“Gold Race” winner at Reno National Air Races to offer Warbird rides
Stearman bi-planes to fly in formation
[Culpeper, VA, June 23, 2021] To celebrate Independence Day the Capital Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) will be flying five vintage WWII warbirds at the Culpeper Regional Airport on July 3rd and 4th during its Warbird Showcase. The queen of the Capital Wing fleet, “Doris Mae,” a 1945 TBM Avenger torpedo bomber, will be joined by a North American T-6 offering warbird rides to the public.
And this isn’t just any ordinary T-6. It was built in 1944 as an SNJ-5 and delivered to the US Navy. Virtually all US Army and Navy fighter pilots of WWII were trained in a North American T-6. In 1974 this WWII advanced trainer, nick-named “Gotcha!” won the Gold Race at the National Air Races in Reno, Nevada and subsequently raced for over 30 years for various owners. It now sports an upgraded 850hp engine, making it an extremely fast airplane! Riding in this T-6 is probably as close to flying in a WWII fighter as you can get.
Warbird Rides in any of the 5 vintage airplanes can be purchased in advance at the Capital Wing bookings website https://www.capitalwingwarbirdrides.org/. Flights not sold out in advance will be available on site at the event. Parking and admission to the Warbird Showcase are free, although a donation to the all-volunteer non-profit Capital Wing is appreciated. The Order Up! food truck will be at the airport all day.
As a special tribute to Independence Day, there will be a formation flyover of the Culpeper Airport at mid-day on Sunday July 4 by Boeing PT-17 Stearman biplanes. On both Saturday and Sunday there will be reenactors in period uniforms of the US Army, US Coast Guard and British Army and visitors can inspect other vintage aircraft up close including a T-28, British Percival Provost, Vultee BT-13 and a Cessna 195.
The same five WWII warbirds will be available for rides on July 17th and 18th at the Hanover County Municipal Airport, Ashland VA, just north of Richmond. For frequently asked questions regarding flight requirements, check-in times, cancellations and changes, please contact the Warbird Rides Coordinator, Pete Ballard, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (540) 450-5992.
The Culpeper Regional Airport is located on Beverly Ford Road, Rts 15/29, Elkwood VA.
The Capital Wing and the Commemorative Air Force are non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations and ticket purchases may be tax deductible.
Note to Editors: Media tours of the WWII aircraft and in-person and video interviews with the warbird pilots may be available depending on flight schedules. Please contact Pete Ballard, Capital Wing, email: CapitalWingCAF@gmail.com, 540-450-5992, to arrange for a tour or interview.
– North American T-6/SNJ (photo credit: Bay Aviation)
– Boeing PT-17 Stearmans in formation (photo credit: Capital Wing)