AirFest Set to Take Off in Tallahassee This Weekend

High above the ground an antique World War II war bird soars.

Dick Ford, a commemorative Air Force pilot, says, "Most fun you can have when flying; everything else put on the back burner; that's main objective to fly."

Dozens of vintage aircraft and modern-day machines are on display as part of AirFest 2005.

A Russian design jet is one 4,000 worldwide and one of 350 in the United States. Some call it the poor man's war bird. Why is that?

"Well, poor man's war bird is one you can actually fly and pay for the gas, also easy on maintenance."

From the tip of its wing to the control panel, AirFest organizers hope these beautiful birds will teach the public a thing or two about aviation.

Jeff Owens, AirFest 2005 spokesperson, says, "There's more to aviation besides flying on passenger jet, whole world out here. We want to showcase for the community."

Pilots say taking to the skies for a bird's eye view of the world is one that never tires.

Ford says, "I've got almost 23,000 hours, still exciting every time I take off."

And it seems these veteran pilots just can't stay grounded. AirFest 2005 takes places Saturday and Sunday at the Tallahassee Regional Airport from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.