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80 Military Aircraft on Display at the National WASP Museum in Honor of WWII Female Pilots

As a celebration of 80 years of WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots), the National WASP WWII Museum will be hosting 80 military aircraft during a special upcoming event.
The Vultee BT-13 was operated as a basic trainer during WWII 7 photos
Current-Day WASPBoeing Stearman PT-17 TrainerFairchild PT-19A TrainerCessna UC-78 “Bamboo Bomber” TrainerWWII WASPVultee BT-13 Trainer
Back in 1943, this unique organization was set up. More than 1,000 women who were simple civilians decided to take on an unusual role for women at the time as an additional way of supporting America’s war efforts. These pioneering pilots performed demonstration flights and helped tow targets for aerial practice, among other similar tasks. The organization was short-lived, and it took decades for its members to be officially recognized as active military personnel.

Eighty years later, the Museum that is dedicated to the WASP phenomenon is organizing a special tribute. This upcoming Saturday, April 30, the public is invited to take a closer look at the Museum’s aircraft collection, as well as many other military airplanes. The event is held at the Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, which is where the WASP members trained.

All-female crews will show off their piloting skills flying Air Force, Army, Marine, and Navy aircraft. The WASP flight line will also include eleven BT-13 aircraft. The Vultee BT-13 operated as the basic trainer for most American pilots during WWII, including WASP. This steel bird was heavier than the basic trainers, with twice the horsepower. Its pilots had to skillfully use a two-position Hamilton Standard propeller and two-way radio communications.

The BT-13 was sold in 1946 as Army surplus, and the unit displayed at the National WASP WWII Museum was donated by The American Aviation Heritage Foundation of Blaine, Minnesota, after a five-year restoration process.

The upcoming celebration will also include other activities such as author signings and special discussions. Plus, it will mark the launch of a new permanent exhibit at the Museum, called “The American history of Black Pilots” by historian Monica Smith.

press release

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