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October 28, 2009 [LINK / comment]

World War II aircraft show

Taking advantage of the improved weather conditions, I headed up to the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport in Weyers Cave today, to see an exhibit of aircraft from World War II. There were two bombers -- a B-17 Flying Fortress and a B-24 Liberator, the only one in the world that is still flight-worthy -- and one fighter, the P-51 Mustang. The public event was part of the "Wings of Freedom" tour that is run by the Collings Foundation, a non-profit group devoted to historical preservation. The volunteers who work with that group deserve a lot of credit for keeping alive the memory of what author Studs Terkel called "The Good War."

For a modest entry fee (12 bucks) they let you get inside the two bombers, which was quite a thrill. It is a very tight squeeze, and rather hazardous if you're not careful. I was mesmerized getting up close and personal with the ancient military hardware, imagining what it would be like to fire a machine gun at attacking German Messerschmitts. Actually, it was the second time I had climbed aboard a B-17. In August 2006, I saw a Flying Fortress take off and land at the Manassas airport in Northern Virginia.

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying Fortress ~ B-24 Liberator ~ P-51 Mustang
(Roll mouse over the names to see each one.)

Larger-sized photos of these three aircraft are posted on the (new) Warplanes photo gallery page. More photos showing different angles and some interior details will be added later.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 29 Oct 2009, 12: 53 AM

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