Great Oregon Homebuilt Fly-In Celebrates State’s Aviation Heritage

As with many states, Oregon’s rich aviation history dates to the early years of flight.

“Wimpy,” built by Leslie Long in 1935. [Courtesy: Oregon Aviation Historical Society]

Many of us have heard the old expression, “All politics are local,” and one could argue the same has applied to aviation, especially during its early years. That is why aviation museums often focus on aircraft, pilots, and manufacturers from their home states.

The Oregon Aviation Historical Society has long celebrated the state’s role in early aviation development and continues that theme this weekend with the 4th Annual Great Oregon Homebuilt Fly-In on Saturday, September 3.

The event, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Jim Wright Memorial Field (61S)—aka Cottage Grove State Airport in Cottage Grove, Oregon—is an invitation for pilots of homebuilt aircraft to converge on the airport’s 3,201-foot strip and show off their machines, chat with visitors, and honor Oregon’s pioneering aviators.

Among the aircraft on display at the museum are those featured in last year’s “Century of Oregon Aviation” exhibit, including a 1930 Anzani Longster replica, Les Long’s 1935 low wing, Wimpy, and a 1930 Great Lakes, formerly flown by Dorothy Hester and Tex Rankin.

Van’s Aircraft—based in Aurora, Oregon—is also scheduled to display an RV-14A, weather permitting, and representatives will be on site to answer questions.

Public admission is free and visitors are encouraged to check out the society’s history center, as well as the menu at the Meatloaf Burgers Plus food truck. 

Museum officials ask visitors to refrain from bringing pets to the fly-in because of potential injury to their feet from the airport’s hot blacktop surfaces.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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