Business brings back the golden age of aviationLifelong Rosemount resident Clay Adams started Nostalgic Wings in 1997
There aren’t many guarantees in life but Clay Adams will guarantee you won’t forget a ride in his 1929 biplane.
“It will put a smile on your face,” said Adams, owner of Nostalgic Wings. “It’s an experience of a lifetime.”
Adams, a Rosemount resident, owns and operates Nostalgic Wings. The company offers rides in a 1929 Curtiss Wright Travelair E-4000 open cockpit biplane. Adams classifies the plane as a flying time machine.
The Travelair is a three place, open cockpit biplane, in which two passengers sit in the front cockpit and the pilot flies from the back.
Adams said the aircraft travels at 110 miles per hour.
Over the years, rides in the aircraft have provided memories for thousands. The company’s most popular adventure is a one-hour tour over the St. Croix River Valley.
Adams said everyone who takes a flight enjoys it. He said it even brought tears to the eyes of one World War II veteran who hadn’t flown since the war.
“Experiences like that make it very rewarding,” said Adams.
Adams acquired the plane in 1995 and restored it down to every nut and bolt. Nostalgic Wings started offering tours in 1997. He said the company has been very successful.
“It lets me afford an aircraft like this,” said Adams. “It’s the era of aircraft I like to fly and it’s grown into a passion for me.”
Nostalgic Wings is a family run business. Adams’ three children help sell tickets and merchandise.
In addition to providing tours Adams also flies with the American Barnstormers Tour. The tour travels around the country to air shows and remembers the Golden Age of aviation between World War I and World War II when human flight was a relatively new phenomenon.
Adams said the tour honors the era with period costumes, aircraft signage, historical information and vintage props.
Adams has been flying longer than he’s been driving. Born and raised in Rosemount, Adams got his pilot’s license at 16 and has spent as much time in the air as possible since then.
“I grew up in an aviation family,” said Adams.
He still owns the plane his father taught him to fly in more than 36 years ago.
Professionally he flies for a commercial airline. Over the years he has logged more than 27,000 flight hours in 106 aircraft types.
Nostalgic Wings will start offering flights this month and offer tours through October.
To take a ride with Nostalgic Wings call Clay Adams at 612-867-6022. For more information visit www.nostalgicwings.com.