Har­vards take flight

Tillsonburg News - - OPINION - GREG COL­GAN

the till­son­burg re­gional air­port was busier than most week­ends.

the 11th an­nual Wings and Wheels Fam­ily Fun day took place at the till­son­burg re­gional air­port satur­day with about 1,500 people tak­ing to the air­field on a windy and cold day.

the event was run by the Cana­dian Har­vard air­craft as­so­ci­a­tion and staged in con­junc­tion with the by­gone iron Car Club of Wood­stock.

sev­eral air­craft were on dis­play, in­clud­ing the club’s mark ii and mark iV Har­vards that gave about 25 10-minute rides at $150 each. two na-64 yales, a dH-82C tiger moth, two stear­mans, a l-29 delfin were on site, while the t-28 tro­jan and baC strike­mas­ter ended the show by fly­ing in for­ma­tion.

the day also had about 230 clas­sic cars on the grass for people to see, while planes flew over­head.

“it’s nice since we com­bine the two and you don’t get to usu­ally too many planes take off at other car shows,” event co-or­ga­nizer shane Clay­ton said.

For the Har­vard club, the day is a main fundraiser for the year, but also serves as a way to gen­er­ate mem­ber­ship with the sec­ond World War and 1950s era Har­vard’s be­ing the main­stay of the club’s air­borne fleet.

Clay­ton said the club has t Har­vards - five mark iV’s and three mark ii’s - with three fly­ing and an­other one near­ing restora­tion com­ple­tion hope­fully in the air next year. the hangars also had Har­vard’s in dif­fer­ent stages of the restora­tion pro­cesses, while club mer­chan­dise and food was also on sale.

the Har­vard was the main train­ing plane for the royal Cana­dian air Force dur­ing the sec­ond World War, with close to 3,000 mark ii’s be­ing pro­duced from 1940 to 1945. Fol­low­ing the end of the war, the Har­vard was re­tired and most sold off but re­turned to ser­vice with the start of the Cold War as the mark iV was in use un­til 1966.

the day al­lows the club to show­case the historic planes and of­fer people to see part of Cana­dian mil­i­tary his­tory first­hand as well as pro­mote the club to in­ter­ested people.

“the fact we’re here. a lot of people go, ‘till­son­burg has an air­port?’ We’re try­ing to ex­pand our mem­ber­ship to con­tinue longterm,” Clay­ton said. “guys with old cars love to tinker with stuff and planes are the same way.

“ev­ery­one’s a vol­un­teer in keep­ing the air­planes go­ing. Whether it’s fix­ing en­gines, sell­ing shirts or sell­ing rides, ev­ery­thing comes down to horse­power in keep­ing events run­ning,” he added. “it’s good to keep the pub­lic aware of the club… We started on a whim 11 years ago and now it’s an an­nual tra­di­tion.” gcol­gan@post­media.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.