Jacob Webb wasn’t alarmed when a B-24 bomber flew over his house. Instead, he was eager to see it up close, get inside and play with the machine guns onboard.
That’s why Jacob, 6, and his mother, Stacey Webb, headed to the Scottsdale Airport on Friday to see the Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American B-25 Mitchell World War II fighter planes that flew into the city as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour. The tour is run by the Collings Foundation, a nonprofit organization that encourages Americans to learn more about their heritage through “living history events,” said Hunter Chaney, director of marketing.
“My boys are into planes,” Webb said. “It’s the whole boywar thing,” she added, laughing as Jacob climbed into the B-24 and commandeered the gun.
The show, which also features a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, a popular plane in World War II films that arrives today, is like a traveling museum, Chaney said. “To see or read (about history), you might remember. To experience, you won’t forget.”
Visitors have the opportunity to view and climb inside the planes. They also can opt for a 30-minute ride in the desert sky.
A mix of military veterans, families and enthusiasts come to see the planes at their 130 stops each year, Chaney said. More people come to view the planes each year, said Ken Miles, Collings’ director of operations. In its 18th year, the tour allows adults to reminisce and children to learn about U.S. history, Chaney added.
Ron Roberts, 77, said he came to see the planes that often flew over his home in Michigan as a child. A Korean War veteran, Roberts said he was most interested in the B-24 because it’s the only one of its kind that is still in flying condition.
Jacob was also interested in the B-24, but not because of its history.
“I thought it’s got to be really small,” Jacob said in awe. “It’s not.”
Wings of Freedom Tour
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday.
Where: Scottsdale Airport, 15000 N. Airport Drive (Scottsdale Road & Butherus Drive).
Cost: $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under to view the planes. It’s $325 to $425 for a 30-minute ride.
More information: (800) 568-8924 or www.cfdn.org