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CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow Features U.S. Navy Blue Angels

Blue Angels highlight CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow

BlueAngels webHOUSTON — (October 14, 2014) The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will return to Houston for the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) 30th Annual Wings Over Houston Airshow, which will be held Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 1-2, at Ellington Airport.

Produced by the Commemorative Air Force, the non-profit airshow also will feature a tribute to Vietnam War veterans with a flight demonstration of aircraft from that era, as well as a display of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall during the show and open to the public free on Friday, Oct. 31, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Other highlights include static displays and performances of vintage warplanes, modern military aircraft including the huge Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and WC-130 “Hurricane Hunter,” civilian acrobatic pilots, and numerous exhibits and activities.

Continuous show updates and ticket information are available at WingsOverHouston.com.

“We’re thrilled the U.S. Navy Blue Angels are returning to help us celebrate 30 years of an airshow that has become a family tradition and brings fans from all over the United States and the world to Houston,” said Bill Roach, airshow director. “It’s amazing how much this volunteer-produced show has grown over the past 30 years in number of performers, exhibits and activities that bring history to life. Our Vietnam War Veterans Tribute and Demonstration will be a highlight this year, and we’re honored to host the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall. We’ve put together a thrilling and fully-packed show lineup to showcase amazing aircraft and pilots, present stimulating exhibits and activities, and presentations that honor our military veterans and active-duty service men and women. Fans should check our website closer to show weekend for updates on all of our performers and activities. We also have received generous support from sponsors, but we do welcome more sponsorship support.”

“We also have a very special tradition at Wings Over Houston Airshow that we call the ‘Special Show,’ which is for lifetime physically challenged young people,” said Roach. “We hold the show on the Friday before airshow weekend for about 5,000 people. The Special Show, which is generously sponsored by the Hugh W. O’Donnell family, is the largest field trip for physically challenged students in this area.”

WWII AirPower Expo- New Orleans

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. 

2014 CAF AIRSHO Photos

Rob Rider

The 2014 CAF AIRSHO   Go to CAF AIRSHO AWARDS

This was the 51st CAF AIRSHO. It showcased some of the most iconic aircraft from World War II and top aerobatic performers from the CAF's own B-29 Superfortress FIFI to Kyle Franklin's Dracula. Having come from the successful CAF WWII Air Expo in Dallas the previous weekend, CAF Staff and Volunteers were excited to keep the momentum going to another great CAF event. Early reports of ticket sales and Colonel registrations were similar to years past but no one would have expected the last minute turn out of both members and attendees. This show's attendance on Sunday was record setting for a CAF AIRSHO. At least 250 CAF Colonels attended the event and several thousand came for the show, and all had a wonderful time.  Many thanks to all the members and volunteers who came out and helped make this homecoming such a great success!

  Friday's Membership meeting included a General Staff Vote, the announcement of the annual CAF Member Awards and a special tribute to those members that have Gone West since last year's AIRSHO. At the close of the meeting CAF President Stephan Brown gave the "State of the CAF" Presentation, which focused on keeping close watch on financials as the CAF expands both in aircraft, members and locations. For a look at both past and upcoming events, click here to watch the video. 

 

2014 INDIVIDUAL AWARDS - October 10, 2014

LP NOLEN AWARD

Col. Gena Linebarger                    High Sky Wing, EOD, Blastards, HQ

 

President’s Spirit Award

 

Col. Jan Collmer

 

President’s Choice Award

 

Col. Beth Jenkins

 

Terry & Jeanette Hollis

 

