As a young boy, David Turner took a bike ride that changed his life.
One day, he spotted a Globe Swift — a single-engine tail dragger airplane — in a grassy field near his home in Westboro, Massachusetts.
“I fell in love with it and said, ‘one day,’” Turner said.
The dream finally came true 12 years ago, when the Hopkinton, Massachusetts, resident — who earned his pilot’s licence in 1970 — found his plane in Florida.
No easy task — made in Texas right after WWII, the Globe Swift is a rare plane today, with only 400 of the 1,500 ever made still in existence.
The public can get up close and personal with Turner’s 1946 Globe Swift, along with about 80 other aircraft with the fourth annual Classic Air Rallye held at the Canada Aviation Museum Saturday and Sunday.
With more than 6,000 people expected over the weekend, the interactive air show — which also celebrates the centennial of flight in Canada — is an opportunity for people of all ages to check out vintage aircraft, said event chairman Ben Loiselle.
“People can meet the pilots and get up-close views of airplanes,” said Loiselle.
This event is different from other air shows, in that it features mostly vintage aircraft from the 1940s and 50s, he said.
“We also have some WWII fighters that are 60, 70 years old, he said.
Some of the planes are rare — while a Spitfire and a Hurricane on display at the show are each one of two in Ontario, a 1943 Beechcraft Staggerwing D17S is the only one in the province.
The show is also good for the pilots — who are coming from all over Ontario, Quebec, and the U.S. — “because they can meet and talk to people who fly the same planes,” he said. “In a lot of these cases, these planes have a history to them. And nostalgia is in. There’s a big movement right now to restore to flying condition these airplanes.”