Rides on two unique airplanes will be available Friday evening and Saturday at the Warsaw Municipal Airport.
The planes include a 1929 New Standard D-25 and a 1943 North American T-6.
Airport Manager Nick King said the purpose of the airplane rides is “just an airport fun day, just to get people out here.”
Both aircraft were part of the 2015 airshow at the airport.
“We had such a great relationship with them from the air show – we thought it would be good to have them back and do something fun just to get people out here,” he said.
Cost to ride the D-25 is $75 per passenger. Helmets and goggles will be provided.
“The D-25 is a four-passenger with one pilot. There’s, I believe, nine left in existence. And it is a really fun ride because you’re in an open cockpit,” King said.
Since the D-25 holds four people, he said families and friends can take the ride together.
“It’s geared toward children just as much as adults so that is a very, very fun ride for that,” King said.
Rides on the T-6 are $250 for 15 minutes or $415 for 30 minutes. It is a single-guest experience.
“The North American T-6 was a trainer during World War II to get pilots ready for the Army Air Corp. … It’s pretty neat to be able to get into a Warbird and actually go up for awhile and get a ride from that,” King said.
He said he’s been in a T-6 before and “they’re loud and just a lot of fun to be in.”
King said the airport will have a table at First Friday in downtown Warsaw for people to register.
Rides will be available from 5 p.m. to dusk Friday and beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.
“With these aircraft, we can only give rides until dusk. … But that’s the way the FAA limits ride-giving on these aircraft,” he said.
On Saturday, rides will be available as long as there is a demand. If there’s enough interest, the pilots may stay through Sunday, depending on the number of reservations.
With the airplane rides, King said the airport was testing the waters to see how it goes.
“We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls and emails asking if this was going to be another airshow. It’s not another airshow, though it is kind of getting our toes wet, seeing if there’s still an interest in that, seeing if it’s something the public would like for us to bring back in the future,” he explained.
While the airshows were well attended in the past, King said the problem was funding them.
“A lot of people wanted free airshows and airshows aren’t free. The only free airshows are actually put on by the Air Force, and they’re free because the Air Force pays for them, which is funded by taxpayer dollars. There’s no such thing as a free airshow, and that’s where we’re really hurting with funding, and I would like to bring that back, and this is one of those ways where we can get the public engaged and a part of this, then maybe that’s one way where we can potentially garner more interest in funding an air show,” King said.
If the weather is bad Saturday, he said they’ll try to provide the rides on Sunday, but that will depend on the pilots’ schedules. As of Tuesday, good weather is expected Saturday.
King advised kids seeking to ride should be at least 4 or 5 years old.
“At the airshow, we’ve had people (in the D-25) as young as 4 and as old as 94 in the aircraft, and the same thing as the T-6. The T-6, you probably want to be a little older for that one because the way the cockpit is designed, a young child is not going to be able to see outside and that’s not a very fun flight,” King said.
For more information or for reservations, call Nostalgic at 260-450-7350. Information on the T-6 can be found at www.nostalgicflights.com.
More information on the D-25 is available online at www.waldowrights.com, and reservations can be made in advance by calling 863-873-1339