Due to weather conditions, the aircraft participating in the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, were unable to safely take flight today. The Arsenal of Democracy presented a video tribute on behalf of the Bob and Delores Hope Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense and other sponsors. The tribute includes footage of the rarest WWII aircraft and interviews with veterans participating in the aerial tribute, which can be viewed on the Arsenal of Democracy’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
The authorization to fly through the Washington D.C. restricted airspace will expire today and rescheduling the flying portion of the program is unfortunately not an option.
The Arsenal of Democracy Executive Committee released the following statement regarding being unable to take flight as planned:
“We are disappointed that we could not deliver the planned aerial tribute that our World War II veterans and heroes deserve for their selfless service to our nation and the world. We are, however, pleased to offer the special programming commemorating the end of World War II with never-before-seen footage of many of the aircraft scheduled to participate in the Arsenal of Democracy flyover, exciting footage from the practice flights that took place this week and a thought provoking interview that took place last night with Tuskegee Airman Brigadier General Charles McGee with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.”
“It was a tough call for all of us to make, but at the end of the day it was about the safety and security of the pilots, crews, volunteers, aircraft and all those involved in the aerial tribute. We are thankful for all the local, state and federal support that we received in the planning and postponements of the flyover; they wanted to see the flyover tribute executed just as much as we did. Unfortunately, given all the planning, preparations and organization, including meeting the extensive security criteria that go into such a massive event, there are no plans to reschedule this year. We are grateful for the generosity of our sponsors and all the hard work that was put forth to honor the sacrifices of America’s Greatest Generation.”
The Arsenal of Democracy Executive Committee includes Pete Bunce, President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA); John Cudahy, President and CEO of the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS); Hank Coates, President of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF); and Mike Ginter, Airboss for the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover.
Sponsors of the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover include the Bob Hope Legacy/Bob and Delores Hope Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense, FedEx, Bombardier Aviation, Jet Aviation, Garmin, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Hartzell Propeller, Signature Flight Support, Veterans Airlift Command, Mach 2 Management, The George Washington University and Chantilly Air.
For more information regarding the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover, visit ww2flyover.org.