STUART, Fla. — The excitement is building as the Stuart Air Show gets ready to jet off Friday.
This year's show is giving back to the community, including raffling off two custom pedal planes.
A one-of-a-kind plane built and painted by a group of aviation enthusiasts.
“Our chapter members came together, helped round out and cut all the wood you see on the plane,” Bill Riddick, EAA Chapter 692 president, said. “Hand assembled, custom painted with automotive paint.”
The members customized the propeller and tail to match planes of the same style.
Each one took nearly 300 man-hours to build, but the end result is beautiful.
“We have a Piper J-3 Cub and then we have a P-51 Mustang,” Stuart Air Show Vice President Doug Davis said. “It just puts a smile on your face, it reminds you that everything about it is just fun.
The Stuart Air Show is raffling off the two planes to support local community organizations like the Experimental Aircraft Association, which members helped build the planes.
“We’re doing this fundraiser to raise funds to support our young eagles program to take young people flying for the first time,” Riddick said, “for our aviation summer camp programs at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, as well as our scholarship programs for young men and women to be able to earn their private pilot’s license.”
The Southeast Florida Honor Flight will also benefit.
The organization flies veterans to Washington, D.C., for a day as a thank you for their service. Each flight costs $140,000.
“We get comments that besides the birth of their children and their marriage, this is probably the best day of their life,” Southeast Florida Honor Flight Chairman Janet Hoose said. “Everything we do is grass roots, so it’s very important that we have the support of the community in raising funds for honor flight.”
So, whether the plane will be enjoyed by children or become a timeless piece of art, the money raised will honor the past and inspire the future.