MADRAS, OR -- The Airshow of the Cascades takes off at the Madras Airport Friday. Gates open at 2 p.m. and the day includes live music and other entertainment on the ground, as well as aerial acrobatics and night performances. "We have Manford Radius coming, and he’s a Canadian act clear over from eastern Canada," says longtime board member Rick Allen, "He has a glider sail plane and he has fireworks on it."
But it's Saturday's big feature that's getting all the attention. This year’s line-up includes an exclusive air race demonstration, with planes flying 50-100 feet off the ground, "They’re an airplane that runs about 250-350 miles an hour. They’re on a four-mile race course. They call it Nascar in the sky," Allen tells KBND News, "They do not do this anywhere in the country. They only fly basically at Reno, at the National Championships, which are coming up in three weeks." Allen says they could eventually be held elsewhere, "FAA has to approve them. They’re going to be onsite with a lot of people from the federal government to certify them, where they will be able to do this other places. So it’s one class, it’s one race and it will end our show on Saturday." The same pilots flying in the Madras race will compete in the National Championship air races in Reno next month.
Allen says the Madras Airport was an ideal location for this test, "One is: we have a big footprint; we have a several thousand acre airport. And then the air boss who runs the Reno air races is our air boss. And they asked him six months ago, ‘Where would you go on the west coast of the United States?’ And these guys run the SeaFair in Seattle, and fleet weeks and all these kinds of things. And he said, ‘I’d go to Madras. They’ve got the airport and they’ve got the people who can pull it off.’"
The Airshow of the Cascades runs Friday from 2-11 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Click HERE for more information and tickets.