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Arlington ready for Fly-In fun

ARLINGTON — A number of new events are making their debut at this year’s Arlington Fly-In, and Barbara Tolbert, executive director of the Fly-In, was excited to tell The Arlington Times all about them.

NASCAR is bringing a simulator built from an actual full-sized NAPA race car, modified with computer screens, that people can sit in and “drive,” while NASA aims to provide an interactive virtual reality experience that will allow people to feel like they’re walking on the moon, and even kicking moon rocks.

“The NASCAR simulator has smoke and sound effects, as if you were really driving in a race,” Tolbert said. “You get to choose your racetrack, and there’s even a TV outside the simulator, so that other people can watch your ‘race.’”

From July 8-11, the NASCAR simulator will be hosted at the Fly-In, while on July 12, it will be hosted at Stilly Auto Parts, located at 220 N. West Ave. in Arlington, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stilly Auto Parts and the Tulalip Resort Hotel are jointly sponsoring the NASCAR simulator.

The NASA simulator is part of its “Experience Exploration” program, sited in a 120-foot-long traveling trailer that will also include “Robots on the Road,” which will allow people to play with and operate small, tabletop robot units, as well as design and build lunar modules. On “Kids Day” July 8, the Arlington High School Robotics Team will be bringing their five-foot-tall robot, and allowing people to operate it.

The NASA exhibition will be at the Fly-In from July 8-12, from approximately 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. all five days.

Tolbert explained that this year’s military vehicle display has been expanded to focus on tanks, ranging from World War II military tanks to radio-controlled scale-model replica German tanks, the latter built one-half to one-fifth the size of the originals. Radio-controlled aircraft from Whidbey, Skagit and Snohomish-area RC clubs will also be represented, ranging from RC helicopters to RC aircraft with jet engines. Fly-In attendees will be able to test-fly the RC aircraft with simulators.

Canada is celebrating its 100th anniversary of flight this year, and in recognition of the amount of traffic that the Arlington Fly-In receives from Canada, the Royal Canadian Air Force is sending one of its F-18 aircraft down from Ontario. Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is also sending one of its FA-60 aircraft, in time for the Fly-In’s weekend, while the “Antique Airplane Corral” will include a Boeing 40C aircraft, that had not flown for 65 years until it was restored by a Spokane native.

The Fly-In will also feature its first-ever job fair this year, July 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tolbert explained that the FAA, which had previously required its job applicants to submit their resumes to its Oklahoma headquarters, has since authorized its regional offices to do their own hiring. The FAA’s Western Services Area is headquartered in Renton, and they’re currently hiring, in positions ranging from air traffic control trainees to electricians.

Tolbert noted that discounts on admission are available at the Fly-In’s Web site, at www.arlingtonflyin.org, as well as at area Haggen’s stores. For an online copy of the Arlington Festival and Fly-In publication, log onto www.arlingtontimes.com and click the Fly-In’s banner on the Web site’s home page.

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