Four Vintage War Planes Coming to Evansville Wartime Museum This Week
If you're a history buff, or simply want to learn more about Evansville's rich history and contributions to World War II, a trip to the Evansville Wartime Museum on the north side near Evansville Regional Airport is a must. Opened just over five years ago in May 2017, the museum features a number of displays, "artifacts" (for lack of a better term), and information on what the city and its residents provided to the war effort back in the 1940s. From time to time, the museum will bring in special guests in the form of planes that either played an integral part in America's military history or the country's history in general. That will be the case later this week when the museum welcomes four special planes.
Vintage Warplanes Available to Tour at the Evansville Wartime Museum
The museum has announced it will welcome the following planes to the city on Thursday (September 22nd):
B-29 Superfortress - "FiFi"
The B-29 Superfortress was the most advanced bomber of World War II. According to the museum, it "was designed to fly higher and faster than enemy fighters and helped bring an end to the war."
B-24 Liberator - "Diamond Lil"
18,000 Liberators were built for the war. Today, only two remain and one of them will be making an appearance at the museum. According to Lockheed-Martin, the B-24 "was designed to fly faster and carry a larger payload than the US Army Air Corps’s B-17 Flying Fortress." It could carry a 5,000 bomb load 1,700 miles. By comparison, "a 4,000-pound bomb load was typical for long missions" for the B-17, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
PT-17 Boeing Stearman
Used by the U.S. Army Air Corp as a training plane for pilots, the PT-17 trained more crews than any other plane in World War II, according to the museum.
Air Force One L-26B - "Ike’s Bird"
Recognized as the first plane to carry the name, "Air Force One," the L-26B was used by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to fly to his ranch in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Unlike the Air Force One we know today, the L-26B was a single-engine plane, slightly larger than the personal planes of today. Also, unlike today's Air Force One, Eisenhower often flew the plane himself.
Flights of three passengers each on the L-26B will be available on Thursday at 1:00 and 2:00 PM Central. You can book your flight at airpowersquadron.org.
The planes are scheduled to arrive around Noon on Wednesday, September 21 and the museum will be open to the public from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM on Thursday. Visitors will be able to tour the planes between flights. Admission will be $20 for adults, $10 for students between 11-17, and no charge for children 10 and under.
[Source: Evansville Wartime Museum Press Release / Lockhee-Martin / Encyclopedia Britannica]