July 17, 2013

Media Advisory – Vintage Airplanes, Warbirds

Vintage aircraft, including some piloted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale alumni, are visiting the region this week.

The world’s oldest flying DC-3, the 1937 “Flagship Detroit,” arrived today (July 17) at the Southern Illinois Airport between Carbondale and Murphysboro. The plane will be on display Thursday and Friday, July 18 and 19, for aircraft tours and membership opportunities. A non-profit organization restored the aircraft, which is piloted by Zane Lemon, an SIU Carbondale aviation alumnus. 

The “Flagship Detroit” will fly at 10 a.m., Thursday and Friday, and tours will be available after noon each day.

On Friday, July 19, the Commemorative Air Force’s Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber “FiFi,” the only remaining flying example of the aircraft in the world, makes a return trip to the region with David Oliver, a 2006 SIU aviation program graduate, at the controls.  Oliver and the plane visited in June 2012.  Oliver and SIU aviation faculty worked together to develop an intern program for SIU aviation technology students to work with the plane.

“FiFi” will arrive at Southern Illinois Airport between noon and 2 p.m. on Friday. A B-24 Liberator “Diamond Lil’ is expected to arrive about 6 p.m. Thursday, and a P-51 Mustang  is expected at the airport at about 11 a.m. The only flying Curtiss SB2C Helldiver and a T-6 Texan will also arrive Friday afternoon; a PT-13 Stearman is already there.

The airplanes, including the “Flagship Detroit,” will later fly to the Williamson County Regional Airport for a two-day event that is open to the public.  The event is part of “Salute to Veterans” activities.