By Terry Stephens
Over four decades, the Arlington Fly-In has become the largest general aviation event in the western states and the third largest nationally. During its July 9-13 event, Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO) expects to attract more than 50,000 visitors to see aircraft, aviation exhibits and daily air shows.
This year’s air shows feature the Cascade Warbirds, Red Eagle Air Sports’ twin biplanes, aerobatic performer Julie Clark, Northwest flying duo Bud and Ross Granley, the Cascade Warbirds, the Black Jack Squadron and others.
The Puget Sound Military Vehicles Collectors Club again brings the largest Northwest display of American and Canadian armored vehicles and weapons to Arlington. The military encampment includes the Cascade Warbirds’ vintage military aircraft. (A video of the Cascade Warbirds flying at the 2007 event is available on the Arlington Fly-In’s website.)
A new participant this year is Nostalgic Warbird and Biplane Rides, an Oregon enterprise operated by former fighter pilot and airline pilot Mike Carpentiero. He offers a choice of flying in a 1930 New Standard D-25 biplane or a 1941 PT-17 Stearman, a World War II open-cockpit trainer. In the Stearman, passengers have an option to fly or perform aerobatics in the plane themselves.
Also new is the Pacific Prowler, one of only a few B-25s still flying. A star of more than 80 Hollywood films, it will be open for tours daily, sponsored by Arlington’s Angel of the Winds Casino.
This year, the Arlington Fly-In drops Northwest Experimental Aircraft Association from its name for the first time in 20 years, a change that means more support, not less, from the 170,000-member EAA. It’s part of a formal agreement signed with EAA that clarifies the national group’s role, said the event’s executive director, Barbara Tolbert.
“The agreement offers the Arlington Fly-In a new, higher level of support from EAA,” she said. “We’ll be getting extensive promotional coverage of the event from EAA, which will be a major sponsor of educational forums and workshops.”
Adam Smith, EAA’s vice president of membership, said the association’s enhanced partnership would help ensure the future success of the Arlington event by increasing EAA’s participation. EAA judging standards will be used for Arlington’s aircraft awards program, and EAA will have a major presence at the air show. Also, EAA will host two SportAir workshops at the airport at other times of the year.
Hundreds of aircraft fly in for the annual event, including experimental homebuilts, to some of the latest general aviation aircraft, privately owned historic military planes and new light-sport aircraft.
For more information, visit [http://www.arlingtonflyin.org].