By SHANNON COGAN | WAVE 3 News
Bowman Field is one of the longest continuously operating commercial airports in the United States, established in 1920.
To celebrate, the 4th annual Bowmanfest is scheduled to take place Saturday and Sunday.
It’s a chance to see rare, vintage aircraft and warplanes from all over the United States, military vehicles and equipment, military memorabilia. Visitors can even take a ride in a plane, and the kids will have a great time with the more than two acres of inflatables!
There’s also a free concert Saturday evening. And what’s really special is that all veterans and active military get in free to the event with an ID.
1. There are tons of new things at Bowmanfest this year. What are you most excited about?
I’m excited by the B-17 coming to town. It was my favorite plane model to build as a kid. A few new things this year will be more planes, more activities for kids, an outdoor Saturday concert featuring MaryMary and Mood Ring Engagement, more entertainment and more parking, more space and more fun.
2. How cool that you can purchase a ride in some of these planes. You’ve been in a lot of planes, so which one would you suggest taking a spin in?
As professional aviators, we don’t recommend spinning in any aircraft unless with a fully qualified spin pilot in an aircraft designed to recover from the spin. But if you want a ride in an aircraft, pick the B-25.
3. The C-130 Hercules is going to be there. What’s the history behind this aircraft?
The C-130 Hercules has been the main tactical airlift aircraft for the United States since the 1960s. It is flown all over the globe and has been the workhorse of delivering troops and supplies to austere locations.
4. What’s your favorite memory about Bowman Field?
Totally loaded question. But for public consumption, taking my first small airplane ride with Earl Garr when I was 12.
5. Why is this festival so important to you?
It allows us to come together to discover or rediscover the wonder of aviation. This airfield is such a central part of our country’s history. It is always a joy to help preserve it. Some young person in the audience might be so inspired that they one day fly … a trans-atmospheric vehicle from New York to Tokyo in 30 minutes, or develop energy-efficient ways to keep aircraft aloft for days. Or someone might be inspired to seek a career in military aviation because as a 12-year-old, a friend took them for a ride in a Cessna 172.