Several aviation organizations, including the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, are sponsoring an “Arsenal of Democracy” flyover on May 8 in Washington, D.C., on the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. The "Arsenal of Democracy: World War II Victory Capitol Flyover" is part of a three-day celebration and coincides with a ceremony for veterans at the World War II National Memorial. About two dozen World War II aircraft will fly in formations representing the major battles, from Pearl Harbor to the final air assault on Japan. The flyover will conclude with a missing-man formation to Taps.
Participating aircraft are expected to include the only flying Boeing B-29 Superfortress, along with examples of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, Bell P-39 Airacobra, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, North American P-51 Mustang, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, Chance-Vought (Goodyear-built) FG-1D Corsair, North American B-25 Mitchell and Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.
GAMA noted the U.S. produced approximately 300,000 aircraft to support war efforts. “The ramp-up in manufacturing was extraordinary,” the association said.
Former President George H.W. Bush, former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and former Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), all World War II veterans, are honorary co-chairs of the Arsenal of Democracy. Also participating are numerous lawmakers, including House General Aviation Caucus co-chair Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.).