By VERONICA GORLEY
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CHIPPEWA, Pa. -- Warbirds, whirlybirds and Firebirds are just a few of the attractions for the 16th Annual Beaver County Air show.
The show will be Saturday and Sundayat the Beaver County Airport. Gates open at 9 a.m., and show time is 1 p.m.
Tickets for adults are $5, and tickets for children under 12 are free. Proceeds benefit the Beaver County Airport's Air Heritage Museum, a nonprofit organization devoted to preserving aviation history and restoring aircraft. The museum will be open during the show for touring.
"Salute to the WASP" -- Women's Air Service Pilot -- is this year's theme. Eight former WASPs will be in attendance at the air show. During World War II, women relocated aircraft, towed targets during gunnery practice and completed other tasks to free their male counterparts for combat. Because the women were not recognized as part of the U.S. military, they did not received military benefits until 1977.
The show will feature more than 45 foreign and domestic warbirds, including a B-25 bomber and a KC-135 tanker from the 171st air refueling wing, as well as whirlybirds, or helicopters, such as a Cobra gunship. Some 12 acts including the Firebirds aerobatic act, the Golden Eagles Parachute Team and demonstrations of World War II war planes are scheduled.
The main draw: "The biggest attraction is the Constellation C-121, the first pressurized aircraft," said Bridgid Atzinger, president of the air show committee board. "It hasn't been in Western Pennsylvania for quite some time, and it's never been to the Beaver County Airport."
The Experimental Aircraft Association will display experimental, classic and home-built aircraft. Ultralights and scale model airplanes will also be demonstrated. The simulation theater will offer flying sequence and car race simulations, with moving seats on hydraulics.
Exhibit booths, food vendors, face painting, a rock climbing wall and the Piper Traveling Air Museum, which documents the history of aviation, will also be available.
In addition, car cruises and drag racing are scheduled on both days after the air show.
"The public has a fascination with aviation, and they also love their cars. It's a nice blend," Atzinger said.
According to Ray Rotolo, car cruise coordinator, car cruise or drag race entries will be accepted on the day of the show. By entering an antique, custom or classic car, spectators get free admission, and the first 75 participants get a dash plaque. For more information on drag racing or the cruise, contact Rotolo at (724) 375-7982.
"We try to vary it as much as possible," Atzinger said. "This year's air show features a little something for everyone."