Every time a bell rings, an airplane pilot laughs at the implausibility of the television show Wings. Experience the friendly skies from the air instead of your TV set with today's Groupon: for $75, you get a 40-minute flight experience over Southeast Houston in the Southern Cross Douglas C-47 (a $190 value). Flights depart from La Porte Municipal Airport after 4 p.m. on May 6 and May 13, and all day May 7-8 and May 14-15.
The Southern Cross Douglas C-47 served as a troop-and-supplies carrier and paratroop trainer aircraft in World War II before ending up with the Greatest Generation Aircraft family of planes, delighting fliers with journeys over the Fort Worth area. Climb aboard the World War II flyer, hangared at TriStar Aviation, and cruise above the San Jacinto Monument, the site of a famous battle between Texas and Mexico for the trademark rights to Tex-Mex. With one of the Southern Cross C-47's experienced pilots manning the helm, you can focus on the stunning views of Battleship Texas, which starred in both World Wars, and the Trinity Bay coast. Finally, passengers float effortlessly over the NASA Johnson Space Center, where gravity was born, before heading back to home planets. Each flight holds 16 passengers, who are required to arrive 30 minutes beforehand to prepare for the journey and play a game of Telephone. Visit Southern Cross's FAQ for any preflight questions.
Greatest Generation Aircraft
Originally a TWA aircraft, the Southern Cross Douglas C-47 was adopted by the Army Air Corps to shuttle troops to the front. The twin-propeller plane survived World War II and in the ensuing years underwent a series of makeovers. Its career includes years spent as a reliable set of wings for Delta Air Lines, a troupe of skydiving enthusiasts, and at least one head of state. The C-47 is now meticulously restored to its original WWII-era condition and in the dutiful care of Greatest Generation Aircraft, a nonprofit organization that introduces 21st-century crowds to the C-47 during rides and aerial shows.