A true piece of American history landed here in Northwest Arkansas for Bikes, Blues & BBQ weekend.
Doug Rozendaal, Commemorative Air Force C-47 pilot shared the story of how the historic plane played a key role in winning World War II:
“From time to time you just can’t help but stop and think about what must have been going through the minds of these kids that were flying these airplanes. This is a Douglas C-47. The C-47 is the military version of the DC-3 and the DC-3 was really the first successful airliner in American history. What is most interesting about this airplane is it the airplane that led the D-Day invasion. This very airplane. General Eisenhower stood right outside the door of this airplane and talk to the crew before they boarded up and went on that mission. When you look at that door, the threshold of that door, 26 guys walked across the threshold into the dark on the morning of June 6th. That’s a that a really… really powerful thing. Our Mission is to use this as a hook to bring people in so we can share with them the courage of that generation and their story to inspire the young people to understand why we live free.”
The Commemorative Air Force, along with the Arkansas Air and Military Museum at Drake Field, are offering rides on the C-47, a Marine Devil Dog airplane, and free pilot simulator.
Feel the history by taking a ride on the “That’s All Brother” C-47 during Bikes, Blues and BBQ. This plane was the lead plane in a long line headed to Normandy, France to begin the D-Day invasion during World War II.
You can book your rides using this link. The flights are 30-minutes long and cost $249 per person. The money helps raise funds for this historic airplane and crew for their return trip to France next year as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
The Arkansas Air and Military Museum in Fayetteville also offers a free flight simulator of an MQ-9 Reaper put on by the 188th Wing.
The Arkansas Air National Guard’s 188th Wing is based at Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
The 188th Wing features three primary mission sets: Remotely Piloted MQ-9 Reaper Aircraft; Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance through Distributed Ground Station-Arkansas; and Space-Focused Targeting.
Those entering the gates during Bikes, Blues and BBQ will be eligible to win Flightline Passes to Octobers Thunder Over the Rock air show in Little Rock.
The museum is open from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. each day. Adult admission is $15, kids 6-17 $10 and children 5 and under are free.
The Commemorative Air Force will be in town until Sunday.