The world’s largest to-scale collection of miniature airplane models is housed here at the Hazy Library at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. The Kalusa Collection is comprised of 5,825 pre-flight, private, commercial, military, and rocket aircraft models.
The models are built to a 1/18 inch-to-foot scale. Consistent use of this scale provides all aircraft in the collection with accurate size relations to one another. Each model is painted with the detailed markings characteristic of the aircraft. In 2003, the Kalusa Miniature Aircraft Collection was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest collection of handmade aeroplanes in the world.
Mr. John W. Kalusa
John W. Kalusa painstakingly handcrafted the collection over much of his life. In 1936, at the age of 14, he started making World War I models for a battle game. After serving as an aerial photographer and mechanic in World War II, Mr. Kalusa resumed his hobby. A retired purchasing agent with Rocketdyne, Mr. Kalusa carved and painted an average of two model aircraft a week at his home in Mesa, Arizona. Mr. Kalusa passed away on February 17, 2003.
The Kalusa Miniature Aircraft Collection is available for viewing during library hours.
Watch a video featuring Mr. Kalusa and the Kalusa Miniature Aircraft Collection.
Good Morning Arizona
For more information or to schedule a tour of the collection, please contact the Kalusa Miniature Aircraft Curator:
Library Access Services Supervisor