By HAYMAN TAM
Close to 20,000 folks tied up traffic on the coastal highway just south of San Francisco all day April 26 to attend the 25th Pacific Coast Dream Machines show held at Half Moon Bay Airport (KHAF).
Under gorgeous clear skies and windy spring temperatures, this one-day event typically signals the start of the airshow season for the San Francisco Bay area.
This is not really an airshow — it’s more of a celebration of all things wheeled, winged, tracked, and in between.
Imagine a fly-in, blended with a custom car show, plus a dash of carnival atmosphere for the younger ones. A vast array of transportation vehicles were brought in for display and demonstration to the crowds of spectators milling about the airport grounds. About 2,000 vehicles drove, flew or were trailered in to be placed on display.
A variety of aircraft were on display on the North end of the field, warbirds and civilian alike. For those wanting a bird’s eye view, several businesses were selling rides. Passengers had a choice of Nostalgic Warbird & Biplane Rides with its 1930 New Standard D-25 or riding in a 1926 Travelair operated by Coastal Air Tours. Other flight seekers waited patiently to orbit the field in a pair of Robinson R44 helicopters.
Among the many general aviation aircraft exhibited were a Super Decathlon, Globe Swift, Christen Eagle, and Cessna 195 undergoing restoration. A Thunder Mustang was also present to offer a sense of scale to the real North American product. The Civil Air Patrol had a booth next to its pristine Skylane.
By far, the largest plane on display this year was a B-25 Mitchell bomber. “Old Glory” is beautifully restored with a gleaming polished metal finish and was very popular with the aviation fans in attendance.
Warbird lovers were rewarded with no less than five P-51s, two Yak-9s, a Yak-11 and a whole bevy of military trainers. Several aircraft of Half Moon Bay’s own late airshow star, Eddie Andreini, were on the tarmac for display. A short warbird flying display culminated with a P-51 “Missing Man” formation in Eddie’s honor.
Despite the sunny, yet windy, weather, the quantity of visiting aircraft was lighter than seen previously. Classics like a Commonwealth Skyranger and Piper Pacer were among the interesting aircraft on the apron, along with a Cessna Skywagon on floats that flew in for the show. Other amphibious aircraft at the show included an AirCam floatplane and a SeaRey LSX.
Local microbreweries and plenty of food booths were on hand to fuel the crowds. Beside the cars and planes, there were also concerts, monster truck rides and motocross stunt shows to entertain the folks.
This was the 25th year for this show, which helps to fund the Coastside Adult Day Health Center.