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Sat, Aug 19, 2023

Gala National Aviation Day Celebration Planned

Dakota Territory Air Museum Welcomes All

Established in 1939 by U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, National Aviation Day is a United States national observation acknowledging and honoring the development of aviation.

Celebrated annually on Orville Wright’s 19 August birthday, National Aviation Day’s proclamation, codified USC 36:I:A:1:118, allows sitting U.S. Presidents to direct all federal buildings and installations to fly the U.S. Flag and encourage citizens to observe the day with activities conducive to promoting interest in aviation.

In keeping with FDR’s intentions, Minot, North Dakota’s Dakota Territory Air Museum will observe National Aviation Day with a gala event featuring flight- and static-displays of vintage aircraft, free plane rides, and a drawing to determine the winner of the museum’s 27th annual sweepstakes.

Among aircraft to be displayed at the event is a recently-restored P-51 Mustang owned by local pilot and Dakota Territory Air Museum board-member Warren Pietsch. Restored by Air Corps Aviation of Bemidji, Minnesota, the P-51 was formerly owned by late Hollywood actor, World War II pilot, and USAF Brigadier General Jimmy Stewart and the late famed racing pilot Jackie Cochran.

Another recently restored plane to be displayed during the Dakota Territory Air Museum’s National Aviation Day celebration is a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt owned by Bruce Eames—who owns many of the museum’s vintage aircraft. The P-47 was restored, also, by Air Corps Aviation of Bemidji.

Both the P-51 and the P-47 were flown and displayed at EAA AirVenture 2023.

Dakota Territory Air Museum events coordinator Robin Brekhus advised the aforementioned aircraft will be flying on Saturday, 19 August from 14:00 to 16:00 CDT. What’s more, airplane rides will be given to event attendees, free of charge on a first-come-first-serve basis during the selfsame hours.

Admission to the Dakota Territory Air Museum’s National Aviation Day celebration is free to all.

At 16:00 CDT, a drawing will be held to decide the winner of the museum’s 27th annual sweepstakes. The lucky grand-prize winner will choose between a stunning 1941 Interstate Cadet aircraft or $20,000 cash.

The Interstate Cadet is an American two-seat, tandem-configuration, high wing, single-engine monoplane produced between 1941 and 1942 by El Segundo, California’s Interstate Aircraft and Engineering Corporation. The aircraft’s design comprises a welded steel-tube fuselage, a spruce wing structure with metal ribs, and a doped-fabric covering. The Cadet prototype was powered by a fifty-horsepower Continental A50 engine. The powerplant was upgraded, however, to Continental’s 65-horsepower A65 (O-170) engine. Throughout WWII, the Interstate Cadet was utilized by the U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) under the L-6A designation.



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