In addition to the Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) AirPower History Tour often visit Florida in the Spring though they have not visited Florida since 2016.
For the 2020 tour, the Commemorative Air Force are flying their Boeing B–29 Superfortress “FiFi”, Consolidated B–24A Liberator “Diamond Lil”, North American P–51D Mustang “Gunfighter”, North American T–6 Texan, Boeing PT–13 Stearman, Fairchild PT–19 and Grumman TBM–3E Avenger “Doris Mae”.
There is no news yet on whether they will tour Florida in 2020 (previous dates are shown for general interest purposes only)
In previous years, the Commemorative Air Force have displayed their Boeing B–17G Flying Fortress “Texas Raiders”, Beech C–45 Expediter “Bucket of Bolts”, Beechcraft T–34 Mentor and Curtis SB2C Helldiver.
The highlight of the Commemorative Air Force fleet has to be “Fifi” one of only two flying examples of the Boeing B–29 Superfortress which visited all Florida stops in 2016.
They fly into a number of regional airports and general admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 18. Children 10 and under are free.
Included in the price of admission is a free tour of the B–29 and B–24 cockpits.
You can also get some idea of what it was like to fly in these amazing aircraft with rides being available in all the aircraft. For 2020, prices start at $180 for a 20 minute ride in the Fairchild PT–19.
The B–29 is able to take a number of passengers on each flight and prices range from $570 if you sit in the rear fuselage all the way up to $1,595 for the bombardier station in the nose. The most expensive ride is $3,099 for a 50 minute ride experience in the Mustang.
Prices assume you are purchasing in advance online, on the day tickets are usually more expensive.
Note that some aircraft, in particular the B–29 do not fly every day and not all aircraft will be at each venue so it is best to check the AirPower History Tour schedule if you wish to see a specific aircraft.
Commemorative Air Force AirPower History Tour Schedule (Florida Locations)
Tour schedule/locations for 2016 were:
|February 24 to 28, 2016||St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport [Signature Flight Support]|
|March 2 to 6, 2016||Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport [Rectrix Aerodrome Center]|
|March 7 to 9, 2016||Leesburg International Airport [SunAir Aviation]|
|March 11 to 13, 2016||Space Coast Regional Airport [Valiant Air Command Museum]|
|March 11 to 13, 2016||Punta Gorda Airport|
|March 16 to 20, 2016||Naples Municipal Airport|
|March 23 to 27, 2016||Lakeland Linder Regional Airport [Sheltair Aviation]|
|March 30 to April 3, 2016||Daytona Beach Airport [Sheltair Aviation]|
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 World War II era aircraft.
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 the Commemorative Air Force has over 150 aircraft in its collection (with around 100 of them in flying condition) and collectively they are known as the Ghost Squadron.
Though the Commemorative Air Force started out in Texas, today it has over 11,000 members with “wings” in 27 states and overseas.