This past weekend Susan and I, along with our Chicago turned Pac-West compatriots, William and Greer, ventured out to Arlington, Washington for the annual Arlington Fly-in at the Arlington airport. If you not entirely sure where this fly-in takes place, it’s in Arlington. 🙂
Needless to say, it’s fantastic and here’s why: First, you park in a field. I love any sort of event where parking is in a field and it’s free. Second, getting in was easy and affordable ( need price here). And third, the people who greet you are super friendly – a major plus.
Once you’re inside the gates, it’s an aviation enthusiast’s nirvana. By the way, when you walk in, beyond there being an entire section dedicated to experimental planes (yes, you can get rides) and bush planes with oversized tires to help them sustain tough landings, there is a huge section of classic cars right upfront. I mean, it would only have been better had they also handed me a beer and a sheet of ribs. Alas, I digress.
When you get to the main lawn (really another field, but I feel the word lawn offers a certain level of elegance) there are literally hundreds of airplanes flown in from around the area and the US. Now, don’t attempt to look for a Piper area or a Cessna area, because there is no rhyme or reason to the parking of these airplanes from what I can tell. That said, I really liked that as you walked, you encountered whatever plane happened to park in that spot.
We walked the length of the field, slowly zig-zagging in an effort to see every airplane. The lawn is adjacent to one of a few active runways and numerous taxiways. Much like a classic car show, these exhibitors take great pride in their aircraft, so you are going to see some amazing examples of private aircraft that are in immaculate condition.
What makes this fly-in great is that it is not just a static show; there is also an airshow that goes on most of the day as well as a static show of military hardware that eventually turned into an outright parade of these vehicles. Pretty cool.
The airshow consisted mostly of aerobatics and flybys. Nothing military, but again, this is a fly-in and they rarely have military aircraft.
The show also includes a lot of important vendors, including aviation gear and products, collectables and associations. Of course, there is lots of food, mostly of the fried persuasion, but, when in Rome.
After seeing all the parked airplanes and grabbing some lunch, we crossed the field where we enjoyed the air show while laying on our backs, lawn in our hair, sun on our face, staring up to the sky. Absolutely perfect.
After watching for a couple hours, we walked around a bit more, took lots of photos and left happy. I would really suggest this fly-in. It’s easy to get to, affordable and great for a family who wants their kids to appreciate the engineering and design behind these amazing aircraft.
Important Travel Notes:
Dates: The Arlington Airport host the Fly-In every year the week after the 4th of July., Wednesday – Sunday.
Location: The Arlington Airport, 18204 59th Dr NE, Arlington, WA 98223, but parking is accessed on 188th Street, NE.
Admission: Ticket prices vary depending on if you want daily or weekly admission and if you arrive by car or by plane (yes, by plane!). See Arlington Fly-In’s website for current admissions prices: www.arlingtonflyin.org/admissions