I proudly present you ‘SKS Flight Collection’, my private airplane model collection, that I have been collecting for 45 years. When I was a small chubby 8-year-old, my mom gave me 3 plastic Wooster models of British Airways which sparked the beginning and my love of collecting airplane models. Until this day, I still treasure these 3 models close to my heart and they are a significant part of my collection.
I was born in Venezuela with heavy Greek roots. While finishing my mechanical engineering degree in Venezuela, I was also starting my commercial pilot training. It was at that time that I was lucky enough to join VIASA, a Venezuelan legacy carrier that spread its wings to 13 different European cities, and Central and South American exotic destinations.
Throughout all these years, not only did I continue to collect models, but I also started to organize and show them in a more organized manner, as an exhibition space. I tried to give special emphasize to jet aviation models on last 80 years from De Havilland Comet till today’s leviathans. At that time, we reached a respectable 1500 models, in which among them 10 iconic Bing scale models were included. If you ask me my preferred model? There is an easy answer: DC-10 and MD-11.
I continued flying until 2014 year, and that is when I moved with my family to Panama City. On 2015 we moved the collection to Panama with the idea to open a single space that was merely dedicated for display and showcase of all the airplane models. This was going to consist in building a bunker in a private familiar neighborhood, an idea that later on came into fruition on 2021 after several setbacks and challenges.
At the same time, with the big cooperation of Roger Jarman of Atlantic Models, we were able to get a giant 1/3 scale Embraer E 195 42-foot-long titanic model. But it was not only the scale that made this magnificent model the centerpiece of my collection, rather the once in a lifetime opportunity of such model to be designed by worldwide Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, a leader of kinetic art.
This model became the vital core of the collection, to an extent that even the structural elements of the exhibition such as the columns and spaces were based on that specific length and wingspan of the E195
March 2023 was the moment were the big fellow, amping 3,500 models, a small simulator, and 54 DC 10 /MD 11 noses drove to Panama in an epic day full of excitement and even distress.
It is now that I can say what a joy it is to look at the big model hanging majestically at the center of the exhibition, joined by all its siblings, honoring the legacy of civil aviation and all the giant aircraft factories, airlines, pilots and entrepreneurs that have given so much to human kind.
SKS flight collection will remain as a private collection, and possible visits can be coordinated starting June 2023.