By Dennis Seid
TUPELO – Members of the American Barnstormers Tour will be in Tupelo this week, offering rides in their vintage biplanes.
David Mars of Jackson and Ted Davis of Wisconsin were at the Tupelo Regional Airport Monday morning to get the word out about their planes, the tour and the rides.
“We’re here to keep aviation history alive,” said Mars.
The duo will be in Russellville, Ala., this weekend, but were swinging through Tupelo and Oxford on Monday.
Both pilots will be back in Tupelo Wednesday and Thursday with their planes and offer rides, which cost $70 per passenger and last about 15 minutes. The rides will begin around noon each day and end around 6 p.m.
The two planes are vintage 1929 aircraft that have been fully restored.
Mars flies a Travel Air 4000, while Davis has a New Standard Model D-25.
Mars pilots his plane through Vintage Air Tour (www.americanbarnstormerstour.com) from Jackson, while Davis is the pilot-owner of the New Standard through Biplane Rides of America (www.biplaneridesofamerica.com).
The Travel Air name is historic in its own right. The Travel Air Manufacturing Co. was founded in 1925 in Wichita, Kan., by aviation pioneers Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech an Lloyd Steerman. Within four years, the company had to liquidate due to the Great Depression, and its business was bought by Curtis-Wright Corp.
The New Standard D-25 was a five-seat agricultural plane that also was specifically built for barnstorming.