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Annual Wings & Wheels Expo celebrates aircraft and automobiles

Annual Wings & Wheels Expo celebrates aircraft and automobiles

Since the wheel was introduced to man, and the Wright Brothers took flight, man has been fascinated by things that move on land and in the air.

At the annual Wings & Wheels Expo from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at Hagerstown Aviation Museum at Hagerstown Regional Airport, the love of aircraft and automobiles will be combined.

John Seburn, president of the Hagerstown Aviation Museum, said the expo is the biggest event for the Hagerstown Aviation Museum. 

As part of Wings & Wheels Expo, aircraft both new and vintage will be on display, and spectators can get an up-close look at aircraft built between 1919 and 1984 at Fairchild Aviation in Hagerstown.

Seburn said the biggest way to preserve the aviation history has been to collect planes to add to the museum’s collection.

“The mission of the Hagerstown Aviation Museum is to preserve Hagerstown’s aviation heritage, and part of that mission is collecting the airplanes that were actually built here in Hagerstown,” he said. “For the last 20 years we’ve been working on that mission, we have collected about 20 airplanes, 16 of which were actually built here at Fairchild.”

Many of those planes will be available for visitors to see what were built at Fairchild Aircraft, including Fairchild C-82 and C-119 Flying Boxcar, antique and modern aircraft PT-19. 

“One of the interesting things about Hagerstown is that it’s one of the few places in the country that has an aviation history, manufacturing aircraft for many, many years,” Seburn said. “It was so unique because it’s such a small town. At one time, one-third of the population actually helped to build airplanes here in Hagerstown.”

Throughout the day there will be two Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolts aka The Warthogs that will be onsite, courtesy of the Maryland Air National Guard. At 10:30 a.m., there will be a flyover of a C-17. Bomber rides on the Delaware Aviation Museum’s B-25 Bomber will be available. Visitors can walk-through and view The Air Heritage Museum’s C-123K Thunder Pig. Also on display will be a 1944 Douglas DC-3 airplane, which is a static display with a walk-through history display. 

To add to the wheels aspect of the event is a cruise-in of antique and classic cars, trucks and motorcycles. Owners can bring their vehicle for free registration and the first 100 vehicles receive a custom dash plaque. There will also be fire, law enforcement, rescue, construction, historic military and other vehicles.

There will be even more for the event including The Civil Air Patrol and other organizations with exhibits and aircraft on display and a Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics display will provide visitors with information about career training opportunities. Turbo the Flying Dog will attend along with his children’s books. And at 1 p.m. the New Horizons Band Concert will perform. 

Breakfast and lunch are available onsite. 

Seburn said it’s important to preserve Hagerstown’s aviation heritage for future generations.

“The heritage of the families of the community has the airport, the aviation industry. It’s really something that is unique to the country and to the world,” he said.

Top photo: The Douglas C-54 Skymaster “Spirit of Freedom,” built in 1945, used in the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49 was on display during the 2016 Wings and Wheels event. It will also be there again this year. (Herald-Mail file photo)

If you go ...

WHAT: Wings & Wheels Expo
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8
WHERE: Hagerstown Regional Airport, 18434 Showalter Road, Hagerstown
COST: Free admission 

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