What Was the Confederate Air Force?


Quick Answer

The Commemorative Air Force, formerly known as the Confederate Air Force, is a private non-profit group of vintage airplane enthusiasts. The CAF is an all-volunteer organization with regional branches across the United States.

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Full Answer

The Confederate Air Force began in 1957 when Texan Lloyd Nolan and several of his friends purchased a P-51 Mustang. The group continued collecting many World War II aircraft, focusing on restoration and preservation.

Effective January 1, 2002, the group changed its name to the Commemorative Air Force to avoid connotations of slavery. The CAF is an all-volunteer organization and continues its preservation efforts with thousands of members in more than 80 regional groups across the U.S. This Texas-based organization takes part in many exhibitions and air shows every year, traveling all over the nation. With more than 160 planes still in operation as of July 2015, the CAF is one of the world's largest private air forces.

One way the group promotes aviation history is by offering members of the public an opportunity to ride in some of its historic aircraft. At most air shows and exhibitions the CAF attends, aviation enthusiasts have the chance to ride in a B-29 Superfortress, P-51 Mustang or B-24 Liberator.

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