Aviation is about the aircraft and the people who fly them. And many believe the aircraft created and perfected for action during the Second World War are truly the most romantic, high-flying airships in the sky. One of the most successful is the P-51 Mustang which is considered to be the best piston aircraft of the Second World War and became one of the world’s aviation elite.
Jack Erickson has devoted his life to establishing the Erickson Aircraft Collection in Madras, Oregon and the promotion of Second World War aircraft. Together with his general manager, Mike Oliver, and mechanic and pilot as well, as director of maintenance, Jim Martinelli, the Erickson Aircraft Collection makes regular appearances at air shows and flight programs.
At their Madras location they also offer the Soaring with the Warbirds, which allows the public to purchase rides in vintage aircraft and experience the thrill and the history of a Second World War pilot. Another program gets photographers up close and personal with various aircraft, in the air, for spectacular pictures.
Quesnel’s Skyfest 2015 welcomes the Warbird, the P-51 Mustang to this year’s lineup.
The P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter bomber plane used during the Second World War, the Korean War and other conflicts.
In the Second World War American Mustangs destroyed 4,950 enemy aircraft making them the highest scoring U.S. fighter in the Europe Theatre of Operations. They were used as dive-bombers, bomber escorts, ground-attackers, interceptors, for photo-recon missions, trainers, transports (with a jump seat) and after the war high performance racers.
The Erickson Collection’s P-51D Mustang N-551D was built under license to North America in 1944 by Australia’s Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation in Melbourne, Australia. The aircraft participated in Atomic Bomb testing by the Australians after the Second World War and served 10 years as a target tow plane before falling into private owners, being acquired by Erickson in 1983.
Just the mention of the P-51 Mustang often sends shivers through true devotees and excitement is growing after the confirmation they will perform during Skyfest 2015.
Beginning with the Twilight Show on Friday night, July 31 and moving into two days of sensational action with gates opening at 10 a.m. and show start at noon watch for the Snowbirds and the other performances.
Tickets (adult, youth, family and weekend camping package) for Skyfest 2015 are available online at www.quesnelskyfest.ca/tickets. For just $20, get your Mustang tickets for a chance to win a sporty Ford Mustang at various venues including Integris Credit Union, Cariboo Ford, Circle ‘S’ Western Wear, Cap-it, Co-op, Quesnel Visitors Centre or contact any Skyfest director.
They will also be on sale, along with Skyfest 2015 programs, on the Gold Dust Mall during Billy Barker Days, in front of the Carib Theatre.
Download the Quesnel Skyfest app to your smartphone and receive updates as they are posted or visit the Skyfest 2015 Facebook page.