F-4D Phantom #550 fighter aircraft arrived in Bowling Green,
Kentucky on December 8, 2005 and was taken to the Warren County
Regional Airport for restoration and future display at Aviation
Heritage Park. A news conference was held at 3:30 pm following
the plane's arrival to its new home.
F-4D Phantom #550 was brought to Bowling Green for restorative
cleaning, painting and display in Aviation Heritage Park. Although
now painted gray, the aircraft will be restored to the green
and brown Vietnam era paint scheme. The restoration process
is scheduled to take about eight months, with official dedication
of the aircraft to take place in fall 2006.
Heritage Park, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, is responsible
for bringing the aircraft to Bowling Green. The organization
is also working to design and construct a beautifully landscaped
area to accommodate up to six aircraft with the purpose being
to educate current and future generations about the important
contributions to the field of aviation by the citizens of South
Central Kentucky. "There are many distinguished aviators
who have called South Central Kentucky home," said Carroll
Hildreth, President of Aviation Heritage Park. "We want
to be sure their stories are told."
F-4D Phantom #550 aircraft is a plane with historic significance
to the Air Force and to South Central Kentucky. Brigadier General
(Ret.) Dan Cherry, a Bowling Green native, was at the controls
of #550 on April 16, 1972, when he shot down a North Vietnamese
MIG-21 during the Vietnam War. It was decided that Phantom 550
would make a fitting cornerstone for the park dedicated to educating
area school children and adults about aviation, from the origins
of flight to space travel, with an emphasis on the contributions
made by regional residents.