Featured PROMS Entertainment

The featured musical talent for this year’s Flying Proms is The Virginia Wind Symphony.

Virginia Wind Symphony

The Virginia Wind Symphony, organized in 1994 by Professor Dennis J. Zeisler, is a wind ensemble comprised of professional instrumentalists, military musicians, public and private school teachers and independent music instructors. The group was created to provide a musical outlet for musicians throughout the Hampton Roads area and is dedicated to playing the finest original and transcribed wind literature available. As the ensemble has grown in size and ability it has been recognized as one of the finest adult wind bands in the country.

The featured musical talent for this year’s Flying Proms is The Virginia Wind Symphony.

Mark Whall, Guest Host

The featured guest host for this year’s Flying Proms is Mark Whall. Since first visiting the museum in 2011, Mark has been a loyal supporter and friend. He has helped announce air shows, including the Flying Proms. Mark comes to us from the rural countryside of England. He has flown military jets and worked in commercial aviation, and he spent 26 years as a Program Editor with BBC Radio. Mark is involved in the world-famous Shuttleworth Collection of historic aircraft and cars in England, where he has been a commentator for its air shows.

The featured guest host for this year’s Flying Proms is Mark Whall.

Featured PROMS Aircraft

See which of your favorite aircraft will be featured in this year’s Flying Proms.

Featured Aircraft

Selections from the films Saving Private Ryan & The Longest Day

The B-25 Mitchell medium bomber was launched into history in the opening months of WWII. As the entire air bombardment concept owed itself to Gen. “Billy” Mitchell, the B-25 is the only U.S. aircraft to be named after a person.

Just four short months after Pearl Harbor, Gen. James Doolittle led a one-way raid from the decks of the carrier Hornet against the Japanese Empire with B-25’s. The emotional impact of the raid on both nations was far greater than the actual damage inflicted.

B-25’s served in all theaters of the war, and many survived the war as transports and cargo carriers. The MAM’s Mitchell was sold no less than ten times after the war for as little as $500.

Designed in 1940 with the flying prototype built in under 120 days to British specs, the Mustang proved to be capable but somewhat underpowered, particularly at altitude.

The RAF and AAC tested replacing the Allison engine with Merlin engines, and a legend was born. First operational with U.S. forces in June 1944 in its new configuration, the Mustang now had the speed, range, and firepower to master the skies over Europe, allowing the survival of daylight bombing.

MAM’s P-51D was built in 1945 and was immediately sent to England to the 8th Air Force. Markings belong to the Deputy Commander of the 353rd Fighter Group. In post-war years it served in the air forces of Sweden and Nicaragua.

Featured Aircraft

Selections from the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

The Focke Wulf aircraft company in Germany became perhaps the best known during WWII. In 1931, it had just merged with the famous Albatros firm of WWI fame. The Focke Wulf FW-44 (called the “Stieglitz”, or “Goldfinch”) is a 1930’s design for a biplane, two-seat trainer that first flew in 1932.

In the pre-war years, orders from glider and flying clubs, which would be the nucleus of the future Luftwaffe, ordered so many FW-44s that a new factory had to be built just to produce the Stieglitz. It is likely that virtually every German pilot of the period flew this plane at some point.

After many tests and modifications aimed at its durability and aerodynamics, the final FW-44 proved to have excellent airworthiness. The MAM’s example of the FW-44 is the final model of the series (FW-44J).

The Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun was a German single-engine sport and touring aircraft, developed by Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraft Works) in the 1930s. The Bf 108 was of all-metal construction.

Although it was outperformed by several other aircraft in the competition, the M 37’s overall performance marked it as a popular choice for record flights. Particular among these traits was its extremely low fuel consumption rate, good handling, and superb takeoff and landing characteristics.

The Bf 108A first flew in 1934, followed by the Bf 108B in 1935. The Bf 108B used the substantially larger, 12.67-litre displacement Argus As 10 air-cooled inverted V8 engine. The nickname Taifun (German for “typhoon”) was given to her own aircraft by Elly Beinhorn, a well-known German pilot, and was generally adopted.

Featured Aircraft

Selections from the film Soldier of Orange

The Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun was a German single-engine sport and touring aircraft, developed by Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraft Works) in the 1930s. The Bf 108 was of all-metal construction.

Although it was outperformed by several other aircraft in the competition, the M 37’s overall performance marked it as a popular choice for record flights. Particular among these traits was its extremely low fuel consumption rate, good handling, and superb takeoff and landing characteristics.

The Bf 108A first flew in 1934, followed by the Bf 108B in 1935. The Bf 108B used the substantially larger, 12.67-litre displacement Argus As 10 air-cooled inverted V8 engine. The nickname Taifun (German for “typhoon”) was given to her own aircraft by Elly Beinhorn, a well-known German pilot, and was generally adopted.

The de Havilland DH-98 Mosquito, constructed almost entirely of wood, is affectionately known as “The Wooden Wonder”. This particular airplane, number KA114, was manufactured in Canada in 1945 but never saw combat action in the Second World War. In tribute to the New Zealanders responsible for the restoration, 487 Squadron RNZAF color scheme was chosen and it was painted as EG-Y.

