MICKI STEELE, DETROIT NEWS STAFF WRITER
Fighter planes flown by the nation's first African-American military aviators are hard to find.
That's why officials at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum jumped at the chance to buy one.
The museum spent a year raising the funds to pay for a World War II T-6 training plane — known as the "pilot maker" — once used by the celebrated all-black aviation unit.
The $200,000 deal was finalized in late September.
One other such plane exists that was flown by the Tuskegee Airmen, said Brian Smith, the museum's president. "It's a national treasure."
The T-6 will be housed at Detroit City Airport and used for youth training and air show demonstrations.
The vintage aircraft was produced at North American Aviation's Dallas factory, delivered in 1943 to Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama and used until 1945.
The same Dallas factory also made the P-51, a fighter plane flown by the African-American war pilots to escort bombers.