1941 Historic Airshow volunteer Austin Hancock is raising money to build a P-51 from scratch like the one above.
1941 Historic Air Group
Red Cans for the Red Tails takes off for the airshow
As the 1941 Historical Aircraft Group gears up for the 2012 Geneseo Airshow, so too is long-time volunteer Austin Hancock. Hancock is preparing to launch his “Red Cans for the Red Tail” campaign.
Hancock is raising money to build a P-51 fighter plane from scratch – thus adding a World War II fighter to the museum’s warbird collection. The P-51 “Lucy Gal” would honor local Tuskegee Airman — Leland Pennington — who was lost near Zadar, Croatia.
In preparation for the show, Hancock will paint each can red in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen’s signature identification mark (the rudder). During the weekend of the airshow, the cans will be on display in multiple locations – including along the flight line. In addition, Hancock will be making periodic announcements throughout the weekend and reminding people to donate.
By spreading out the donation cans, Hancock hopes to garner more financial support from the audience. “The goal is to bring the donation cans to the people,” said Hancock.
In addition, this year, Hancock will have his own tent – located next to the P-51s in attendance. This is the first year that Hancock will have a tent designated solely for his project. He will be available to discuss his vision, fundraising efforts, construction progress, and information about Pennington’s life.
To add even more enthusiasm for the project, Hancock is contemplating painting an outline of a P-51 on the flight line. The outline would symbolize the future location of the P-51 “Lucy Gal” when it is complete.
Hancock has a number of other on-going fundraising efforts – including a monthly can and bottle drive. The community is asked to donate their empty cans/bottles during the first weekend of every month. By redeeming the cans and bottles, Hancock is typically able to earn $40-60 each visit.
The Geneseo Airshow is set to take place on July 14-15, 2012. For more information about “The Greatest Show on Turf”, please visit the 1941 Historical Aircraft Group Museum website.