WIX Archives

How big is the airshow and ride market?

Posted by Brad on Thu Mar 11, 2004 12:55:51 AM

I know it's not always a money making business, but when does it no longer pay to operate warbirds? Take the Confederate Air Force for example. For all these years, they have been the only group with an operating B-29. With "Doc" taking to the air in a few more years, what will be the effect on the CAF? Is there enough public support for two flying B-29's? I know that some of the CAF B-29 guys were worried when it looked like the "Kee Bird" might actually make it to the states.

How about the B-17's? It seems like the EAA and Collings Foundation B-17's have sold rides at nearly the same locations, within a couple of weeks of each other. Is there going to be a market for the "Liberty Bell" when it starts flying in a few months? I can't think of a flyable B-17 that doesn't sell rides. Is there enough passengers to go around? In addition to the Collings Foundation, I can think of a couple of other places you can buy rides on a B-25. Same thing with the B-24, you can fly with the CAF and Collings foundation.

It doesn't look like as much of a problem with the fighters and trainers, probably because they don't tour the country like the bomebers do. There are quite a few places to get rides in P-51's, a couple of Corsairs, several jets and lots of T-6's and Stearmans. As far as I know, the only place you can ride in a Skyraider, TBM or Cobra Helicopter is at the Olympic Flight Museum. Chino has the SBD, P-38, Corsair and P-47 that you can ride in (I think they all are still on the list).

I don't doubt that it's just a matter of time until the lack of insurance stops 99% of the rides anyhow.

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