Sunday, September 14, 2003

From first to latest, planes awe crowd



By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Chris Balzar (left) and Mike Braun, both of Cleves, watch a plane perform a loop Saturday at the Lunken Air Show.
(Jeff Swinger photos)
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The aerobatic plane Samson answered the big question as it sliced and swooped through Saturday's vivid blue sky.

After 100 years of powered flight, why do we still have a love affair with the air?

"I just like to watch things fly," said Jordan Davis, 9, of Anderson Township.

At the 2003 Cincinnati Lunken Air Show aviation enthusiasts gathered to examine the unusual aircraft on the ground and marvel at others in the sky.

"It's somewhat intense to see something as big as a plane stay up in the air - and do tricks," said Greg Schwab, 22, of Edgewood, Ky. "It's crazy."

Highlights of the two-day event include the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first African-American military airmen. Several aircraft from the California-based Air Museum Planes of Fame include war birds, airliners and modern military planes.

Still, it was the fly-bys - including the biplane Samson - that caught the most crowd attention.

[IMAGE] Cliff Robinson flies his PJ-260 past an admiring crowd during one of the shows Saturday.
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"I'm just a lover of aviation," said Frank Morro, 47, of Independence, Ky., a former Army helicopter pilot.

Dev Sinha, 34, of Anderson Township indulges his inner engineer while watching the show.

"Airplanes are the only thing that have progressed so much in such a short period of time," he said of the planes at the show, from the classic Wright B Flyer to Lear jet. "It's rare to be able to ...see an invention from start to finish all in one place."

It's similar to what Mike Braun, 42, likes about the annual air show. The Cleves man, who builds engines for race cars, is impressed by the machinery involved in flight.

"You just see the transformation of technology when you're here," Braun said. "It gives you some insight into what kind of advances the air industry has made."

The air show continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features more Planes of Fame, civilian fly-bys and Otto the Helicopter Clown.

If you go

What: Cincinnati Lunken Air Show.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today.

Where: Lunken Airport, 262 Wilmer Ave.

Cost: $12 ages 3 and up; free to children under 3.

Parking: $5 per car and $15 per recreation vehicle.

Information: Web site

E-mail mdowns@enquirer.com




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