Smallest Air Force One provides special services to American veterans
Ike’s Bird, a historic L-26 Aero Commander twin-engine aircraft used by the Eisenhower White House, is coming to Wings over Dallas 2019. Now owned by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), the Aero Commander has the distinction of being the smallest airplane ever to carry the call sign Air Force One.
This aircraft is especially unique because it is one of the original Commanders bought by the Air Force for the use of transporting President Dwight D. Eisenhower and other White House officials on short trips. Of all the L-26s used by the White House, this is the only remaining flyable aircraft. “The CAF is honored to own and operate this aircraft. We are using the plane for a special mission – to provide aircraft rides to veterans with mobility issues at no charge,” says Ike’s Bird Aircraft Director Gerald Oliver. “The airplane’s access door provides easy passenger entry and exit. We call these rides Victory Flights for Veterans.”
“So many of our veterans have been left behind because of physical and financial limitations,” Oliver continues. “We have watched as many vets, after giving so much to their country, stand alone on the ramp as other types of airplanes depart. Physical challenges make it impossible for them to board. With Ike’s Bird we now have an historic aircraft that can safely load and fly these veterans. There is no better way to thank them for their service than by inviting them to fly aboard a former Presidential aircraft.”
This year Wings over Dallas attendees can visit the airplane and have photos taken in the President’s seat. More information about Ike’s Bird and Victory Flights for Veterans can be found at www.IkesBird.org.
WHAT: CAF Wing Over Dallas, presented by Frost Bank.
World War II-themed airshow and military reenactment hosted by the Commemorative Air Force.
WHEN: Oct. 25-27, 2019
Oct. 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (no admittance after 1 p.m.)
Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (no admittance after 3 p.m.)
Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (no admittance after 3 p.m.)
WHERE: Dallas Executive Airport
5303 Challenger Drive
Dallas, TX 75237
TICKETS: Adult admission: $20 + service fee online / $25 at the gate
Student Admission: $15 + service fee online / $20 at the gate
Child General Admission: $5 + service fee online / $10 at the gate
Kids (5 and younger): FREE
Prime View Saturday, Oct. 26: $69 + service fee online
Prime View Sunday, Oct. 27: $69 + service fee online
Active Military Admission: $15 + service fee online / $20 at the gate
CAF Member Admission: $15 + service fee online / $20 at the gate
ABOUT THE EVENT
Now in its fourth year, the CAF Wings Over Dallas Airshow continues to be the nation’s pre-eminent annual World War II themed airshow and military reenactment event. Flying demonstrations, flight line presentations, battle reenactments, veteran appearances and aircraft tours will provide hands-on opportunities for families and aviation history enthusiasts. This year’s event, presented by Frost Bank, will feature a Tribute to the Pacific Theater. More information about the airshow can be found at wingsoverdallas.org.
About the Commemorative Air Force:
The Commemorative Air Force is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Dallas, and the recognized leader of the Warbird Movement—the effort to preserve and honor American military aviation history. Since it was founded in 1957, the CAF has accrued 170 historic aircraft—the largest collection of vintage military aircraft in the world. Educational outreach programs impact an estimated 20 million Americans each year thanks to over 12,000 volunteers who support the CAF nationally and overseas. The Commemorative Air Force honors the men and women who built, maintained, and flew in American airplanes during World War II. The organization believes that is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition; taking the airplanes to the people, allowing them to experience the sight and sound of the aircraft in flight. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.