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WWII Air Parade to Fly Over National Mall (Updated)

The flyover begins with a World War II Memorial ceremony featuring veterans and dignitaries. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:01 a.m. | Look toward the National Mall around noon Friday to catch some unusual activity in the restricted airspace above the National Mall. No, the Capital region is not expecting another gyrocopter. This time it's an air parade, featuring World War II bombers and fighters, such as Lockheed's historic P-38 Lightening. At approximately 12:10 p.m., the first formation flies over the Lincoln Memorial, at an altitude of 1,000 feet. The "Arsenal of Democracy World War II Victory Capitol Flyover," planned to honor military servicemen and civilians on the home front who produced the aircraft on the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, concludes around 12:35 p.m. with a missing man formation.  

Formations designed to represent the war’s major battles, from Pearl Harbor through the final air assault on Japan, will take off every 90 seconds. Profiles of the planes, including the FG-1D Corsair, the P-51 Mustang, and “spotter cards,” to keep track of the show are available via the Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine. The Federal Aviation Administration granted the necessary approvals for the flyover, noting “the educational and historic value of this single signature event in commemorating this significant milestone in history,” according to a release from organizers. The flyover ends about an hour before Florida mailman Doug Hughes was scheduled to go on trial in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, for charges related to a breach of the same airspace. Hughes' hearing has been delayed to May 21.  

For those who won't be in D.C. on Friday, a live webcast of the flyover, plus a 10:30 a.m. ceremony at the National World War II Memorial is available here . Hundreds of veterans, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and high-ranking representatives from many of the Allied nations are expected to attend. On Saturday, May 9, many of the planes featured in the flyover will be on display at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy in Chantilly, Va., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

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