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1911 Ely-Curtiss Pusher Replica, C-54 Spirit of Freedom to Appear at Virginia Regional Festival of Flight

March 26, 2013 - Bob Coolbaugh's 1911 Ely-Curtiss Pusher replica and the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation's C-54 Spirit of Freedom will be at the 2013 Virginia Festival of Flight slated for May 4-5 at Suffolk Executive Airport (SFQ).

The original Ely-Curtiss Pusher made the first takeoff and landing on a ship on January 18, 1911, a date recognized as the birthdate of U.S. naval aviation. Coolbaugh's replica, built to commemorate the centennial of U.S. naval aviation in 2011, visited many airports and aviation events around the country that year. The plane is now owned by the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach.

The C-54 Spirit of Freedom commemorates the heroic role played by pilots and crews of cargo aircraft that provided food, fuel, and supplies to the residents of Berlin after the Soviets closed the borders to land transport in 1948-1949. The four-engine flying museum will arrive on Friday afternoon, May 3, and be on display and open for tours.

New for 2013: On Sunday, May 5, Kirk and Jane Wicker will perform their Stearman wing-walking act from 1-2 p.m. Kirk will also perform his J-3 Cub Flying Farmer routine.

Other highlights for the weekend include vendor displays, forums, helicopters rides, EAA Young Eagles flights, and more. Past Festival of Flight events drew hundreds of aircraft, providing numerous opportunities to meet and greet fellow owners and builders.

For more information, visit the Virginia Regional Festival of Flight website.

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