Wings Over Delaware

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

A event held every two years to celebrate aviation and bring a variety of aircraft to Delaware has returned.

The Delaware Municipal Airport, 1075 Pittsburgh Drive, on Aug. 16 and 17 will be the site of a celebration of U.S. aviation history and a place for the public to get an up-close look at several historic airplanes.

The festivities will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each day, attendees will have the opportunity to take airplane rides, observe aircraft and learn about aviation history.

"We're expecting several thousand people to come," said Jim Moore, Delaware City Council's first-ward representative, a pilot and member of the city's airport commission. "It's close to home and you won't have to use too much gas."

This year, the show is being called "Wings Over Delaware." First to Fly Foundation Inc. will highlight aviation contributions made by Sarah Van Deman -- the wife of a Delaware man -- who on Oct. 27, 1909 flew with Wilbur Wright at College Park, Md., becoming the first woman ride an airplane in North America. (See related story on this page.)

The First Fly Foundation also will bring a full-size replica of the 1905 Wright Flyer 3 aeroplane, which is almost identical to the aircraft in which Van Deman flew, except two seats have been added. The aircraft will be available for observation, and attendees can try their hands at flying it through a flight simulator and interactive displays.

"That will be a real highlight of the show this year," Moore said. "This is not a replica of the first Wright brothers' plane, but an exact replica of the third plane they built.

"It's a model that went into production for the U.S. Army."

The two-day show will offer rides in a World War II B-25 bomber, and a display of the Grimes Flying Lab. The latter was a transport aircraft for the Air Force in 1953, and the first to feature a Federal Aviation Administration-certified lighting system.

"We're going to have military aircraft on display that can be ridden for a fee," Moore said. "We'll have food service available on the field, and we'll have military helicopters and civilian helicopters on display.

"We're trying to tie it into the city and county bicentennial celebration."

Admission is free. Parking is $5 per vehicle on the airport grounds.