UPDATE @ 10 a.m.:
Poor weather conditions will prevent a dozen World War II planes from landing at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Wednesday.
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The arrivals were first delayed by two hours Wednesday morning, but were cancelled just before 10 a.m.
The planes however will conduct flyovers during the day as weather permits, according to officials.
Additional details were not immediately available.
FIRST REPORT (May 16):
A dozen World War II planes —- including three World War II-era bombers — will rumble the skies Wednesday above the Miami Valley to mark the unveiling of the restored icon the B-17F Memphis Belle, expected to bring thousands of spectators to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force this week.
The planes originally were scheduled to arrive beginning at 8 a.m., but the Air Force museum announced arrivals would start 10:30 a.m. Wednesday because of weather delays. The planes will be on static display Thursday and Friday.
Two B-17s —the Movie Memphis Belle, which starred in a 1990 Hollywood film about the famed plane, and Yankee Lady of the Yankee Air Force — along with several P-51 Mustangs and training aircraft — will fly in from Grimes Field in Urbana while the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Aluminum Overcast will take-off from Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport in Miami Twp., on Wednesday morning, said museum spokesman Rob Bardua.
“It’s almost going to be like 1945,” said John Cassano, of Rochester, N.Y., and a Movie Memphis Belle crewman and volunteer affiliated with the National Warplane Museum in New York.
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The Memphis Belle and a new World War II strategic bombing exhibit will be unveiled at a private event Wednesday evening with a public ribbon-cutting at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, the 75th anniversary of the Memphis Belle’s 25th bombing mission over Europe.
Under restoration at the museum since 2005, the Memphis Belle was the first U.S. Army Air Force’s bomber to finish 25 missions over Europe and return to the United States. The plane, the star of a 1944 documentary, embarked on a three-month war bonds and morale building tour in 1943 that included a stop in Dayton.
To accommodate crowds, Gate 24B off Harshman Road near the U.S. Army Reserve Center will be open to inbound traffic only starting at 8 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, May 17-19.
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Those driving southbound on Harshman, and coaches, buses, RVs or other oversized vehicles, won’t be allowed to enter through Gate 24B and must drive through 28B, the main gate off Springfield Street, according to the museum.
The three B-17 bombers flying in for the celebration will sell rides Saturday and Sunday from the fields they departed before landing at the museum, organizers said.
The Movie Memphis Belle and the Yankee Lady will sell rides for $450 a seat Friday and Saturday at Grimes Field and Aluminum Overcast will sell rides for $475 a seat to EAA non-members and $435 for members Saturday and Sunday at Dayton-Wright Brothers, organizers said. For additional information on rides aboard Aluminum Overcast, log onto b17.org; for Movie Memphis Belle log onto https://nationalwarplanemuseum.com/rides-1; and for the Yankee Lady log onto http://yankeeairmuseum.org/fly/.
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