National WWII Museum and Commemorative Air Force Partner for WWII AirPower Expo 2014 In New Orleans this October

Lakefront Air Expo to feature rare WWII-era Planes, including B-29 Superfortress

 AirExpo Dallas 2014 B29web JohmSimsPhotos in article courtesy of John Simms and Raymond Jeffcoat, taken at CAF WWII Air Expo in Dallas.

NEW ORLEANS (Oct. 14, 2014) – Get an up close look at some of World War II’s most famous planes and talk to veterans who flew them at the WWII AirPower Expo 2014.

The three-day event, which partners with the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), takes over the tarmac at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport from Friday, Oct. 24 through Sunday, Oct. 26 with a fleet of legendary WWII aircraft —fully restored and ready to fly. Attending aircraft include the world’s only flying B-29 Superfortress, a B-24 Liberator, a B-17 Flying Fortress, P-51 Mustang and other fighters, trainers and liaison airplanes.

Visitors can touch and feel the planes, climb inside the cockpits, and even strap in for a ride-along flight. Guests can also view ground vehicles from the Museum's collection and experience history hands-on with WWII uniforms and gear. A number of veterans who flew the aircraft, including the legendary B-29 Superfortress and B-24 Liberator, will be on site to recount stories of their time in the air.

In partnering with CAF, the Museum is taking its educational mission to an exciting new place by combining the iconic aircraft of WWII with its rich collection of artifacts and oral histories.RaymondJeffcoat 2014DallasAirExpoweb CAF 2106

"At the Museum, we have been able to introduce hundreds or thousands of visitors to the significant aircraft that made up a large portion of the arsenal of democracy," explains Stephen Watson, executive vice president."By partnering with the CAF, we are allowing guests to get a close-up view and have a conversation with pilots, restoration crews and WWII veterans to learn even more about how these planes function and their role in history."

AirPower Expo is central to that goal. In addition to the air show, the event will include crafts and educational activities for children and performances from the Museum’s own Victory Belles. Friday’s festivities will be capped off by the AirPower Swing, a three-hour dinner and dance that starts at 7 p.m. in the New Orleans Lakefront Airport Terminal’s Walnut Room. Recently restored to its original art-deco glory, it is the perfect setting for our nostalgic gala celebration. The Museum’s Victory Big Band and Victory Belles will perform hits from the World War II era.

Daily tickets to the AirPower Expo cost $15, while tickets for children, seniors, and retired or active military servicemembers cost $10. Friday’s AirPower Swing is $75 for the stand-alone event and $100 for an all-access pass for entrance into the AirPower Expo and dance. Aircraft ride prices range from $75 to $1,595 and advance reservations are recommended. For tickets, ride information and more please visit: http://ww2airpowerexpo.org/home/

RaymondJeffcoat 2014DallasAirExpoweb CAF 2136Some of the vintage military aircraft taking flight include:

B-29 Superfortress FIFI

FIFI was acquired by the CAF in the early 1970s, when a group of its members found her at the US Navy Proving Ground at China Lake, Calif., where she was being used as a missile target. The airplane was rescued, restored, and flew for over thirty years until 2006 when the chief pilot made the decision to ground her pending a complete power plant re-fit. What followed was an extensive four-year restoration that included replacing all four engines with new, custom-built hybrid engines. FIFI returned to the sky in 2010, and has since traveled coast to coast attracting large crowds at every tour stop.

B-24 Liberator Diamond Lil

Consolidated Aircraft designed the B-24 Liberator to have greater speed, greater range, and a heavier bomb load than Boeing's B-17. This example, purchased by the CAF in 1967,was originally intended for use by the Royal Air Force during World War II, but served instead as a factory test ship and later as a civilian transport. A major restoration in 2006 brought her back to classic form. Updated nose art and a new nickname completed her renovation in 2012. Today, Diamond Lil--the oldest remaining B-24 in the world and one of two still flying--is maintained and operated by the CAF's B-29/B-24 Squadron, based in Fort Worth, Texas.

B-17 Flying Fortress Texas Raiders

The Commemorative Air Force’s B-17 Texas Raiders is one of the most recognized and famous Flying Fortresses currently on the airshow circuit. It has been recognized by AIR CLASSICS magazine as the best restored B-17G bomber currently flying in the world. The aircraft has been restored to wartime configuration by an entirely volunteer group of dedicated CAF members and has one of the most unusual histories of any existing Flying Fortress. Acquired by the CAF on September 22, 1967 the aircraft was the first B-17 ever acquired solely for the purpose of preservation.

Here is the show’s daily schedule and list of ongoing events:

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
AirPower Expo

New Orleans Lakefront Airport, James Wedell Hangar

7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

AirPower Swing

New Orleans Lakefront Airport Terminal Atrium

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

AirPower Expo

New Orleans Lakefront Airport, James Wedell Hangar

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

AirPower Expo

New Orleans Lakefront Airport, James Wedell Hangar

            • Concessions by Messina's

The Commemorative Air Force honors the men and women who built, maintained and flew in these airplanes during World War II. The organization believes that is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition; taking the airplanes to the people allowing them to experience the sight and sound of the aircraft in flight.

Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 10,000 members and a fleet of over 150 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 67 units located in 27 states for care and operation. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, teamwork, optimism, courage, and sacrifice of the men and women who served on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org. 

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