P-51 and SBD-5 Rides Offered at Warbirds Over the Beach

John Currenti flying the CAF Dixie Wing's SBD-5 in Reading. ( Photo by David F. Brown)
John Currenti flying the CAF Dixie Wing's SBD-5 in Reading. ( Photo by David F. Brown)
John Currenti flying the CAF Dixie Wing’s SBD-5 in Reading. ( Photo by David F. Brown)

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA., (May 4, 2015) – The Dixie Wing of the Commemorative Air Force will participate in the Military Aviation Museum’s annual Warbirds Over the Beach air show in Pungo, Virginia over the weekend of May 15th through 17th. They will be arriving in Pungo a few days earlier though and offering rides in their famous P-51 Mustang named “Red Nose” and SBD-5 Dauntless from Thursday May 14th through Sunday, May 17th. Both warbirds will fly in from Washington D.C. after performing in the May 8th Arsenal of Democracy Flyover.

“Red Nose” is the plane that launched the Confederate Air Force (now known as Commemorative Air Force). This aircraft has had a long and colorful history, dating back to the closing days of WWII. It was produced in 1945 at the North American Aviation plant in Inglewood, California. The Dixie Wing’s Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber is one of only two airworthy SBD-5s still flying in the world. It has been painstakingly returned to its original WWII configuration, complete with a fully restored and operational rear gunner’s station. The SBD was the first American combat aircraft to shoot down a Japanese Zero fighter. SBDs also played a critical role in the Battle of Midway, sinking four Japanese carriers.

Don’t miss your chance to take a ride of a lifetime in one of these classic warbirds. To schedule your flight, please visit the Dixie Wing website. Click HERE.

Red Nose flying a lucky passenger last month in Peachtree City. ( Photo by John Willhoff)
Red Nose flying a lucky passenger last month in Peachtree City. ( Photo by John Willhoff)

About
 the Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing
The Dixie Wing was approved as a CAF unit on February 28th, 1987, and has displayed its collection of vintage World War II aircraft at numerous air shows throughout the North American east coast. The Dixie Wing is a non-profit, tax-exempt “flying museum” that depends on contributions of time and funds to carry out its mission. They operate a P-51D Mustang, SBD-5 Dauntless, FG-1D Corsair, LT-6 Mosquito, PT-19 and an L-16. The unit is also restoring a Bell P-63A Kingcobra and a Beechcraft T-34 Mentor. To schedule your flight, please visit the Dixie Wing website. Click HERE.

About the The Military Aviation Museum
The Military Aviation Museum was born from a passion for World War II-era aircraft, and has evolved into a living history museum that rivals any of its kind in the world. The first aircraft to join the collection was a Curtiss P-40E Warhawk, salvaged from the tundra in Siberia, Russia and lovingly returned back to its current pristine condition. Each aircraft, whether salvaged in pieces, found derelict in an old barn, or purchased from another collection, has undergone a meticulous restoration process under the care of military aviation engineers and experts. Over the years, the museum has grown from a small, private grass airfield in the Pungo community of southeastern Virginia Beach into a complex of four operational hangars, museum space for non-flying artifacts, a maintenance hangar and several storage buildings. Website: www.militaryaviationmuseum.org

Virginia Beach Airport:
The museum is located at the Virginia Beach Airport, a private-use airfield founded by four local pilots in 1969 under the name Atlantic Air Park. Their original vision included a runway, hotel, restaurant, small terminal and multiple hangars. Their plans were soon scrapped, however, and much of the land returned to agricultural use. The runway remained active though and became a base for crop dusters and banner towing planes. Early in the twenty-first century, the current owner purchased the property and began planning the museum. His determination has blossomed at a break-neck pace, and the museum is now a major force in the warbird world.

Don’t miss your chance to take a ride of a lifetime in one of these classic warbirds. To schedule your flight, please visit the Dixie Wing website. Click HERE.

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