A group of open cockpit Travel Air biplanes are cruising around the Midwest on what’s called the American Barnstormers Tour. The privately owned historic airplanes were built between 1927 and 1932 (some are replicas), and the owners put together the tour to share their passion for the airplanes and the barnstormer history. Some of the 11 airplanes on the tour have come from far distances to join the group. One of the Travel Airs, a 1928 Travel Air 3000 model, was shipped from England to Florida and it toured the southeastern U.S. before joining the tour. The Sky Siren and Sun Siren, which recently took its very first flight, flew in from southern California.
After spending a couple of days in Jefferson City, Missouri, the airplanes are currently in Ames, Iowa. Tomorrow the tour continues to Watertown, South Dakota, where the airplanes will be on display July 12 to 14. The next stop is Brainerd, Minnesota on July 15 to 17, followed by Eau Claire, Wisconsin July 19 to 21. The Barnstormers will conclude their journey at EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where the airplanes will be on display from July 22 through 29. All dates and schedules are subject to change in case of weather.
In addition to seeing the airplanes on static display, attendees can enjoy seeing the airplanes fly and even take a ride for a cost of $80 if two people are riding or $125 for single passengers. There are no reservations required for the flights, but there are some weight restrictions. The tentative schedule for each daily event is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with aerial demonstrations at 1 p.m. The pilots will also alternate telling stories about their airplanes at set times during each day.