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Sun, Feb 09, 2003

Vin Fiz Builder To Talk At Plum Island Airfield Fundraiser

Event Benefits Aviation History, Education

Plum Island Community Airfield, Inc. (PICA) presents the next in its series of "Personal Stories from Aviation History" on Saturday, March 8 at PITA Hall, Plum Island, Newbury.  The fundraising event will also include PICA's annual silent auction.

Dana Smith of Sanford Airport in Maine will be the guest speaker at the March even. Smith, together with Ken Whiting, has built a series of flying replicas of early aircraft, focusing on Wright Flyers of the 1909-1911 period.  Notable among these is the Vin Fiz, a Wright Model EX airplane that was the first to fly across the US in 1911.   Smith will talk about these unique historical replicas and will tell the fascinating story of the flight of the Vin Fiz.

Centennial Of Flight Commemoration

The event is the beginning of Plum Island Airfield's participation in the year-long Centennial of Flight.  Plum Island, which can rightfully claim to be the birthplace of New England aviation, was the site of the 1910 test flights of biplanes built by W. Starling Burgess.  The following year, Burgess began to build Wright Model B airplanes under license to the Wrights, so it is particularly fitting that the first event of the year features a builder of replicas of Wright Flyers from the same period.

The fundraiser starts at 6:30 and includes dinner and the silent auction, featuring goods and services donated by businesses and individuals from the greater Newburyport area.  Tickets are $25.00, and are available at PJ's Variety, Plum Island, or at the airport. Proceeds will be used to promote aviation history and education, including more exhibits for the new Plum Island Airfield Museum. 



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