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Indy 500 flyover to feature six World War II-era planes

PRESS RELEASE -Six iconic military airplanes that played a vital role in the United States and its allies winning World War II will soar above the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the traditional pre-race flyover before the start of the 97th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26.

A North American B-25 Mitchell twin-engine medium bomber will be joined in formation by five North American T-6 Texan trainer aircraft in the flyover that will appear above the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the conclusion of the national anthem.

The B-25, nicknamed “Axis Nightmare,” and T-6 military aircraft performing the flyover will be provided by the Cincinnati Warbirds EAA Squadron 18 and the Tri-State Warbird Museum that jointly promote the preservation of historic military aircraft, remember those who fought for our freedom and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. For more information, visit www.cincinnatiwarbirds.org and www.tri-statewarbirdmuseum.org.

Recognized as one of the most versatile aircraft of the war, in its time the B-25 high- and low-level bomber was one of the most heavily armed airplanes in the world. Nearly 10,000 B-25s were built from 1939 through 1945.

B-25s were used four months after the Dec. 7, 1941 attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor when Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle led a surprise bombing mission over Tokyo and other Japanese cities April 18, 1942.

The T-6 Texan single-engine advanced trainer aircraft was designed to give the best possible training in a variety of tactics, including bombardment, aerial dogfighting and ground strafing.

Nearly 15,500 T-6 planes were built beginning in the mid-1930s, used for training by thousands of pilots in 34 different countries for more than two decades.

T-6 Texans annually reach speeds upward of 230 mph competing in their class during the prestigious TravelNevada.com Reno Air Races.