The Pueblo West View

Weisbrod museum to host air extravaganza

For the first time since 2007, an air event is coming to town.

The Pueblo Air Blitz will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 13-15 each day at the grounds of the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum and the Pueblo Municipal Airport.

“During this, our museum will be open like a regular day except we will have extra things happening,” Don Blehm, president of the museum, said. “We will have special things for the kids, open cockpits, lectures by WWII veterans who have stories to tell; that’s all going to be part of it.”

Vendors also will be on hand for the air event including those selling food and merchandise.

The recently completed International B-24 Museum exhibit is one of the things Blehm said he is most excited for the public to get a chance to see.

“We got a declaration from Congress declaring this the official International B-24 Museum,” Tom Weaver, curator at the Pueblo Weisbrod Air Museum, said. “A lot of the B-24 training for WWII was done right here in Pueblo at this airport so the exhibit talks about the airplane, manufacturers, the crew, crew training and roles and missions of what they did. It took three to four months to put this together and it’s a really important exhibit.”

The Pueblo Air Blitz also will feature vintage planes and fly-ins.

“We expect and hope a lot of private planes will fly in,” Blehm said. “We expect around 40 of those planes and people will be able to see them fly in but they won’t be necessarily on display. A fly-in is kind of a social gathering of pilots. They fly in to various places and gather and cook a hamburger or something and head back out.”

Several vintage show planes will be on display at the event.

The Lady Liberty will fly here out of Oklahoma and be showcased.

Organizers hope a number of others come as well.

“A number of people around the state and nearby states who own very historical aircrafts have volunteered to fly their planes in here and they will be put on display,” Blehm said. “This is all verbal so we don’t know exactly how many will show up. We know Lady Liberty will be here for sure, however.”

One of the main goals of the air event is to raise the public’s awareness of the World War II Blitz hangar at the Pueblo Municipal Memorial Airport.

The Mile High Wing of the Commemorative Air Force will be housing its C-45 plane in the hangar permanently.

“This will be the flying part of our museum,” Blehm said. “The Commemorative Air Force was founded in the ’50s to preserve and fly WWII aircrafts. Efforts are in progress to restore the only remaining Pueblo Army Airbase hangar here as an important historical site.”

Blehm said he hopes the Pueblo Air Blitz becomes an annual event.

“We’re hoping this develops into an annual, full-blown show, the kind where you eventually bring in the Thunderbirds and have a flying component to it,” he said. “We’re excited about it.”

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