Aviation attracts many people who dream of touching the sky someday. While they are on the ground, aviation cadets indulge in their hobby through collections or by accumulating endless knowledge of different aircrafts. But, Dr. Moshe Porat took his love of aviation a step further and turned his hobby into reality.
For decades, the world of aviation has fascinated people, many of whom dream of wings and imagine the feeling of levitation. Some of them enthusiastically follow developments of different aircrafts, including those of other air forces: from huge collections of books and magazines on newspapers, through sculptures of airplanes and miniature models, to collecting feathers of birds that have rammed into the wings of airplanes.
Aviation-fever has even hit here, in Israel: many people who have served in the IAF and other branches of the IDF avidly collect souvenirs in form of IAF Magazine editions, squadron patches, pins, unit tags, etc. That is how it was for Dr. Moshe Parat, who remembers his love of aviation as a young man. “The [aviation] fever started in the 70s, when I was a boy”, he explains. “IAF Magazine distributed models made of paper, and so I started a collection. The first model I built was a Fouga Magister-model plane, from inside the edition [of IAF Magazine]. From there, it just snowballed; I joined an aviation club in Tel Aviv and afterwards the ‘Youth Battalion’”.
The First Symptoms
Over the years, Dr. Porat’s collection of model airplanes only expanded. “I have planes from the very beginning of global aviation, from the beginning of the IAF, from WWII, and from today: both military and civilian planes”, boasts Dr. Moshe Porat. Just like in the IAF, Dr. Porat’s fleet of models includes planes of special significance. “One of the most complex and beautiful models that I have built is a Hercules plane flying back from Operation Entebbe”, adds Dr. Porat. “The beauty lies in the process of researching the building of plane. I draw information from history books and go into the smallest detail of the specific airplane converted, including the internal and external structure.
Much thought is invested even in the building process itself in making the model a replica of the original. “After I finish my research, and the basic building, I worry about messing it up”, says Dr. Porat. “I need to know that it is not a new plane that just left the production line, but has a history. I give the model the effect of time, through special colors.
Waking Up To A Dream
For most of his life, Moshe felt a burning desire to be by himself in the air as a pilot. Even after finishing his studies in medicine, he chose to specialize in aviation medicine and, as part of his job, he checks pilots on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority. In recent years, Dr. Porat has search for a way to come as close as possible to realizing his childhood dream. “As a child and a teenager, I always wanted and tried to be a pilot, but I didn’t succeed”, he explains. “A few years ago, I decided…I wanted the real thing. The dream materialized in 2006, when I started taking a civilian pilot course.”
To mark the end of the pilot course, Moshe flew to the global center of aviation in Oshkosh, in the United States. “I flew from Washington to Wisconsin, and then I finally became a pilot”, recalls Dr. Porat. “I did this at a later stage in life of course, but it made an old dream come true”. Nowadays, Dr. Porat flies at least twice a month, in order to maintain his flying fitness the rest of the time; he uses an incredibly accurate flight trainer from his home. “Not many people can say that they turned their biggest hobby into a reality, and made a childhood dream come trye, I am proud to be one of them”.