The famed World War II fighter P-51 Mustang commands attention—from pilots and nonpilots alike—wherever it makes an entrance. This year, the Commemorative Air Force will take a restored P-51 to Hartford-Brainard Airport for AOPA Aviation Summit. It’s part of the Red Tail Project, a flying tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen.
The aircraft will be on display during Airportfest where pilots can learn about its storied past. The CAF acquired the P-51 in 1970 and began restoring it in 1980 with the Red Tail Project in mind. After the aircraft was restored, a mechanical problem caused a fatal accident. It was restored a second time, flying for the first time in 2009 at EAA AirVenture. In addition to participating at Airportfest, the Commemorative Air Force has donated a flight in the P-51 to the AOPA Foundation’s A Night for Flight online auction.
Meanwhile, a modern aircraft with a story of its own—the Eclipse 500 jet—will be on display at the Connecticut Convention Center. Eclipse Aviation helped lead the very light jet movement but experienced mechanical setbacks with the jet and the company went bankrupt. Eclipse Aerospace bought the company in 2009.
With staffed exhibits at the convention center and airport, pilots can talk to CAF and Eclipse representatives to learn more about these aircraft and get an inside look at the work that has gone into them.
Register for AOPA Aviation Summit by Aug. 22 to take advantage of big savings! The event takes place Sept. 22 through 24 in Hartford, Conn.