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‘Arsenal of Democracy’ Flight to Be Streamed Live
May 7, 2015 - EAA’s B-17 bomber Aluminum Overcast is at Manassas, Virginia, preparing to be among the aircraft group leaders in the massive “Arsenal of Democracy” flyover in Washington, D.C., slated for May 8. We’re pleased to announce that the event will be streamed live via special webcast that begins at 10:30 a.m. EDT.
More than 50 World War II-era aircraft will commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (V-E) Day that marked the end of World War II combat in Europe and the surrender of the Axis powers to the Allied forces. It is one of the most diverse arrays of World War II aircraft ever assembled, flying in 15 historically sequenced formations that represent the war’s major battles from Pearl Harbor through the final air assault on Japan, and concluding with a missing man formation to “Taps.”
EAA’s B-17, which has toured the country for the past 20 years in honor of veterans and their sacrifices, will lead the B-17 group that honors the efforts of “Big Week,” a February 1944 Allied air offensive that involved nearly 4,000 bombers in attacks on Nazi Germany. Aluminum Overcast will be flown by EAA’s Sean Elliott and George Daubner, and joined by the Commemorative Air Force’s B-17 Texas Raiders in the flight.
“This is an unprecedented privilege for an EAA aircraft to be part of this historic event,” said Elliott, who is EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety as well as an experienced B-17 tour pilot. “It has been amazing to watch the positive coordination between the aviation community and the many federal agencies to make this possible, all to honor the contributions and sacrifices of The Greatest Generation. It is our honor to fly on this day.”
The Arsenal of Democracy flyover begins at 12:10 p.m. EDT, following an earlier wreath-laying ceremony at the Freedom Wall of the National WWII Memorial. Aircraft will fly over the Lincoln Memorial, then over Independence Avenue and east of the U.S. Capitol, before flying over Reagan National Airport and out of the Washington, D.C., airspace. The entire flyover is expected to take just over an hour, with flights of aircraft passing every two minutes.
Jack J. Pelton, EAA chairman of the board, will be among 100 dignitaries and VIPs who will watch the flyover from the roof of the Smithsonian in Washington. The flyover, which also includes numerous other EAA members flying warbird aircraft, will be extensively covered by national media.
Aluminum Overcast will return to Manassas with the CAF’s B-29 and B-24 bombers for a unique gathering of three of World War II’s best-known bombers this weekend.