Phantom 550 Makes Move Across Bowling Green

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It's 16 feet high, 25 feet wide, and 20,000 pounds. On Sept. 23, it's heading through the streets of Bowling Green. The Phantom 550 aircraft makes it's big move at 11:30 p.m., and it'll do so at just two miles an hour.

Thirty-five years after flying it in Vietnam, Dan Cherry is back aboard the Phantom 550. The plane's in tip-top shape, and Dan's riding along on it's last journey.

It's one that will take it to the Aviation Heritage Park.

"It's just great for me to think that an airplane that was so important in my airforce career is going to continue to be useful to our country," Cherry explained.

During the Vietnam War, the Phantom 550 could travel twice the speed of sound. The Sunday night trip is going to take two and a half hours just to travel three miles.

The trip requires a military tow bar to be hooked to a towing tractor.
The plane will then exit the airport grounds, head down Lovers Lane, hang a left onto Scottsville and finally arrive on Three Springs Rd.

It's a process that's been practiced at the airport to ensure everything goes without a hitch.

"We didn't want to get out there on the highway and find out we have big problems. And I sure hope we don't!" admitted Carroll Hildreth, Aviation Heritage Park president.

But if all goes to plan, the Phantom 550 won't be the only plane making it's final landing at Aviation Heritage Park.

"We're going to have this airplane, but we're additionally going to have six more as time goes along and we're able to find those airplanes that have ties to stories from local people," Hildreth added.

"I know this airplane will inspire young people of future generations. I know it will," Cherry assured.

The Phantom 550 will be accompanied on its trip by some Bowling Green police officers.

A Bowling Green Municipal Utilities bucket truck will also be on hand to raise overhead lines to allow the plane to safely travel under them.

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