Submitted photo. This 1940 Douglas DC 3 airliner will be making its third appearance at Harry Clever Airport August 25-26 as part of EAA Chapter 1077's Living History Flights series.

New Philadelphia, Ohio - Aviation enthusiasts of all ages will have a rare opportunity to take to the skies in a DC 3 airliner or B-25 bomber during this summer’s Living History Flights.

This year’s Living History Flights event is scheduled for Saturday, August 25, and Sunday, August 26, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Harry Clever Airport in New Philadelphia.

Throughout the day on both days, attendees will have an opportunity to travel back in time to the Golden Age of Aviation as they ride in or photograph a fully-restored and flightworthy WWII B-25 bomber or a 1940 DC 3 passenger airliner. 

Terry Henry is a pilot and the spokesman for the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, or EAA, the group behind the Living History Flights series. He says the purpose of the series is to share with the local community the joy of flight and the history of aviation. 

“It’s to have people step back in time,” he says. “We’re trying to educate people about the past and about past aircraft and how we got to the point where we are today.”

The DC 3 will fly in for the weekend from the Candler Field Museum in Williamson, Georgia, for its third appearance at the local airport. 

The passenger airliner was originally commissioned in 1939 by Tom Braniff of Braniff Airways to carry passengers between Chicago, Kansas City and Dallas. It changed hands several times during its lifespan but remained in service until the bankruptcy of Eastern Airlines in the 1980s. 

The plane was purchased in 1991 by Alexander Aeroplane Company owner Ron Alexander, who transported the airliner to its new home and began working to restore it to its former glory. When he sold his company five years later, in 1996, he kept the airliner and began using it for instructional and educational purposes.    

Alexander brought the DC 3 to the local airport on two occasions to offer rides before his tragic death in a fiery plane crash in 2016. 

The plane is now owned by Jim Sells, who has graciously agreed to offer another round of rides in the airliner as part of this year’s installment of the Living History Flights series.  

Tickets to ride in the DC 3, which has appeared in several Hollywood films, are $75 each. Reservations are encouraged but walk-ins are welcome. 

For the first time ever, the chapter will also be welcoming a second antique aircraft to the event - a rare, full-sized WWII B-25 bomber identical to those that flew off the deck of the U.S.S. Hornet on April 18, 1942, to launch the first air attack of Japan. 

“We’re excited. It’ll be a really fun event, and it’s the first time that we’ve ever had two airplanes here like that doing rides,” Henry says of the bomber.

Tickets to ride in the bomber are significantly pricier, starting at $395 for a 20 to 25-minute ride, but those willing to make the splurge will be treated to an unforgettable aviation experience. 

Reservations for both rides can be made by calling 330-340-2999. There is no cost to enter the airport to photograph and view the planes.

Ticket prices are set by each aircraft’s owner, however, a portion of the proceeds from each ticket will be returned to the local EAA to chapter to help fund aviation-related educational opportunities like the Wright Flight and Young Eagles programs.

Wright Flight is a 10-week program that introduces students in grades 6-9 to the history of aviation and inner workings or aircraft through a series of classroom lessons and hands-on learning activities. On the tenth week, students get an opportunity to go up in the air and fly alongside a licensed pilot.

Young Eagles is a free program that allows children ages 8 to 17 to experience the thrill of flight during a short, 10-minute ride with a licensed pilot.

The chapter will have food available for purchase throughout the weekend, and 100 percent of the money raised will be used for chapter events and programming. 

Henry notes that the chapter also hosts an annual pancake breakfast fundraiser on the Sunday before Memorial Day, however, this year, the event has been pushed back to the following Sunday, September 2. 

“It’ll be the following Sunday after these guys leave because we didn’t want to do two [events] in a row,” Henry says.

Financial support for the Living History Flights series was provided by individual members, area businesses, and community foundations. Henry notes that the cost to the chapter to bring in the planes and pay for accommodations for the crews and pilots is around $8,000.

Stacey Carmany, TuscoTV

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