Mark your calendars now—it’s official! The inaugural annual gathering of Warbirds and Legends. America’s best warbird pilots. America’s finest warbird aircraft. America’s largest warbird formations. America’s greatest generation.
The concept began with the successful assembly of some 30 DC-3 and C-47 aircraft 3 years ago in an operation dubbed “The Last Time.” That special event was largely driven by patriotism, community support, and selflessness. Not normally done, all convention proceeds after expenses from that gathering were directed to the participating warbird operators in the form of extraordinary ground support, and deeply discounted fuel for their planes. “This concept is markedly different than traditional airshows where a sponsoring organization always profits.
These airplanes are old, and very expensive to operate. We felt that the success we achieved during “The Last Time” gathering gave us the recipe to go forward and open the field up to other warbird types,” said Scott Glover, a business owner and warbird enthusiast from Mt. Pleasant, Texas. “Once again, we intend to offer a very reasonably priced admission structure to the general public that includes a rare and up close visit with these aircraft and legends, as well as very reasonably priced food and concessions on site. I know the field is already filling. We plan to have three of our own private rare aircraft on site for all four days. We certainly won’t make any money in attending this Topeka event, but there is no doubt that this is unique, historic, and very affordable for all.” Mr. Glover is one of the organizers of the Gathering of Warbirds and Legends.
The dedicated team of volunteer organizers have launched both a web site and a Facebook page that give all of the details of the highly unusual, vintage themed event.
Warbird owners interested in participating in the event (centrally located in the heartland of America, in Topeka, Kansas, on August 1-4, 2013), can apply for positions, or “SLOTS,” to be awarded based on heir aircraft and crew credentials. The slots are open as of midnight on February 1, 2013, marking 6 months before the event. The organizers have indicated that as many as 65 slots may be awarded, and that the goal of the get together is to organize and fly the world’s largest warbird formation, including up to 52 of these aircraft in flight at the same time on August 3 and 4! This formation will tap the “best of the best” that is left in America in terms of warbird flight crews and equipment, and it will host worldwide media coverage. A special effort has been taken to cater to the media specialists worldwide and assist them in travel, arrangements, gaining access to the planes, the flight lines, the crews, and in-flight positions to capture every thrilling moment.
For more information, see website warbirdsandlegends.org as well as The Gathering of Warbirds and Legends page on Facebook.
See Bud Anderson, Paul Poberezny, Gunther Rall, and Bob Hoover up close with aircraft types that they flew in combat, testing, or training.
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