The 1945 TBM Avengerwas in pretty bad shape when Charlie Cartledge found it in Florida. After about a decade of attempted repairs, the torpedo bomber — one of the most famous aircrafts of World War II — was in pieces."With help from family and friends, I replaced the aluminum skins, all of the controls, the hydraulics, instrument panels, gun turret and bomb bay doors," says Cartledge of Orville. To remaster the 1945 bomber plane's distinctive markings, Cartledge met with a WWII veteran who had flown a TBM Avenger during his time in the military. Specialists overhauled the engine and propeller. It flew for the first time last August and debuts at the Cleveland National Air Show over Labor Day weekend. "It was exciting to fly it after putting in that amount of work," he says of the 14 years he spent. Here are three more reasons to land at Burke Lakefront Airport for the show.
Love Birds: Husband and wife aerobatics and pilot team Melissa and Rex Pemberton perform an aerobatics show in which Rex jumps from the plane in a wingsuit and Melissa flies circles around him in an Edge 540 until Rex pulls the parachute.
Screamin' Beef Jerky: The new Jack Link's Screamin' Sasquatch Jet Waco — a biplane with a jet engine strapped to it — makes its first (harried) appearance in Cleveland.
Blue Angels: The U.S. Navy Blue Angels headline this year's air show with six Blues demonstration pilots, who will blaze up to 400 mph across Cleveland skies in their F/A-18 Hornets.