Conroe, Texas (May 10, 2021) In cities across the U.S., vintage military aircraft rest quietly in museums, where school children and tourists admire them, take their pictures and leave them behind closed doors at the end of each day.
On May 24 aviation history blasts out of the museum and into the skies as Texas Raiders, a fully restored B-17 Flying Fortress, thunders into Cobb County International Airport in Kennesaw on her four giant engines. Of the 12,731 B-17s built in the US, only five are still flying—including Texas Raiders. Presented by the Commemorative Air Force, an array of vintage U.S. military aircraft will be hosted by Hawthorne Global Aviation Services and Superior Flight School for four days of aviation history. The event offers attendees a rare opportunity to see some of America’s most storied aircraft, featuring the accurately restored B-17, which bristles with machine guns and period-specific equipment.
Also participating in the mid-week event will be Kelly’s Zeroes, a local group of WWII re-enactors. Founded in Atlanta in 2005, their mission is to honor America’s servicemen and women through education and historical preservation. Wearing the uniforms and equipment of World War II, Kelly’s Zeroes will represent the US Army Air Force, and will portray ground crew as well as male and female aviators.
Local CAF aircraft will include the P-51 Mustang, the iconic WWII fighter that famously provided cover for the squadrons of B-17 bombers during the air war in Europe. Also appearing are three well-known naval aircraft: the fearsome Dauntless SBD dive-bomber, the powerful T6 Texan/SNJ advanced trainer in which thousands of US airmen trained for combat, as well as the five-passenger Navy transport Little Raider, in which the whole family can fly together. All of the attending aircraft are noteworthy for their restored condition, historic importance and their roles with the CAF as vehicles for public education and use as flying museums.
The CAF warbirds will offer cockpit tours of the aircraft and Living History Experience Flights through May 27th. Cockpit tours begin Monday May 24 at noon, and public flights begin Tuesday May 25. Join the CAF at Hawthorne Global Aviation Services, 1800 Airport Road, Gate G, Kennesaw GA. Flights on the various aircraft range from $100 in the Navy transport to $380 in the advanced trainer to $1695 in the P-51 Mustang. Seats on the B-17 start at $475. Those who wish to fly can call 1-855-FLY-A-B17 (1-855-359-2217) or reserve on line at www.B17TexasRaiders.org. See more about the event at www.Facebook.com/B17TexasRaiders