June 21, 2013 - In an unprecedented and rare gathering of World War II era aircraft the CAF and EAA are joining forces for a ‘Heavy Bombers Weekend’ in Madison, Wisconsin the weekend before EAA AirVenture. The event starts Friday, July 26, 2013 and will feature the world’s only airworthy B-29 Superfortress FIFI; the B-17 Aluminum Overcast; and the B-24 Diamond Lil. Other attending aircraft include a P-51 Mustang, C-45 Expeditor, SNJ-5, PT-26, PT-17 Stearman and T-6 Texan. Most of the airplanes will be available for ground tours and rides. Additional ground tour aircraft include an Air National Guard F-16, and UW MedFlight Helicopter.
“The gathering of these historic aircraft in one location is an extremely rare occurrence,” said Gerald Oliver, a member of the CAF B-29/B24 Squadron, “We are excited to have the EAA and CAF join forces for the first time in an event that should garner international attention.” Sean Elliott, EAA Vice President of Advocacy and Safety said, “This is a historic opportunity for the public to view, touch, photograph, climb-through, and even fly on these aircraft at one location. Madison, Wisconsin made for a perfect stop for the EAA and CAF for their national tours on their way to EAA AirVenture the following week.”
The event will be held on the east side of Dane County Regional Airport at Wisconsin Aviation, 3606 Corben Court, Madison, Wisconsin 53704. Admission is $15 per person or $25 for families with children under 18. Children age 10 and under are free. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday, July 26 through 28. The Madison Mallards mascot, Maynard, will be available daily from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Famous Dave’s BBQ, Silly Sweets Ice Cream, and other vendors will be available. Saturday evening will include Wisconsin Aviation’s 12th Annual 1940s-Style Hangar Dance: A salute to the troops, past and present; 7:00p.m. to 10:30p.m. featuring Ladies Must Swing Orchestra.
Ride reservations are recommended and can be made at www.AirPowerTour.org, on the Madison, Wisconsin city page for all CAF aircraft, or at www.b17.org/madison for the EAA B-17. Or, call EAA reservations at (800) 359-6217 or CAF reservations at (432) 413-4100.
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress, first flown in 1942, began active service in 1944 and is perhaps best known as the aircraft whose missions over Japan helped bring about the end of World War II. It was designed as a replacement for the older B-17s and B-24s, with longer range and greater bomb loads. The B-29 was also used in the Korean War in the early 1950s and was a staple of the U.S. Air Force until the late 1950s.
Since EAA began tours of the B-17 in 1994, tens of thousands of people have experienced this unique airplane through its flights and ground tours. Known as The Flying Fortress, the B-17 bomber is considered one of the greatest military airplanes ever built and one of the best-known aircraft types of the World War II era.