IMG_5461Once every two years, a unique collection of aircraft descends on the grounds of the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH.  This is the Dawn Patrol - the largest collection of WW I-era aircraft I've had the pleasure to see flying.

As you might imagine, most of the flying machines are replicas -- very close mimics of the actual vintage machines, but updated for safety.  This is most easily-seen by glancing under the cowls of these airplanes, where power plants have been been updated to be a little more reliable.  Nevertheless, the aircraft look great, and dozens of pilots and crew in period costumes help set the mood as well.

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IMG_5557Among the attractions in the air was a staged dogfight.  Of course, the Fokker came out on the losing end, and after setting down, the pilot was taken prisoner in "no man's land".  Like any military reenactment, a little historical context will help you appreciate the things that are being shown, but fans of all ages can appreciate these great old planes in the air!

Finally, no WW I reenactment would be complete without the infantry, so without further ado, here's the infantry:

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Also in attendance over the weekend was a marvelous collection of vintage cars -- I'll post those separately, so watch for them if you liked these photos.