WWII vintage planes arrive at Sawyer AFB | News, Sports, Jobs

A B-24, a classic WWII aircraft, takes off as part of the Air Force Air Power History Memorial Tour, taking place at KI Sawyer International Air Force Base August 2 and 3. (Photo courtesy of Commemorative Air Force)

KI SAWYER — History will literally be in the air, as several historic World War II aircraft will be on display at Sawyer International Airport during the AirPower History Tour Aug. 2-3.

The event is part of a national airport tour, presented by the Commemorative Air Force. Event attendees will have the opportunity to see all the aircraft up close, including tours of the cockpits and will be able to purchase rides.

Planes are expected to arrive from noon on August 1, with the public portion of the event taking place over the following two days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Once the planes land, they will be staged at Boreal Aviation’s FBO ramp at the airport, located at 401 Avenue F.

Access to the display area will be located at the door adjacent to the ramp.

Access to the ramp will cost $20 for adults, $10 for ages 11-17, and free for ages 10 and under. Those interested in purchasing trips can do so at www.airpowertour.org.

A total of four aircraft will be on display during the event.

The first is the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. The aircraft, known as “FIFI”, first flew in 1942 and became active in the US Army Air Corps in 1944 and is famous for being the same model of aircraft that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan at the end of the Second World War. The B-29 also flew in the Korean War and was in service until 1960. “FIFI” is one of only two B-29s in the world still flying and has been on tour with the CAF since the 1970s.

The B-24 Liberator, nicknamed “Lil Diamond,” was the most mass-produced warplane of World War II with over 18,000 aircraft produced, the majority of them in Michigan. “Lil Diamond” was one of the first B-24s produced and one of two still flying.

The North American T-6 Texan, known as the ” Pilot “, was a flight trainer who prepared new pilots for complex aircraft, capable of flying at over 200 mph, which they would use in combat. The T-6 had an enclosed cockpit, capable of accommodating both an instructor and a student.

The Boeing PT-13 “Stearman” was also primarily a flight trainer for all branches of the military during World War II and was famous for training more aircrew than any other aircraft during the war.

The Commemorative Air Force has been flying and collecting World War II aircraft for over six decades and has a fleet of over 170 aircraft and is supported by over 12,000 volunteers. To learn more about the CAF, visit www.commerativeairforce.org.

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