1940s Big Band Dance and Fly-In set for Saturday and Sunday

Dance and aircraft events will benefit city's aviation museum

September 23, 2010|By TIFFANY ARNOLD
  • Funds raised from the 1940s Big Band Dance and Fly-in on Saturday will help pay for a new building in which the Hagerstown Aviation Museum can display historic airplanes such as these.
Submitted photo,

On Saturday, Hagerstown Regional Airport terminal will transport people back in time.

Hagerstown Aviation Museum will host a 1940s-themed dance and fly-in in an effort to raise money to house its collection of antique, Hagerstown-made aircraft.

The dance is Saturday, Sept. 25, at the terminal. The fly-in is Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26, at the nearby Hagerstown Aircraft Services. The museum's collection will be on display during the fly-in, as will aircraft from private owners, said Tracey Potter, the museum's vice president and one of its founders. Potter also owns Hagerstown Aircraft Services, which has hosted the fly-in for more than a decade.

Martinsburg Big Band will provide the soundtrack at the themed dance, evoking the atmosphere of soldier boys, soda fountains and finger wave hair-dos similar to what would have been going on locally during the war, Potter said. Dressing up, though, is optional.

The dance and fly-in is framed around the Hagerstown Aviation Museum's intention to highlight Hagerstown's aviation history and offer a behind-the-curtain look at flying.


Getting up and personal with planes is tougher in today's post-9/11 society, Potter said.

"People are fascinated by flight," Potter said. "This gives them a view that can't get."

Weather permitting, children ages 8 to 17 can get a free plane ride courtesy of the Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles program.

Attendees can view antique and vintage planes built in Hagerstown. Private owners will be flying in their home-built aircraft, as well. While there's no air show, Potter said there will be flight demonstrations, if the weather allows.

Because there are plenty of displays on the ground, the event won't be ruined due to weather.

Potter said the museum's long-term goal is to house its aircraft collection under a single roof. Currently, the planes are scattered throughout hangars at Hagerstown Regional Airport and Hagerstown Aircraft Services. The museum's board is in the final phases of unveiling plans for a museum welcome center in the short term, Potter said.

Hagerstown was once home to Fairchild Aircraft, an aircraft plant that for decades employed thousands of residents who still have sentimental ties to the planes they helped build, particularly in the case of the C-82 Packet and Fairchild C-119 aircraft. The cargo planes are both referred to as the Flying Boxcar. Prior fly-ins have brought out former "Rosies," the women who worked at the factory during World War II.

"You really get a sense of pride they had in building those," Potter said.

If you go ...

WHAT: 1940s Big Band Dance and Fly-in

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26.

o The dance is 6:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday

o The fly-in is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

o The Experimental Aviation Association is hosting breakfast and lunch Saturday and Sunday and will be using the proceeds as a EAA fundraiser. Breakfast is from 8 to 11 a.m., with lunch starting thereafter. No reservations required.

WHERE: The dance will be held at Hagerstown Regional Airport Terminal, off Showalter Road, north of Hagerstown. The fly-in will be held Hagerstown Aircraft Services, 14235 Oak Springs Road, north of Hagerstown.

COST: Free admission to the fly-in. Dance tickets cost $25 and are available at the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau and online at . Tickets for a $2,000 raffle prize cost $10 for a single ticket, which are also available at .

MORE: View historic aircraft displays C-82, C-119, PT-19, PT-26, as well as homebuilts, warbirds, and modern, classic and antique planes during the fly-in.

CONTACT: Call 301-733-8717 or go to .

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