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Arsenal of Democracy No. II: World War II Airplane Flyover Photo Safari

Photograph World War II airplanes flying over the National Mall

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To honor the heroes who fought in World war II and those on the home front who produced the tanks, ships, and aircraft that enabled the United States and its Allies to achieve victory, one of the most diverse arrays of World War II aircraft ever assembled will once again fly above the National Mall, from the Lincoln Memorial towards the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Friday, May 8, 2020, the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, as part of the Arsenal of Democracy: World War II Victory Capitol Flyover.

Repeating a photo experience we conducted on May 8, 2015, the 70th anniversary of VE day, Washington Photo Safari is pleased to offer its clients a unique photo safari that will capture this historic moment. The safari will once again take place during the lunch hour at carefully selected elevated locations in Arlington with excellent views of the flight path along the National Mall, easily accessible by METRO, with professional photographers providing camera instruction and tips on photographing the aircraft.

Around 100 U.S. and Allied World War II aircraft will fly overhead in 24 separate historically sequenced warbird formations. The formations will represent the War’s major battles, from Battle of Britain through the final air assault on Japan, and conclude with a missing man formation. The 40-minute exhibition will fly right over the World War II Memorial commemorative ceremonies. Aircraft are being provided by multiple organizations and individuals whose mission is to preserve these historic artifacts in flying condition. This is the second such flyover ever to take place in the nation’s capital. Aircraft expected to participate include:

The Curtis P-40 Warhawk, P-39 Aerocobra, P-38 Lightning, Douglas 58D Dauntless (the plane flown by the Tuskeegee Airmen), PBY Catalina, P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbolt, FG-1D Corsair, B-25 Mitchell, B-17 Flying Fortress, B26A , Grumman TBM Avengers, B29 Superfortress, Vought FG-1D Corsairs, and many others.

Here is a sample of some of the photos captured during the Arsenal of Democracy held in 2015: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157712552766447

The Commemorative Air Force is one of the organizations that is participating in the fly-over. You can learn more about the CAF here.

Any camera is acceptable for this safari, including cellphones, but for best results we suggest DSLR or mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses and rapid shooting capability, a telephoto zoom lens of 200-400 mm or greater, and a wide angle lens with circular polarizer filter. Clients unfamiliar with DC will appreciate our site selection choices that give them the best angles on the aircraft.

Meeting time is 11:30 am sharp, the safari will end at 1:00 pm. Cost is $89/person, includes photographic instruction and handout materials with recommended camera settings and lenses.

In the event of rain or heavy cloud cover, the flyover will take place on Saturday May 9, at the same time.

Photo Credit: Michel Brandau