Showing Off in Deland

Chaz Pokracki/Reporter

The 3rd annual Deland air display occurred the other day, lasting from Nov. 1- 3. While Friday brought some muggy weather, Saturday’s exhibition was much more of a show; demonstrating a constant wave of skydivers, multiple take offs and landings of various planes, and a full-on static display.

The static display presented many experimental aircraft for attendees to view while wandering around the airport. Many ultralights, sports planes, gliders, and home-built planes were shown off to the public for inquiry and presentation. From seaplanes to model aircraft, the tarmac was littered with happy, enthusiastic on-goers and proprietors ready to talk and discuss anything aviation related. During the entire trek around the display, you couldn’t help but notice a stream of skydivers falling every 10-20 minutes.

Also, along with the tour, there were many different food stands. A donut stand, where I had purchased a “Maple & Bacon Donut,” a crepe caravan, charity grill-out stand – who sold out of hot dogs, burgers, and chips before I could purchase any – and more were there to serve the public for their daily needs.

Near the food line, there was a firetruck from Deland’s firehouse. The truck itself was around 30 years old, and the chief informed me about all of the components that went into the truck, and even let me try the truck (and cool firefighter hat) on for size!

Aside from extracurriculars, there was a quarter scale P-51 Mustang – an aircraft that was originally built in 1940 – that was built 18 months before Saturday. The aircraft’s name? “Miss Behavin.”
Scattered throughout the static display, there were many companies in attendance, allowing their wares to be tested and purchased; some aircraft related, some not. There was an advertising tent for aircraft resurfacing, an electric bike vendor, and even a jewelry stand.

The only critique that personally affected me was that it felt like there was a lack of distinction. Everything was either a kit plane, ultralight, or experimental aircraft; with an exception to a few aircraft.

Understandably, as Deland’s third annual airshow, one would expect a smaller turnout, but nonetheless, any airshow could use a little more pizzazz. Overall the airshow was a wonderful experience. Family fun for everyone with a bunch of colors and a more than fantastic atmosphere.

I wish nothing but the best for the future of the annual Deland airshow, and, with hope, the displays will become more diverse and grow in variety along with gain more vendors, activities, and workshops.

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