UND Grad Rolls Out One-of-a-Kind Plane at Fargo Airsho, Makes Aviation History
Jeff Boerboon flew his first plane at the university in 1988
FARGO, N.D. — It was the sounds of plane engines roaring and the different sizes and shapes of the planes at an airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin that made Jeff Boerboon start thinking more like a pilot.
“A lot of these airshow pilots, we were influenced at a very young age to watch this crazy stunt flying and thought ‘wow that’s really cool’ and so at the age of seven, I got it into my mind that’s what I wanted to do,” he said.
Growing up in Minneapolis, he spent much of his time flying model airplanes with his dad.
But he wouldn’t get to fly a real airplane until January 17, 1988 at the University of North Dakota.
“I can tell you I remember that day because it was really, really cold for my first flight lesson. I live in Arizona now,” Boerboon said.
Boerboon’s love of aviation continued to take off from there.
He was named the 2010 U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Champion and earned the title “Captain” after 20 years with a commercial airline.
But his most recent project is defying all the odds.
“We took the red airplane, Yak 55 by itself, the blue plane – a Yak 55 by itself and we combined it together with that common center section. We added it together and called it the Yak 110. I didn’t even need a calculator for that one,” Boerboon said.
As if welding two planes together wasn’t enough.
“What’s better than two engines? Three engines. So we might as well make it a jet so we have a total of three engines on this airplane. That alone makes this airplane a one–of–a–kind in the history of aviation,” Boerboon said.
It’s a strong piece of equipment with an even bigger mission after the performance.
“I’ll go around and sign the cards and give them to the little guys and gals of course and go hmm, I wonder if that’s going to be one that was just like me way back then, if I’m going to plant the seed in some of these kids out here,” Boerboon said.
It’s all about the next generation of pilots who hope to be just like him.
The Yak 110 is also making history this weekend.
This is the first time it’s been shown in North Dakota.