Fair flies into Kent State Airport

John Hitch

Although North Carolinians boast that the Wright brothers first took flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., Orville and Wilbur cultivated their research and technology in Dayton.

Kent State’s aeronautics program, a nationwide leader in aeronautical education, along with partners including Stow-Munroe Falls High School and Lockheed Martin, honors that legacy annually with the Aviation Heritage Fair. This year’s fair is on Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kent State Airport in Stow.

Accumulating 25,000 visitors last year, more accommodating weather could make this year’s fair even more successful. The hot air balloon launch, canceled due to fog in 2006, will begin at 7:30 a.m. A pancake breakfast sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Stow-Munroe Falls begins an hour earlier and runs until 1 p.m.

While most of the activities are free, $20 will buy a ride aboard a single-engine Cessna. For $10 more, helicopter rides are available. Sign-ups start at 8 a.m. The rides should last about 20 minutes. Even for those who get airsick, Tyler Khan, a senior flight technology major, said there’s no reason not to give it a try.

“Come on out,” he said. “We have barf bags in the airplanes.”

Plenty of planes, ranging from NASA’s replica of the Wright Brothers Flyer to a B-17 “Flying Fortress,” will stay grounded for the public to enjoy. Graduates of Kent State’s nationally-accredited aviation program will perform fly-bys in F-15s and other military aircraft throughout the


John Hitch