Airplanes are meant to fly.

That’s what makes the 6-day-long National Stearman Fly-In, which starts here on Labor Day, different from many other warbird reunions.

Most of the Stearmans brought to Galesburg are flown every day. They’re definitely not “hangar queens” or museum pieces.

The Stearmans won a place in history during World War II, launching more military pilots into the air than any other series of primary trainers ever built.

Fly-In visitors can get a close-up look at the airplanes during a tram ride along the Stearman flight line.

A narrated program tells tram riders about Stearman history, why those who own and fly them are so dedicated, and about the Fly-In’s history. This is the 48th year for the event.

Trams will operate each day of the Fly-In from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting. Cost to ride is $1 per person.

Access to the flight line is generally restricted to registered Fly-In participants for safety reasons. The tram rides were started some years ago to provide a convenient, safe and secure way to allow large numbers of people to get close to the planes.

Members of Knox County AMVETS Post 8 are hosts on the trams again this year.