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Thu, Feb 12, 2004

Corsairs To Fly At Akron Air Show

Aero Expo 2004, June 19-20, Will Be A Present For Father's Day

If you're looking for someplace different to take your dad on Father's Day, the city of Akron and the Military Aviation Preservation Society (MAPS) Air Museum have a suggestion. The Aero Expo 2004: Defenders of Freedom Air Show will be held June 19-20 at Akron Fulton International Airport.

For the third year in a row, the show will return to the Fulton airport, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic announced this week. The air show is the third largest in the state. Sponsors are hoping to draw a crowd of 42,000, surpassing last year's crowd of 30,000.

This year, the show will feature the FG-1D and F-2G Corsair airplanes. The gull-wing planes -- 4,000 in all -- were built in Akron by Goodyear during World War II. They carried an R28 engine and flew 400 mph. The warbirds, which were used by the U.S. Marines and Navy, only number about six airworthy models today, one F-2G and five FG-1Ds. The only F-2G Corsair and one of the FG-1Ds will fly in for the event.

"These are living treasures that won't be around much longer,'' said Joseph Chevraux of the MAPS Air Museum, a nonprofit museum dedicated to preserving historic military aircraft and aviation artifacts. "We promote the history and restoration projects of aviation.''

All former pilots, mechanics, designers and builders of the Corsairs are asked to contact the MAPS Air Museum to be recognized in a special ceremony at the air show.This is the fifth year for the show. It started at Akron-Canton Airport in Green, where the museum is located. In 2002, construction projects at Akron-Canton forced the air show to relocate and it has done well at Fulton.

"We hope to eventually alternate the air show every year so that it will be held at each of the airports,'' Chevraux said. He added that MAPS welcomes any additional sponsorship opportunities.

Chevraux said MAPS has been working with other area air shows. So far, fly-bys include a B-2 stealth bomber, an F-117 stealth fighter and a B-52 Stratofortress. The Canadian Skyhawks parachute team will appear. The group, made up of Canadian military personnel, is only performing at three air shows in the United States this year. Among the other attractions: The Firebirds Flight Demonstration Aerobatic Team will perform both days. There will also be aircraft displays that will include helicopters from the Ohio National Guard and the Army 101st Airborne Division.

Gates will open at 8:30 a.m. both days. The show will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Presale tickets are available at any Acme supermarket for $8. Tickets will be $10 at the gate.



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