Arsenal of Democracy Flyover Postponed

While many of us were all looking forwards to the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover this May, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe with a massed flypast of warbirds over Washington, DC, the grand event has had to be postponed sadly, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. (photo by Richard Mallory Allnutt)

Given the seriousness of the situation we now find ourselves in with the global coronavirus pandemic, it is doubtless that we have all felt the impact of its multifold affects upon every aspect of our society. This of course includes our own passions for vintage aviation. Indeed, a number of significant aviation museums have already temporarily closed their doors, with more surely to follow, and most upcoming warbird-related events have been postponed for at least a month. That being said, it is highly likely that such postponements/cancellations will extend well into the summer.

It should come as no surprise therefore to learn that the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover has also been postponed. Originally scheduled for May 8th, to coincide with the 75th anniversary for the end of WWII in Europe, the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover was to have seen upwards of sixty WWII-vintage aircraft flying in formation over Washington, DC. The Commemorative Air Force, which is running the event, has talked with the various aircraft owners and sponsors involved and moved the event to September. They made the following announcement with further details…

The Commemorative Air Force’s Boeing B-29 Superfortress FIFI sitting on the tarmac in Manassas, Virginia following a storm in the lead-up to the VE Day 70th anniversary celebrations in the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover of Washington DC in May, 2015. While this year’s celebrations for the 75th Anniversary of VE Day may have had to be postponed, they will still go forth at a later date. (photo by Richard Mallory Allnutt)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Given the increasing concerns and directives related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), last week, the Arsenal of Democracy (AOD) Executive Planning Committee, coordinated with a large number of organizations, government entries, warbird operators and World War II veterans to reschedule the AOD Victory Gala and Flyover commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Working closely with the Friends of the National World War II Memorial, the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the Air Line Pilots Association and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the week of September 20th became the mutually agreed-upon timeframe to reschedule all AOD activities. This particular week will fortuitously culminate with the annual National Aviation Hall of Fame Enshrinement to be held in Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday, September 26th.

The AOD Victory Gala will take place at Signature Flight Support’s historic Hangar 7 at Ronald Reagan National Airport on Thursday, September 24th with allpreviously announced World War II veterans speakers reconfirmed. The warbird aerial tribute flight over the National Mall will now take place on Friday, September 25th in conjunction with an accompanying ceremony at the National World War II Memorial. The week’s events will culminate with an Aerospace workforce and STEM-related event, coordinated by the Air Line Pilots Association, and a static display of many of the aircraft that participated in the flyover at the National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, on Saturday, September 26th.

Despite delaying the commemorative activities, the AOD committee and the partner organizations remain steadfast in producing a historic tribute to the men and women who served in the U.S. and Allied armed forces, those who contributed on the homefront, and those who suffered the horrors of the Holocaust during WWII.

Members of the Arsenal of Democracy Executive Planning Committee include Pete Bunce, President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA); Hank Coates, President and CEO of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF); John Cudahy, President of the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS); Mike Ginter, Arsenal of Democracy Air Boss; and Paul Rinaldi, President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). Aerospace workforce and STEM activities are led by Captain Joe DePete, President of the Air Line Pilots Association. Events at the National World War II Memorial are led by Holly Rotondi, Executive Director of the Friends of the National World War II Memorial. National Aviation Hall of Fame Enshrinement events are led by Amy Spowart, President and CEO of the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

For more information about the Arsenal of Democracy events, please visit www.ww2flyover.org/.

Flying Graphics

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