By Gary Daniels
The Cavanaugh Flight Museum museum closed its doors to the public on December 31st, 2023, after 30-plus years at Addison Airport, TX. As reported by Vintage Aviation News the museum, founded in 1993 by businessman Jim Cavanaugh, had recently experienced conflict with authorities at their home base of Addison Airport (ADS) though in the announcement the Museum did not provide any additional details.
Today I was on site to document the move of a rare aircraft, the Spanish-built CASA 2.111. The museum has until May 31st to move their extensive collection of historic aircraft, parts inventory, tools, equipment, and artifacts to storage in Sherman, Texas. The museum is in the process of disassembling aircraft for transport. Aircraft that are airworthy have been flown out. They have made great progress with the move considering how herculean the effort has been.
The museum’s very rare CASA 2.111 (the Spanish-built version of the German Heinkel He 111 medium bomber of World War II) was loaded for transport to Sherman. The 53-foot-long fuselage was towed to a more accessible location at the airport for better access by a heavy lift crane. The wings, tail, horizontals, and engines had already been removed. Once the aircraft was harnessed, and the crane lifted the weight off the wheels, the main wheels were removed further reducing the lift weight by 600 pounds. The crane’s scale indicated the fuselage weighed 8500 pounds during the lift. The load is 24 feet wide and the drive to Sherman will be on backroads taking most of the afternoon to travel just 60 miles.

The museum’s 2.111E was built as s/n 155 and taken on charge by the Ejército del Aire (Spanish Air Force) as B2-H-155 in 1950, but due to a lack of engines was put into storage. In 1956, it was fitted with Merlin engines and modified to photographic and map-making configuration. It was accepted by the Spanish Air Force on December 14, 1956, as B2-I-27, to serve with the Spanish Air Force Cartographic Group.


In 1968 it was painted in WWII Luftwaffe colors and used in the film Battle of Britain, one of more than 30 CASAs used as stand-ins for the unavailable genuine Heinkels. From 1970 to 1972, the aircraft was operated by 403 Escuadrón from Cuatros Vientos, near Madrid. In November 1972, it was transferred to 406 Escuadrón at Torrejon in Spain. In January 1974, it was transferred to 46 Grupo in Ganda, Canary Islands, and active in the Spanish campaign in Western Sahara.


On January 21, 1975 B2-I-27 was returned to the air armaments factory in Seville, officially listed as surplus, and placed into storage: from all available information it appears that B2-I-27 was the last CASA 2.111 in active service with the Spanish Air Force.

Now registered N99230, in October 1977 the CASA was ferried across the Atlantic by British warbird pilot Neil Williams for new American owner Dolph Overton, receiving a new color scheme representing Kampfgeschwader 51 (KG51) “Edelweiss” of the German WWII Luftwaffe. It was loaned to the Confederate (now Commemorative) Air Force for a couple of years in the late 1970s, the organization taking on maintenance and operation duties at his expense, before the aircraft returned to Overton’s base in Florida. In 1983 the aircraft was sold to David Tallichet who displayed it at the Combat Air Museum in Topeka, KS.

The Cavanaugh Flight Museum added B.2-I-27 to its collection in 1995, the aircraft’s delivery flight into Addison Airport being its last to date. Today, however, the fuselage was airborne for the first time in 29 years… although not in the best of ways! At this time, there is no news on plans for the museum collection.