Crawl through WWII-era planes at Wings of Freedom Tour stop - East Valley Tribune: Events

Crawl through WWII-era planes at Wings of Freedom Tour stop

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Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014 6:15 pm

Rare aircraft from the World War II era will land April 10-13 in Scottsdale for a living history display, and local veterans are encouraged to visit and share their stories with the public as part of the affair.

The Wings of Freedom Tour, presented by The Collings Foundation, will feature the authentic Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” WWII Heavy Bomber, Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” WWII Heavy Bomber and P-51 Mustang fighter.

It’s a rare opportunity to learn more about these unique treasures of aviation history. Visitors are invited to explore the planes inside and out.

The B-17 is one of only eight in flying condition in the United States; the other two planes are the sole remaining examples of their type flying in the world. After the war, few aircraft were spared from being scrapped for raw aluminum.

Bombers were the backbone of the American war effort from 1942 to 1945 and were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish the mission. The Mustang was affectionately known as the bombers’ “Little Friend” — saving countless crews from attacking axis fighters.

The Wings of Freedom Tour, now celebrating its 25th year, travels the nation as a flying tribute to the original crews who built, maintained and flew the planes.

Visitors may also take a ride aboard the aircraft — for a hefty price. Flights on either bomber are $450 per person. “Stick time” in the P-51 fighter is $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. For reservations and information on flight experiences, call (800) 568-8924.

The Collings Foundation is a non-profit educational group devoted to organizing living history events that allow people to learn more about their heritage through direct participation.

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