In cities across the U.S., vintage warbirds military aircraft rest quietly in museums, where school children and tourists admire them, take their pictures and leave them behind closed doors at the end of each day.
Throughout May, aviation history blasts out of the museums and into the skies as the Commemorative Air Force thunders into Georgia. Local airports will host American aviation history as the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) conducts an array of events featuring restored WWII aircraft for public viewing and rides at cities along the Georgia WWII Heritage Trail. Led by the iconic B-17 Flying Fortress Texas Raiders, a featured stop will be at Savannah International Airport during Memorial Day Weekend.
The B-17 Flying Fortress Texas Raiders
The B-17 Flying Fortress Texas Raiders is one of only three remaining that are actively flying in the U.S. today. This aircraft was the first Flying Fortress to be restored solely for the sake of education and use as a flying museum; an accurately restored B-17, bristling with machine guns and featuring period-specific equipment. Hosted by Sheltair Aviation Services, the visiting aircraft will also include the notorious SB2C Helldiver dive-bomber. This is the popular SNJ/T6 Texan advanced trainer in which thousands of airmen trained for combat, and a twin engine Navy transport in which the whole family can fly together. All four aircraft will offer cockpit tours and flights to the public beginning Thursday May 26.
A highlight of the weekend will be the appearance of the B-17 Flying Fortress Texas Raiders. They will be in the air over the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth, as the museum presents “Flags for the Fallen.” This is a site-wide event honoring the 26,000 airmen of the Eighth Air Force who gave their lives in World War II.
The public can enjoy on-board tours and warbird flights with the aircraft crews at Sheltair Aviation Services, 100 Eddie Jungemann Drive, Savannah, GA 31408.
Admission to the event is $10 per adult, $5 for children under 12, $20 for a family of up to five and includes access to all the aircraft for cockpit tours. Warbird flights start as low as $100 on the Navy transport and $380 on the advanced trainer. Seats on the B-17 start at $495, and at $995 on the dive-bomber.
Ground tours are from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Thursday through Monday May 26 – 30, excluding flying times. Those who wish to fly can call 855-FLY-A-B17 (TL:1-855-359-2217) or reserve online at B17TexasRaiders.org See more on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/B17TexasRaiders