Midland, Texas — While AIRSHO 2008 may be over, the CAF Hangar still holds some of the most unique aircraft in the world. Aircraft from the Lone Star Flight Museum (LSFM) and the Commemorative Air Force Ghost Squadron are on display in the Hangar at CAF Headquarters in Midland, Texas.
Friday, Sept. 19, the LSFM’s B-25 Mitchell Doolittle’s Raiders and B-17 Flying Fortress Thunderbird arrived in Midland for a long-term stay at CAF Headquarters after hurricane Ike left behind a wake of destruction in Galveston, home of the LSFM. These visiting aircraft are joined in the Hangar by many members of the CAF Ghost Squadron.
Standing sentinel at the front of the CAF Hangar is the “Queen of the Fleet,” the B-29 Superfortress, FIFI. FIFI is currently undergoing a re-engine project and will remain in the hangar in Midland until the project is complete, an expected two years from now.
Also on display is the Junkers JU-52, a three-engine German transport, it is the only one of its kind in the United States. The JU-52 has an unusual corrugated metal skin that was used to strengthen the fuselage.
The Polikarpov I-16 has returned from tour to reside in the hangar as well. The Soviet fighter aircraft was the world’s first cantilever-winged monoplane fighter with retractable landing gear.
Some of the aircraft will be on display for only a short time while they under-go routine maintenance and inspections. The FM-2 Wildcat (CAF’s Martlet) is scheduled to depart on Friday, Sept. 26 and the F4U-4 Corsair will depart Thursday, Oct. 2.
The Bell 47 “M*A*S*H” helicopter, P-82 Twin Mustang, PT-26 Primary Trainer, AT-26 Texan Advanced Trainer, Fairey Swordfish and Stinson L-5 Sentinel are a few of the other aircraft on display.
The CAF Museum is at the CAF Headquarters located near Midland International Airport between Midland and Odessa. The museum is the home of the largest collection of authentic Nose Art® and also an extensive of artifacts and memorabilia that detail the story of World War II. Admission is $10 for adults (age 19 and up), $9 for teens and seniors (ages 13 to18 and age 65 and up), and $7 for children ages 6 and under. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Collecting, restoring and flying warbirds for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance with a flying museum of classic military aircraft.
A non-profit educational association, the CAF has approximately 9,000 members and a fleet of almost 160 airplanes representing more than 60 different types – including planes from several foreign countries and military conflicts since World War II. For more information, visit www.airsho.org, www.commemorativeairforce.org or call (432) 563-1000.