Aircraft of Wheeling designer fly into airport

WHEELING – An image out of America’s past came to rest at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport on Monday.

A B-25 bomber, designed by Wheeling native Howard “Dutch” Kindleberger, is on display on the runway for people to see. It is scheduled to be joined by a P-51 fighter plane Friday to kick off a weekend of aviation history.

“All the action will begin at the airport Thursday through Sunday,” airport Manager Tom Tominack said Monday afternoon.

Tominack said the B-25, dubbed “Maid in the Shade,” is visiting the airport for the first time after years of restoration and reconstruction work. The P-51 will return to the airport after multiple visits in the past.

Tominack said vendors will be set up throughout the weekend, and the Warbird Rides Commemorative Air Force will be offering rides to interested parties for an admission fee.

Kindleberger’s company, North American Aviation, designed the B-25 bomber during World War II especially for the Doolittle Tokyo Raid on April 18, 1942.

Local plane enthusiast and father Jack Sall brought his family to see the bomber Monday. He said he studied aviation with local pilot Denny Lawford and received authorization to fly by himself in 2002.

The love of flight was passed down through the generations on Monday. Jack Sall said he brought his daughter, Avalyn, to see the bomber because he said she inherited his love for airplanes.

“It’s really great to be able to come see this,” Sall said.

The airport, which has recently been restored to its historic appearance by the staff, also features tours of the air traffic control tower and a museum dedicated to aviation history, including Kindleberger’s contributions to the U.S. Air Force.