Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie is hosting its annual Air Expo event this weekend.
Organized by the Wings of the North (WOTN), Air Expo 22 is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 23, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 24.
WOTN, a non-profit dedicated to inspiring the surrounding community to explore aviation and space through its history, heroes, and technology, hosted its first Air Expo back in 2000.
Since then, the Air Expo has grown in popularity. It has attracted a great deal of local interest through its flight demonstrations, aircraft displays, and hosting local aviation heroes and war veterans.
The event this year will feature between 30 and 40 commercial use and non-commercial use aircraft. Among many noteworthy airplanes present at the event is the British Spitfire, which was famously used in the Battle of Britain.
Other noteworthy foreign aircraft, such as the German Messerschmitt ME-109, used extensively by Germany’s Luftwaffe during World War II, will also be featured. The Air Expo will also have some notable modern aircraft, such as the UH-609 Black Hawk helicopter, which has seen action in modern warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Visitors to the event can get the exhilarating opportunity to ride in many of these aircraft and encounter what many others have experienced in the past. In addition, the Air Expo plans to have a pancake breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. on both days and show visitors around some of the extensive aircraft hangars.
While all of this is certain to attract a large number of visitors, for many, the most memorable part of the Air Expo is hearing from the war veterans in attendance.
Bob Jasperson, a board member and director of the WOTN museum, stated that his favorite part of the event is having the chance to “hear the stories of war veterans and ask them about their own experiences.”
He said what makes this part of the event so unique is that “so much of the history that these veterans speak of, you frankly don’t hear about in history class or history books.” In this sense, the chance to experience history firsthand, both in the air and through stories, makes this event memorable.
Tickets cost $20 for adults online or $25 at the gate, and $5 for children ages 6-17 either online or at the gate. Kids 5 and under are free.
More information on the Air Expo, including buying advanced tickets and parking information, can be found on Wings of the North’s website.