Willow Run Airport is in Van Buren Charter Township and in Ypsilanti Township, near Ypsilanti, Michigan, that serves freight, corporate, and general aviation. No airlines schedule flights to Willow Run, it being too near Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.
Opened in 1942, “Willow Run” was synonymous with the American industrial effort that contributed so much to Allied victory in World War II. Operated by the Ford Motor Company, the Willow Run manufacturing plant produced a total of 8,685 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers, completed and in kit form, before closure in April 1945; Willow Run produced more Liberators than either plant owned by the plane’s designer, Consolidated Aircraft.
Today the Yankee Air Museum, in one of the airport hangars, has a large collection of vintage aircraft.
WILLOW RUN AIRPORT HISTORY
Willow Run Airport was named for a small stream that meandered through pastureland and woods until the late-1930s. Automobile pioneer Henry Ford bought the property that became the airport’s runways and taxiways in 1931, and used it for almost a decade as farmland for a “social engineering” experiment that brought inner-city boys to Willow Run Farm to learn about nature, farming tasks, and the rural way of life. The residents at the Willow Run farms planted, tended, and harvested crops as well as running a maple syrup operation, and sold their products at the farm market on the property. In the process, the boys learned self-discipline and the values of hard work, and benefited from the fresh air that they had not been able to experience while growing up in congested cities.
WILLOW RUN AIRPORT LOCATION
WILLOW RUN AIRPORT FACTS
Elevation: 716 ft.
Runway length available: 05R/23L 7526×150 ft. :: 05L/23R 6655×160 ft. :: 09R/27L 6511×160 ft. :: 09L/27R 7294×160 ft. :: 14/32 6914×160 ft.