Historic airplane is available for public viewing, tours and rides

ROCKFORD, IL – The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is thrilled to partner with area organizations and businesses to bring the B-25 Mitchell WWII Bomber "Berlin Express" Airplane to the Rockford region this weekend. This medium bomber aircraft has been on display in the Eagle Hangar, “Hall of Honor,” part of the EAA Aviation Museum located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin for decades. Now, fully restored in her silver screen markings, "Berlin Express" is ready for her next mission Friday, September 17 through Sunday, September 19, 2021 at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport at Chronos Aviation, 5121 Falcon Road (east side of the airport).  

This event honors World War II veterans as well as inspires a new generation of aviation enthusiasts. The general public can support and participate by purchasing a ticket for various activities such as viewing, touring and riding aboard the airplane. Flights for rides are available on the hour from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and will include a brief pre-instruction and tour session. Public tours are open from 2 – 5 p.m. during the event. General admission is $10, veterans and those under age 18 are free. To purchase tickets and to learn more about this event visit: https://www.gorockford.com/event/b-25-mitchell-tour/20017/

Media partners are invited to a Media Day and Welcoming Ceremony on Thursday, September 16 at 1 p.m. for tours and interviews. Veterans and other dignitaries from the aviation community will be in attendance.

Young Eagle Flights will run on Saturday, September 18 from 1 – 4 p.m. Launched in 1992, the Young Eagles program has dedicated more than 25 years to giving youth ages 8–17 their first free ride in an airplane. It is the only program of its kind, with the sole mission to introduce and inspire kids in the world of aviation. Today, more than 2 million young people have enjoyed a free introductory flight through the Young Eagles program. These flights are made possible by the generosity of EAA member volunteers. To pre-register for this experience please call 815-243-3416.  

"It’s an honor to assist the EAA and affiliate groups as they host such an inspiring event in our community. This is an educational opportunity for attendees to learn more about the B-25 Mitchell aircraft, immerse themselves in so many of the historic stories that will be shared and a great way to teach our youth more about the future of the industry,” said Kara Davis, RACVB Group Sales Manager. “The Rockford region is an aerospace and aviation leader in the industry and it is very fitting that an event of this caliber would be hosted here.” 

Additional area organizations and businesses involved: EAA Chapter 22 of Rockford, Chronos Aviation of Rockford, Navy Club Ship #1 of Rockford, VFW 9759 of Loves Park, Rock Valley College, Bergstrom, Inc., Rockford Army Surplus, and Chicago-Rockford International Airport.  

“This historical aircraft was intended to be on tour last year to celebrate the end of World War II, 75 years earlier, as the B-25 served in all WWII theaters of War, but that tour was delayed to this year. It is the same type of aircraft that launched from the deck of the US aircraft carrier USS Hornet to accomplish the Jimmy Doolittle Raid on Japan that inspired books and a movie,” said Bruce Jacobsen, EAA Rockford Chapter 22 Secretary. 

  

About the EAA: The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is a growing and diverse organization of members with a wide range of aviation interests and backgrounds. Founded in 1953 by a group of individuals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who were interested in building their own airplanes, EAA expanded its mission of growing participation in aviation to include antiques, classics, warbirds, aerobatic aircraft, ultralights, helicopters, and contemporary manufactured aircraft. Membership in EAA enables you to share the spirit of aviation with the most passionate community of recreational pilots, builders, and restorers. EAA is the only association that offers the fun and camaraderie of participating in the flying, building, and restoring of recreational aircraft with the most passionate community of aviation enthusiasts. To learn more visit: https://bit.ly/3C6gFID

RACVB is a private, non-profit organization established in 1984 to champion efforts to promote the Rockford Region as an overnight visitor destination. The RACVB adds wealth to the region’s economy by investing in marketing programs that grow tourism. www.gorockford.com 

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FOR MORE INFORMATION: 

Dan Obert, RACVB Marketing & Communications Manager: 815.489.1664 or dobert@gorockford.com