Local News

Prairie Flyers Aviation Exhibit Hosting Sunday Drone Competition

The Prairie Flyers; A Century of Aviation in DeWitt County and its organizers are hosting a drone competition this weekend.


Drones are growing in popularity by the day and a competitive drone competition takes place Sunday at the DeWitt County Museum. It will be an Illinois Multirotor race at 1 pm.


Organizers hope those in attendance will check out the professionally curated exhibit in the carriage barn of the museum. It features the stories of DeWitt County people with ties to aviation, along with a large collection of artifacts, are on display in the Carriage Barn at the museum. 


Visitors will learn about Red Irwin, owner of Hooterville Airport, the county’s oldest airfield whose reputation as a stunt pilot and oil company executive, military pilots like Earnest Thorp, crop duster and hot air balloonist Jack Holland and navy pilot Henry Kleemann.


The special exhibit has attracted visitors from across the country and recognition for the level of professional design by Denis Hambucken, a New Hampshire graphic artist, author and historian, who volunteered his time and talent to the exhibit. An exhibit catalog of Prairie Flyer stories and a large selection of aviation-themes items is available.


The final presentation of speakers related to the exhibit will be held at 6 p.m. on June 30 at the Vespasian Warner Public Library with local pilot John’s Warner’s presentation on the Hooterville Airport. Warner will share stories of Red Irwin’s history as a daring stunt pilot and the fascinating history of the airfield. Reservations may be made by calling the library at 217-935-5174.


The Prairie Flyers exhibit is open until July 3. Exhibit hours are 10-5, Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday.

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