THE KANSAS
 AVIATION
CENTENNIAL

100 Years of Aviation Progress
1911-1912  to  2011-2012

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EVENT:

Great Bend Air Festival
Bikes, Bombers & Butterflies Weekend

GREAT BEND  (AIRPORT)

Fri./Sat./Sun., September 21-23, 2012:
Great Bend Air Festival -- held on a west-central Kansas airport that was originally a military air base for training World War II bomber crews -- will host a wide range of World War II aircraft... with the exceptional option of purchasing RIDES (at a high price) in many of them, plus more "affordable" quick hops in helicopters or light planes. Plane tours, hob-nobbing with pilots, performances, exhibits, food, live bluegrass and 1940s music, dancing, fireworks, and more!

Part of Great Bend's annual "Bikes, Bombers & Butterflies" multi-event weekend, which includes the "Big Bend Bike Rally" and the "Mad about Monarchs" butterfly project to involve visitors with the annual mass of Monarch butterflies migrating through the area.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Historic fly-in of World War II and other vintage aircraft
  • Stearman biplane Fly-In
  • General Aviation (light plane) Fly-in on Saturday (80-100 aircraft anticipated)
  • Stunt parachute-jumper
  • Display of local-based aircraft
  • Learn-to-Fly Introductory Flights, Seminars & Promotions
  • Tours of Planes
  • Vintage WWII Warbird rides (at a price), probably including:
    • P-51 "Mustang" fighter
    • PT-17 Boeing/Stearman open-cockpit trainer biplane
    • PT-23 Fairchild "Cornell" open-cockpit trainer
    • C-45 "Twin" Beech Model 17 light transport
      (8-seat)
    • UC-78 Cessna "Bobcat" light transport
      (5-seat)
    • B-25 "Mitchell" medium bomber
      (7-10 seat)
  • AC-47 "Spooky" gunship (variant of Douglas DC-3
    / C-47 "Gooney Bird")
    (no rides in this plane)
  • View WW II Displays, Articles and Artifacts
  • Meet and Greet with Pilots and hear their stories
  • Live Aircraft Radio Traffic
  • Re-enactment of World War II ground battles on Saturday
  • POW-MIA Ceremony Saturday Evening
  • Dwight Eisenhower -- "Ike" -- impersonator (Kansan who commanded the Allies in World War II, and first pilot to become U.S.President).
  • Split Lip Rayfield’s popular, hot bluegrass music
  • 1940’s Music and Dance Saturday Evening
  • Prize-winning BBQ food
  • POW MIA ceremony which starts at 7 p.m.
  • Fireworks Saturday night, Sept. 22 at the airport, half-hour after sundown and POW/MIA ceremony.
  • Spectacular Monarch migration (with opportunities to handle them, learn about them, and participate in a science project, tagging them -- 9 a.m. to noon at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center).

  • TIME: 9:00am Until We’re Done! Fri./Sat./Sun.; plus 7am-11am Sat., EAA Breakfast, $5, open to public.
  • LOCATION: Great Bend Regional Airport, west-central Kansas.
  • RIDES: Available in some of the airplanes (and helicopters), for prices ranging from $35 (3-4-minute helicopter ride) up to $350-$650 (depending upon seating position) for 20-minute B-25 bomber rides.
  • SAFETY NOTES: Taildragger pilots (including some fighter and bomber pilots) cannot see the ground immediately in front of them. Stay out of the path of moving aircraft, and STAY AWAY FROM PROPELLERS. When close to (or in) these aircraft, PROTECT YOUR HEARING. Before boarding for rides, earplugs will be provided; USE THEM (some of these airplanes are so loud they can cause pain or serious hearing damage); if no earplugs are available, use balls of tissue or paper napkins.
  • For More Information:

    Return to the EVENTS & NEWS PAGE


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Kansas Aviation Centennial Committee
    Richard Harris, Chariman,
    (316) 371-9079
    office@ks100aviation.org

     


  • Join us in celebrating
    a Century of Kansas Aviation!

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