This annual gathering of WWII-era vintage airplanes and other aviation memorabilia brings out the pilots, that meticulously watches the mustangs’ pilots, trying to pick out some error in order to say “Psh… I can fly better than that…” And yes. I heard those exact words come from someones mouth. And then theres the more… well… “envolved” folks that come with their 8 month old baby, all wearing period themed clothing in an attempt to “Keep history alive”. Then theres me. Who comes to get the rare chance to stand in awe under one of my favorite aircraft in the world, the Douglas DC-3. But hey, I guess I count in the pilot cadigory also, minus the mustang thing.
Anyway, I was working my flight schools booth, conveniatly located about three steps from said DC-3, so I was right down in the thick of it all, and still managed to snap some pics while attempting to explain what the aileron trim wheel does to a 5 year old dressed as a princess. Now, this isn’t an airshow, but really more of a showcase of the vintage planes. It was not uncommon at all to see a mustang go up just to do some pattern work here and there. As for the aircraft, the main attractions were the DC-3, and the B-17, and the two of those were open for touring for a small donation to whatever museam was keeping it flying. In addition to the “heavies” of the day, there was a super nice stearman, which was so polished you could see yourself in it. There were 4 mustangs, along with some other Asian build aircraft which I wasn’t quite sure on, but hey, Ive never been any good at military aviation spotting.
Now, since the DC-3 is so amazing to me, there was NO way that I WASN’T going to tour it, so I dropped my two bucks in the box and boarded the aircraft via the rear airstairs. Once you enter the “Candler Field Express” you run smack into the lavratory door and the galley. Proceeding toward the nose of the aircraft, there is four or five rows of seats that are used for well, transporting passengers. It still works as a makeshift airliner giving aerial tours for a small fortune to those willing to pay. Moving up to the cockpit, you can take a seat in the captains chair and take ahold of the 50+ year old controls and imagine that you were flying this iconic piece of aviation history .
The B-17 was quite the attraction, having the line to enter wrapped around the aircraft twice. To make long story short, I skipped that one. The exterior was very cool, with its four huge radial engines and ball turret hanging down from the bottom of the fuselage. Its just so massive its kinda hard to describe on paper… I’ll just say what the wheel almost came up to my hip.
The rest was really just the mustangs and other hictorical smaller aircraft on display, and just overall a really fun atmosphere, so I would highly recommend anyone who is in to aviation to attend this rare occasion.