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Community News

Akron air show back after hiatus

6/12/2008 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

This FG-1D Corsair was built by Goodyear Aircraft during World War II and will be at the Wings Over Akron air show.
The C-130 Hercules, based out of Mansfield, will be at the Wings Over Akron air show.
Photos courtesy of Wings Over Akron
SOUTH AKRON — After a one-year absence, Akron’s air show will return to bring excitement to the skies over Akron Fulton Airport.

Wings Over Akron, a new organization that formed in the last year to organize the show, will present the air show June 14-15.

According to Nathan Spencer, chairman of the air show, Wings Over Akron is made up of members of the Military Aviation Preservation Society (MAPS), based in Green, who still wanted to see the annual show take place. In previous years, the air show was put on by MAPS, which operates a museum near Akron-Canton Airport.

“MAPS no longer wanted to put on the show and they wanted to focus on the museum,” Spencer said. “A group of members decided we wanted to put on the show, and the city of Akron still wanted to keep the show.”

Spencer had worked at the air show over the past few years and knew it was a tradition that should be maintained.

“We got e-mails from people wanting to know if we were going to have a show,” Spencer said. “I’ve had e-mails from all over Ohio, some from Washington, D.C., and adjoining states. It’s pretty popular.”

The air show’s popularity is due to its organizers’ belief that attendees should be able to get close up to some of the flying machines taking part.

“At a lot of other air shows, any aircraft that flies, the public can’t get up close to them,” Spencer said. “Most anything that flies [in the Akron show], the public can get around them. That’s what a lot of people like, especially with the older airplanes.”

The theme of this year’s show is “A Salute to Akron Aviation.” Spencer said Akron’s aviation history will be highlighted throughout the weekend of the show.

“Goodyear Aircraft built the FG-1D Corsair during World War II,” Spencer said. “It was built by a different company originally and they couldn’t keep up with demand, so it was subcontracted out to Goodyear Aircraft. We have one coming in to fly; one that was built here in Akron.”

He added that after World War II, there was a naval air station at Akron Fulton Airport and some of the aircraft based there will be at the show.

Other aircraft scheduled to appear are a P-51D Mustang, B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell, AD-4 Skyraider, PBY Catalina, C-47 Skytrain and C-54 Skymaster.

Spencer said Wings Over Akron hopes to eventually use the air show as a fund-raiser to support nonprofit organizations, especially veterans groups, but for now the organization hopes to be able to support the costs of putting on the show.

“Aviation fuel is over $5 a gallon,” Spencer said. “A B-24 requires 1,500 gallons of fuel to fly.”

Presale tickets to the air show, available at Acme Fresh Market stores and at www.wingsoverakron.org, are $9 for adults and $7 for children ages 6-12. At the gate, tickets will be $12 and $10, respectively. Children younger than 6 will be admitted for free with the donation of an empty Coke can. Gates will open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. both days of the show.

Akron-Fulton Airport is located at 1436 Triplett Blvd. in South Akron. Parking, at a cost of $5, will be available in surrounding lots. Free shuttles will be available to take attendees to the airport site.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations do not allow food or beverages to be brought on site. Refreshments will be sold at the air show. Attendees are allowed to bring folding chairs and blankets.

For more information, call (330) 650-1938 or visit the Web site.

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