WWII planes fly into Conway
Conway airport will host 4 planes for visitors, passengers
Air Force veteran Tom Newman of Conway takes a photo of a World War II-era heavy bomber, a B-24 Liberator named Diamond Lil, after the aircraft’s arrival Friday at Cantrell Field. The Commemorative Air Force AirPower History Tour will be at the Conway airport from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday. The B-24 and other World War II-era planes will be display and will be available for rides and tours.
World War II military aircraft will be showcased today and Sunday at the Cantrell Field airport in Conway.
Diamond Lil, one of two B-24 bombers in the world that still fly, and three other World War II military aircraft — a C-45 Expeditor, a T-6 Texan, and a PT-13 Stearman — are scheduled to be on display, according to a news release.
They are part of the Commemorative Air Force organization’s “Air-Power History Tour.”
Cantrell Field is at 3275 Sand Gap Road, Conway.
Visitors can view the aircraft up close, purchase rides and tour the B-24 when the airplane is not flying.
Access to the viewing ramp is $10 for adults and $5 for youths age 11 through 17. Children age 10 and under are admitted free. Rides range from $85 to $424, depending on aircraft type. Rides may be booked in advance at AirPowerTour.org, where additional information is available.
The event is open to the public today and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A Veterans Day ceremony will be held near the airplane at 1 p.m. today.
The Diamond Lil, built in 1941, was the 25th B-24 produced by Consolidated Aircraft Corp. It is the oldest remaining B-24. Originally configured as “Diamond Lil,” a transport aircraft, with markings of the 98th Bomb Group, it underwent a major restoration in 2006 with the intent of returning it to the original bomber configuration, and it was renamed “Ol’ 927.”
In the winter of 2011-12 the Commemorative Air Force organization voted to return the name “Diamond Lil” to the aircraft with newly updated nose art. The airplane is maintained and operated by the volunteers of the Commemorative Air Force’s B-29/B-24 Squadron based at the Vintage Flying Museum in Fort Worth.
The Commemorative Air Force organization has a fleet of more than 170 World War II airplanes that are assigned to unit locations across the U.S. and supported by 12,000 volunteer members. Nearly all the aircraft are kept in flying condition, enabling people to experience the sight and sound of vintage military aircraft in flight.
More information on the organization is available at www.CommemorativeAirForce.org.