After being sold surplus to a farmer in Alberta, Canada in 1948, it deteriorated in a farm field until 1978 when it was acquired by a Canadian museum. The Military Aviation Museum purchased the crumbling remains in 2004 and shipped it to AVspecs in New Zealand for restoration. A major obstacle was recreating the forms needed for the new wooden fuselage, wings, and tail sections. Glyn Powell, of Auckland, had spent nearly a decade building the 36 foot long molds for the fuselage alone.

Developed as a high-speed fighter with a two-man crew, this twin-engine aircraft is powered by dual original Rolls Royce Merlin engines and equipped with four replica machine guns and 20mm cannons under the nose. The Mossie was prized for its maneuverability and speed capability of over 350 mph.

Eight years of painstaking restoration work resulted in the long-awaited first flight at Ardmore Airport in September OF 2002. Of approximately 30 projects and museum displays that remain, our Mossie is the only flying Mosquito in the world today.

Featured Aircraft

Selections from the film The Tuskegee Airmen

Designed in 1940 with the flying prototype built in under 120 days to British specs, the Mustang proved to be capable but somewhat underpowered, particularly at altitude.

The RAF and AAC tested replacing the Allison engine with Merlin engines, and a legend was born. First operational with U.S. forces in June 1944 in its new configuration, the Mustang now had the speed, range, and firepower to master the skies over Europe, allowing the survival of daylight bombing.

MAM’s P-51D was built in 1945 and was immediately sent to England to the 8th Air Force. Markings belong to the Deputy Commander of the 353rd Fighter Group. In post-war years it served in the air forces of Sweden and Nicaragua.

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 “Würger” (Shrike) is a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s and widely used during World War II. Along with its well-known counterpart, the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the Fw 190 became the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s Jagdwaffe (Fighter Force). The twin-row BMW 801 radial engine that powered most operational versions enabled the Fw 190 to lift larger loads than the Bf 109, allowing its use as a day fighter, fighter-bomber, ground-attack aircraft and, to a lesser degree, night fighter.

The Fw 190 made its air combat debut on the Eastern Front in October 1943, finding much success in fighter wings and specialized ground attack units. The Fw 190 was well-liked by its pilots, and some of the Luftwaffe’s most successful fighter aces claimed a great many of their kills while flying it, including Otto Kittel, Walter Nowotny and Erich Rudorffer.

The Museum’s Fw 190A-8 was built by a private enthusiast from a Flugwerk kit and first flew in 2010 before being acquired by the museum in 2015. This aircraft is unusual in that it is fitted with a four-bladed propeller and hub (rather than the original three-blade propeller), and has a modified cowling to fit a more modern Tupelov Tu-2 engine.

The Waco Aircraft Company of Ohio produced a wide range of aircraft between 1919 and 1947, and several companies operated under that name. The company ceased operations in 1947, suffering the same fate as many companies that anticipated a large post-war interest in aviation that failed to materialize.
The Waco Classic Aircraft Company was founded in 1983 that started production of new planes based on the 1935 YMF-5, the last of the classic barnstorming aircraft. The company used plans filed by the original company with the Library of Congress.

The museum’s aircraft was built in 1989 and was operated for 14 years carrying untold numbers of delighted passengers on sightseeing flights that introduce them to the sheer joy of the open cockpit flight of the classic biplane era.

Featured Aircraft

Selections from the films Aces High & A Very Long Engagement

The Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter, first flown in 1915, was a WWI multi-role biplane with either one or two seats. It was the first British fighter to enter service with a synchronized machine gun, and its forward-firing Vickers and movable Lewis gun in the rear packed a considerable wallop.

The Strutter was the first Sopwith to make a resounding name for itself. First flown in 1915 and introduced in 1916, Sopwith could not build enough of them and production was contracted from two other firms.

The Strutter served with the Royal Flying Corps, the Royal Navy, the French, the Americans and others in fighter, bomber, and observation roles. The RNAS called it the “Ships’ Strutter” in service from naval vessels.

The Albatros D.Va single seat fighter was a single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Imperial German Air Service during WWI. By 1917, earlier versions of the series were being outclassed, and the D.V was delivered in May of 1917.

This type experienced a series of fatal crashes, caused by a tendency of the lower wing to begin fluttering and ultimately disintegrating in flight during sustained dives from high altitude.

After extensive aerodynamic testing, a field modification was developed. But even then, the plane had little to offer. The Baron von Richthofen said of the D.V that it was “so obsolete and so ridiculously inferior to the English that one can’t do anything with this aircraft.”

The Fokker D.VII was a German World War I fighter aircraft designed by Reinhold Platz of the Fokker-Flugzeugwerke. Germany produced around 3,300 D.VII aircraft in the second half of 1918. In service with the Luftstreitkräfte, the D.VII quickly proved itself to be a formidable aircraft.

The Armistice ending the war specifically required Germany to surrender all D.VIIs to the Allies. Surviving aircraft saw much service with many countries in the years after World War I.

The Nieuport model 17 was one of the best of the classic small, single-gun rotary engine fighters of the Great War. It was highly maneuverable and had a fast climb rate, making it superior to early German aircraft. In combat against enemy balloons, small rockets could be affixed to the wing struts.

French, British, and American squadrons all flew the model 17 with great success. The museum’s plane is painted as a typical United States Air Service training aircraft.