As a fitting follow-up to Memorial Day weekend, and in honor of WWII Veterans, the “Wings of Freedom Tour” will be on display at Buchanan Field Airport in Concord from June 8 through June 11. Celebrating its 28th year, the Collings Foundation’s “Wings of Freedom Tour” will be showcasing vintage Boeing B-17 flying Fortress, “Nine O Nine”, the Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft”, the B-25 Mitchell “Tondelayo” bombers and North American P-51 Mustang “Betty Jane fighter.
This is your rare chance to explore inside and out, or even fly in some of WWII’s most successful aircraft and unique treasures of aviation history. The B-17 is one of only eight still in flying condition in the US while the B-24J is the sole remaining example of its type in the world. The B-25 is best known for being used in the daring “Doolittle Raid.”
These bombers were the backbone of the American effort during the war from 1942-1945 and were famous for being able to sustain damage and still complete the mission. The P-51 was affectionately known as the bombers “Little Friend,” saving countless crews from attacking axis fighters.
After the war, many aircraft were scrapped for their aluminum to rebuild the nation. Few were spared. The rarity of the B-17, B-25, B-24 & P-51 – and their importance to telling the story of WWII is why the Collings Foundation continues to fly and display the aircraft nationwide. Local Veterans are invited to come out and share their personal experiences and stories.
Collings Foundation requests $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12 for access to up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft. There are discounted rates for school groups.
As fascinating as this flying museum may be to see, imagine the thrill of actually flying in one. You can take a 30-minute flight aboard one of these rare aircraft. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person. B-25 flights are $400 per person.
Raise the excitement even more and get some “stick time” in the world’s greatest fighter! P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. For reservations and information on flight experiences call 800-568-8924. You must make the reservation.
Ground tour times are Thursday, June 8 from 2:00pm to 5:00 pm, and Friday through Sunday, June 9-11 from 9:00 AM to 5:00. The 30-minute flight experiences are normally scheduled before and after the ground tour times above.
The “Wings of Freedom Tour” is a flying tribute to the flight crews who flew them, the ground crews who maintained them, the workers who built them, the soldiers, sailors and airmen they helped protect; and the citizens and families that share the freedom that they helped preserve.
The Collings Foundation is a non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing “living history” events that allows people to learn more about their heritage and history. You can find out more by visiting their website at www.collingsfoundation.org.