Not everyone can visit the Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum up close and personal, so one was flown into Four Corners Regional Airport for static tours and rides. The Flying Legends Victory Tour began in June and ends this October. Three of the seven flying veterans from the Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum travel to 50 cities each year. By Donna K. Hewett. This story is sponsored by Pop’s Truck & RV Center and Sunray Park & Casino
Not everyone can visit the Arizona's Commemorative Air Force Museum for an up-close and personal look at the thrilling warbirds of World War II. So one was flown into Four Corners Regional Airport for static tours and rides. You're watching The Local News Network, brought to you by Pop's Truck and RV Center and Sunray Park and Casino. I'm Haley Opsal.
We're here at Four Corners Regional Airport where we've just welcomed in the fly crew, coming on the C-470 out of Arizona. They're here with the Arizona Commemorative Airplane Commission, who puts together historic airplanes, flies them throughout the United States, and offers tours and rides for folks.
80 years ago, the Douglas C-47A, better known as flying legend Old Number 30, flew OSS missions that rescued more than 500 downed airmen in Germany-occupied Yugoslavia, among many other war rescue feats. After the war, Old Number 30 was brought by the Hoover Vacuum Corporation and refurbished as an executive plane.
Well, it had different configurations. It would've had nothing like the interior that's in here now. It would've been an open interior with bench seats on the side. They also had setups for looters, for carrying wounded, and they would put a static line down the center of the airplane if they were dropping paratroopers. And this airplane was built originally with a big cargo door on the side. So you could even get a jeep in here or howitzer. There was a mission where this one carried four mules in it, when they were supplying the partisans, they gave them a bunch of anti-aircraft guns, and they didn't have vehicles, so they brought in mules to tow around the unicraft guns. And this is one of the ones that carried the mules.
The Flying Legends of Victory Tour began in June and ends this October. Three of the seven flying veterans from the Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum traveled to approximately 50 cities during the tour.
So the Commitment of Air Force is an all volunteer organization that is to preserve World War II aircraft. So it's to preserve and maintain and educate people about what happened during World War II. Not just with the airplanes, but with, really, the whole country during the war.
Old Number 30 hasn't gone unscathed over the decades.
Oh, it's had its share of bumps over the 80 years, but it's still flying really, really well. A lot of people think this is one of the best airframes ever built. And according to Eisenhower, there were several tools that won the war, the C-47 being one of 'em. The Jeeps and the howitzers and the M1 rifle were some of the others, and the LST, that had a very high standing on being able to resupply the troops in very forward areas. And the DC-3s are still being used all around the world in very remote areas. Because of the its ruggedness, it can land in areas that most other airplanes can't.
Housing Old Number 30 for a few days was a proud moment for Four Corners Regional Airport manager Mike Lewis.
They sell flights in order to keep this airplane flying. It takes a lot of money to keep this airplane flying, and by selling tours and selling flights, that's how they are able to continue to do that. All of these crew members and many of the people who support them at the home base in Mesa, Arizona, are all volunteers. And so they're doing it just to be able to show these things to hopefully, our grandchildren.
Four Corners Regional Airport has two runways and an aircraft control tower, making it a logical choice for general aviation enthusiasts. To learn more about these and other stories, go to Farmington Local, That News. Thank you for watching this edition of The Local News Network. I'm Haley Opsal.
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