A pilot and past Wichita Aero Club speaker on Wednesday will begin a flight re-tracing the trans-Atlantic flight of the P-51B Mustang known as the “Berlin Express.”
Lee Lauderback, part of the Aero Club’s legendary pilots panel in December 2015, will fly the restored World War II fighter from southwest Texas to Duxford, England, where the airplane will take part in the Flying Legends airshow July 8-9.
The Berlin Express achieved legendary status when in 1944 pilot Bill Overstreet flew the P-51B under the Eiffel Tower in pursuit of a German Messerschmitt Bf 109G, which Overstreet shot down. The P-51B now bearing the Berlin Express name also was based in England in 1944. It is owned by Dan Friedkin.
Lauderback, who has more than 9,000 hours in a P-51, is expected to arrive in Duxford on July 4. The 5,470-mile flight includes stops in Paducah, Ky.; Dunkirk, N.Y.; Bangor, Maine; Canada, Greenland, Iceland and Scotland. The flight can be tracked at www.pursuitaviation.com/berlin-express.