CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It will be a trip back in time this weekend for aviation enthusiasts and even those with a passing curiosity about air travel in West Virginia. Yeager Airport will celebrate its 70th Anniversary with an air show in coordination with the 130th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard.
“We have a B-17 bomber, B-25 bomber, a C-46 which is a big transport plane that was assigned to what was then Kanawha Airport in the 1950’s. It will be on display alongside a modern day C-130.” said Nick Keller, Assistant Director of Yeager Airport.
The lineup for the two day show includes more than 50 aircraft spanning most of aviation history.
“We’ve got everything from a 1930’s Steerman Bi-Plane to two A-10 Warthogs from the Air Force,” said Keller.
The event will be Saturday and Sunday. Gates will open each day at 9:30 a.m. and the flying for the show begins around noon. It will be the same show both days. Limited parking will be allowed on the airfield for the elderly, handicapped, or those with children under the age of five. The airport will also provide shuttle service to park at the state capitol building or Capital High School and some parking at the airport facility. Parking and admission are both free.
“We’re very excited about this,” said Yeager Airport Director Terry Sayre. “It’s our 70th Anniversary and we’re looking for some very large crowds both days.”
Although the shows are set for Saturday and Sunday, those in the Kanawha Valley will notice some early displays to generate interest. The U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team will parachute the game ball into Steve Edwards Sr. Field prior to the George Washington vs. Woodrow Wilson high school football game Friday night. The Golden Knights will also perform two jumps each day at the Air Show. Earlier in the evening around 5 p.m. a formation of vintage war planes will fly in formation up and down the Kanawha Valley just in time for the evening rush hour.
“We’ll have a B-17, B-25, some World War II transport aircraft along with a P-51 Mustang and a Torpedo Dive Bomber, about eight or nine total aircraft,” said Keller. “They’re going to take off and fly down the Kanawha River to Nitro and then back over Cross Lanes, Institute, Dunbar, and Charleston again to raise awareness about the show.”