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About The Machines

The Bird of Paradise - 1928 Travel Air 2000

There was a time when flying meant an open cockpit airplane. Pilots and passengers alike were in intimate contact with the airplane and the air it flew through. It was a magical time, accented by an equally magical experience. For the most part those days are gone. But luckily they're not gone entirely. 

In the Eastern United States there is a brand new time machine that can take even the most cynical, jaded techno junkie to those days. Even if only for a brief visit, as a passenger in the finest tradition of the barnstormers of the golden age of aviation. The time machine is in the form of a 1928 Travel Air biplane. Taking the name of its twin engine big brother, a 1946 Beech D-18-S, The Bird Of Paradise has undergone a three year complete restoration that has breathed new life into an airplane that was a classic even when it was brand new.  

The Travel Air was designed with passenger service in mind. The front cockpit, which has a basic instrumentation in the panel, was built for two average size passengers. Extra large passengers may be surprised to find that they are in roomy, comfortable surroundings when they fly alone in the front seat.  

The Bird Of Paradise's original paperwork from 1928 bears the signature of none other than Walter Beech. His aircraft, built in partnership with aviation pioneers Clyde Cessna and Lloyd Stearman, is once again airworthy and working in a warm and sunny place where a lady of her maturity deserves to spend her days enjoying her surroundings and telling tales of how things used to be when the world was a simpler place.

N3N Canary (1930's)

The 1940 Taylorcraft BL-65

Since 1929, C. G. Taylor Cconstantly fought to keep the Taylor brothers dream alive. We know how he felt and that's why we now offer a ride in this wonderful side-by-side cockpit with its big steering wheel and you can talk to your passenger while they fly with no fancy electric push button navigation around. Only hand proppin' to make her run goin' on here. The young love this flying machine, especially when we let them hold on to the steering wheel and fly alongside their pilot.

1946 J-3 Piper Cub

Every child knows the famous "Cub" and every real pilot learned to fly in one. This beauty gets a new engine in 2013 and will be ready for instruction, solo & rental.

Pawnee towplane

Do you want your Glider to follow a class act? Would you like to be a part of film fantasy? Sir Launch-A-Lot has arrived! Also known as Sir-Lands-A-Lot, or "Lusty", as the pilots that fly "Him"... not her in this case..., can vouch that this machine has a lust, a passion, a desire to tow Gliders all day long. Kids just want to hug him and get their picture taken with him. Come and witness the smiles and happiness this flying machine brings to our table of joy.

1966 Alon A2 Formerly - Ercoupe, Air coupe and Mooney

1974 Bellanca Citabria 7GCAA

Originally designed and produced by Champion Aircraft in 1965, then acquired by Bellanca in 1970, this class act is packing 150 horses under the cowl and can carry a 225 pound passenger for that special woopie-skippie ride. Available for rides, instruction, tail wheel endorsement and rental. Also, we train for upset recovery and unusual attitude flying. Happy swooping as a friend once said.

1949 Cessna 170 A

Called the "Business Liner" when introduced in 1949, the venerable, tail dragging 170 A is the pre-cursor for the tricycle geared 172. 1949 was the first year for the all-metal wings. She sounds and flies beautifully. With a 145 HP, 6-cyl engine and a climb prop, this baby jumps into the air. Even fully loaded, with a pilot, 3 passengers, full tanks, and luggage you can explore this beautiful area for up to 4 hours without re-fueling. The interior is so spacious, your passengers will be comfortable and relaxed. See what flying was all about and bring your family and/or friends along for the ride.Now avaible for off-field, extended rental for a three (3) hour minimum to a six (6) hour, 100-mile maximum. Please call for special rates!

Schweitzer 2-33 / 2-22 Glider

A perfect restoration finished in 2012 by the world-renowned "Old School Aviation" right here on the field. This trainer is the king of learning to soar. A fourteen year old may begin to learn what flying is all about and anyone with a glider license may also rent this safe, cheap to fly glider.

Schweitzer 2-32 Glider

New to our Van Sant Stairway to Paradise is this rare 2-32, “Two Passenger”, Schweitzer Glider. Now two may glide together sitting in the back while your pilot flies from the front telling tales of flight. This is where the original mile high club came from ... or not? This sturdy machine was born in 1965 as S/N 20. From only 87 built she has seen, and will continue to see, many a cloud on high.