A North American B-25 Mitchell bomber, one of the iconic aircraft of World War II, will be stopping in Springfield and offering flight experiences as part of its national tour, as the Experimental Aircraft Association brings the Berlin Express to the area on Aug 20 & 21.
EAA Chapter 770 is hosting the tour stop at LRS Aviation Center/LLCC hanger, 815 N. Airport Dr, Springfield, IL. Flights will be available on Saturday and Sunday from 10AM-1PM with ground tours following until 5PM. EAA Chapter 770 is one of 900 local chapters of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the world's largest organization for recreational flying. EAA's mission is to grow participation in aviation through flying, building, restoring and volunteer outreach, sharing “The Spirit of Aviation" and encouraging all who wish to participate.
“The B-25 is best known as the airplane used in the famed Doolittle Raid in the early days of World War II, but it served so capably in every wartime theater during the war and in many other roles afterward," said John Salz, EAA Chapter 770 president. “The aircraft is coming to Springfield as a piece of flying history that pays tribute to the sacrifices and dedication of those who built and flew it."
EAA's B-25 was built in 1943 and has a colorful history, starting with statewide non-combat service during the latter stages of World War II. It was then sold as surplus and used in a variety of operations, including as a transport for Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton and her husband. The aircraft also played a featured role in the 1970s movie Catch-22, in which it carried the Berlin Express name it bears today.
EAA obtained the airplane in the early 1970s and initially restored it in 1975 under the name City of Burlington. It eventually went on static display in EAA's museum until the current restoration, which was completed in April 2019. Flights can be reserved now by calling 800-359-6217 or via EAA's B-25 website at FlyTheB25.org.