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I read that bird book by Richard Bach a very long time ago and wanted to be a seagull.
It helped that I grew up near the ocean.

My dad took me to see "Von Richthofen and Brown" when it came out. I never recovered.
I wanted to be a WW1 pilot.
I ended up flying Cobras.
(And lots of taildraggers.)

I think the first model I ever built was an A-7. I'm sure it said "Corsair II" on the box but that didn't make any impression on a 7-year old who had no idea what a Corsair One was. Many years later the F4U became one of my top wish list planes.
Due to the good fortune of a convergence of friendly people, the military and "right place, right time" I once had the opportunity (in one afternoon) to get into a few WW2 planes and make airplane sounds; these were a Spitfire XVI, P-51D, FG-1D and a B-17. The Spitfire had the "spade" control column, which I'm sure you could get used to... in time...maybe.
Mustang was very user-friendly: comfy seat well positioned, well laid out cockpit, unobstructed view all around.
The Corsair's cockpit seemed big and airy (in a good way). There was no floor to speak of - just two rails you could rest your feet on if you took them off the pedals. Drop anything while you're flying and it disappears into "the bilge".
The B-17 was smaller than I'd imagined - or seemed so - especially inside. A flying target. I might have rather been an infantryman than inside a WW2 bomber in combat. The rudder was huge...swinging from stop to stop by long travels of the pedals. A veteran B-17 pilot once asked me to fly with him (in his Taylorcraft) so he could brush up on his tailwheel skills. I said "Why do you need me along? You flew B-17s. And that's about the biggest taildragger." He said the Fortress flew so tamely and landed in such a flat attitude that it hardly seemed like a taildragger at all. I said "okay then." Before I could offer, the 80-year old casually hand-propped the T-craft and we got in and taxied out.

other models I've built:
A-5 Vigilante
Canberra bomber
OV-10 Bronco
109E (maybe a 109F too)
190A & D
Sopwith Camel
Dornier 17
He 219
None of my models were of the build and finish quality encountered on this site. Only 3 survive today: the 163, 262 and AH-1. A few of them were featured in the production of "backyard movies" with the old cameras that used film. The final scene in our remake of "Bridges at Toko-Ri" took a toll...
"Warbirds" I've flown: AH-1P/F, UH-1H,OH-58, OH-6, N3N, L-19

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