October 25, 2014

Vintage air show takes wing at New Century

“Diamond Lil”, a B-24 plane at the expo was a crowd pleaser. The aircraft was one of dozens of vintage aircraft and displays at New Century AirCenter last weekend. Photo courtesy of Charlie Troutner

“Diamond Lil”, a B-24 plane at the expo was a crowd pleaser. The aircraft was one of dozens of vintage aircraft and displays at New Century AirCenter last weekend. Photo courtesy of Charlie Troutner

Charlie Troutner
Special to The Gardner News
Amid warm and sunny skies, the Heart of America Wing of the Commemorative Air Force hosted an “Air Power History Tour”, on Aug. 24 and 25 at the C.A.F facility at New Century Air Center.
The expo consisted of tours of vintage aircraft, veteran oral histories, military vehicle displays, swing band performances, children’s hangar, C.A.F. museum tours, and other fun and educational family activities.
The purpose of the C.A.F. Expo is to educate the public and allow them up close and “hands on” opportunities to learn about aviation history and its’ role in the American military.
The Commemorative Air Force is a nationwide organization dedicated to restoring and preserving vintage aircraft to its original flying condition. All of the aircraft at a C.A.F. show are operational, and for a fee, members of the public can take actual rides on these planes.
The local chapter of the Commemorative Air Force is the Heart of America Wing, located at the northeast end of New Century Air Center.

James and Cindy Butler, who lost their son, Jacob in 2003, and Debbie Austin Lamberd, who lost her son, Shane in 2006, stand in front of the “Rembering Our Fallen” display at the C.A.F.  Expo held last weekend. Photo courtesy of Charlie Troutner

James and Cindy Butler, who lost their son, Jacob in 2003, and Debbie Austin Lamberd, who lost her son, Shane in 2006, stand in front of the “Rembering Our Fallen” display at the C.A.F. Expo held last weekend. Photo courtesy of Charlie Troutner

A representative of the C.A.F estimated that four to five thousand people attended the two-day show last weekend.
Many visitors were amazed at the sounds and smells of the planes as they were fired up in the runway preparing for flight.
The most featured airplane was “Fifi”, a B-29 Superfortress airplane. There was also “Diamond Lil”, a B-24 Liberator plane, along with other vintage operational aircraft.
Kim Pardon, a C.A.F. representative from Texas, commented that the goal of the Commemorative Air Force is to “deliver the message of the ‘greatest’ generation, to future generations”, and she also considered the event a big success.
To learn more about the Commemorative Air Force, go to www.commemorativeairforce.org.

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