Construction worker’s model airplane flying high at Flyboy Donuts

June 7, 2019

Randy Kasma walked into the Flyboy Donuts at 57th and Western for a doughnut and a morning coffee and inspiration struck immediately.

Kasma noticed the model planes hanging from the rafters, matching the aviation theme of the business. With years of model plane experience behind him, he realized he had the perfect addition to the store that was collecting dust in his garage: a homemade replica of a World War I-era British single-seater fighter biplane.

“It was just hanging around in my garage,” Kasma said. “Nobody could enjoy it there. I thought it would look great in the store, and it’s a place where so many people can enjoy it.”

Kasma, a construction worker based in Sioux Falls, donated his plane to Flyboy earlier this year, where it now hangs proudly as the centerpiece of the store in The Bridges at 57th retail center. Kasma built the plane by hand over a six-month period in 2003 from a Balsa USA kit when he was living in Spartanburg, S.C.

The plane is a replica of a Sopwith Pup aircraft, which entered into service with the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service in 1916. Its direct successor, interestingly enough, is the Sopwith Camel, which is the aircraft Snoopy pretends to fly in the “Peanuts” cartoons.

Kasma’s model has a 10-foot wingspan and is fully functional. He flew the plane in multiple air shows in and around South Carolina right after its construction, including The Joe Nall Fly-In, where Kasma said he hooked up a 1/3-scale dummy pilot in the cockpit to wave at the crowd as it flew by.

From there, Kasma was unable to fly his plane often because he moved multiple times, making stops in Sierra Leone and Pasco, Wash. He eventually settled in Sioux Falls, where he has lived for the past four years.

When Kasma donated his plane to the store, Flyboy Donuts owner Ben Duenwald said he was excited to see what it could add to his business.

“It certainly adds to the Flyboy name,” Duenwald said, “And it hopefully makes the store feel even more charming to our customers.”

Kasma did not ask for compensation for his plane to be displayed at Flyboy, but he did receive doughnuts and coffee as thanks for his generosity. He said he hopes his plane brightens the day of everybody who walks into Flyboy for doughnuts and coffee, just like he was doing the day he decided to donate his plane.

“There was a little kid enjoying the plane when I was in there recently, and that’s exactly why I wanted to donate it in the first place,” Kasma said. “I hope people appreciate what it took to build one. It seemed to be a shame to just leave it in my garage, and now, for people who are interested in aircraft, it’s pretty cool for them to see.”

Construction worker’s model airplane flying high at Flyboy Donuts

“It was just hanging around in my garage. Nobody could enjoy it there.” Instead, this Sioux Falls construction worker’s gift is flying high at Flyboy Donuts.

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