HOUSTON – This Sunday’s ‘Flight to the Finish’ flyover event presented by Lone Star Flight Museum will feature some of the most prominent aircraft that flew during World War II.
The museum will be flying nearly 30 of their historic war planes with a tie to WWII history acknowledging the 75th anniversary of V-E Day -- Victory in Europe -- according to its website. It is an invitation to Houstonians to distract themselves from the current pandemic.
"This amazing flyover is a unique opportunity for everyone to view, all (you) have to do is look up!” Museum Director and CEO Douglas H. Owens is quoted saying on the museum’s website.
The flyover will take place Sunday, May 10 starting at 2 p.m. The planes will depart from Ellington Field at 1:45 p.m. and travel to different parts of Houston, including downtown, the San Jacinto Monument and Memorial Park.
These are the planes flying over Houston this Sunday:
North American B-25/PBJ-1
The B-25/PBJ-1 was a twin-engine medium bomber used by the U.S Military and the Royal Canadian Army, The Skytamer Archive stated. The aircraft was named in honor of Gen. Billy Mitchell, a pioneer in U.S. military aviation.
The aircraft was introduced in the year 1941 and retired after the year 1970.
North American P-51 Mustang
The single-engine P-51 Mustang became one of the first fighter airplanes to push Europe forward after the fall of France, Boeing explained on its website. It was first designed for the British as a medium-altitude fighter, and it made a name for itself when the Allies devastated the Axis defenses when invading Italy.
North American AT-6/SNJ
The AT-6/SNJ was the training plane for pilots prior to combat, explained the Vintage Flying Museum. U.S. Navy pilots flew these planes extensively.
During the Korean War, both the Air Force and the Navy modified the aircraft and employed it in battlefield surveillance. They gained the name “mosquitoes” due to being small yet powerful, the website said.
The Vultee was another type of training plane, but it was disregarded due to being overpowered to novice pilots. The aircraft has a fixed landing gear and flight instruments as standard equipment, the Western Museum of Flight explained.
From 1933 to 1944, a total of approximately 12,000 Vultee aircraft were built for use during WWII, meeting the needs of U.S. Military. Most Army and Navy pilots were trained in this type of aircraft.
The Beechcraft B-18 was a popular models due to optional attachments, such as the watercraft attachment for safe water landings, according to the Air & Space Museum.
Designed and built in Wichita, Kansas, the aircraft generated 32 variants. The 1946 model was once owned by Tony Hulman, founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis.
The T-34 is a smaller version of the Beechcraft BE-18 and an additional version of the trainer aircraft for U.S. military. It has seven variants, and the T-34 is a prototype model, according to Airforce-Technology.com.
The final design of the aircraft emerged in 1948 and was selected by 23 countries to train professional military pilots.
Ryan L17 Navion
The Navion model was designed shortly after the end of WWII as liaison aircraft, personnel carriers and trainers, explained Navion.com. The particular model was once used as police aircraft to transport prisoners, and the later model contains an expansion of five seats.
A-36 Bonanza (Photography Plane)
Another one of the Beechcraft models emerged from Wichita, Kansas in 1937. Models between the 1940s and 1960s caused many aviation problems and even accidents due to pilot errors, according to AVWeb.
Most A-36 models today are primarily used for taking photographs of aircraft in action.