Olympic Air Show 2013

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Celebrating its 15th annual event, the Olympic Air Show has plenty of action lined up. This family-oriented event will feature fly-overs of vintage aircraft, including a P-51D Mustang, AH-1S Cobra Helicopter, UH-1H Huey helicopter, and Kaman HH-43 Huskie – to mention but a few. For more information on the Olympic Air Show visit the website at www.olympicairshow.com

Date: 10-11 August 2013
Venue: Olympic Regional Airport
City: Tumwater
State: Washington
Country: United States

Seafair Weekend 2013

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With breathtaking aerobatic performances over Lake Washington the Boeing Air Show on the Seafair Weekend features Red Eagle Air Sports, Warbird Fly Over, Air National Guard Aerobatic Team, the Flying Heritage Collection Fly Over, Patriots Jet Team, Clay Lacy, and much more. Kids can enjoy an interactive booth with exciting aviation related activities. For more information visit seafair.com

Date: 2-4 August 2013
Venue: Lake Washington
City: Seattle
State: Washington
Country: United States

Arlington Fly-In 2012

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Features of the Arlington Fly-In includes flights and tours on the historic B-17, fly-bys, car show, heritage collection, military vehicles and weapons display, hot air balloons, Vietnam river patrol boats, bi-plane rides and loads more. Visit the Arlington Fly-In Website for more information.

Dates: 11-15 July 2012
Venue: Arlington Municipal Airport
City: Arlington
State: Washington
Country: United States

The Flying Heritage Collection

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Located in a 51,000 square foot hangar at the southeast corner of Paine Field in Everett, Washington State, the Flying Heritage Collection offers visitors the opportunity to view an extraordinary collection of historic aircraft. Privately owned by American billionaire and philanthropist, Paul Gardner Allen, the collection highlights an era of great advances in aviation during the 1930s and 1940s and includes combat aircraft from World War II – a time when the boundaries of technology were pushed with a sense of urgency in a battle for dominance of the skies.

With a passion for history and aviation, and the financial means to do so, Allen started his collection in the late 1990s. As the collection grew, he decided to have the aircraft restored and put on display for the public. Visitors will be delighted to discover though, that this is not a museum of static displays, but the aircraft are restored to take their rightful place in the air. During the summer months, different planes from the Flying Heritage Collection are taken out to be flown. On “Free Fly Days” aviation enthusiasts can watch these vintage aircraft take to the skies, take the opportunity to chat to the pilots, and glean some gems of information from the on-site military aviation historian, Cory Graff.

A dedicated team has painstakingly restored the aircraft of the Flying Heritage Collection to a level of authenticity seldom seen. Seeking out original vendors to reproduce components no longer available – from paint, to cockpit equipment to specialized cotton-coated wiring – the team has made every effort to remain true to the original aircraft. This has included examining old factory drawings, and researching manufacturing techniques of the time. The history of each of the aircraft has been compiled, including details on its manufacture, where it was deployed, combat it may have been involved in, post-war activities it may have been used for, various locations it was used and what repairs were carried out.

A recent addition to the Flying Heritage Collection is the only operating example of the Focke-Wulf Fw-190 German WWII fighter. Having been partially disassembled to facilitate road transport, the aircraft was restored for viewing by the public on the weekend of 23 April 2011. The Fw-190 is scheduled to fly along with the collection’s American P-51 Mustang fighter on 18 June, and with the Bf-109 on 6 August 2011.

McChord Air Expo 2008

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If you live in the Washington area and are looking for an exciting weekend filled with airplanes, look no further than the McChord Air Expo. This fantastic event is regularly held at the McChord Air Force Base in Washington and is free to the public. This year’s expo will take place on July 19-20 and will no doubt delight most airplane lovers who attend.

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The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

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The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is divided into two facilities; one is the National Mall in Washington D.C., and the other is the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center located near Washington Dulles International Airport. Combined, the two collections represent the world’s largest exhibition of aviation artifacts.

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So Long BWIA, Hello Caribbean Airlines

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It doesn’t seem that long ago that I flew BWIA to and from the United States and Caribbean. To those not as familiar with the airlines, BWIA is the company’s acronym for British West Indies Airways and is pronounced bee-we. My memories are moldy or else times have changed, because apparently many passengers haven’t referred to the airline in fond terms for quite some time. Based in Trinidad, BWIA offers service to several Caribbean countries, New York, Washington D.C., Florida, and England.

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Flying High in a P51 Mustang

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Chances are pretty good that I’ll never get to fly a P51 Mustang, but I recently had the chance to pretend. The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. offers visitors a ride in a P51 Mustang simulator. I gladly handed over $7.50 for a mere five minutes of sim time.

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