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Great Bend Airfest brings warbird ride opportunities
new deh airfest rides pic
The World War II P-51 fighter will be one of the warbirds attending the 2015 Great Bend Airfest in September. Rides in many of the planes are now available for purchase. - photo by Tribune file photo

 The Great Bend Airfest is official scheduled for Sept. 18-20. As plans and schedules are being finalized, Great Bend Municipal Airport Manager Martin Miller said early reservation opportunities for those interested in vintage warbird rides during the show.  The 2015 Airfest will include 17 different warbirds, and six of these will be offering rides to the public, Miller said. Early booking is available on-line for the B-29 FiFi, the B-25 Miss Mitchell, and the P-51 Gunfighter.  

FiFi is scheduled to fly in the morning each day with a range of seven seating prices, all of which are discounted if purchased prior to the event.

The C-45, UC-78, and PT-23 are also selling rides at the event, and the airport will provide advance contact information to those wanting to reserve rides. 

The helicopter rides will be sold on-site at $40 per person. Miller also said a number of seats are already booked and those interested should go on-line to

“The size and scope of this event will likely draw visitors and riders from a large geographic area,” Miller said. The 2015 Great Bend Airfest is the only event in Kansas this year to feature such nationally known aircraft: FiFi, Miss Mitchell, and Gunfighter. “We can expect over 100 private aircraft to arrive on Saturday due to the regional draw,”  he said. “Having a ride on any one of these vintage beauties is a bucket-list experience. This is the chance for people to experience the thrill from right here in Great Bend. As a result, those who wish to safeguard a reserved seat should consider booking early.” 

Additionally, this event features a “hangar dance” on Saturday evening presenting the nationally known “Ladies for Liberty”, who will sing patriotic songs and 1940’s music, accompanied by the local J. Bennett Band, under the direction of Marc Webster. 

Anyone with experience in 40s-era dances, or who has access to dance or military clothing can contact the airport office. Miller also said sponsorships are needed to keep the admission costs low for this event.  

Those who wish to honor a veteran, whether active or retired or deceased, may donate in a special category in honor of that individual.  

For more information on the plane rides, dance, sponsorship or any other information regarding the 2015 Great Bend Airfest, contact the airport office at 793-4168 or email, and visit