Pilots prepare for weekend Westfield International Airshow

22News got an up-close look of the planes, in close formation

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News got an opportunity to fly in the rear seat of a WWII-era aircraft to promote the Westfield International Airshow.

Part of the magic is to bring it to the people and to show these airplanes off.

That’s exactly what the world famous Geico Skytypers did on Thursday, in preparation for the International Airshow.

The aerobatic team performs in 6 vintage World War II training aircraft. Wowing crowds around the country, the team performs maneuvers, taught during World War II.

22News got an up-close look of the planes, in close formation. Taking off in groups of 2.

The indescribable roar of this engine, is what gets the crowd excited. This aircraft is more than 75-years old, weighs 55-hundred pounds and packs more than 600 horsepower.

Pilot Ken Johansen told 22News these aircraft bring back memories for veterans.

“We get some of our World War II veterans out there too, who recognize the sound of the engine and the noises it makes and what it looks like,” said Johansen, a Geico Skytyper Pilot. “We get a whiskful tear every once in a while, they remember. And they worked on the airplanes and they worked on those engines and it’s an honor to bring these aircrafts to the people.”

These pilots have been flying together for over a decade.

“They’re built really really strong,” Johansen told 22News. “They build them to last back then.”

These old aircrafts all have modern technology inside, but the body is all original from the 40’s.

For the Westfield International Airshow, you’ll get 18 minutes of performance from the iconic Geico Skytypers.

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