Six WWII-era Planes to Fly Over IMS Prior to Indy 500
The B-25 Mitchell, aka "Axis Nightmare," was used in the first American counter-strike after Pearl Harbor. (photo courtesy Tri-State Warbird Museum)
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Friday that six World War II-era planes will fly over the world's most famous racecourse prior to the start of the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.
The pre-race flyover will feature a North American B-25 Mitchell, nicknamed "Axis Nightmare," and five North American T-6 Texan trainer aircraft. The planes will fly over the speedway at the conclusion of the National Anthem.
The B-25 Mitchell is a twin-engine medium bomber, 16 of which were used in a surprise bombing mission over Japan on April 18, 1942. It was the first counter-strike by the U.S. following the attack on Pearl Harbor four months prior. The T-6 Texan is a single-engine trainer aircraft which was designed to give the best possible training in a variety of attacks.
The planes were chosen because the military could not use active planes for the flyover due to budget cuts resulting from the recent sequester.
It's not the first time a B-25 Mitchell has flown over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Two of them were used in the flyover prior to the 2009 Indy 500.