Washington (AFP) - A parade of vintage warplanes will fly over Washington on May 8 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the allied victory in Europe near the end of World War II, event organizers said Tuesday.
Nearly 70 WWII aircraft will fly over the monument-studded National Mall "in historically sequenced warbird formations representing the war's major battles, from Pearl Harbor to D-Day," said Pete Bunce, head of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, one of the organizers.
It will conclude with aircraft in a "missing man" formation passing overhead to the strains of "Taps," the haunting piece that buglers play at military funerals.
Dubbed "The Arsenal of Democracy: World War II Victory Capitol Flyover," the event is expected to draw between 3,000 and 4,000 veterans.
Among the organizers is the National Air and Space Museum, whose director John Dailey said the flyover was aimed at passing on "the heritage of our aircrafts" to younger generations.
"It allows us to help bring to life the sights and sounds of the historic machines that were critical to our success in WWII," he said.
About 20 of the aircraft will be on public display the day after the flyover at the museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
Dailey said the Federal Aviation Administration and the Secret Service were both involved in event preparations.