The Aero Experience will wrap up our year-round coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, sponsored by Air Associates, with a series covering the many warbird types seen during our ten days on the grounds. We will present the warbirds in their eras of service, roughly parallel to the major conflicts, including the Cold War, in which they served. Most of the aircraft were produced during the covered time period and served in some military capacity in combat or non-combat roles, and others were representative of the type but are replicas or civilian equivalents.
This feature will include iconic heavy bombers from the World War II Era: Avro Lancaster X-Terminator, Boeing B-17 Aluminum Overcast, Boeing B-29 Fifi, and the Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer.
The Avro Lancaster is operated by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and wears the livery of X-Terminator, the most revered Canadian-made Lancaster of World War II. The original X-Terminator was scrapped in 1948 after flying 84 combat missions, but the legend lives on with the museum's aircraft. More on the combat history of the original aircraft can be found here.
The EAA's B-17 Flying Fortress, Aluminum Overcast, is a staple of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. The aircraft can be seen most days droning overhead, giving rides to those who purchase them in advance or on site. It can also be seen throughout the U.S. where almost anyone can tour the aircraft and purchase rides.
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Fifi, is representative of the type that inaugurated strategic bombing in Japan and dropped the two atomic bombs that ended World War II. It is currently the only flying B-29 (to be joined shortly by another of the type named Doc). It is operated by the Commemorative Air Force, and also tours the country with the Airpower History Tour.
The only flying Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer was a highly anticipated participant in the warbirds activities. Restoration was begun by Gosshwak Unlimited in 2010 and it was in shape for its first EAA AirVenture Oshkosh appearance in 2015. It served with the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard before being converted into Tanker 121 by Austin & Powers. A great article by Warbirds News outlines the restoration.