Wiscasset area residents check out warbirds
Jonathan Ludlow of Wiscasset saw the planes of the Texas Flying Legends Museum from a distance two years ago. The aircraft were about to land at Wiscasset Municipal Airport. On Friday night, he, wife of 35 years Elizabeth Wheeler and other area residents got to see the World War II warbirds up close.
The planes were sitting lined up about to leave for a Southport appearance, the reason for the Legends’ first Wiscasset stay in two years. Ludlow got to talk with Legends pilot Mike Schiffer about the aircraft. In an interview before takeoff, Schiffer said in the days since he arrived, he’d gotten fish ’n chips at Red’s Eats and a delicious haddock taco at Montsweag Roadhouse in Woolwich.
He loves coming to Maine, Schiffer said. “It’s gorgeous country.”
Sitting with fellow pilot Chuck Kincer of Richmond at the front of Kincer’s hangar, Edgecomb’s Tom Kutschera said he chose to fly his Cessna 180 home from Oshkosh, Wisconsin in time to see the Legends pilots and the warbirds. He loves it when they visit, he said. “They’re such nice guys,” he said of the group. “And to see all this World War II history, it’s wonderful.”
“It’s amazing,” Chris Reed of Wiscasset said looking at a TBM Avenger. He noted the wings that fold. “I like old planes,” he said.
The Legends had no public events in Wiscasset this year. Reed and some of the other visitors said they knew to come Friday night after reading a Wiscasset Newspaper story that gave times on the Southport trip.
Growing up in England, Ludlow went every year to an airshow in Farmborough. His father was a salesman for a business that sold products to an aircraft company. Ludlow qualified for a free air school the Royal Air Force was holding, but broke an arm and couldn’t go. Said Wheeler, if Ludlow had gone, he might have joined the RAF and never come to the U.S. and met her and had their two lovely daughters, now grown.
Her husband is a student of aviation history, she said. Asked how he felt about getting his first up-close look at the Legends planes, he said: “I think it’s wonderful, and right in our newly adopted home.” The couple moved to town four years ago from Massachusetts.
Fellow Wiscasset resident Matt Herrick brought daughters Alex, 5,and Evie, who said she was “6 and a half” and son Charlie, 3, to check out the planes. It was fun and loud, Evie Herrick said after the family joined other visitors in watching the warbirds’ takeoff into a sunny sky of blue and white.