To fund their flight experiments, Wilbur and Orville Wright charged neighborhood children three nickels and a jug of gasoline each to cling to the wings of their prototype aircraft during test flights. Soar through the air in safer fashion with todays Groupon: for $87, you get a scenic 20-minute biplane ride for a single passenger from St. Augustine Air Tours, Inc. (a $175 value).
Helmed by an experienced aviator, St. Augustine Air Tours' Waco YMF biplane propels passengers over stunning coastline views. Seated in the Waco's open cockpit, up to two guests at a time can feel the rush of high-altitude wind and the tickle of cloud beards while snapping photos unhindered by the glare of glass barriers. Winding rivers, thick forest blankets, and beach and ocean sights stretch below the Waco, a historic design first built in 1935. St. Augustine's newly constructed, FAA-approved sky speeder was built to the exact specifications of the original Waco, allowing passengers to experience air travel from a time when in-flight films were silent.
Tour takers should call at least three days in advance to schedule a weekday flight and one week in advance to schedule a weekend date with St. Augustine Air Tours. For sky forays at sunset or on Charles Lindbergh's birthday, pilots recommend scheduling several weeks ahead of the preferred tour date. Though not always possible, daring guests may, in advance, request acrobatics such as loops and rolls during flights.
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