Sunday, August 7, 2011

Aviation Adventure Day at Kansas City's Downtown Airport was attractive to car nuts and aviation buffs

One of the car shows that we look forward to each year is the Aviation Adventure Day at the Charles B. Wheeler Airport in Downtown Kansas City. Unlike most of the events we go to, this one has a bit of variety, because you get to look at airplanes as well as cars.

We were over there on Saturday morning, and the conditions were a little less than ideal. It was raining, or trying to rain the whole time we were there, and when it wasn't raining, it was so humid it might as well have been. As a result, the car count was a little lower than what we saw there last year, at least during the time we were there. I suspect that business picked up later in the afternoon, though.

The downtown airport is actually a pretty cool place. It was Kansas City's main airport when Charles Lindberg himself dedicated it in 1927. Of course, it has been modernized here and there over the years, but there are still traces of the original airport in the architecture and fixtures if you're looking for it.

By the 1960s, the FAA declared the airport as the "most dangerous in the country," because planes had to dodge the skyscrapers in downtown Kansas City and Quality Hill when they were landing and taking off.

Of course, it was replaced by KCI in 1972, so you don't see too many big commercial flights in and out of there anymore. You do see a lot of smaller private aircraft. Corporate big wigs land the company jets there. Sports teams still use it (the Detroit Tigers played the Royals this weekend, and their plane was sitting on the tarmac). Surprisingly, Air Force One still uses the downtown airport when the president comes to town.

For this event, they were giving kids 8-to 12-years-old rides in small planes, so they were taking off and landing throughout the morning. They also had police, fire, and military personnel there to let kids sit in fire trucks, try their hand at flight simulators, and other fun activities.

As far as the cars go, there were a few interesting rides. There was a brown '59 Chevy pickup that seemed pretty nice--especially compared to my paintless beater. My wife's pick was a sliver '68 Camaro coupe. There was a Delorean that seemed to be a real crowd pleaser. And there was a '50 Packard that we see pretty regularly at car shows in this area that I think was the star of the show.

So, here we go with the slideshow. You don't have to get wet. You don't have to sweat. All you have to do is click through the pictures below.


  1. The humidity eased up a bit and a nice breeze kicked in after you left but the attendance remained pretty sparse.

  2. Well, I guess I didn't miss much at least.