B-17 Joins CAF Atlanta Warbird Weekend Lineup, Along With Family Fun Activities
The mighty B-17, “Memphis Belle,” will join dozens of WWII warbirds on the tarmac at Dekalb-Peachtree Airport Sept. 12-13 for the Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing 2015 CAF Atlanta Warbird Weekend. The B-17 will be available for photos and tours, along with other vintage aircraft including a fleet of P-51 Mustangs, British RAF Spitfire, German FW-190, Stearman biplane; a DC-3 and other famous WWII aircraft. Atlanta Warbird Weekend is open free to the public from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. each day. All of the planes will be on display and rides will be available in the Dixie Wing’s P-51, Douglas SBD-5 dive bomber, LT-6 Mosquito, PT-26, and DC-3, among others.
Families will enjoy activities provided by Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta History Center and the Museum of Aviation History in Macon. WWII veterans will discuss their experiences at a series of “Warbirds in Review” sessions. Military reenactors will display their uniforms and equipment, and the Dixie Wing PX will offer souvenirs, including authentic military dogtags.
WWII pilot Bud Anderson will captivate this year’s audience as guest speaker for the Atlanta Warbird Weekend’s “Dinner with an Ace,” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 at the 57th Fighter Group restaurant, Dekalb-Peachtree Airport. Tickets are $125 for this limited seating event, which was sold out last year. This is a rare opportunity to hear first-hand about WWII from one of the dwindling number of heroes who flew the aircraft and experienced the battles.
“This weekend is dedicated to the remembrance and celebration of the men, women and machines of the Greatest Generation,” said Jay Bess, program coordinator. “AWW is a catalyst that brings together organizations, aircraft and people to keep this history alive, and to engage the public and businesses to preserve the spirit of America’s shared past.
“Our goal is to create “hands-on” history that brings the era alive and inspires in a way that goes beyond textbook learning,” Bess said. CAF “This event helps us fulfill that mission, increases awareness of the Commemorative Air Force in Atlanta and raises much-needed funds for restoration and preservation of our historic aircraft.”
Veterans groups, re-enactors and educational displays will engage the public with the aircraft and their stories. AWW also will include businesses on the field, such as the 57th Fighter Group restaurant, a WWII fighter-themed business owned by Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame recipient Pat Epps. Parking will be available for $10 per car.
Rides on the CAF aircraft can be purchased in advance (HERE), for a once-in-a lifetime opportunity. Rides are popular with veterans who remember these vintage aircraft, and are equally appreciated by younger aviation fans who never had an opportunity to experience flight in an historic 70-year-old warplane. Rides may be purchased during the show if space is available. Ground tours of these rare aircraft will be available for a modest fee, which helps cover the cost of restoring and touring them.