The annual family-oriented celebration, expanded this year to mark the base’s centennial, has scheduled civilian plane flyovers, parachute jumps, historic aircraft displays, hay rides and a litany of attractions on the historic field, organizers said.
“Part of what the Aero Carnival is doing is highlighting the time period of the Wright brothers, but also the changes that have taken place in aviation particularly since the time of the Wrights,” Petersen said.
Huffman Prairie is where Orville and Wilbur Wright taught themselves to fly in 1904-05 after their first flight on the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, N.C. in 1903. And it’s where the world’s first pilots learned the craft between 1910 and 1916, Petersen said.
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The Aero Carnival can be reached via Ohio 444 through Wright-Patterson Gate 16A, near the entrance to Twin Base Golf Course. Follow the signs to reach the prairie, organizers said. The free event is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We’d like for (attendees) to take away the fact that Wright-Patterson is 100 years old … and we think it’s the most important air base, especially with all the organizations we have here,” said Paul Woodruff, Wright-Patterson cultural resource manager.
Saturday’s forecast calls for fall-like conditions, according to WHIO-TV meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs. Morning temperatures will start in the 50s and rise to a high of 70 degrees, roughly 10 degrees below normal. “Although cool, it will be a bright, sunny day from start to finish,” she said.
The Aero Carnival isn’t the only upcoming celebration to mark the base’s century milestone.
On Oct. 5, organizers will commemorate McCook Field’s 100th anniversary with sky divers, an aerial parade, musical performances and a historical marker dedication at the old site. The event, at 444 N. Bend Boulevard, is set to start at 1:30 p.m.
This newspaper explores the pioneering aviation inventions and discoveries at Wright-Patterson and its predecessors the past century as the Miami Valley base marks its 100th anniversary in 2017.