World War II witnessed tremendous growth in the size of American military aviation, from about 2,500 airplanes to nearly 300,000 by the war’s end. The Museum’s collection of 30 World War II-era American military aircraft ranges from propeller-driven trainers, fighters, flying boats, and bombers to the nation’s first generation of jet-powered fighters to take to the air. They represent the pilots of the Army Air Forces, Navy, and Marines, as well as the crews who flew them, the support personnel on the ground and at sea who maintained them, and the people who made these weapons of war on the home front. The legacy of their contribution to World War II and the continued enthusiasm for these aircraft still resonates with Americans today.
Friday, May 8 Flyover
A large formation of World War II-era aircraft, often referred to as “warbirds,” will fly over the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in celebration of the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe, or V-E, Day on May 8, 2015. Coordinated by the Arsenal of Democracy World War II Victory Capitol Flyover, the warbirds, ranging from trainers to bombers to fighters, will retrace the role of American military aviation during the conflict in a series of 15 formations.
Saturday, May 9 Fly-In at the Udvar-Hazy Center
The next day, a selection of those aircraft will be on display outside the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, as part of the Museum’s Fly-In to Victory Day.
Many of the aircraft represented in the fly over can also be found in the Museum’s collection. Explore our collection of American World War II aircraft and learn more about the upcoming celebration.