you'll cut your finger."


Did you ever get to see this plane fly? I wish I'd had the opportunity. Mac's website says his shop closed its doors last October, and sold its inventory to another company. It's entirely possible that now, after over 20 years of performances, that Mac doesn't have the interest, time or means to get it flying again. Details on the most recent crash are unavailable, so hopefully it's not completely beyond repair. As Mac says (on his site) his motto, "Time will tell."