The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Capital Wing, based in Culpeper, Va., is bringing its WWII “Warbird Rides Showcase” to Frederick Municipal Airport from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 19 and 20, 2021.

Residents of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania will have the opportunity to buy a warbird ride in one of three vintage aircraft: the TBM ‘Avenger’ “Doris Mae,” L-5 ‘Sentinel’ “Gayle Ann,” or open-cockpit Coast Guard N2S-4 ‘Stearman.’

The Frederick “Warbirds Rides Showcase” is providing a special Father’s Day weekend offer at this event. Buy two rides and get the “Pilot’s Package” of dog tags, flight certificate and aircraft booklet for free. Additionally, a unique “Potomac River – Point of Rocks” flight has been created just for this location, which will fly right past the Flying Ace Farm in Loudoun, Virginia, the county’s first farm distillery and brewery.

The event, in which entry and parking are free to the public, may purchase their warbird rides in advance at https://www.capitalwingwarbirdrides.org/. Flights not sold out in advance will be available for purchase on-site the day of the event.

“When talking with the airport staff, they mentioned that it’s been a few years since any warbirds visited Frederick,” said Cliff Davis, CAF Development Officer. “So, we’re looking forward to letting the public see and hear the aircraft that helped train pilots, perform forward reconnaissance, and take the fight to the front door of the Axis powers during WWII.”

A seat in the L-5 ‘Sentinel’ costs $99 for a 20-minute flight experience and $119 for a 30-minute experience, while rides in the open-cockpit N2S-4 ‘Stearman’ 20-minute flight experience costs $189 and $269 for the longer version. Each of these aircraft is limited to one rider at a time. The TBM ‘Avenger’ seats two riders at a time, in either the observer position or rear turret seat, at the cost of $899 for the “greenhouse” observer seat (behind the pilot) or $549 for the gun turret seat.

For those who want to experience what it might have been like to fly a WWII mission in the TBM ‘Avenger,’ the CAF Capital Wing is offering a “Torpedo Mission” experience. This package includes a mission profile, aeronautical map of the flight area, a flight suit for the flight duration, and an extensive pre-flight briefing by the pilot and crew, just as done in WWII. This is probably as close to performing a ‘torpedo run’ as one can get. This can be purchased for $1,200 for the one-hour mission. The ‘Avenger,’ the largest and heaviest single-engine bomber of WWII, is the exact same type of aircraft President George H.W. Bush flew as a Naval Aviator off the decks of USS San Jacinto (CVL-30), assigned to Torpedo Squadron (VT-51) and (VT-153).

“Warbird rides are an opportunity for the public to sit in the same seats as did the crew of our aircraft in WWII – riders will smell the same smells they did,” said Pete Ballard, CAF Capital Wing Warbird Rides Coordinator. “Providing these warbird rides is a part of the CAF mission to honor the thousands of men and women who built, serviced, and piloted these vintage WWII aircraft we keep flying.”
CAF Capital Wing aircraft rides sell out quickly, so it is recommended those interested purchase early. For frequently asked questions regarding flight requirements, check-in times, cancellations and changes, please contact Pete Ballard at capitalwingcaf@gmail.com or (540) 450-5992.

The Frederick Municipal Airport is located at 310 Aviation Way, Frederick, Md. If people would like to see the aircraft flyovers at Flying Ace Farm, they are located at 40950 Flying Ace Ln., Lovettsville, Va.

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Phil Graves
Posted by: Phil Graves

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