Vintage Airplanes Alight in Big Bear

The Big Bear Air Fair'll feature a fleet of historic planes (plus bi-plane rides, too).

BIG WINGS, BIG BEAR: Spying a storied flying machine under a roof  and next to some walls inside a quiet, gallery-filled institution is surely stirring, as many fans of flight can attest. A museum or hangar or flight school are often some of the only places to see the planes of yore, the propellers and engines that phroomed through the clouds in World War II and before and after the war. But air fairs do a very nifty little trick, when they come around on the calendar, and that trick is this: They draw the planes out into the sunshine, and under the sky, and admiring a work of masterful aviation in its natural habitat -- below the Big Blue Expanse -- is a different sort of stirring sight. Fans of flight and World War II historians and those people who've always wanted to try riding in a bi-plane will have that chance, to pair historic planes on the ground with the cloud-billowy sky overhead, on Saturday, Aug. 15 when the Big Bear Air Fair returns to the mountain.

IT'S FREE... to attend, and there's lots of looking/wandering to be done. Several World War II Warbirds shall dot the grounds of the Big Bear City Airport. A Douglas C-47 Skytrain, a P-47 Thunderbolt, and F4U Corsair are three of the machines attendees will see, in addition to "an original P-51 Mustang that was flown by Tuskegee Airmen during World War II." This is the craft's first appearance at the annual air fair.

OTHER ENTERTAINMENT... shall be offered during the day, from live tunes to kid fun (inflatable slides and such) to a classic car show. Enjoy the freeness, no-cash-a-tude of the day, but if you want to go up in a helicopter or biplane, pack a little green. However you soak in the history and stories, be sure to glance from the plane you're standing before to the sky above it a few times, the better to imagine how it first looked when it first took wing so many decades ago.

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