CAF Airpower History Tour 2023
By James | Last updated August 23, 2023
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The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) AirPower History Tour is coming to several Florida regional airports in 2023. They have often visited Florida in the Spring though they have not been as often in recent years and visited just one Florida airport in 2022.
You can also see warbirds and take rides as part of the Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour.
For the 2023 tour, the CAF are flying a number of their World War II aircraft in Florida:
- Boeing B-29 Superfortress “FiFi”
- Consolidated B-24A Liberator “Diamond Lil”
- North American P-51D Mustang “Gunfighter”
- Boeing PT-13 Stearman
- North American T-6 Texan
- Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
- Beech RC-45J Expediter
In previous years, the CAF has also displayed their:
- Aero Commander L-26B Air Force One “Ike’s Bird”
- Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress “Texas Raiders”
- Beech C-45 Expediter “Bucket of Bolts”
- Curtis SB2C Helldiver.
STOP PRESS – In November 2022 the Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress “Texas Raiders” was tragically lost when involved in a mid air collision with a Bell P-63 Kingcobra at an airshow at Dallas Executive Airport in Texas, there were no survivors amongst the crew of both aircraft
The highlight of the CAF fleet has to be “Fifi” one of only two flying examples of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress which visited all the Florida stops in 2016 and again in 2022. It is normally based alongside “Diamond Lil” at the Henry B. Tippie National Aviation Education Center in Dallas, Texas and they make up the B-29/B-24 Squadron.
CAF AirPower History Tour Schedule (Florida Locations)
Tour schedule/locations in Florida for 2023 so far are:
|February 17 to 19, 2023
|Tallahassee International Airport [Million Air]
|February 21 to 22, 2023
|Brooksville Tampa Bay Regional Airport [American Aviation]
|February 24 to 26, 2023
|Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport [Atlantic Aviation North]
|March 2 to 5, 2023
|Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport [Atlantic Aviation]
|March 7 to 8, 2023
|Vero Beach Regional Airport [Airport Terminal]
|March 10 to 12, 2023
|Space Coast Regional Airport [Executive Jet Center]
|March 14 to 15, 2023
|Orlando Sanford International Airport [Million Air]
|March 17 to 19, 2023
|Daytona Beach International Airport [Yelvington Jet Center]
|March 23 to 26, 2023
|Pensacola International Airport [Pensacola Aviation Center]
The event takes place from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.
Note that some aircraft, in particular the B-29 do not fly every day and not all aircraft will be at each event on every day so it is best to check the AirPower History Tour schedule (opens in a new window) if you wish to see a specific aircraft on a particular date.
CAF AirPower History Tour Prices
CAF fly into a number of regional airports throughout the USA and ramp access is $20 for adults and $10 for children under 18. Children 10 and under are free.
Included in the price of admission, you can tour the cockpits of both the B-29 and B-24 when they are not flying.
For the ultimate excitement, you can experience the sights, smells and sounds of these historic World War II aircraft and feel what it must have been like to fly in them during World War II by purchasing a Flight Experience ticket. Flight Experience ticket prices vary by aircraft type and in the larger aircraft, by where you sit inside.
Aircraft rides are generally available in all the visiting aircraft on the tour though bear in mind that not all aircraft visit all locations. Below are the prices for those aircraft that are touring Florida in 2023.
The North American T-6 Texan two seater training aircraft offers 20 minute ride experiences for $475 and $675 for 40 minutes.
The Boeing B-29 bomber is able to take up to ten passengers on each flight with 5 passengers seated in the aft gunner compartment and 5 passenger in the cockpit area.
Prices range from $695 if you sit in the rear fuselage gunners compartment all the way up to $1,295 for a seat in the aft cockpit, radio operator or navigator stations, $1,495 for the flight observer seat and $1,895 for the bombardier station in the extreme nose of the aircraft.
A flight in the Consolidated B-24 bomber costs $624 and once airborne you are able to visit a number of different locations inside the aircraft. Again there are ten seats available.
The most expensive ride is $4,000 for a 40 minute ride experience in the two seater North American P-51Mustang fighter and prices start at $150 to ride in the Beech C-45 Expediter.
Prices assume you are purchasing in advance online, on the day tickets are usually more expensive if available. It is always best to book in advance as the more popular aircraft like the B-29 and B-24 often sell out.
To be able to fly you must be at least 12 years of age and able to climb in and out of the aircraft.
In addition to the annual CAF Airpower History Tour, the CAF also take part in other tours and local events throughout the United States including airshows.
CAF Flying Legends of Victory Tour
In 2022, two of the bombers from the Arizona Wing, the Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress “Sentimental Journey” and North American B-25J Mitchell “Maid in the Shade” took part in their Flying Legends of Victory Tour along the West Coast. Unfortunately there were no stops planned in Florida.
For this tour, ramp access was $15 per person or $30 for a family of 4.
To fly in the B-25 there were 4 seats available in the waist compartment for $375 each and 3 further jump seats at $590 each.
The B-17 has 6 seats in the waist compartment for $475 each and 2 seats for the bombardier/navigator for $850 each.
CAF “That’s All Brother” Fall Tour
Organised by the Texas Wing, the CAF “That’s All Brother” 2022 Fall Tour honoured the Douglas C-47 Skytrain “That’s All Brother” and its crew that was the lead paratroop aircraft during the airborne invasion of Normandy on D-Day in 1944. There were no planned stops in Florida.
You could tour the aircraft for $10 for adults, $5 for children aged 12 an under or $20 for a family of up to 5 people.
Flight experiences lasted 30 minutes and started at $270 per person for a seat in the main paratroop cabin.
CAF RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit
In 2022 the North American P-51C “Tuskagee Airmen” was at one Florida airshow. It is on display as part of their RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit at the Stuart Airshow at Witham Field between November 11 and 13, 2022.
Normal airshow admission fees applied.
History of the Commemorative Air Force
The Commemorative Air Force is a non-profit organisation and was originally founded in 1957 under the name Confederate Air Force with the aim of preserving and restoring historic aircraft and honouring those who served with them.
The name, Confederate Air Force, was originally chosen as a bit of a joke to represent their rebellious beginnings and the pilots are still referred to as Colonels to this day. In 2002 after a membership vote the name was changed to the Commemorative Air Force.
In total CAF has over 180 mainly World War II aircraft in its collection (with around 100 of them in flying condition) and collectively they are known as the Ghost Squadron. The CAF has the world’s largest collection of airworthy warbirds.
Though the CAF started out in Texas, today it has over 13,000 members with “wings” in 27 US States and three overseas countries, France, Switzerland and New Zealand.
There are three wings in Florida:
- Deland — Florida Wing with a North American SNJ-4 Texan and a Beech T-34 Mentor
- Pensacola — Floribama Wing with a Stinson L-5 Sentinel
- Shalimar — T-33 Sponsor Group with a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
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