Today in Washington DC an event took place that not only commemorated the 70th anniversary of VE Day and honored a generation of servicemen and -women, but significantly heightened the profile of restored vintage warplanes in the public consciousness, especially in the DC area. The Arsenal of Democracy Flyover was an unprecedented parade of vintage warbirds over a major urban center, including many of the rarest warbirds flying in the United States. Consider, as if it were an airshow lineup, the following roster: P-51 Mustang (8), P-40 Warhawk (3), TBM Avenger (3), FM Wildcat (3), B-25 Mitchell (3), FG-1 Corsair (3), B-17 Fortress (2), C-47 Skytrain (2), P-38 Lightning, SB2C Helldiver, SBD Dauntless, B-24 Liberator, B-29 Superfortress, PBY Catalina, A-26 Invader, and several T-6, L-3, L-4, L-5 and PT-17 trainers and liaison planes.
Spectators lined not only the Washington Mall, but balconies, bridges and rooftops along the Potomac to watch the flyover. It was exciting, stirring and all too brief.
Major contributors to the event were the Commemorative Air Force, Military Aviation Museum and Texas Flying Legends, with several other organizations and individuals also participating. Planes came from all over the country, and I noticed at least one that had to fly all the way from the Chino show in southern California five days earlier to make the event.
My gallery below is quite idiosyncratic because conditions for photography were not great, and I didn’t work to get mediocre shots of airplanes that I already have good photos of. But these photos perhaps convey a sense of the event.