Harvest Festival and Fly-In features historic, experimental, military aircraft

Virginia Aeronautical Historical SocietyThousands of families from Virginia and Maryland are expected Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Shannon Airport Campus for the fifth annual Harvest Festival and Fly-In.

The event, which benefits the Shannon Air Museum and Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame, both of which are located at Shannon, has quickly become one of the region’s most popular events for its family fun and first-class line-up of aviation and related activities.

Among the many highlights are an “aviation style” trick or treat —a fly-by candy-drop by Virginia Hall of Fame pilot Chuck Tippett — as well as a fly-in by pilots of general aviation and experimental aircraft. Former NASA astronaut Joe Edwards will make a special appearance with his T-6 airplane — an aircraft used to train American and Allied pilots during World War II. Edwards, the only astronaut airshow performer in the world, is a former Navy aviator, test pilot, a warbird aerobatic pilot and aerospace engineer. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Navy’s famous Top Gun Naval Fighters Weapons School.

Numerous other activities include the  children’s contest for the most creative aviation-themed costumes, Fredericksburg Police Department drone demonstrations, Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Department Motorcycle exhibitions, train rides, face painting, glitter tattoos, a moon bounce, food, vendors and more. The historic C-54E military aircraft known as the “Spirit of Freedom,” which flew trans-Atlantic missions into Germany during the 1948-49 Berlin Airlift, as well as its on-board museum exhibit, also will be at the festival.

2019 marks 70-year anniversary of the conclusion of the Berlin Air Lift, an American-led allied operation that flew daily, round-the-clock missions to stock the people of West Berlin with food, water, medicine and a vast array of supplies after the Soviet Union established a blockade of the split German capital city, which was partitioned inside Soviet satellite nation of East Germany. The aircraft contains a full museum exhibit of artifacts from the campaign, including photographs, a computer animated tour and related items from this seminal moment in Cold War history. visit http://www.spiritoffreedom.org.

The Harvest Festival and Fly-In is from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Shannon Airport, 3380 Shannon Airport Circle, Fredericksburg, Va. Tickets are $10.00 for adults, $5.00 ages 4-12 and free for children three and younger. All proceeds benefit the Shannon Air Museum and the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame, both of which are open to the public on the Shannon Airport Campus. The beneficiaries are 501 (c) (3) non-profit organizations.

The Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame is administered and maintained by the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society, both founded in 1978. Each is headquartered at the Shannon Airport Campus in Fredericksburg in partnership with the Shannon Air Museum, which houses one of the premier aviation collections in the world. Among the many distinguished members of the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame are Dr. Christopher Kraft, the architect of NASA’s Mission Control operations and its Manned Space Flight Center, which guided America’s first astronauts and the Apollo moon landing missions; and “Hidden Figure” Katherine Johnson, who was responsible for many of the orbital and space flight trajectory computations for NASA’s first manned spaceflights before the use of computers, as well as playing key roles in the Apollo 11 and 13 missions.

For more information about the VAHS and the Virginia Aviation Hall of fame visit https://virginiaaviationhistory.org. For images and more information about the Shannon Air Museum visit https://www.shannonairmuseum.com.

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