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COPPERSTATE Readies for 39th Annual Event

Final major fly-in of the year set for this week


From the Hummelbird to the PB4Y-2 Privateer, a wide variety of aircraft are expected at next week's COPPERSTATE Fly-In & Aviation Expo.

October 13, 2011 – Organizers and volunteers for the COPPERSTATE Fly-In & Aviation Expo are making final preparations for next week’s 39th annual event at the Casa Grande Municipal Airport in Casa Grande, Arizona. COPPERSTATE 2011 promises to be filled with outstanding aircraft - flying and on display - informative forums, presentations, and workshops, and plenty of the latest aviation products in the exhibit tent. This year’s fly-in is scheduled for Thursday, October 20, through Saturday, October 22, with more than 500 aircraft and 7,000-plus attendees expected.

A major participant this year will be the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) based in nearby Mesa, which will bring its B-17 bomber Sentimental Journey; B-25 bomber Maid in the Shade; and SNJ T-6 advanced trainer. Attendees will have the chance to fly on these three aircraft, along with a special rate of $55 on a vintage C-45, during the fly-in. Flights will also be available on an Aeronca L-16, a biplane, and helicopter. 

Another old warbird slated to appear is the world’s only airworthy Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer, a patrol bomber/tanker that’s the Navy variant of the B-24 heavy bomber. The airplane spent its first 61 years as a Coast Guard plane, aerial tanker, and fire bomber before it was auctioned off in 2006 to a group of private individuals. Volunteers gave their time and expertise to bring the aircraft back and keep it flying.

At the other end of the spectrum is Ted Dearing’s 340-pound single-seat Hummelbird, which cruises at 115 mph and burns about 2.6 gallons of autogas per hour.  Also scheduled to attend is Chandler, Arizona-based pilot Larry Perkins and Red Dog, a P-51 Mustang fighter, from Ron Pratte’s vintage aircraft collection.

EAA’s Ron Wagner will also be at COPPERSTATE, presenting two forums: “Sport Pilot - Ask an EAA Expert” at 1 p.m. Thursday; and “Update From EAA Headquarters” at 1 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday. He will also be meeting and greeting EAAers at EAA Chapter 1445’s membership exhibit.

EAA Experimenter newsletter editor Pat Panzera will conduct three Corvair Conversions presentations: Thursday at 3 p.m., Friday at 9 a.m., and Saturday at 9 a.m. in Tent 5, plus will discuss the recent Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google at noon Friday. Finally, Panzera discusses Elippse Propellers at 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

For complete information, including arrival and departure procedures, camping information, Saturday’s Awards Banquet, and more, click here.

Editors note: We recently received information that Fuelventure has been canceled due to lack of participation.


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