The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron, America’s tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, is bringing its RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit mobile theater and WWII P-51C Mustang aircraft to the 41st Annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo April 21 – 26 in Lakeland, Fla. The exhibit is a unique FREE opportunity for all ages to experience the inspiring story of the Tuskegee Airmen – America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. The Squadron’s P-51C Mustang will be performing in the air show, a rare treat for attendees as it is one of only a few like it still flying.During the event, the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit will participate in tours for local schools as part of their educational outreach program. Students will learn about the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s guiding Six Principles – Aim High, Believe In Yourself, Use Your Brain, Be Ready To Go, Never Quit, Expect to Win – and how they can be applied to their own lives.
The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit is a fully functional movie theater featuring the original film “Rise Above.” This immersive experience is housed in a climate controlled 53’ semi trailer with expandable sides and equipped with a ramp and hydraulic lift to ensure access to all, comfortably accommodating 30 visitors for each showing. In addition, the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s P-51C Mustang will also be available for up close viewing while on static display. Visitors can find the mobile theater on the SUN ‘n FUN Warbird Ramp.Because of its dynamic 160-degree panoramic screen, the film creates the feeling of being in the cockpit soaring above the clouds in the P-51C Mustang – the signature aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen in WWII. Audience members will learn what it was like for the Airmen as they worked toward their goal of becoming U.S. Army Air Corps pilots in the early 1940’s, and the obstacles they had the perseverance to overcome. At the conclusion of the film, audiences experience the excitement and thrill of flying this historic aircraft – touted the world’s greatest fighter – in formation, aerobatics and picturesque passes. View a preview at www.redtail.org/traveling-exhibit/.
“The exhibit is truly a one-of-a-kind adventure,” said CAF Red Tail Squadron Leader and P-51C Mustang pilot Brad Lang. “Kids and adults walk away from this experience with a greater understanding of the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. Their story, and that of the CAF Red Tail Squadron, is a means to inspire them to achieve their potential. It’s a message that resonates with all ages because of the unique and interactive way it is told. It’s an experience not to be missed.”
Entrance to the mobile theater is FREE, however standard admission rates to SUN ‘n FUN will apply. All event proceeds are returned to aviation-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculums through year-round programs and activities at SUN ‘n FUN’s Aerospace Center for Excellence. The event will be held at Lakeland Linder Airport at 4175 Medulla Road in Lakeland, Fla.
About the CAF Red Tail Squadron
The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to educating audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. Their three-fold outreach program includes an authentic, fully restored WWII-era P51C Mustang, the signature aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen; the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit 53’ mobile theater featuring the original panoramic film “Rise Above”; and educational materials and programs for teachers and youth leaders. The CAF Red Tail Squadron is part of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). To learn more about the organization, it’s mission or to become a donor, visit www.redtail.org or follow the Squadron on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cafredtailsquadron.
About the Commemorative Air Force
Collecting and flying warbirds for over half a century, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is the largest flying museum in the world. The CAF is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to honoring American military aviation history through flight, exhibition and remembrance. The organization feels this is best accomplished by keeping the aircraft flying. The CAF has approximately 11,000 members and a fleet of over 160 airplanes assigned to 70 units across the country. These units, comprised of CAF volunteer members, restore and operate the planes, which are viewed by more than 10 million spectators annually. Visit www.commemorativeairforce.org or call (877) 767-7175 for more information.