Popular WW2 Air Show Planes
One of the most common World War 2 Airplanes still flying in air shows and by private owners is the famous PT-17, an open-cockpit Boeing Stearman N2S-1 “Kaydet." During the war, 60,000 individuals were able to fly one of the 10,000 models built. Many consider it one of the most stable and maneuverable planes of the era. A number of specialty airports offer guests the opportunity to fly along with a pilot and experience what it must have been like, diving into combat against the Japanese Navy.
Celebrated at air shows nationwide, few Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortresses" still exist. However, perhaps the most recognizable bomber of World War 2 graces the airs of shows to the fanfare of the audience. These behemoths were used by the United States Army Air Corps from the 1930s and later. During the war, they were integral in Operation Overlord, dropping bombs behind enemy lines in preparation for the D-Day invasion of Normandy.
Even the North American BT-9 occasionally makes an appearance in flying shows. This single-piston engine with one propeller was used primarily as a training vehicle for cadets. It provided basic flying capability to thousands of pilots during the war, getting them ready for larger and more powerful planes. This, along with hundreds of others, promise to keep World War 2 airplanes still flying well into the 21st century.
Above right: B-17 Flying Fortress. (Image supplied by the U.S. Air Force; Public Domain; http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Color_Photographed_B-17E_in_Flight.jpg)