Fly-by-Wire to begin 2014 events at ‘Wings’ Museum

Fly-by-Wire to begin 2014 events at ‘Wings’ Museum

Philip Brown of Flying Club prepares to fuel flight.

South Florida’s only museum dedicated to preserving the area’s aviation history begins 2014 with “Fly-by-Wire,” an event expected to draw many more spectators than participants on Jan. 25.

“Our objective this year is more involvement with the community to focus on the importance aviation has played in our past and how it will continue in the future,” said Suzette Rice, president of Wings Over Miami Air Museum.

Both control-line flying and aircraft model crafting will be featured from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the tarmac outside the Wings’ hangar that displays vintage aircraft the year-around, along with its large collection of model airplanes.

A special display of vintage aircraft will background the control-line flights and may also take to the air, weather permitting, she noted.

“As South Florida’s only flying museum, a majority of the planes in the hangar are in flying condition. Due to the generosity of the aircraft sponsors, the planes fly for special events and oftentimes on weekends.

“Our first child-friendly event of 2014 will feature old-time flying aircraft models controlled by a wire connected to the model via a wing,” Rice explained. “This type of model flying was the predecessor to the modern radio controlled planes more commonly known these days.”

The Fly-by-Wire craft requires two 60- foot steel cables to provide a circular radius of 150-feet once airborne for flight maneuvers.

Other activities will include rubber band-driven model flight inside the hangar with model building tips and activities to help young aircraft builders improve their skills with model making. Experienced model builders also will provide displays and answer questions.

“This, in part, is how the museum fills a need within the South Florida community as a historical aviation museum that brings history to life,” Rice said

“Events like this allow children and adults alike to come within feet of planes that they have only experienced through video and publications. Wings Over Miami is the only museum in South Florida with the ability to regularly offer classic and warbird aircraft in flight as well as in a hangar.”

The year’s first special activities program and all museum exhibits are available to youngsters (aged 5-12) for $5 with those age 4 and younger free; adults (13 and over) are admitted for $10. Veterans and active duty military members are free.

Wings Over Miami is located at SW 14710 SW 128 St. on the grounds of Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport.

For event details, contact Rice at 305- 323-9995; visit or go online at


Wings Over Miami Air Museum will join Miami Rotary Club of Zoo Miami and Miami Elks Lodge to host a fundraising dinner for veterans on Sunday, Feb. 1, from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., at Elks Lodge 948, 10301 Sunset Dr. in Kendall.

A “Big Band” sound by the 10-piece JazzKats group will highlight the evening dedicated to help support veteran-focused activities, including Wings’ free entry to the museum for veterans and active duty military personnel.

Tickets at $75 that include hors d’ouevres, dinner, dessert and entertainment may be purchased through Wings Over Miami, the Rotarians of Zoo Miami or through the Elks. Money raised will be used to fund enhancements to the living environment of returning veterans, raise awareness of veteran and family needs and support service resources for veterans. Individuals in the community may help with the fundraising by attending the dinner or as sponsors, contributing auction items or making a donation.

“Wings is keen to join in this event which is combining three community organizations to focus on a common mission of aiding our veterans who are the people who make America strong,” said Suzette Rice, president, Wings Over Miami.

“This dinner is an opportunity to reflect and be grateful, as well as acknowledging once again the importance of caring for our veterans,” said Carol Nobels, event chair of Miami Rotary Club of Zoo Miami.

Grant Miller, publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers, serves as honorary chair.

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