Thursday, July 7, 2011

AirExpo takes flight July 16-17 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Eden Prairie News: AirExpo takes flight July 16-17 in Minnesota
The Wings of the North, a nonprofit organization founded in 1998 to preserve and present aviation history, will be presenting the eleventh AirExpo at Flying Cloud Airport from Saturday-Sunday, July 16-17. The AirExpo will feature appearances by aviation heroes, aircraft and opportunities to ride in a few of the planes. According to the Wings of the North website, with each year Air-Expo, attendance has at least doubled.

The aircraft scheduled to appear at the 2011 AirExpo are the P-51C Mustang, which was made famous by the Tuskegee Airmen and has rides available; the Flying Fortress B-17 “Yankee Lady”; the B-25 “Miss Mitchell,” which has cockpit tours available; the A-10 “Warthog”; the Hawker Sea Fury “Sawbones”; Clay Adam’s 1929 Travel Air 400, which has rides available; the TBM 3-E Avenger; the Navy SNJ; the L-29 Delphin; the T-6 Texan; the Stearman; the BT-13; the Stinson; the Champ; the Harvard and the BT-15 Project.

The Commerative Air Force will be offering flights on the P-51 C Mustang for $1,500 per person for a 30 minute ride. The Yankee Air Force will be offering rides on the B-17 Flying Fortress for $425 a person. The flights last 30-45 minutes and the B-17 can hold 10 passengers. Flights will depart once enough people have signed up. 1929 Travelair rides will also be available, which can hold two people per flight. Pricing information will be available at the show. Helicopter flights are available in the Robinson R44 and the Schwitzer, which can hold two to three people per flight. The flight will last five to seven minutes and the cost will be posted at the show. All flights will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m and are first come, first served.

Also scheduled to appear are the Hall of Heroes, which include a NASA Space Shuttle astronaut, pilots from WWII, Korean and Vietnam Wars, Forward Air Controllers and Navy and Marine pilots.

Before the Airshow begins, there will be a pancake breakfast both mornings of the AirExpo at the show site at Flying Cloud Air-port. The breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17 and costs $7 per adult, or $5 for children 7 and under. The cost includes all you can eat pancakes, coffee and beverages. The pancakes will be provided by Chris Cakes.

In conjunction with AirExpo 2011, U.S. Bank is holding An Evening with Eagles Dinner and Symposium from 5:30-10 p.m. Satur-day, July 16 at Marriott Southwest Hotel, 5801 Opus Parkway, Minnetonka. The cost is $45 per person, and this includes dinner and the symposium. Dinner seating will take place at 6:30 p.m. and the symposium will be held from 7:30-10 p.m. An Evening with Eagles is an opportunity to meet and dine with several of America’s Aviation Heroes and hear about their experiences. A silent auction will also be held throughout the evening.

Scheduled to attend An Evening with Eagles include Tuskegee Airmen, Doolittle Raiders, aces from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, 8th Air Force crewmembers, and World War II Naval aviators. Also invited are members of the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association, River Rats, who flew missions over North Vietnam, members of the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots, WASPs, who flew a variety of missions here at home which supported the nation’s war effort during World War II, and prisoners of war from World War II and Vietnam, according to the AirExpo website.

The main gates will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the air show hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages eight to 12. Cash, check or credit cards are accepted and cash machines are available onsite.

Discounted tickets are available online at airexpo-mn.org. Parking is located at the Southeast corner of the Flying Cloud Airport on Flying Cloud Drive. The onsite parking is free and it is just a short walk to the show.

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