Once 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.[clear]
Among 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:
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.