TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — You have a unique opportunity to explore history this week at the Terre Haute Regional Airport.
The commemorative Airpower History Tour is making a stop from Thursday through Sunday and allowing visitors to see historic World War II aircraft up close.
Todd Erskine, the tour leader of the Commemorative Air Force says it’s important to show people these historic aircraft.
“World War II was quite a few years ago. A lot of people, their memory may be fading and this brings it back [to] life,” said Erskine. “It gives them a connection to their history and sometimes it puts them back in touch with relatives who may have passed already.”
Erskine adds that visitors often enjoy seeing the aircraft actually operate.
“Really give you a different perspective from what you see in museums. You can smell it. You can hear it. And that’s just not something you can get in a museum.”
The event runs Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets to ride the aircraft can be found on their website.
Gate admission is $20 for adults, $10 for kids ages 11-17 while children ages 10 and under get in free.
Here’s some information about some of the planes coming to town:
About the B-29 Superfortress “FIFI”
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the largest and most technically advanced aircraft of its time, was first flown in 1942. It began active service in the US Army Air Corp in 1944, and is best known as the aircraft whose missions over Japan helped bring an end to World War II. The B-29 also was used in the Korean War in the early 1950s and was a staple of the U.S. Air Force until 1960. “FIFI”, one of only two B-29’s in the world still flying, was acquired by the CAF in 1971. She began touring in 1974 and has been entertaining air show audiences across the country ever since.
ABOUT THE B-24 LIBERATOR “DIAMOND LIL”
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was the most produced American warplane of WWII with over 18,400 aircraft rolling off assembly lines across the country. Most were manufactured at Ford’s giant Willow Run assembly plant in Detroit. Diamond Lil, one of the first B-24’s produced and still one of only two
B-24’s in the world still flying provides the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of our fathers and grandfathers in the dangerous air wars over Europe, the Pacific, North Africa and Asia.
ABOUT THE P-51 MUSTANG
The North American P-51D Mustang is one of the most recognizable and loved aircraft in aviation history. With its speed, range, and sleek lines, the P-51 became a favorite of Allied fighter pilots and bomber crews. The long-range fighter aircraft had a range of 1,300 miles that enabled it to accompany the bombers to their targets and back, and it was faster and more maneuverable than its German and Japanese opponents.
ABOUT THE T-6 TEXAN
The North American T-6 Texan, known as the “Pilotmaker”, was an advanced flight trainer that introduced new pilots to a complex aircraft with more speed of over 200-plus miles per hour, to prepare them for the warbirds they would fly in combat in WWII. The T-6 was designed for an instructor and student, and had a closed cockpit.