After more than 3,000 hours logged in restoration and repair, “Tuskegee Airmen,” the P-51C Mustang named in honor of America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel, has returned to the skies. On December 1, a successful test flight was completed: the first since “Tuskegee Airmen” was downed eight months ago after a hard landing.
“Tuskegee Airmen”, N61429, originally served as a trainer in 1945 before being displayed at Montana State College for 40 years. Its original restoration to flying condition was accomplished by AirCorps Aviation, a small company that specializes in restoring, maintaining and rebuilding vintage WWII aircraft. AirCorps also handled the most recent repairs.
This successful test flight is a big step toward getting the historic aircraft back to its mission to inform and inspire young people. “Tuskegee Airmen” is owned and operated by The Commemorative Air Force Red Tail Squadron, a volunteer, nonprofit organization supported by sponsorships and donations. The plane travels to airshows and events across the country as part of their Rise Above outreach program, an initiative that aims to use the lessons of the “Tuskegee Airmen’s” special history to teach people of all ages about how to overcome obstacles and adversity in their own lives and communities.
Learn more about the CAF Red Tail Squadron at redtail.org.