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Aero-TV At OSH21: ScaleBirds Warbird Replica Kits, A Closer Look

Sam Watrous Speaks With ANN At Oshkosh

Twenty-five years ago at Sun ‘N Fun, Sam Watrous was sitting with his good buddy and wondering what it would be like to have war replicas as a finished kit. The idea never went anywhere until his son’s senior project at Rhode Island School of Design.

“He had to come up with a product, company, marketing research, and pitch to professors,” Watrous says. “He said, ‘Hey dad, how about this ScaleBirds design’ so he came up with everything. Once his professors got the pitch they said he had to finish the concept. It’s been six years in design and development but we are about ready. We are going to be flying in a month, month and a half.”

ScaleBirds is also a dealer for Verner Motor, a world leader in the design and manufacturing radial engines for all kind of small aircraft.

“It is a Verner motor, seven cylinder, it can also handle the five cylinder. Verner does five, seven and nine right now,” Watrous said. “The engine is a radial engine, direct drive cruise 1800 rph, throaty rumble. Lots of torque, 124 hp that acts like 135 or 140 hp engine.”

“This week at Oshkosh we have been looking for beta builders,” Watrous continued. “We want three or four kits that are going to be built very quickly by somebody who is basically an expert. Someone who can help us with sequence, parts fitment, and if they have any general issues with it we will address that with those kits, so we can inform the rest of the standard kits,” he continues.

“By this time next year, we should be selling a standard kit,” he says.

ANN asked what should be expected cost wise from Scalebirds. “Completed airplanes will be about $65,000,  but the average build would probably be about $75-80,000, with normal avionics, nothing crazy.” Additionally, there was discussion floating around Oshkosh of half scale B-17s, which Watrous mentioned involvement with as well.

Aero-TV is a production of the Internationally syndicated Aero-News Network. Seen worldwide by hundreds of thousands of aviators and aviation adherents, ANN's Aero-TV has produced over 5000 aviation and feature programs, including nearly 2000 episodes of our daily aviation news program, AIRBORNE UNLIMITED, currently hosted by Kimberly Kay. Now in its third decade of operation, parent company Aero-News Network, has the most aggressive and intensive editorial profile of any aviation news organization and has published nearly a half-million news and feature stories since its inception -- having pioneered the online 24/7 aviation new-media model that so many have emulated.

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