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Big planes part of Cottonwood Airfest 2011

The B-25 Mitchell will be forever linked  to the historic Doolittle Raid on Japan in April 1942.

The B-25 Mitchell will be forever linked to the historic Doolittle Raid on Japan in April 1942.

COTTONWOOD -- Don't look for slow moving hot air balloons or para-gliders this year, but the Cottonwood Airport Airfest 2011 returns Saturday, Oct. 15, with fun and excitement for every-age aircraft enthusiast. This year the emphasis is on big. Entrance fee is only $3. Kids under 12 are free.

The formal show opening will be punctuated with an overflight of powerful F16 Fighters from the Air National Guard 162nd Fighter Wing.

Cottonwood Airport Authority Chairman Jim Money says the overflight will be punctual at 10 a.m. sharp so everyone should be in a good position with cameras.

The F-16s will open the formal announcements and VFW honor guard at 10 a.m. on the ground. Vice Mayor Karen Pfeifer will give a few words.

If you are at the airstrip between 7 and 10 a.m., you can warm up with a big plate of pancakes and fixings at $5 ($10 for full family). And that is just the beginning.

The 2011 Airfest Fly-in is a great opportunity to get on the air strip and enjoy a parade of classic and contemporary aircraft and classic cars and war re-enactors.

The collection

The Commemorative Air Force will bring a North American B-25 Mitchell bomber as well as a Beech C-45 twin-engine trainer, both huge transport planes. They will be on the ground for viewing, but air flights are available for a premium.

Watch for the big planes in the air Friday afternoon and keep an eye open for their landing at P52.

Collecting flying warbirds for half a century, the Commemorative Air Force (formerly the Confederate Air Force) is the largest flying museum in the world.  With 70 wing units in 27 states, the association honors American military aviation through flight, exhibition and by maintaining a collection of more than 160 airplanes representing 60 different types of classic American and select foreign aircraft from military conflicts since WWII. 

You can also imagine the battles under way with WWII re-enactors with British, Russian and German contingents dressed in authentic uniforms, with genuine vehicles and equipment conducting simulated battles at the Airfest.

There will also be a wide variety of other vintage and World War II-era aircraft. There are Steerman biplane trainers, the popular AT-6, and L-4 Observation plane and many others.

See experimental aircraft assembled by local builders. There will also be larger conventional aircraft like the Arizona State Game and Fish Cessna 185 Skywagon. Civil Air Patrol planes and the Cutter American Champion.

Hang-gliders will float in soundlessly.

Hog Wild BBQ will be on hand with its award-winning barbeque throughout the day to stifle hunger.

For the kids

A special 'hangar' will be set up in a tent where kids 12 and under can build simple wooden planes from kits.

There will also be contests for balsa wood planes. Kids will compete in contests based on their age group.

For those more comfortable on the ground will also enjoy an invitation Classic Car Show will showcase a variety of cool collector cars.

There will also be a number of displays and vendors on the ground. Vendor space is still available. Call the Cottonwood Airport at 340-2777.

The event is sponsored by Larry Green Chevrolet, Country Bank, Verde Independent and Yavapai Broadcasting.

If You Go ...

• What: Cottonwood Airfest 2011 Fly-in

• When: Oct 15, 7 a.m. on (Opening address 10 a.m.)

• Where: Cottonwood Airport, 1001 W. Mingus Ave.

• How Much: $3 for adults, children 12 and under free.

By Jon Hutchinson

Staff Reporter



Two tangible examples of World War II history will be on display, both in the air and on the ground, at the Cottonwood Airport Airfest 2011 Saturday. The event, will showcase a variety of military and civilian aircraft including, this year, a North American B-25 Mitchell bomber and a Beech C-45 twin-engine trainer. The two large planes will be flown by the Mesa Chapter of the Commemorative Air Force, which represents major factors in U.S. effort to win WWII.

The B-25 Mitchell will be forever linked to the historic Doolittle Raid on Japan in April 1942. That raid boosted morale for a nation stunned by a series of military defeats and setbacks. The raid also shook the Japanese Empire's belief in its invincibility. Under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, the Army Mitchell bombers were launched from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet in the waters east of Japan. The damage, their bombs did to targets in Tokyo, Yokohama and other Japanese cities was comparatively minor, but their effect on the morale of both sides was incalculable.

The Beech C-45 a military version of the Beechcraft Model 18 civilian plane, trained tens of thousands of Army and Navy bomber and transport pilots throughout the award. In various configurations, it served as navigator, bombardier and aerial gunner trains as well as a transport aircraft in combat zones.

Tour and rides in both the B-25 and C-45 over the Verde Valley will be offered throughout the day.

Two tangible examples of World War II history will be on display, both in the air and on the ground, at the Cottonwood Airport Airfest 2011 Saturday. The event, will showcase a variety of military and civilian aircraft including, this year, a North American B-25 Mitchell bomber and a Beech C-45 twin-engine trainer. The two large planes will be flown by the Mesa Chapter of the Commemorative Air Force, which represents major factors in U.S. effort to win WWII.

The B-25 Mitchell will be forever linked to the historic Doolittle Raid on Japan in April 1942. That raid boosted morale for a nation stunned by a series of military defeats and setbacks. The raid also shook the Japanese Empire's belief in its invincibility. Under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, the Army Mitchell bombers were launched from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet in the waters east of Japan. The damage, their bombs did to targets in Tokyo, Yokohama and other Japanese cities was comparatively minor, but their effect on the morale of both sides was incalculable.

The Beech C-45 a military version of the Beechcraft Model 18 civilian plane, trained tens of thousands of Army and Navy bomber and transport pilots throughout the award. In various configurations, it served as navigator, bombardier and aerial gunner trains as well as a transport aircraft in combat zones.

Tour and rides in both the B-25 and C-45 over the Verde Valley will be offered throughout the day.
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