After an extended rainy season, thanks to El Nino, airshow fans in the San Francisco Bay area were eager for the show season to begin.
One event that many, including myself, consider to be the “season opener” is the Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show. Thousands of folks tie up traffic on the scenic coastal highway all day to attend the show held at Eddie Andreini Sr. Airfield (formerly known as Half Moon Bay Airport) every April.
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. According to organizers, about 2,000 vehicles drove, flew or were trailered in to be placed on display.
A variety of aircraft were on display, 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 that offered a change of viewpoint.
Among the many general aviation aircraft on exhibit were a variety of Van’s homebuilts, a Globe Swift, and a Rotorway kit helicopter.
A Thunder Mustang was also present to offer a sense of scale to the real North American product.
Amphibious aircraft at the show included an AirCam floatplane and a distinctive Seawind 3000.
By far, the largest planes on display at this year’s show were the B-25 Mitchell bomber “Old Glory” and a C-47 SkyTrain.
The C-47 is owned and operated by the Estrella WarBirds Museum of Paso Robles, Calif., and has been flying regularly since a complete restoration in 2009.
“Old Glory” is owned by John Ward and has been beautifully restored with a gleaming polished metal finish.
Warbird lovers were also rewarded with no less than five P-51s, two Yak-9s, a Yak-11, and a flock of military trainers.
Local microbreweries and plenty of food trucks and 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 26th year for this show, which helps to fund the Coastside Adult Day Health Center.