A local company with roots that stretch to 1936 is inviting members of the public to experience aviation’s past in hopes of preparing for the industry’s future.
Part of its vintage fleet, Dynamic Aviation boasts a Lockheed Constellation that served as the first Air Force One plane, carrying President Dwight D. Eisenhower. There is also a showroom quality DC-3 built in the 1940s named Miss Virginia.
“We’ve got aircraft that cover the early 1920s all the way up to modern aircraft,” said Shane Combs, director of partner relations and marketing at Dynamic Aviation.
Tours of both planes are part of the excitement of The Nextgen Aviators by Dynamic Aviation Flyover, an open house event at Dynamic Aviation’s Bridgewater campus on May 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The high-flying event will feature flights in different airplanes, a “village” of hands-on aviation activities, the opportunity to watch real-time maintenance on airplanes, 180-degree flight simulators and more.
“The idea is participants will come and there will be planes flying over with other participants,” said Jackson Heverly, marketing coordinator at Dynamic Aviation. “They’ll have planes overhead while they’re participating in all the other activities.”
Dynamic will offer a limited number of free flights for kids 10 and younger in a Piper Cub, a small, lightweight airplane built in 2016, during the event.
Additionally, local touring flights will be available in Beechcraft King Air planes and a Beechcraft Model 18, nicknamed Amelia because it’s similar to a Lockheed Electra, which is the plane Amelia Earhart disappeared in. These flights are open to all ages and require buying a ticket at the event.
The flyover is an offshoot of Dynamic’s Nextgen Aviators program, which launched in 2021. The field trip-style experience encourages local students to explore diverse careers in the aviation field through hands-on learning and the highlight: a real flight in an airplane.
“Nextgen kind of stems from the need for more skilled-trades workers,” Heverly said. “We’re really creating this out of necessity, but at the same time help out the world and show the future generations that there is a secure area to work in.”
The event will give an inside look at careers in airplane maintenance, with walkthroughs of hangars that aren’t usually open to the public, including diagnostics and public health contract work.
“We’re actually going to be working on legitimate Dynamic work while people are there,” Heverly said. “The mechanics that are going to be working in that hangar work in that hangar and they’re going to be doing Dynamic work during the event.”
The purpose of the event is to continue to engage Nextgen Aviators students and their families and encourage everyone in the community to get excited about aviation, Combs said.
“Aviation has kind of a mystique to it, little bit of wonder, and I think people are naturally drawn to that,” said Kala Dougan, Nextgen Aviators operations supervisor. “We want people of all ages to come out and find something that attracts them to aviation.”