Located just minutes from downtown Dallas is the headquarters of a one-of-a-kind organization that honors and preserves our nation’s military aviation history. The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is the world’s largest flying museum with more than 170 World War II aircraft spread over 60 locations nationwide. Each location works to preserve and maintain the historic aircraft so that they can be flown for people to experience.
The organization’s fleet of historic aircraft, known as the CAF Ghost Squadron, recreate, remind, and reinforce the lessons learned from the defining moments in American military aviation history. The CAF’s fleet includes trainers, fighters, and bombers, including aircraft types like the Flying Fortress, the Mustang, and the Liberator.
But the CAF is much more than just a collection of airworthy warplanes from the past. It’s a place where visitors can get their hands on history and learn about our World War II heroes and the aircraft they flew to victory. The CAF began in 1957 with a single airplane and an objective to never forget this important heritage. For more than 60 years, the CAF has continued this important mission to educate, inspire, and honor through flight and living history experiences. As the producer of numerous airshows, educational programs, static museums, and more, the CAF annually welcomes over one million aviation buffs, students, veterans, and families to step back in time.
CAF Wings Over Dallas WWII Airshow
“Wings Over Dallas continues to be the pre-eminent World War II themed airshow in the nation, drawing thousands of visitors from across Texas and around the world.” – Hank Coates, CEO, Commemorative Air Force.
The Commemorative Air Force’s marquee event is the annual CAF Wings Over Dallas World War II airshow. Scheduled for October 29-31, the event features more than 40 World War II-era aircraft in spectacular flying demonstrations and air battle reenactments complete with pyrotechnic effects.
The family-friendly event features a range of educational activities, cockpit tours, aircraft rides, and more. Visitors can also take a step back in time at the event’s living history military encampments and listen to first-hand accounts and stories of bravery from World War II veterans.
This year’s theme, “Texas Goes to War,” will highlight the Lone Star State’s significant contributions to support America’s victory.
Henry B. Tippie National Aviation Education Center
On November 11, 2021, the CAF will open the doors to its newest building, the Henry B. Tippie National Aviation Education Center (NAEC). As the flagship of the CAF’s educational programs, the NAEC is a multi-sensory facility where visitors of all ages can experience the lessons and legacy of our nation’s military aviation history.
“Don’t expect to see giant, quiet rooms full of glass cases. The NAEC provides unprecedented access to historical artifacts and exhibited history in unconventional ways. We allow visitors to get their hands on history.” – Hank Coates, CEO, Commemorative Air Force.
Upon entering the 47,000 square foot center, visitors are immediately greeted by a full-size P-51 Mustang aircraft which hangs overhead in the Arsenal of Democracy Hall. The hall also features curated exhibits and artifacts amassed by the CAF over the decades. Adjacent to the hall is The Gallery which features a selection of authentic World War II Aviation Nose Art. The collection consists of panels reclaimed from the forward position, or “noses,” of vintage bombers.
In the Brig. Gen. Charles McGee and Don Hinz Theater, visitors can watch original films about the famed Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first Black military pilots, and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), America’s first female military pilots.
The largest section of the NAEC is the 30,000 square foot Victor N. Agather STEM Innovation Hangar where visitors can interact with rare World War II-era aircraft. The hangar is home to several iconic CAF aircraft including the B-29 Superfortress, B-24 Liberator and the P-51 Mustang.
The NAEC also includes the James C. Ray Education Wing, a state-of-the-art space where students participate in STEM-based activities, applying lessons from history and aviation to develop 21st century job skills.
Visit www.CommemorativeAirForce.org for more information.
Visit www.WingsOverDallas.org for more information about the airshow.