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Aviation Foundation
of America, Inc.
121 5th Ave. N.W.
Suite 300
New Brighton, MN 55112


A 501(c) (3) public charity

Aviation Foundation of America
Announces National Air Tour Route


Aviation Foundation Of America Formed To Preserve And Promote American Civil Aviation

Greg Herrick
Aviation Foundation of America

The Non-Profit Foundation’s First Initiative to Include a Re-Creation of the 1925-1931 National Air Tours in Celebration of 100 Years of Powered Flight

MINNEAPOLIS — (June 13, 2002) — The Aviation Foundation of America today announced its formation as a non-profit organization with the mission to preserve and promote America’s general and civil aviation heritage. The foundation today also announced its first major initiative — the re-creation of the 1925-1931 National Air Tours in 2003 in celebration of the centennial of powered flight.

“America has a rich aviation history, beginning with two bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio who unlocked the secrets to powered flight — the Wright brothers,” said Greg Herrick, president of the Aviation Foundation of America.
“As our nation celebrates the centennial of flight in 2003, it’s important that we continue to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of so many aviation pioneers in the decades following Orville and Wilbur Wright.”

A significant objective of the foundation is to personally involve people, on a grassroots level, in sharing and preserving our nation’s rich aviation heritage. The Aviation Foundation of America will develop and provide support for projects which promote aviation to the general public, or which support initiatives benefiting general and civil aviation as a whole. Upcoming initiatives for the foundation will include: historic flight re-creations; private pilot license scholarships; and, educational programs such as airshows, aircraft demonstrations, fly-ins, publications, seminars and conferences.

The Aviation Foundation of America’s First Major Initiative
In the spirit of promoting and preserving civil aviation, the 2003 National Air Tour is the foundation’s first large-scale, nationwide project. The original National Air Tours, also known as the Ford Air Tours, were held each year from 1925 through 1931. The tours departed Ford Airport — now the Ford Motor Company proving grounds in Dearborn, Mich. — transited varying routes around the country and returned to Dearborn.

“The Aviation Foundation of America’s re-creation of National Air Tours in 2003 is an appropriate first initiative for the foundation,” said Herrick. “Similar to the mission of the foundation, the National Air Tours were initially conceived to promote advancements in commercial aviation, the development of airstrips and to showcase the development and safety of what was considered to be a relatively new method of travel.”

About the Original National Air Tours and the 2003 National Air Tour
The 2003 re-creation of the National Air Tours is being held in part, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight and coincides with the 100th anniversary of Ford Motor Company, the company that originally sponsored the tours. The first National Air Tour in 1925 included 17 official aircraft entries and covered nearly 1,800 miles. The longest tour, held in 1928, covered more than 6,300 miles and included 25 aircraft. The 2003 National Air Tour marks the 75th anniversary of the 1928 tour.

While details for the 2003 National Air Tour have not been officially announced, the Aviation Foundation envisions the participation of a fleet of approximately 25 vintage aircraft from the 1920s and 1930s. The foundation has begun the process of locating as many of the original tour aircraft as possible —16 have been located to date. Other aircraft invited to participate will include many of the same makes and models of aircraft that originally flew in the tours. In keeping with the mission of the original air tours, more modern aircraft representative of the progress of technology advancements in aviation will be invited to participate as well.

2003 National Air Tour Route
The 2003 tour route, presently under development, will consist of a three- to four- thousand-mile journey taking approximately three weeks to complete. The tour will visit more that two-dozen and towns on the original tour routes. At each stop, citizens will have the opportunity to view the aircraft, talk with the pilots and experience first-hand just how far aviation has come. In addition, airplane rides will be offered at most stops, including rides in vintage aircraft from the 1920s and 1930s. [route data revised 7/14/02]

The Aviation Foundation of America is actively interviewing potential sponsors for national and local participation in the 2003 National Air Tour. Aircraft, pilots and other volunteer participants are also being sought, contacted and interviewed. Those interested in learning more about the National Air Tours or sponsoring and/or participating, are urged to visit the National Air Tour Web site at or contact the Aviation Foundation of America by calling 651-255-1999.

General funding for the Aviation Foundation of America is provided by individuals and organizations interested in promoting the growth, preservation and understanding of general and civil aviation in the United States. The foundation is operated by a board of directors who are not paid and consist of individuals interested in the foundation’s goals and objectives. Monetary contributions in support of foundation projects may be sent directly to the Aviation Foundation of America, Inc., 121 5th Avenue N.W., Suite 300, New Brighton, MN 55112. Telephone: 651-255-1999. E-mail: NATIONAL AIR TOUR and the NATIONAL AIR TOUR logo are trademarks of Aviation Foundation of America.
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