National Aviation Day Warbird Rides at WWII Airfield in Manteo, North Carolina

As part of the First Flight Society Celebration of National Aviation Day at Dare County Regional Airport in Manteo, NC on August 19th, the Capital Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) will be providing warbird rides in its 1945 General Motors TBM Avenger torpedo bomber. (image via First Flight Society)


As part of the First Flight Society Celebration of National Aviation Day at Dare County Regional Airport in Manteo, North Carolina on August 19th, the Capital Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) will be providing warbird rides in its WWII-era General Motors TBM Avenger torpedo bomber nicknamed Doris Mae.

National Aviation Day (NAD) celebrates the development of aviation. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the NAD via proclamation in 1939, designating that August 19th, the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birthday, was an appropriate date for the holiday.

The TBM Avenger is much the same as the 1903 Wright Flyer. It was wings. And an engine. But that is where the commonality ends. The Wright Flyer’s engine produced 12hp. The Avenger’s 14-cylinder radial engine produces 1,900hp. The first flight travelled 120 feet. The Avenger’s wingspan is half that distance at 54 feet and the aircraft has a range of 900 miles. The Wright’s airplane had fixed wings. The Avenger’s wings fold back against the fuselage. However, there is something else in common between the Wright Flyer and the TBM Avenger: both flew with one pilot, or aviator, if you prefer the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps/Coast Guard term.

Interestingly, there is a is a TBM connection to the airport itself. During WWII it was a U. S. Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) commissioned on March 3rd, 1943 and used for special training of Navy squadrons including Grumman Avengers, making the event a homecoming of sorts for this TBM. Advance purchases for rides in the TBM can be made online at the link HERE.

We can think of no better way to celebrate National Aviation Day than taking a TBM Ride, especially for a WWII aviation enthusiast or military veteran. You will be experiencing flight operations from this very airport, in a similar fashion to being there during its navy days.

For more information please visit us at https://nationalaviationday.org



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