Aviation enthusiasts this weekend will have an opportunity to view -- and even ride in -- a variety of military helicopters, airplanes and experimental aircraft as the Fairfield County Historical Aircraft Squadron hosts a free open house and fly-in.

Aviation enthusiasts this weekend will have an opportunity to view -- and even ride in -- a variety of military helicopters, airplanes and experimental aircraft as the Fairfield County Historical Aircraft Squadron hosts a free open house and fly-in.

On Saturday, the runway at the Fairfield County Airport, located just north of Lancaster at 3266 Old Columbus Road, will be abuzz with aircraft from bygone eras and inventors' imaginations.

Some 20 to 30 helicopters from throughout Ohio, as well as a squadron of restored military airplanes and homemade aircraft, will swoop into the airport beginning at 8 a.m.

"It's basically to get the community interested in the airport and come and she what we have at the museum," said Pat Ferguson, president of the Fairfield County Historical Aircraft Squadron. "Pilots from all over Ohio will be coming here. They like to get out and fly."

The squadron is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, display and operation of former military aircraft. The group's museum, which features aircraft and military vehicles from past American wars, has been in operation 15 years and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the airport.

Saturday's event -- in case of rain, it will be moved to Sunday -- will allow visitors to peruse the museum free of charge and see restored military aircraft, homemade aircraft and ultralights in flight.

Additionally, pilots will offer rides in helicopters and planes. Through the Young Eagle program, which is designed to boost interest in flying among youth, children ages 7 to 17 will be able to take a ride for free, as long as they have parental consent.

Adults also can take rides, but there is a $40 fee.

"We love to have the kids come down to the museum," Ferguson said. "We're here for the community. We're a bunch of old guys who love aircraft and flying."

Among the aircraft on display and participating in the fly-in will be a newly restored A-26 Bomber which flew in World War II.

"It will fly for the first time in 20 years," Ferguson said. "We've pieced it together, made parts for it and gotten it approved for flight."

Experimental Aircraft Association 443 will serve breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday and lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A group of skydivers will take jumps around noon.

From 6 to 11 p.m., the Historical Aircraft Squadron will bring in three bands to perform in one of the airport's hangars.

"There will be jazz, classic rock and country, so something for everybody," Ferguson said.

nellis@thisweeknews.com