Flying display of a WWII bomber: B-25 Mitchell
This year another WWII-era airplane will present itself following a dynamic display of the Hawker Hurricane airplane at NATO Days in Ostrava 2010 – an American B-25 Mitchell medium bomber.
“The Hurricane was highly appreciated by the visitors in 2010 and it was one of the event’s highlights. We believe that also the B-25 Mitchell will also be an interesting attraction,” Zbyněk Pavlačík, the chairman of the event’s main organizer – the Jagello 2000 Assocation, commented the participation of the American bomber. “We will see many modern planes in the Mošnov sky; however the flying display of this historic plane will definitely be interesting too. It will be very interesting to compare it with a dynamic display of the B-52 bomber, especially if we consider the fact that these two planes differ only in 15 years between creations of their prototypes.
The B-25 airplanes had served as medium bombers in the US Army Air Corps since 1941. Last of them had been deactivated in the late 1970s in Indonesia and altogether there were 10,000 of them serving in more than 20 different air forces. Besides their regular duties, the B-25 planes played a rather unique role in a psychological Doolittle Raid on Tokyo after the USA entered the WWII. The raid is also known from the Pearl Harbour movie.
The B-25J Mitchell aircraft with serial number 44-86893, which will arrive to NATO Days in Ostrava from Salzburg, is one of only four air-worthy B-25s outsides of the USA and it is operated by the Red Bull company. It was produced in 1945 and after the war it was used as testing aircraft for electrical equipment, then it served as a flying tanker and it even was equipped for agricultural spraying. In 1969 it was withdrawn from service and laid to rest at “aircraft cemetery” in Arizona, only to be restored to air-worthy in the 1970s by a fire fighting company for purposes of fire extinguishing from heights. Then is has made its way to the Red Bull company, which operates the aircrafts in the framework of its racing and display team Flying Bulls.
“Just as with the case of the Hurricane, the B-25 will be presented for the visitors at the static park – at the very same spot as the Hurricane – after its flying display, however behind barriers,” Pavlačík further commented the B-25 participation. “It is interesting that this specific aircraft played a part in Tmavomodrý svět, a famous Czech movie,” he said.
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