Organizers hope an airport that became the end of the line for, and still hosts, a few Beechcraft Starships will help launch a new general aviation show.
The U.S. Flight Expo has invited vendors, pilots, and enthusiasts May 3 through 6 to the recently spruced-up airport in Marana, Arizona, for a trade show with ambitions to raise the profile of an airport that has seen recent local investment, and create an early-season option for roughly 70 million residents of the American Southwest.
“We need a Sun 'n Fun type of event out west,” Hobbs said in the video, though a press release distributed April 17 notes that the U.S. Flight Expo will be more like the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, Midwest LSA Expo, and other smaller shows that focus on a particular sector, and draw “more manageable crowds” with less hiking to do across the more compact show grounds.
In addition to indoor and outdoor exhibits, the show will include a Commemorative Air Force exhibit of the B-25J Maid in the Shade, which also will be available for tours and rides May 5 and 6. Fly-bys, FAA Safety Team seminars, and other displays are also planned, according to the press release and website.
The airport is also home to a small boneyard where four Beechcraft Starships can be seen in satellite images taken in November and available via Google Earth. AOPA Technical Editor Mike Collins wrote about other surviving Starships, including the five still flying, in March.