Coming down to the wire for this weekend’s Great Bend Municipal Airport Air Festival and Fly-In, changes and adjustments are continuing to be made, according to Airport Manager Martin Miller.
Just as the controls of an aircraft are constantly being manipulated as the craft comes in for a landing, plans for the air show continue to fluctuate — including one disappointing air bump.
Miller reported that due to mechanical problems, the air show will have to go on without Sentimental Journey, the B-17.
The airport manager was informed that the historic World War II bomber was grounded, “due to metal contamination in the number 3 engine.”
According to information from the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, it will be a major project just to get the historic airplane home safe so it can be worked on.
The good news, Miller noted, is that was not going to be the only military aircraft taking part in the weekend-long event.
There will be a World War II C-45 and a C-47, which will be available for flights and tours during the event, Miller noted.
Also coming will be a UC-79 Bobcat, a multi-engine trainer from World War II, and a Fairchild PT-23, which was used by the Army Air Corps as a trainer during the war.
“The Air Corps pilots were trained in three stages: Primary, Basic and Advanced, before they were sent to operational units to fly the combat aircraft. The pilots began their training in the simple primary aircraft such as our PT-23,” according to information from Miller.
The air show, which is free to the public throughout the weekend, will have a wide variety of other aircraft for people to see, Miller added, noting “the number of fly-ins and performers has substantially increased, and the public will be able to view a lot of aviation activity all three days, especially Saturday.”
Miller said the event will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Miller is encouraging the community to come out each day of the free event.
There will be all sorts of snacks and food available, and a special remote control night show, planned for Saturday evening, he reported.