Spectators of World War II bombers and fighters landing at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force got an extra bonus Thursday.
The plane commonly referred to as Air Force One, a Boeing 747 designated VC-25 in the Air Force, practiced touch-and-go landings on Wright-Patterson’s main runway. The jumbo jet is Air Force One only when the president is aboard.
Two B-17 bombers, a P-51 fighter and a PT-19 trainer, flew to the museum’s airstrip from Grimes Field in Urbana around the same time as part of festivities marking the debut of the B-17 Memphis Belle exhibit at the museum.
“Wright-Patt is an ideal location for training the VC-25 crews because we are close by air to the (Washington) DC area, have a long runway and light traffic compared to the DC metropolitan area,” base spokesman Daryl Mayer said in an e-mail. “It was merely a coincidence the VC-25 was training at the same time the B-17 contingent was landing on the (museum’s) runway. Our tower had contact with all aircraft at all times and were in compliance with all safety regulations.”
The World War II aircraft took off later in the day and may return for flyovers Friday but will not land because of weather concerns, said museum spokesman Rob Bardua.
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