At least 360 airplanes were flown to Blakesburg, Iowa, for the 2010 AAA/APM Invitational Fly-In over Labor Day weekend. Many of those intrepid pilots dodged inclement weather along their flight paths and flocked to the field on Saturday, lured by the unique grassroots ambiance and friendly camaraderie awaiting them at Antique Airfield (IA27).
(The field was closed during much of the day on Friday, due to strong direct crosswinds, and reopened at 6:30 p.m. after the winds subsided).
The fly-in has been going strong for 57 years now, and this year’s theme was the celebration of Iowa’s 100th Anniversary of Powered Flight. Eric Presten of Schellville, California, had his full-scale 1909 Bleriot XI replica on display, and the Vintage Aero Flying Museum of Colorado had its replicas of a World War I Fokker Dr.I Triplane, Fokker D.VII, and Fokker D.VIII flown to the field by Mark Holliday, Andrew King, and Craig Young. The recently-restored Henderson-powered 1932 Bi-Wing, built by Iowa Hall of Fame inductee Andy Anderson, was also on display.
Additionally, Fairchild aircraft were featured, and a nice variety of models were on hand, including Steve Roth’s 1933 Fairchild 22 C7D (Virginia), several 1940s Fairchild 24Ws and 24Rs, John Cournoyer’s 1927 Fairchild 71 (Missouri), Yellowstone Aviation’s 1928 Fairchild FC-2, Don Pellegreno’s 1947 Fairchild XNQ-1 (Texas), and Rudy Frasca’s 1934 Fairchild 24 C8A (Illinois).
A special treat this year was a pre-release screening of the movie “Pearl,” about a Chickasaw girl in Oklahoma in the 1920s, who became the youngest licensed pilot in the country. It was shown on the Runway Cinema’s silver screen, right under the stars. Pilot and Curtiss Robin owner David Mars, Donna Carlton (head script writer), and actress Angela Gair were on hand to introduce the movie, which was produced by the Chickasaw Nation. (DVDs should be available by early November.)
For more information: AntiqueAirfield.com.