Flying museum lands in Chandler - East Valley Tribune: News

Flying museum lands in Chandler

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Posted: Friday, April 16, 2010 6:02 pm | Updated: 3:36 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare for landing. A variety of aircraft will be grounded for closer inspection by the public this weekend in Chandler.

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Chandler Airport Dayz will feature an aircraft show — plus live music and classic and hot rod cars — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Chandler Air Service flight school, 1675 E. Ryan Road.

The machines most likely to capture crowds’ attention will be an Apache attack helicopter and a duo of World War II-era planes: the 36,000-pound B-17 bomber “Sentimental Journey” and an SNJ Trainer, a smaller, lighter style of plane known by crews of the day as “the pilot maker,” because it served as an aerial classroom for most of the Allied pilots who flew in the war.

The planes are part of a flying museum presented by the Commemorative Air Force Arizona Wing Aviation Museum based at Falcon Field airport in Mesa.

The bomber, which has a wingspan of nearly 104 feet and a painting of famous 1940s pinup girl Betty Grable on its nose, rolled off the assembly line in 1944 and served in the Pacific theater until the war’s end. It’s among the most fully restored B-17s flying today, according to the CAF Arizona Wing, which says there are only about 50 of the massive planes — dubbed “flying fortresses” — left in existence.

Visitors to Airport Dayz will be able to take tours inside the parked planes, and flights aboard the warbirds will be available for purchase. Rides will also be for sale in helicopters, biplanes and Super Cubs, two-seat, single-engine monoplanes. Other aircraft on display will include a Citation jet, Gyro Copter, Cessnas, Pipers, Beechcraft, Stearmans and a variety of experimental aircraft.

The event is free to attend. For more information, call (480) 963-6420.

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