There’s been a resurgence in air shows and conferences across the country feeding people’s interest and passion in aviation, whether it is for classic airbirds or the latest high tech Gulfstream jet featuring the coolest amenities.
“These aren’t just happening in the U.S., they are happening all over the world,” notes Shea Oakley, executive director of the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame which is hosting its own Wings and Wheels show on Sept. 23 and 24 at the Essex County Airport in New Jersey. “The Wings and Wheels shows, in particular, are blending the wide appeal of classic cars and aviation.”
The Hall of Fame show is sure to attract enthusiasts of World War II aircraft and those who love choppers. A highlight of the show will be a 1940's B17 Aluminum Overcast. People will have a chance to ride in the B17, but it comes at a price, adds Oakley.
A once in a lifetime opportunity.
It is believed there are only 11 B17's still in existence. The bombers were first used in the early 1940's, and prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, fewer than 200 of them were in service with the Army. They have an interesting history as there was an increased production because the bombers were destined for Europe to assist in World War II. However, the new bombers weren’t ready until 1945, and it was too late for World War II use. They were then declared surplus and stripped of military equipment.
The state of New Jersey is also playing host to another aviation conference in September, this one geared toward the latest high tech planes, in-flight entertainment systems, latest cockpit audio/visual equipment and safety and emergency equipment.
Conducted by the National Business Aviation Association in Morristown, New Jersey, the show includes seminars and plenty of cool planes, from Cessnas to Gulfstream to Bombardier. It is part of the NBAA Regional Forum series that brings together current and prospective business aircraft owners, operators, pilots, manufacturers and industry personnel.
The NBAA hosts numerous shows, conferences and expos and is also gearing up for one in Las Vegas. It is considered one of the largest shows, held over a three-day period and features the latest plane technologies, cool high-tech gear and safety and emergency equipment. Be sure to look for the SWITLIK team at Booth C11133.
You can find aviation shows and expos in London, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Maryland to name a few. No matter the aviation passion, it is sure to be fueled at any of these shows.
We had the pleasure several years ago of attending a wings and wheels several years ago at what is now a defunct naval air station. Testosterone was flowing through us as we ambled our way around the huge hanger and grounds of the once-thriving military base as we checked out the dozens of unique planes and studied the important role aviation plays in our military arsenal.
You could see families with young children, senior citizens strolling down memory lane as they shared their recollections with grandchildren, and of course, food.
“That’s the beauty of wings and wheels shows, bringing people together,” adds. NJAHOF’s Oakley. “It is people of all ages. Add a salute to veterans, as with our show, and it becomes an even more special event.”
Every show is unique and has special offerings for the crowd, but there is one unmistakable common link — love of all things aviation.
For a complete list of aviation and airshow events visit http://airwingmedia.com/airshows/.