The Warbirds fly in at Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport wasn’t as impressive as it has been in previous years.
Airport manager Charley Rogers said he’d hoped to have more World War II-era military planes than the half dozen who were there by noon.
“We had 28 who said they were coming in,” Rogers said. “Sometimes you have people who say they are coming in and then something comes up and they don’t, and sometimes you have people who don’t say they’ll show up who do.”
Rogers said a forecast of late afternoon thunder storms for the area may have convinced some pilots not to make the trip.
Those who did were greeted by about thirty people, mostly families with children, who gathered around to look at the old airplanes.
Among them was a Fairchild J2K-2 painted to resemble one that served at the Coast Guard Air Station in Charleston in 1936. It’s a four passenger plane, with a top speed of 124 mile per hour.
Mike Kuhnert, was there with another Fairchild, a PT-19. Originally from Germany, he flies out of Saluda now.
One of the more interesting plans was a Boeing PT-17 bi-plane. It was one of the most used training aircraft in World War II even though almost all combat aircraft were monoplanes at that time.
“Let me tell you about that,” said pilot Dan Serio. “It was because this is harder to fly, because it’s a tail dragger. They figures if you could fly this, you could fly anything. So, although the combat planes were monoplanes, everyone started off in one of these. The Navy had a version too, which was only slightly different.”
Serio said his plane’s top speed is about 110 mile per hour.
The Warbirds fly-in is an annual event at Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport, a privately owned general aviation field with facilities for small private aircraft and helicopters. When the president visits the area, Marine 1, the presidential helicopter, frequently lands at the airport to be available in case of emergency.