[The accompanying video details the event from the previous year]
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Several iconic World War II aircraft will be coming to the Terre Haute Regional Airport for public tours and rides as part of the 2023 Airpower History Tour as part of the Commemorative Air Force.
Referred to as “the rarest” World War II bombers, the B-29 Superfortress “FIFI” and B-24 Liberator “Diamond Lil”, will be coming to Terre Haute Regional Airport Wednesday, August 2, through Saturday, August 6 from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Bringing the sights, sounds, and stories of World War II aviation to airports across the country, The AirPower History Tour will allow visitors to view all aircraft up close, purchase rides, and tour the B-29 and B-24 cockpits when the aircraft are not in flight.
Along with the WWII bombers, a T-6 Texan, a PT-13 Stearman, an RC-45J Expeditor, and the P-51 Mustang “Gunfighter” will also be in attendance. The various aircraft will be arriving at noon on Monday, July 31. Other aircraft, like the P-51, will arrive Thursday, August 3 at noon. The aircraft will be stationed at the Hoosier Aviation FBO ramp at Terre Haute Regional Airport.
Access to the ramp where the warbirds are parked is $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 11- 17, and free for children 10 and under. The event will be open to the public.
The schedule for tours and flying of various aircraft is as follows:
- T-6 & PT-13 | Free rides: Aug. 2-6 @ 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- P-51 | Rides available: Aug. 4 @ 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- B-29 | Flying dates: Aug. 5-6 @ 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
- B-24 | Flying dates: Aug. 5-6 @ 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
- B-29 & B-24 | Cockpit tours: Aug. 2-4 @ 9:00 a.m. | Aug. 5-6 (after flying)
For more information, or to book rides in advance, visit AirPowerTour.org
Additional information regarding the attending aircraft:
- 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 Corps 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-29s 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-24s produced and still, one of only two B-24s 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.
- ABOUT THE PT-13 STEARMAN: The Boeing PT-13 was the primary flight trainer for all branches of the military during World War II. This iconic bi-plane, almost universally known as the “Stearman”, trained more crews than any other aircraft in WWII. A ride in this open cockpit airplane brings back the wind-in-your-hair feeling of the early days of flying.
- ABOUT THE COMMEMORATIVE AIR FORCE: Through more than six decades of collecting and flying World War II aircraft, the CAF has become the world’s largest flying museum. Their fleet of over 170 World War II airplanes are assigned to unit locations across the U.S. and are supported by 12,000 volunteer members. Nearly all the aircraft are kept in flying condition, enabling people to experience firsthand the sight and sound of vintage military aircraft in flight. The CAF is dedicated to honoring American military aviation through flight, exhibition, education, and remembrance.