The USS Pennsylvania, the largest sailing warship ever built for the United States, was burned in 1861 to keep it from falling into Confederate hands.
“Basically, it was the most powerful ship in the world in its day,” Denny LaFlame said.
And, thanks to LaFlame, it’s back from the ashes — smaller but still visually impressive.
LaFlame, using made-from-scratch materials, built a 6-foot-high and 8-foot-long model of the USS Pennsylvania. He did it so well that it won’t be docked much longer inside an office at S.U.N. Engineering in Tulsa. The model is being shipped to the U.S. Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, Maryland, where it will be on display for three to five years.
The “real” USS Pennsylvania (it was as long as a football field and was manned by a crew of close to 1,100) was built over a 15-year period at a cost of more than $600,000, according to LaFlame. His model, made from an estimated 100,000 parts, took four years to build and was commissioned by Scott Neff, president of S.U.N. Engineering.