Wings and Wheels returns to Tillsonburg

The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association will host their 12th annual Wings and Wheels Family Fun Day at Tillsonburg Regional Airport Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A rain date is set for Sunday.

A Harvard Mark IV 'Bessy" takes flight in Tillsonburg last year at the 11th annual Wings & Wheels Family Fun Day. The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association will host their 12th annual Wings and Wheels Family Fun Day at Tillsonburg Regional Airport Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Greg Colgan/Sentinel-Review)

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Vintage Harvards will again take flight this weekend.

The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association is hosting its 12th annual Wings and Wheels Family Fun Day at the Tillsonburg Regional Airport Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A rain date is set for Sunday.

The event will feature classic cars, trucks, motorcycles and vintage aircraft. The Harvard association organizes the event with the Bygone Iron Car Club and Tillsonburg Cruisers.

Along with dozens of vintage motor vehicles, several Harvard airplanes will take to the skies. The club has eight Harvards – five Mark I’s and three Mark IIs. About half are currently able to fly while the others are  undergoing repairs or restoration.

The Harvard was the main training plane for the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War, with close to 3,000 Mark IIs produced from 1940 to 1945 that helped train more than 130,000 aircrew. Following the end of the war, the Harvard was retired and most sold off but later returned to service with the start of the Cold War. The Mark IV iteration of the plane remained in use until 1966.

During Saturday’s festivities, the club will offer educational displays and have various fundraising activities. There were also be food trucks and a silent auction.

The event is free, but people are asked to donate to the association. The club is a group of volunteers who acquire, preserve, restore, maintain, display and demonstrate the Harvard and other aircraft associated with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The club was created in 1985 and now has two hangars, two portable buildings and several aeronautical artifacts. This year is the 80th anniversary of the Harvard in Canada.

For more information, visit www.harvards.com.

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