Airportfest returns to the AOPA Aviation Summit for 2010 at the Long Beach Airport Nov. 11-13. Dwarfing all others at the aircraft display will be “Fifi,” the Commemorative Air Force’s B-29 – the only airworthy Superfortress anywhere in the world.
“The aircraft display has always been a favorite attraction for those attending the Aviation Summit,” said AOPA President and CEO Craig Fuller. “But the addition of live music, fun activities, and new displays has really turned this into a wonderful opportunity for the local community to come out and see their airport from a whole new perspective. And it’s a great introduction to the world of general aviation.”
Airportfest will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 11 and 12. On Saturday, Airportfest will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by a barbecue dinner from 5-8 p.m. AOPA will provide free transportation between the Long Beach Convention Center and Airportfest, courtesy of Aircraft Spruce, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Joining “FIFI” in headlining Airportfest will be two AOPA Sweepstakes grand prize aircraft. A Remos GX light sport aircraft is the grand prize in the 2010 Fun To Fly Sweepstakes and will be awarded to the lucky winner on Friday, Nov. 12. Visitors can also see the 1974 Cessna 182 that will be the subject of a yearlong refurbishment project for the 2011 Crossover Classic Sweepstakes.
Nearly 100 other aircraft will also be on display during Airportfest, including military aircraft participating in recognition of Veterans Day. Manufacturers will have everything from gliders to helicopters and two-seat light sport aircraft business jets on display.
There will also be an area to highlight public benefit flying. Public benefit flying lets pilots put their skills to use to help others, whether as part of a volunteer medical air transport organization, animal rescue, or myriad other opportunities.
Anyone who’s ever dreamed of flying can visit the AOPA Learn To Fly Center to get information on learning to fly, including how AOPA programs can help you accomplish your flight training goals. Then you can jump in a simulator and, with the help of a flight instructor, experience flight without ever leaving the ground.
Long Beach-based California Flight Center will be on hand to offer introductory flights, in which you’ll go flying with a flight instructor and actually be at the controls of a training aircraft, for only $99 – a discount even from their regular introductory flights.
There will be speakers and music throughout each day at the Airportfest Main Stage, sponsored by Sennheiser. Each day from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., members of the Flying Musicians Association will entertain Airportfest visitors. Famed aviators such as Sean D. Tucker, Patty Wagstaff, and Mike Mangold will be on hand for autograph sessions.
Airportfest will be home to two social events bookending the day on Saturday. A pancake breakfast will start the day from 9 until 10:30 in the morning, and the barbecue dinner will wrap things up. Tickets are $10 for the pancake breakfast, $30 for the barbecue, and are available at the main registration area at the Long Beach Convention Center or on site at Airportfest.
For more information: AOPA.org