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Tue, Sept. 22

Annual air display<br>to be staged in Valle

After a hearty pancake breakfast and venturing through a half dozen or so vendor booths, visitors to this weekend’s sixth annual High Country Warbirds Air Display can experience part of the history involving the most impressive military aircraft in the world.

The Air Museum Planes of Fame’s High Country Warbirds Air Display returns to Valle for the sixth year.

The event at the Air Museum Planes of Fame in Valle runs all day Saturday and Sunday. World War II combat planes will be featured, along with other vintage aircraft, classics and home-builts.

Bob Reed, Planes of Fame general manager, said the air display will include demonstration rides in the actual aircraft. For a fee, passengers can go up in various types of planes.

“People will be coming in from all over — Vegas, Prescott, Scottsdale,” Reed said. “It’s just hard to say where they’ll be coming from.”

Both days kick off at 7 a.m., with a pancake, eggs and sausage breakfast hosted by the Valle-Wood Volunteer Fire Department. The group depends on the fund-raiser to help raise money for the rural fire department. The air display will begin at around 8 a.m., and continue into the late afternoon hours.

The RC Flying Club out of Page will be back this year for model airplane demonstrations. The Planes of Fame Radio Club will also be participating.

The event has steadily grown since its inaugural air display in 1998. An undetermined number of vendors will take part in the event, including a spot where visitors can purchase barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as cold beverages.

Reed, who has been overseeing the Valle museum since its opening in 1995, will have the 31,000 square-foot hanger open for all to see. Last year was the first year for the new hanger at the air display.

There are more than two dozen warbirds and classic aircraft on display at the facility, along with drone aircraft, scale model aircraft and a variety of aviation artifacts.

A plane that always draws attention is “Bataan,” the Lockheed C-121 Constellation once used by Gen. Douglas MacArthur as his personal transport. The biggest plane in the collection, it was restored inside and out just as it was when used by MacArthur during the Korean War.

The museum is an extension of the Planes of Fame facility in Chino, Calif. Reed said the California museum complex is undergoing an expansion project and it could not be confirmed which planes would be heading to Valle.

Tickets for the High Country Warbirds Air Display are $8 for adults, free for kids under 12. Advance discount tickets are available until Friday at the museum. Call 928-635-1000 to purchase or for more information.

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