The American Aeronautical Foundation was founded to help preserve the aviation legacy of our World War II Veterans and the aircraft they flew.
It is our great honor to be the custodians of these great airplanes and the opportunity we have to share them with you.
We have a core group of volunteers including pilots and maintenance personnel that go to great lengths to ensure that everything is in top running order.
B-25 EXECUTIVE SWEET
Our flagship B-25 has been seen by millions of aviation fans at air shows, fly-ins and private aviation events for more than 4 decades.
Built in Kansas City in 1944 -45 as a B-25J, Executive Sweet saw extensive Stateside service throughout the war as a crew trainer. In 1948,it was converted into a USAF VB-25J and used as a VIP transport until the end of her service.
In December of 1954 it was upgraded and designated a VB-25N by Hayes Aircraft, Inc. After several more years of military service at the School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Field, Texas, the Mitchell was sold as surplus ad became a crop sprayer. She was acquired by Hollywood's Filmways Studios in 1968 where she became the lead "on camera" aircraft named "Vestal Virgin" in the film Catch-22.
After the completion of the film, the B-25 was put up for sale in 1970 and purchased by Ed Schnepf (Thank you Ed!!). In 1972 Ed had the aircraft put through a two-year restoration program to bring her back to the appearance of an authentic wartime J model.
Looking factory - new in its restored bare metal finish, "Executive Sweet" was once again armed with thirteen .50 caliber machine guns, a Norden bombsight , operable bomb bay, authentic insignia and interior detailing down to crash axes and a crew intercom system.
In 1982, Schnepf's Challenge Publications donated the B-25 to the newly formed American Aeronautical Foundation at Camarillo Airport, in Southern California. We have been operating her ever since.
Executive Sweet has appeared in a dozen major films and numerous TV shows and commercials. In April 1992, the plane participated in the Doolittle Raid 50th Anniversary reenactment staged at North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego, California and flew at the final Doolittle Raiders Reunion at Wright Patterson Air Force Base at the Museum of the United States Air Force with 19 other B-25s.
Our C-47 47B-15-DK, USAAF Serial #43-49531, is a veteran of 3 wars and 55 years of service shared between two nations, The United States and Israel.
She entered service as a Troop Carrier on 28 November 1944 leaving the Oklahoma City factory for Baer Field, Indiana to upload her GFE - Government Furnished Equipment, and for a final test flight. Upon Completion 2 days later, she headed towards the war in Europe landing in Italy attached to the 12th Air Force. After spending approximately 270 days in combat she returned home in September of 1945, with veteran troops from the now quiet former war front.
After World War II the C-47 entered service with Israel, where she once again served during wartime on multiple occasions. She saw action in The War of Independence and every conflict since up until 1999 when she was finally retired from the Israeli military.
So after 55 years of dedicated service she is now permanently home with the American Aeronautical Foundation, of Camarillo, California. She joins our B-25J "Executive Sweet" as part of a flying museum that has a mission of preserving history and allowing the public to view and soon to ride both of these historic aircraft!
Our C-47 is currently undergoing an extensive, complete restoration process that will return the aircraft to her former brilliance.
For more information on the AAF or to donate to our ongoing work to preserve these fine examples of aviation history, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.