Airplanes are heading for Iowa from all over the country, and many have already started so they’ll make the trip in time for the holiday weekend. Speed is not a big priority at the Antique Airplane Association, headquartered on a farm field near Blakesburg. Brent Taylor of Ottumwa is co-chair of the annual fly-in.His father founded the association in 1953 and they began fly-ins a year later. Some people fly there in modern-day small aircraft and spend the weekend camping, but the stars of the show are the antique airplanes.The organization deems any aircraft made before 1935 an “antique” but also has categories for classic aircraft up to 1941, war birds from WWII, and after 1946 they’re classed as neo-classics. The event begins Wednesday and goes through Labor Day, but its isolated field and membership requirement put this in a different class than events like Indianola’s Balloon Classic. Most people who come to the fly-in own planes or restore them and want to show them off, though visitors from all over the world include a pair of aviation journalists coming again this year from France. The planes are all in working order, since they have to be flown to Blakesburg for the annual event. But many are older than their pilots. A lot of biplanes come in, and this year the “theme aircraft” is the Great Lakes, manufactured in Cleveland Ohio in the 1920s and thirties and again in the 70s and 80s. You don’t have to be a pilot or plane owner, but membership and admission to the show will run about fifty dollars for the event Wednesday through next Monday.
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