Cirrus Supports 'Red Tail Project' by Offering Art Prints for Sale

When a vintage P-51C Mustang crashed in May 2004, supporters immediately launched emergency fundraising for the "Red Tail Project" in a max effort dedicated to getting the World War II fighter back into the sky. The Mustang had been painted in the colors of the Tuskegee Airmen, complete with their signature blood-red tail section, and the Commemorative Air Force had dedicated its resources to using the airplane to help keep alive the story of these courageous pilots. The Tuskegee Airmen were the only all-black fighter squadron of World War II, trained in Tuskegee, Alabama, and despised by many in the heavily segregated U.S. armed forces. At EAA AirVenture 2007 in Oshkosh, aviation artist Sam Lyons pledged to craft Tuskegee Airmen, a painting dedicated to the efforts of the brave pilots. He unveiled the painting at this year's AirVenture, and it was quickly auctioned to aviation enthusiast Bendrix Bailey for $25,000-which goes toward the rebuilding of the Tuskegee Airmen Mustang. (To date, the project reports it has raised $675,000 of the $1 million required to rebuild the airplane.) In addition, there will be a limited printing of 500 copies of the painting, and Cirrus Design, a long-time supporter of the Red Tail Project, is making the prints available on its website (cirrusdesign.com) and at its company store in Duluth, Minnesota, for $225. Each print is signed by the artist and at least one of the original Tuskegee Airmen. Cirrus Chairman and CEO Alan Klapmeier said, "One hundred percent of the profits will go to support the project. The story of these great American heroes must be heard to inspire our youth and motivate them to excel."