DISTINGUISHED FLYING AWARD / DISTINGUISHED SERVICE

Col. R. William Douglas                National Capitol Squadron

Col. John Gibeau                         Tex Hill Wing

Col. Howard “Mike” Hunt              Alaska Wing

Col. Brent Meyer                         Mile High Wing

Col. R. Donovan Weeks               National Capitol Squadron

Col. Donald Woodham                 Tex Hill Wing

DISTINGUISHED MAINTENANCE

Col. Edward Dzielski                     Airbase Arizona

Col. Ben York III                          Airbase Arizona

Individual Maintenance Award

Col. Daniel Bishop                         Mile High Wing

Col. Bobbie Carlton                        Airbase Arizona

Col. Phil Chapman                          Airbase Arizona

Col. Ray Ender                              Centex Wing

Col. C. Roger Grantham                  Airbase Arizona

Col. Richard Lambert                     Dixie Wing

Col. Mike Phillips                           Houston Wing

Col. Russ Renaud                          Tex Hill Wing

Col. Lee Weaver                            Dixie Wing

Col. Gary Winder                           Mile High Wing

SILVER MAGNOLIA BLOSSOM AWARD

Col. Allen Arnold                           Airbase Arizona

Col. Jane Baker                             Airbase Arizona

Col. Shelby Bolke                          Airbase Arizona

Col. Mike Boehme                         Old Dominion Squadron

Col. Ulf Byrnkestad                       Houston Wing

Col. Ed Cleveland                         Inland Empire Wing

Col. Troy Fitting                            Blastards

Col. Don Honeycutt                      Airbase Arizona

Col. Nancy Kwiecien                     Gulf Coast Wing

Col. Mike Selk                              Airbase Arizona

Col. Nancy Smith                         Gulf Coast Wing

Col. Elaine Webb                         Dallas/Fort Worth Wing

UNIT SERVICE AWARD

Col. John Bixby                             Houston Wing

Col. Tersa Bolin                             High Sky Wing

Col. Peter Bolke                            Airbase Arizona

Col. Phil Bonasera                         Centex Wing

Col. Donald Burgess                      Dixie Wing

Col. Mike Chalk                            Centex Wing

Col. Kathryn Collier                      High Sky Wing

Col. Susie Day                             High Sky Wing

Col. Joe Duncan                          Gulf Coast Wing

Col. Babs Hillard                          High Sky Wing

Col. Louise Koelling                     Jayhawk Wing

Col. Jim Liles                              Centex Wing

Col. Megan O’Hern                      High Sky Wing

Col. Michael Rettke                     Dixie Wing

Col. John Riggs                          Jayhawk Wing

Col. Jim Ritchie                          Airbase Arizona

Col. David Siegert                      Dallas/Fort Worth Wing

Col. Janet Siegert                       Dallas/Fort Worth Wing

Col. Lauri Skinner                       High Sky Wing

Col. Fred Tedesco                       Inland Empire Wing

Col. Andy Van Vooren                  Airbase Arizona

Col. Frank Vargas                        Houston Wing

Col. Benjamin T. Wainwright         Old Dominion Squadron

CAF LETTER OF COMMENDATION

Col. Paul Areson                          Dixie Wing

Col. John Bartholomew                 Jayhawk Wing

Col. David Berrio                          Centex Wing

Col. Frank Bienvenue                    Gulf Coast Wing

Col. Bert Boyce                            Mile High Wing

Col. Jim Buser                             Houston Wing

Col. Ricky Chapman                     EOD

Col. Jerry Conerly                        Inland Empire Wing

Col. Michael Couvillion                 Centex Wing

Col. Mark Davis                          Highland Lakes Squadron

Col. Dan DeMott                         Jayhawk Wing

Col. Jed Doggett                         Highland Lakes Squadron

Col. Annette Doggett                   Highland Lakes Squadron

Col. Ben Doggett                         Highland Lakes Squadron

Col. Jake Doggett                         Highland Lakes Squadron                                        

Col. Saundra Dunsworth               Jayhawk Wing

Col. Steve Enyeart                        Centex Wing

Col. David Hargett                        Highland Lakes Squadron

Col. Richard Hamilton                   Houston Wing

Col. Frank Kalinowski                   Dixie Wing

Col. Mike Kelly                            Highland Lakes Squadron

Col. Randy Kim                           Inland Empire Wing

Col. Danny Kirby                         Blastards

Col. Kevin Klaus                          Highland Lakes Squadron

Col. John Knapp                         Highland Lakes Squadron

Cadet Casey Lockett                    Centex Wing

Col. Mark McCray                        Highland Lakes Squadron

Col. Steve Meares                       Blastards

Col. Adrian Peterson                    Highland Lakes Squadron

Col. Howard Quoyeser                 Gulf Coast Wing

Col. Howie Ramshorn                  Inland Empire Wing

Col. Harold Smith                       Highland Lakes Squadron

Col. Brill Wilcox                          Tex Hill Wing

NON-MEMBER SERVICE

Ms. Carol Gillette                        High Sky Wing

Ms. Thresa Thornton                   High Sky Wing

NON-MEMBER LETTER OF COMMENDATION

Mr. Jeff Litchfield                         Tex Hill Wing

Mr. Jason Starace                        Blastards

Dolly Vinsant Flight Nurse of the Year

Major Deveril A. Wint

NWOC Registration Open

NWOCThe 21st National Warbird Operators Conference (NWOC) will be held Feb. 26 – March 1, 2015 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside in New Orleans, La. 

NWOC is an opportunity to talk with fellow Warbird operators about their operations and issues and hear some presentations on interesting subjects.

To register for the NWOC, please click here

 

 

 

CAF World War II Air Expo Photo Review

web AirExpo Dallas Ramp5 DonnaBlalack

The first CAF Air Expo took place this past weekend in Dallas at Dallas Executive Airport. Although the weather was a little scary before the event, as you will see in these photos, the weather was perfect for the Air Expo. Hundreds of people came to check out the CAF and see the dozens of warbirds on display. Rides were booked both online and at the event.  There were several people on hand to entertain and educate. 

The Ladies for Liberty came and sang in the Andrews Sister's style throughout the event. Aviation entrepreneur, Jamil Larkins, was on hand, speaking with several students about working hard and finding your passion. The attendence of many World War II veterans and CAF Colonels ensured that there was no shortage of people around to answer questions and talk about the aircraft on the ramp. The B-29/B-24 Squadron worked with local units and lots of volunteers to make this a successful event and the CAF's first BIG event in the Dallas area.

 See Photos from the show-

Aircraft in Attendenct include:

 

*B-29 Superfortress FIFI                     L-19 Bird Dog

 

*B-17 Flying Fortress Texas Raiders    *C-45 Expeditor Bucket of Bolts

 

*B-24 Liberator Diamond Lil              T-6 Texan Farmer’s Daughter

 

*B-25 Mitchell Yellow Rose                 *PT-13 Stearman

 

*SB2C Helldiver                                   T-28 Trojan

 

*P-51 Mustang Gunfighter                   P-40 Warhawk

 

*P-51 Mustang Tuskegee Airmen         A-26 Invader

 

Japanese Zero Replica                          *R4D Ready for Duty

 

*Available for rides

 

 

 

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