Imagination takes flight on the 50-acre Wind Riff Farm on the outskirts of Kirksville, Mo., where Sydney P. Ross, DO, ’59, perfects his lifelong love for building exact replica model airplanes.
His favorite is this 1943 Navy fighter plane, the F411 Corsair, with a 105-inch wingspan, complete with retractable landing gear and weighing only 38 pounds. Construction took several years and $5,000 to complete.
Wearing his white doctor’s coat as a painter’s smock, Dr. Ross crafted the plane’s precision details in his bright basement workshop where a pool table doubles as a work bench. He hand spray painted the body, adding personal touches like his initials to the tail and his birth date to the nose.
Not surprisingly, Dr. Ross spent his career as a vascular surgeon, honing his ability to work with fine details. He also served 10 years as KCOM dean and a surgery professor prior to that.