They call them the "old war birds," but Schaumburg Regional Airport officials hope a pair of restored World War II transport planes draw in plenty of new fans to their "Aviation Celebration" event this weekend.
The event will introduce families and aviation buffs to a variety of aircraft, from general aviation models and experimental aircraft, to news helicopters and the Red Baron restored plane.
It takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Schaumburg Regional Airport, 905 W. Irving Park Road in Schaumburg. Admission is $7 if purchased in advance at Pilot Pete's restaurant or at Northwest Flyers, both located at the airport, or $8 during the event.
"This is a chance for people to see an airplane up close, and to learn more about aviation, including where it's been and where it's going," says Justin Barchfeld of Northwest Flyers, an air charter and airport service company, which is co-sponsoring the event with Pilot Pete's.
The event builds on similar open houses sponsored in the past by the Schaumburg Park District. It will offer an arts and crafts fair, concessions, and a children's moonwalk, as well as an expanded offering of airplane rides.
"That's the one area we wanted to expand," Barchfeld adds. "It's nice to be able to see an airplane, but most people want to ride in one."
At the celebration, patrons can take rides in four types of planes, at a cost:
• Small, single-engine plane similar to aircraft that pilots train in, $25
• A Red Baron bi-plane, $85
• A helicopter, $35
• A C-47, a restored World War II transport plane, provided by the Commemorative Air Force, $95
One of the old war birds on hand will be a German World War II aircraft, similar to the one Adolph Hitler flew in to survey the war. The Junkers JU52 model is a three-engine transport that primarily was used by the German Luftwaffe or air force to transport troops and cargo, but also doubled as a medium range bomber.
"We just hope it excites more people about aviation," Barchfeld says. "This gives them a rare opportunity to see airplanes up close, and meet with the pilots."
All proceeds from admissions will be contributed to the Woodfield Area Children's Organization, which offers assistance to underprivileged children and their families in the Northwest suburbs.
If you go
What: Aviation Celebration, featuring airplane and helicopter rides, and airport open house
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Schaumburg Regional Airport, 905 W. Irving Park Road in Schaumburg
Admission: $7 if purchased in advance at Pilot Pete's restaurant or at Northwest Flyers both located at the airport, or $8 onsite
Flights: $25-$95, depending on the aircraft
Extras: Arts and crafts fair, concessions, moonwalk
Call: (847) 895-0315 or (847) 985-9778