Hundreds of Rare Warbirds Heading to AirVenture 2011

More than 300 military aircraft will be showcased.

C-47 Big

C-47 Big

Photo courtesy of Trevor Thornton

A variety of rare and legendary military aircraft will be making their way to EAA AirVenture for next week’s show, poised and ready to delight warbird fanatics and history buffs alike.

Among them is a 560 A6M3 Model 22 Zero, one of just three airworthy Japanese Zeros left in the world. The airplane was recovered from Buna, New Guinea, in 1991 and underwent restoration first in Russia and later in the United States. It will be flown to the show by the Commemorative Air Force Southern California Wing, which is also bringing the P-51 Mustang Man-O-War.

Also coming to Oshkosh is the legendary C-47 Dakota N1944A, one of the few remaining WWII aircraft still flying that saw significant duty during the war. N1944A’s lengthy record includes participation in the D-Day Invasion, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, the Crossing of the Rhine and the repatriation of POWs at the end of the war. The aircraft will make its homecoming debut at Oshkosh after a long stay in the United Kingdom.

Other noteworthy warbirds coming to the show include FIFI, the sole airworthy B-29 Superfortress in existence, two German Focke-Wulf 190s and a British Spitfire. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation, the largest display of flying naval aircraft ever assembled will also be on hand, showcasing such aircraft as the F4U Corsair and the FM-2 Wildcat.

According to Bill Fischer, executive director of EAA Warbirds of America, this year’s AirVenture boasts a “stellar lineup of warbird aircraft.” Approximately 350 warbird-type aircraft will be on display, he said.

Check out photos of some of the warbirds heading to AirVenture 2011 here. Be sure to check out the August issue of Flying for our salute to the centennial of Naval Aviation.