Dream of owning a vintage aircraft or pocketing $35,000? Then mark your calendar for Saturday, Sept. 9.
Wings of the North, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) founded in 1998, will host its fourth annual pancake breakfast sweepstakes at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie.
The grand prize is a meticulously refurbished 1948 Beechcraft Bonanza 35, known as “BB8,” or the $35,000. Ticket entries for the sweepstakes, priced at $50 each or three for $120, will be accepted until 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7.
All proceeds go toward reopening the group’s popular Minnesota-themed aviation museum at Flying Cloud Airport.
Bob Japserson, a spokesperson for the group, said they hope to open a new, permanent museum on Flying Cloud Drive at the northwest corner of the airport.
Previously, Wings of the North leased space from Club Jet Charter, but the lease was not renewed. Now, the organization hopes to construct a new museum, aiming for approximately 12,000 square feet. In addition to new exhibits, they plan to continue displaying other artifacts, including military uniforms.
“People may remember the Planes of Fame Museum, which was at Flying Cloud up until about 30 years ago, but then the owner moved himself and his collection of WWII military plans to Palm Spring, California, where he started a new museum,” Jasperson said.
Wings of the North has diligently been working for the $3 to $4 million to open a second version of the museum. Jasperson, who is retired, first started flying in 1962 in high school.
“We have about two dozen regular volunteers,” he said. “Another 200 or so people volunteer to work at our events.”
The pancake breakfast will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Sept. 9 in the new temporary location of the museum at 14837 Pioneer Trail. The pancake breakfast will mark the temporary museum’s first day open.
Access to the museum will be through Gate H on the northwest corner of the airport, about one mile west of Flying Cloud Drive on Pioneer Trail.
The drawing for the airplane (or cash) is expected to take place in the 9:30 to 9:45 a.m. time frame. Jim Rasmussen, a 99-year-old former B-17 navigator during World War ll, will pull the winning ticket. Several state and local officials are also expected to attend.
WOTN held its 25th annual air show in July and had 25 to 40 planes on display. Present was a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, the mainstay of the then-Army Air Corps long-range bombers both in Europe and the Pacific.
Also displayed in July was the Stearman trainer, which former president George W. Bush trained in while in Naval flight school.
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