Retired Air Traffic Controller builds airplane from scratch

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ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WTVY) -- A retired air-traffic controller says the sky is the limit.

Jerry May has been flying since the '70s.
He retired three years ago.
But he's continued to work hard on a passion started in 2012.

Gerald May, Retired Air Traffic Controller says:
"It's a Fokker Dr.1, it's a replica... full size replica of the red baron's aircraft, Red Baron- Baron Von Richthofen in WWI, he was the German A-string in WWI with 80 confirmed kills."

"It's a plane that I've been wanting to build ever since I was about 10 years old when I actually built a flying model of the same airplane."

May says the biggest feature is the 3-wings.
But with a small tail...

"It's going to be difficult to fly because back in the early days, 1917 was when this was actually built."

Each part was made from different material.
"The fuselage was built out of steel tube and then the wing parts and everything were all built out of wood and everything was fabric covered later."

They didn't have as much knowledge about aerodynamics then.
Now they're pretty rare.
The World War I airplanes are more popular in New Zealand and Europe - but not here.
"Within the 100 mile radius, there may be 3 Fokker Dr.1's."
Jerry's is one of those three.

Jerry spent 5 1/2 years building this plane but by the time it's inspected it will have been 6 years.
He hopes to take his first flight in the spring when the weather turns warmer.

Jerry May says he plans to take his plane around to the different aircraft shows across the U.S.
He'll also have it on display for Young Eagle's Day at the Enterprise airport on April 21st.