Airplane enthusiasts will have the chance to fly high when the Commemorative Air Force, KC Ghost Squadron’s Heart of America Wing open house and air show takes place July 13 and 14. The KC Ghost Squadron’s Heart of America Wing of the Commemorative Air Force is located on the northeast side of New Century Air Center between Gardner and Olathe.
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) began with a single plane in 1957. Ex-service pilots from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas combined their money to purchase a P-51 Mustang. Soonafter, the group purchased a pair of F8F Bearcats. Their mission soon became clear — to collect and save an example of every aircraft that flew during World War II. It was mission to preserve a part of history that no one else was trying to accomplish.
CAF has been collecting aircrafts for half a century now, and the CAF ranks as one of the largest air forces in the world. Currently, the CAF has approximately 9,000 members and a fleet of almost 160 airplanes including planes from several foreign countries and other military conflicts since World War II.
The headquarters CAF are located in Midland, Texas. In 26 states and four foreign countries, CAF members have joined to form units actively supporting one or more of the classic military aircrafts operated by the CAF.
The organization is dedicated to restoring and preserving airplanes to excellent flying condition including artifacts used by the United States Military from WWII. Their goal is to share the history with younger generations and to recognize America’s war heroes.
Veterans and active duty military personnel will be guests of honor at the Commemorative Air Force Heart of America Wing open house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The event is free to the public.
Activities include displays of vintage military aircrafts, flying demonstrations, airplane rides for donations, military vehicles, veteran’s oral histories and also a kid’s hangar. There will also be concessions with grilled hamburgers, hotdogs and soda to quench attendees’ hunger and thirst.